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Tips for backpacking solo

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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:29 am

Hi Ssdivot,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for sharing your experience here on HST, and hope you
will post some TR's about you adventure to the Sierra and beyond in the future!
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby SSSdave » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:07 am

Fear out in the wilderness at night while being alone is almost always the ancient instinctual fear humans have of dangerous wild animals. Some who have never been out so may laugh but none of your ancestors would. Some of the most aggressive macho types back in their urban civilized world when out for the first time at night alone in a wilderness are reduced to paranoid sleepless quivering cowards.

Note if a person goes solo but then sets up camp within earshot of where others are camping, especially at popular destinations, it is hardly going solo psychologically. Likewise if one brings along their dog. Advice would be to start out on a real solo trip in wilderness areas where bears or mountain lions are unlikely of which there are many destinations. That way you will have to face the innate fear humans have out in the wild at night alone while knowing there really isn't anything to be afraid of in the way dangerous creatures except for saber-toothed chipmunks.
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:14 am

SSSdave wrote:That way you will have to face the innate fear humans have out in the wild at night alone while knowing there really isn't anything to be afraid of in the way dangerous creatures except for saber-toothed chipmunks.


And Sasquatch.. :paranoid:
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby ssdivot » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:14 am

rlown wrote:And Sasquatch..



That's pretty funny because right after my 1st trip in the Caribou wilderness, when I got irrationally terrified at night, I somehow found this article about a smokejumper who saw something in the same wilderness area.

http://www.bigfootencounters.com/stories/redcinder.htm

I was :eek: :eek: :eek:
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby jessegooddog » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:20 am

But Sasquatch lives in Washington,right? - so we are safe!! I guess I am not truly solo with my dog, but he's my good buddy and it would be mean to leave him at home (plus I would have to hire a dog sitter). And I have finally convinced a few family members that he will keep away those bears that circle the camp at night....ha ha. I do wonder, tho, if I were stupid or careless enough to leave food right outside the tent if a bear would be put off by his scent.
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby longri » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:34 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one subject to this.

Camping with someone else I have no fear of night sounds, at least not in the Sierra. There's virtually nothing to worry about. But when I camp alone, and I have done plenty of this, I sometimes get spooked by noises. I know I'm being irrational but the fear is still there. It really pisses me off that I can't control this with my thinking brain.
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby neil d » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:19 pm

Cool thread, with lots of feelings!

I've done a bit of solo-ing, and also enjoy it for all the reasons stated here. My only contribution, alluded to by others is that tiny critters can make A LOT of noise at night. Not to mention megafauna like deer, racoons, marmots, etc.

It really is amazing how loud animals can be just going about their business. Just something to keep in mind when you wake up in the night.
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby sparky » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:59 pm

I am turning this in a new direction, but twice I have been scared while backpacking with another person. One, I had an episode of sleep paralysis and there were these evil glowing neon squares....lol....another time strange flying beeping noises buzzing by the tent sent us packing
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:50 pm

sparky wrote:another time strange flying beeping noises buzzing by the tent sent us packing


That was Sasquatch with an ipod circling your tent and his headphones were turned up to loud. I think they like punk rock.

Besides that fun discussion, lets talk freedom vs. responsibility. some tout Solo as a way to detach and get in touch with "self" so to say. The recent deaths or missing were mostly solo. Snowy got off lucky but did have backup in case she couldn't press the button.

If you go solo, you must accept the risk or leave really GOOD information somewhere for people to find you. If you don't leave good info, you're being irresponsible (my opinion). Makes a lot of people have to work harder to find you if you don't show up in family member time.
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Re: Tips for backpacking solo

Postby sparky » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:13 pm

good point rlown, and it is something I have struggled with as it is just they way I am. Leaving detailed itineraries is something I have always done, but actually sticking to said iteneraries just about NEVER happens! I just do what I feel, when I feel it. So it is tough for me, as dumb as that sounds.

I do accept the risk, but my loved ones dont. That is really tough too.

Saying that my last trip I actually did stick to my itinerary, and Larry was responsible for that
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