What happen to our adventure spirit? | High Sierra Topix  

What happen to our adventure spirit?

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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:34 pm

There's a great difference of perception at work - I think the spirit of adventure is there in every backpacking class I take to some lake I've been to a dozen times. The students absolutely feel like they are deep in the wilderness having an adventure in places I day hike to and get home from before sundown. It's an adventure for them, because it's not familiar.

I started at that place quite a while ago. Eventually, my sense of adventure broadened to off trail passes and nine day outings, from which I come back feeling like I could easily keep hiking for longer. Adventures are a progression, not a sudden leap into the unknown, for me. I have done enough that I can plan long trips to places I have never been with adequate confidence and return not only in one piece but having avoided a death march or even blisters. That doesn't require exhaustive knowledge of the area, but of my own limitations and comfort zones.



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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby oleander » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:47 pm

maverick wrote:I understand that their are some people who enjoy plotting out their routes


Wait...You mean to tell me, that crazy route you took me & jimr on last year, the, uh, unconventional way to Catherine Lake...That route wasn't thoroughly mapped out, examined, vetted in advance? It was IMPROVISED? :paranoid:
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:50 pm

Wait...You mean to tell me, that crazy route you took me & jimr on last year, the, uh, unconventional way to Catherine Lake...That route wasn't thoroughly mapped out, examined, vetted in advance? It was IMPROVISED? :paranoid:

Nope, I looked at the map, and then improvised. :lol:
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:53 pm

^^^ :thumbsup: ^^^ And there's the rub.
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:02 pm

The thread would make more sense if it were more narrowly focused on some of the obviously questionable aspects like over reliance on technology as GPS. Instead information and technology seems to be tossed into the same bucket in this discussion. And in response members have related a number of aspects that do have value.

I could generate a list that ought not be in that questionable bucket. Knowledge of what is out in nature and skills and understanding using tools and gear we use out in nature has generally golden value. Both in regard to efficiently, safely, and enjoyably coping and experiencing as well as broadening what is possible. But as Maverick noted some of that can also detract from the adventure. That said, none of us would hold a candle to some 19th century mountain man, in trying to simply survive for months in wilderness even with all our modern gear. But IF one wanted to become skilled at that level, yes with study and training, a person today could do so because information and training are available. But then what would be the purpose beyond some questionable challenge? Play John Muir by walking from Contra Costa County all the way to Yosemite and then heading out with a loaf of bread to climb Banner Peak? Obviously much in that direction would be strenuous, unpredictable, unpleasant, and indeed dangerous.

There are vast choices of interesting, enjoyable, and fun things to do for we modern people in this era from computer video games to sporting event spectatoring to Hollywood movies to reading books etc etc. To choose spending some of our limited precious leisure days out in nature and wilderness has to have enough value and enjoyment else one is more likely on Saturday night to order a pizza, buy a 6-pack of beer, and turn on the boob tube. Carrying weighty gear uphill in mountains is not without strenuous effort and at times anguish that must be balanced by positives in the experience. Arguably things only a minor percentage of people, we enthusiasts, value enough. But with noted information, tools, and gear, we can reduce those negatives enough to have fun, excitement, and adventure.

I would not frame the above on what beginners and novice outdoor seekers are doing but rather what they evolve into after some experience. If gear manufacturers, outdoor media, and public information are steering novices too narrowly into questionable over reliance on gear and technology reducing the spirit of adventure then it is up to communities as HST of more experienced enthusiasts to make an impact and change that course. But again it ought to be more narrowly focused on specifics.

David
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:44 pm

David,

Please focus the thread with your list. I'm interested. You've obviously thought about this a bit.

My take, a book and a map. The electronic toys just add to accuracy. Not needed.

Russ
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:48 pm

People go backpacking and/or wilderness for different reasons. Adventure to some means exploring new territory impulsively, without plans. Adventure to others means doing something very difficult and challenging, without knowing if you will make it or not. Adventure to a thru-hiker is the act of finishing a long trail. I would argue that the PCT hikers have many adventures even though their route is very specifically outlined in guidebooks. And trial runners. They are having quite an adventure.

Some people do not even want "adventure". I know many people who prefer to go back to the same place every year. They like to relax in the familiar. My husband is of this type; he tolerates my exploring and will go with me but prefers going back to the same place. (He has had enough "adventure" for a lifetime being three years in Vietnam in the Marines as a front patrol.)

I would not say that technology per se takes away adventure but it can distract you and can take your focus off the actual wilderness experience. I say "can" not "will" because it is a personal thing. My husband loves gadgets and technology and once he started using a GPS he became interested in the routes- before a GPS he just followed me or hired a guide. On the other hand, I used to take a book, but hardly ever read it because I was focusing all my energy on just being out in the wilds. Nowadays I listen to music on an I-pod at night- it helps get my mind off the aches and pains that accompany the end of a days hiking now that I am an old person. Never had this problem when younger! Even with the I-pod, I only feel like using it a few nights on any trip.

