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Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby rlown » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:37 pm

at least they didn't have guitars.. or worse... :-({|= I would have complained and then moved, but it wouldn't help.. you can hear that for miles..

agree on the "affiliated groups" stuff, esp the Yose sponsored groups. The other group i met in 2008 was lead by a PETA guy.. 8th graders in mid sept at Evelyn Lk.. they were respectful, though. Good leader, other than not letting them fish a great lake. The "other form of hunting" thing...



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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby Mike M. » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:41 pm

True enough, but I would be mighty put out if a group of ten plopped down next to my camp site, within the group limit, rowdy or not. It's one of the reasons I like to stay off trail. Aside from a noisy Boy Scout troop or a too-big Sierra Club group, the worst thing for me is when I'm off the beaten path and some bozo shows up and wants to camp right nearby. Basic etiquette dictates giving each camper privacy and space.

But sometimes you just have to pick your things up and move camp to ensure your peace and quiet.

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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby rlown » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:49 pm

Groups do not understand basic etiquette.. Herd mentality takes over..
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby balzaccom » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:07 pm

In your situation, I would contact the school and share my thoughts with them.

But then, I am reasonably tactful....and always willing to discuss something like this!
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby ericZ » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:16 pm

contact the school. it's too late for your trip but may help others in the future.

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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby windknot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:53 am

Thanks for the report, and congrats on your first solo trip!

About the large groups on the trail, I'd definitely contact the school. With these sorts of things, they probably simply don't realize that proper behavior in the backcountry is different from what might be acceptable in a school gymnasium or in a private home slumber party. Etiquette is first and foremost socially taught and regulated. If a school group designed to introduce a bunch of kids to backpacking is led by people who do not have this etiquette ingrained in themselves, then there's no way to expect the kids to know how to act. In this case, it's the school's responsibility to ensure that they know how to behave "out there." After all, a not insignificant part of the educational value of high school is simply teaching 15 to 18-year-old kids how to interact appropriately with other people and ultimately how to function properly within society.
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby GH-Dave » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:59 am

Rlown's statement about group mentality pretty much echoes my own feeling about it. Then, throw in that they are a bunch of city-raised teenage girls and there you have it.

I'd also like to reiterate that this episode definitely did not ruin my trip. It was merely a footnote in an otherwise hugely successful first venture out as solo. I've been backpacking for close to 40 years with the last 20 years' hiatus with only a couple of trips during that time. And I wanted to get started again.

My goal during this trip was to see what going solo was all about. I've always admired the solo guys and gals that we met up with on our trips. I've always wondered what it was like. Would I be scared out in the woods by myself at night? Would I be lonely? Would I be bored? Would I talk to myself too much, and would somebody hear me doing it? Would I get lost? Would I enjoy meeting folks? What if I got injured?

All these were answered very satisfactorily, and I found that I love going solo. I'm definitely going to do it again.

Dave
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby mokelumnekid » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:30 am

Hmmm...I'm probably going to get shelled for this, but them making racket and running around is completely what defines the quality of *their* experience. Who is to say that sitting quietly, gently holding one's Sierra cup, filled with hot herbal tea, thinking deep thoughts while gazing with a wistful and wise upward glance at yonder darkening sky, is the "approved" way to enjoy the wilderness? :soapbox: Man you should have seen some of the back-country "parties", no, bacchanals, I was part of back when I was climbing. Anybody visit Camp 4 or the SAR campsite in Tuolumne Meadows back in the day? What about singing? Musical instruments? Personally I find the sound of teenagers singing 'Cumbaya' more off-putting than dogs barking. Point is that it is a big world with many people having diverse ideas as to how to be in it. Thankfully, there aren't laws dictating appropriate behavior.... [-X

I'm of course only (kinda) joking around and pulling yer chain(s), but seriously- you call the school and describe a situation that to most people sounds like normal teenagers having fun. On what basis is one to argue-other than their own preconceived notions- as to what perfectly legal behavior is somehow more "correct" than another? I agree that behavior would have driven me batty as well and that IMHO it is inconsiderate. But having said that I would be the first to defend their right to make that racket. \:D/
Last edited by mokelumnekid on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby rlown » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:37 am

True enough.. They are out there creating their own experience, which might lead to good trips later in smaller groups. As offputting as it might be, they are still enjoying the wilderness in their own way. Hence, my 8 mile rule.. Get 8 miles back anywhere and offtrail for at least 2 of those miles, and you are less likely to run into large groups. If I target a place that is popular on near a trail, I just accept the fact that I might have to deal with a group, so I pick my campsite carefully.
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby mokelumnekid » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:59 am

Right- that's what I was trying to say I guess. Their behavior is not so much the issue as the proximity. I like your take...especially if one is solo or with a small team, they can easily find their own well deserved peace and quiet by going another way (usually).
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby markskor » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:30 pm

About the group of 15 conundrum...
You just discovered an important lesson on why we solo backpack...just to get away from said noise.

Being solo, your sense of hearing now more acute...the group mentioned undoubtedly sounded louder/ more piercing?
Now here is lesson #2: instead of beating a dead horse here afterwards, (there will always be other groups of 15), being solo, you always have the option of moving.

The freedom of hiking alone; use it wisely.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Just returned from my first-ever solo ...

Postby GH-Dave » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:39 pm

Markskor,

In this particular case there really wasn't the option to move. I was hemmed in by sheer drop on two sides, a series of downhill switchbacks heading farther down the trail, or going back up the trail from whence I came right past their camp to who knows where.

The truth is, I was dog tired after doing the most grueling of my five days, and I didn't have the energy to pack up camp and find another spot.

This little episode didn't ruin my trip by any means. It was just the luck of the draw that they happened to end up in the same remote location as me on the shoulder of Tuolumne Peak. I hope I didn't give the impression that my complaint about this noisy group was all I took home from this trip. On the contrary, it was absolutely wonderful. I met some great folks. And I am raring to go again. :)

Dave
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