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Does anybody know what time it is?

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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby LMBSGV » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:20 pm

I carry a watch but mainly use it for timing while cooking. When hiking, I leave it in the pack. When I get to a campsite, I'll get it out to see what time it is. When I wake up at dawn, I'll put it on just so I don't lose it and keep a lackadaisical eye on the time while I'm traipsing around taking photos - when I didn't wear the watch, I found myself wandering around way too long so not getting around to breakfast and packing up until it was too late to get to the day's destination at a reasonable time.

In one respect, carrying a watch is my one anchor/connection to the outside world. There are days when I don't bother with it and completely sever that connection and live entirely by the natural cycle of the rising and setting of the sun. It's a matter of the particular trip I'm doing and what responsibilities I have to anyone else (mainly my wife and son).



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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby cvr » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:26 pm

I own a multi-function watch with an altimeter, thermometer, barometer and a few other functions. It even has a small level, although if you need that to find a suitably flat tent spot or stove platform, you should probably not be in the mountains. I have the model on a caribener, which I prefer vs the standard wrist model. I don't usually wear a watch so I don't like the feeling of something on my wrist. I doubt I would have paid the pretty hefty price for it. It was a gift. Although it is WAY overkill, I have found it to be really useful and fun.

I rarely if ever look at the barometer as I can usually tell the trending weather by simple sight. The functions I do use continuously are:

Altimeter - Like balzaccom, I leave the display on this function throughout the hiking day. I find it fun to track how long it takes to gain certain ridges and I like the running elevation total it tracks for the trip. By recalibrating it maybe once a day at known points using a topo, I have found it to be very accurate. Is this function necessary? No. But, it is entertaining.

Thermometer - When my water is frozen in the morning, I know its cold. Again not necccessary, but its still neat to know exactly how cold.

Clock - Like some others, I like to know how much time I have left to fish and/or how much time I have before I will get to fish. It is also nice for tracking how long it will take to return from a dayhike, etc. I too find the clock helpful when timing rehydration on the occasions I take those meals. "8-10 minutes" my arse; 20 minutes at least!

Alarm - This may be the most useful function for me. I am very surprised no one has mentioned it thus far. I set the alarm for pretty much every morning. Without it, I (and all my hiking partners) would find ourselves sleeping in way too late. I certainly go into the mounatins to relax, enjoy myself and to shed the rigors of the regular workday lifestyle, but at the same time, I often want or need to get up earlier than I could on my own to summit a peak(s) or to fish the miracle sunrise hours. To me, enjoying some early morning tail-walking with some bows is worth setting an alarm.

Just my experience. I totally get the being on mother nature's time idea. The once or twice in my life when I forgot what day it was stand out as some of my finest moments. However, for me this overkill device allows me to enjoy my trips more than I would without it.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby sparky » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:04 pm

I have always got up at first light while in the mountains....one of the reasons I prefer solo. Everyone else sleeps in...after a few hours ill start throwing pine cones at tents heh
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby cvr » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:11 pm

Funny...throwing pine cones at tents is my preferred wake up call as well!
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby ChasingRainbows » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:30 am

I almost never bring a watch backpacking, unless i think i will need it to aid in navigation (how long until i reach this point, etc.). I recently went on a 4 day trip, got back to my car, and before turning the key I guessed that it was 3:57pm... the clock said 4:02. I guess that a sense of time is kind of like a sense of direction, some people have it and some don't.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:29 am

Interesting discussion. I wear a simple watch on the trail, but I rarely look at it. The main purpose of a watch for me is to get my lazy butt out of bed on mornings we have to move early. If am not nor ever will be a morning person!
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby Jimr » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:54 pm

I used to have a watch strapped around a loop on my pack. Never looked at it, so I don't bring it anymore.
What?!
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby freestone » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:13 pm

I bring a watch because I want to know how much longer I have to stay in my sleeping bag after I wake up at 0230 hours to wait for the dawn. Of course, I don't have to be backpacking to do this, that's is just the way I sleep (or not!!)
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby bluefintu » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:26 pm

Great topic, I need a watch, I've took my kids hiking at Catalina Island with thick fog. What woke me up was this loud stampeed with a heard of Buffalo. My watch has no alarm to wake me up, the animals did. I looked at my watch and said we have to go so we can catch the boat back to shore. A ten plus mile hike to the dock, a long way for a 9 year old and 11year old with lots of Bisons. We made it in time, otherwise my wife would be upset at me. I know how fast or slow I hike with my watch. I don't like jewery, but I will wear a watch. For me it is very handy.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby Herm » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:55 am

From about the age of nine, I have always worn a watch. Growing up, I was the kid who was always asked by others what time it was. If my watch is not on my wrist, I feel naked. So I wear my watch all the time, except while sleeping.
I am not in a hurry, so don't be hasty.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:59 pm

freestone wrote:I bring a watch because I want to know how much longer I have to stay in my sleeping bag after I wake up at 0230 hours to wait for the dawn. Of course, I don't have to be backpacking to do this, that's is just the way I sleep (or not!!)

Sadly, I'm right there with you.

On one trip 20 years ago, I was having my usual fitful-to-insomniac night, and I saw it was starting to get lighter in the east, so I decided to get up and watch the sunrise. Waited around for a while, and eventually...the moon poked over the horizon. I went back to bed.

That, of course, was before I was in the habit of bringing a watch.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Postby Baffman » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:32 pm

I've gone without a watch and really missed it. I won't do that again. If you're all like me, I wake up a lot during the night when I'm on the ground. This time of year the nights get long. I like to know what time it is when I wake up. Sometimes I wake up feeling really rested and it's only 11pm. That's when I know it's going to be a long night!
Rehydrating meals is my second reason for taking the watch. I so dislike crunchy rice or pasta.
I don't really need it much to tell how much daylight I have left. Depending on the terrain there can be a sizable time difference as to sundown.
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