Nobody has said anything about group hiking vs solo. I find that I have more "adventure" solo as well as a more intense wilderness experience. Other people are not "technology" but are distracting.

Guidebooks and other information (such as this forum) are very useful to me. It helps me target my routes on the kind of territory I prefer to be in. It makes my backpacking more efficient. Given my limited years that I have remaining for backpacking, I want to really target my trips.
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby cloudlesssky » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:24 pm

In my view, anyone who gets out of their well-worn paths and tries something new is exercising their adventure spirit. It's the willingness to choose to open yourself to the unknown that defines the spirit. When I head up the same trail head to the same terrain I've covered a bunch of times it's fun and I enjoy it, but there's little adventure. But that person who decides to go into the mountains instead of whatever they'd normally do on the weekend, and goes up that trail for the first time, they are having an adventure.
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Jimr » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:10 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Nobody has said anything about group hiking vs solo. I find that I have more "adventure" solo as well as a more intense wilderness experience. Other people are not "technology" but are distracting.


For me, any group over 4 is gang hiking. I hate gang hikes. I guess I've encountered too many Sierra Club outings. It kills the adventure for me when I feel like I'm on a freeway. I'll take gadgets over gangs anytime.
What?!
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:35 pm

Returning to the original subject, I don't think backpacking/hiking etc. is any different than any other aspect of modern life. In other words, the "paint by numbers" approach that the majority tend to follow is not limited to folks in the outdoors. This is the reality of the age we will in. Folks want a "cook book" for everything--I see this in my students at the university level, too, and most working professionals have seen this in the workplace in some form or fashion.

Everyone has the right to enjoy the wilderness as they see fit and most of them prefer to have the equivalent of "arrows painted on the ground". As an educator, I can't blame them, for this is the way folks have been trained from the cradle in this era. The way of most may not be my way, but I accept it for what it is. What worries me is safety. One can have detailed instructions of the step-by-step to get over this pass or another pass or some other sort of route, but that doesn't teach someone how to self correct should they get off the ideal route. Hence if something is even slightly wrong, there is a potential safety problem. In other words it is the usual "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." The expectation for many people regarding hiking routes (or most things in life) today is to be given that fish rather than folks learning how to fish. Hence people want the beta on an off trail route, rather than taking the time to learn how to plan routes and then navigate and terrain read on the spot.

A parallel to this can be seen in the modern college classroom. Students expect "study guides" to tell them what's going to be on a test, rather than what is now considered the "old school" expectation of learning the bloody material they are supposed to be responsible for. I have a little statement I give to my big enrollment non-majors classes (my majors classes are not given tests) at the beginning of every class and it goes something like this (a similar statement is written into my syllabi for said classes). "All tests will be open note and open book, because life is NOT closed book. On the other hand, life doesn't give you a study guide, so you won't be given one in this class."
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Cross Country » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:29 pm

I really enjoyed the Tunamah and Longley Pass reads. I'm not suggesting that anyone does anything but I sure would like to read about trips to places like Grouse,Kid, Glacier, State, Sphinx, North Guard, South Guard, Window Peak, Arrow Lakes just to mention a few. I really enjoyed going to those places and lots more, and would like to relive some by reading. Take it from me you can get plenty of exercise, eat right (and be the right weight), not drink, not smoke and physicall do almost all the right things and still be stopped by forces beyond your control.
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Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Danilushka » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:53 am

giantbrookie wrote:Everyone has the right to enjoy the wilderness as they see fit and most of them prefer to have the equivalent of "arrows painted on the ground". As an educator, I can't blame them, for this is the way folks have been trained from the cradle in this era. The way of most may not be my way, but I accept it for what it is. What worries me is safety. One can have detailed instructions of the step-by-step to get over this pass or another pass or some other sort of route, but that doesn't teach someone how to self correct should they get off the ideal route. Hence if something is even slightly wrong, there is a potential safety problem. In other words it is the usual "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." The expectation for many people regarding hiking routes (or most things in life) today is to be given that fish rather than folks learning how to fish. Hence people want the beta on an off trail route, rather than taking the time to learn how to plan routes and then navigate and terrain read on the spot.


Thank you. A cogent comment indeed. While I prefer more Steve Ropers than tour bus backpackers, I am glad for any and all who venture off the tarmac.
As a fly fisher, I see a disturbing trend in the huge growth of California's sprawling metro areas: California ranks 50th of all states in fishing licenses per capita.
That is shameful to me in the third largest state by land mass and number 1 in population with such natural beauty and unique wild places.

And it does not bode well for California's wild places nor it's flora and fauna because people support spending for things they care about.

When I retire within the decade, I'll be leaving California for another Western state where an outdoor lifestyle is more supported and the crowds are far less in the wilderness (as is man's impact on those wild places and their inhabitants). And I am sad to be planning my retreat from California sprawl but I see no alternative.
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