Loneliness

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.
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Brien
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Re: Lonliness

Post by Brien » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:36 am

I've never done any solo backpacking trips for a couple of reasons, mainly safety and companionship. I like my private time just as much as the next person, but being out in the wilderness alone isn't one of those times. I enjoy being with others on the trails and sharing the experience with them.








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gary c.
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Re: Lonliness

Post by gary c. » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:38 pm

As much as I've thought about solo hiking I haven't done any yet. The reason is that I've done other things solo and I just don't enjoy it as much as when I'm sharing the experience with others. I love to hunt and fish and I've done those things on my own but it's never the same alone. Some people love to be by them selves and their thoughts. It's easy for me to start feeling depressed or melancholy when I'm out like you describe. I've pretty much embraced Marks suggestion "Solo hiking is not for everyone...why fight it?".
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

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SweetSierra
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Re: Lonliness

Post by SweetSierra » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:08 pm

I was somewhat lonely at times on my first eight day solo trip a few years ago. It surprised me. I'd gone by myself a handful of times, but they were shorter trips, only three to four days. I wasn't lonely on the shorter trips and enjoyed being by myself. But on the longer trip, I became melancholy. But that may have been because I hadn't been out that long alone before. The two books I brought along were page turners and I cherished them. I can lose myself in a good book and on this trip it definitely eased the lonely feeling.
The most lonely feeling was in late afternoon during and after eating dinner, a time I really enjoy with friends. That's the hardest time of day (I can become more thoughtful or melancholy then) for me because I start to wind down. I'm a morning person. I enjoy being with others on a long trip. I think I missed talking about the day and the camp and what can be seen, all those things, at the end of the day. Still, I usually feel comfortable being alone so it was strange. I also enjoy (like WD) being with others, but if there's too much interaction or talking, I seek out quiet time. It's something I absolutely need. Since that trip I've only made plans to go with others on long trips, though I'd like to do another long solo trip. Perhaps it does take getting used to.
I'd like to do it again as there are times when you can't go with others and it's easier to plan my own trip.
Last edited by SweetSierra on Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:36 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Loneliness

Post by RoguePhotonic » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:02 am

Since I spend such a great deal of time out there alone I'd like to be able to add something to the idea of loneliness but I can't really. My mother did not want to be a mother so I spent most of my time from ages 1-4 sitting in my room alone playing with my toys. This engrained a complete comfort with being alone. Combine that with the fact that in general I have always been alone my whole life in one way or another so the closest I come out there is when I have a good time with a person or persons and then have to go on alone. But I recover quickly.

And besides there are no shortages of Douglas Squirrels that I have mostly one sided conversations with. :D
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SweetSierra
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Re: Loneliness

Post by SweetSierra » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:20 am

I second that, Rogue. The critters are good company even if they only talk back occasionally ;)

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Re: Loneliness

Post by oldranger » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:42 am

I once carried on a 15 minute conversation with a pika at Upper Isberg Lake. I have tried talking to bears I have met on or off trail but they always take off as soon as I say hello. Thankfully just a few words a day is enough for markskor even on extended trips which is one reason I can tolerate him.

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Re: Loneliness

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:30 pm

I am trying to get used to backpacking with our dog. Dogs are good company; they do not talk much! But I always worry about the dog and so far have had quite a few problems- damaged paws, black-fly infestation, and here in the Sierra, so few places allow dogs.

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paul
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Re: Loneliness

Post by paul » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:22 pm

I have noticed that although I sometimes feel lonely in camp, I never feel it while I'm on the move hiking or skiing. So I think It tends to be something that happens when I am not busy. I have felt very lonely on some solo trips and not so much on others - and it doesn't matter whether it's a trip where I see other people on the trail or one where I don't.
I've come to the conclusion that very few people are really comfortable being alone for long. It's actually a very uncommon thing to do. Mostly we see other people many times a day. I like to spend more time alone than most people do, I need to spend time alone to stay sane. And yet it's different being in the mountains alone where I may go days without seeing anyone.
I have noticed, as others have, that emotions can swing more wildly when I am by myself. Doesn't always happen but I've certainly experienced it. And emotions that you've had under control in the mechanized world can sometimes boil up out of you when you get into the wilds.
So I remain conflicted - I like to go solo sometimes, and certain things about it I really like - going at exactly my own pace and schedule, camping exactly where I want to - but I also like to sometimes go with a friend or two. The experiences are certainly different. I do think that anyone who has the skills ought to try it a few times just to see how it is. And I think going solo just once doesn't give you enough of a sample to know if it's the thing for you or not.

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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Loneliness

Post by RoguePhotonic » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:25 pm

Each animal has their own personality when you talk to them. The Douglas does not like to be called cute but the Pika do.

I once whistled a song to a bear but it was rather indifferent about it.

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Re: Loneliness

Post by rlown » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:31 pm

Don't fear the reaper? Just interested in what the song was for the bear. They kind of run like they should when they see us.

Don't be lonely. If you post your agenda, you might get a companion, and you'll either like or hate the experience. Both are learning experiences.

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