What happen to our adventure spirit? | High Sierra Topix  

What happen to our adventure spirit?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Hobbes » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:58 am

"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-"

GB, perhaps optimization behavior is intrinsic and not subject to specific time periods. Balzac's wager addressed expected value that forms the basis of decision theory.

To use just one example, consider the infrastructure that was developed in medieval Europe to facilitate the flow of pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. The British Library has an entire collection of guides, maps and other tools:

http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/mparis.html

It may be that human nature has evolved to favor risk reduction and facilitate efficiency. If the demand driver is inherent, then the introduction of new tools (GPS, cell phones, etc) may not necessarily alter preferences, but simply optimize choices.



User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby schmalz » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:36 pm

If you want to reduce your margin of error, and not surround yourself with people and the technology that they bring to the wilderness, all you need to do is extend your season. Winter hikes/climbs give me all the adventure I need.

For example, I have very fond memories of this hike last winter in the LA mountains.

Image

I wasn't sure how doable it would be, it was actually an alternative from my original plan as the snow on the PCT had been too deep to go all the way to Baden Powell as originally planned. You won't find any trip reports (other than mine) covering this hike with these types of conditions. There were a few sections where it was pretty steep and my heart was racing. If I had an accident, I would have been hanging out in the snow for at least 24 hours before SAR would have shown up in a good case scenario. I got more solitude that day then I get off-trail in the Sierra, and it was an hour away from downtown LA.
Last edited by schmalz on Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:40 pm

What is that white stuff again? :D

I'm still impressed by dogs on snow. They don't seem to complain like we do. Nice pic.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby schmalz » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:40 pm

Also, I've brought this up, but I think it bears repeating. I think that people who complain about this are also people who were given resources growing up to learn about backpacking, which is something that is becoming increasingly rare for today's youth. How many of you complaining here are self taught backpackers? The internet is a great resource for someone like me who didn't go backpacking until they were an adult and had to learn how to do it on their own.
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:47 pm

Hmm.. lets see. My first real trip, post boy scouts was '76. No Internet. Got my drivers license in '77 and 3 of us went to the Bezerkly REI. We got gear, books and then went out that summer. Picked up the Sierra North guidebook and then we hit the Mokelumne wilderness, quickly followed by Emigrant.

Other than the boy scout experience, pretty much do and learn out there. I don't really like people asking "where to camp" or "give me gps coordinates." You can figure that out when you get near your destination. But to each there own.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby schmalz » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:51 pm

rlown wrote:Hmm.. lets see. My first real trip, post boy scouts was '76. No Internet. Got my drivers license in '77 and 3 of us went to the Bezerkly REI. We got gear, books and then went out that summer. Picked up the Sierra North guidebook and then we hit the Mokelumne wilderness, quickly followed by Emigrant.

Other than the boy scout experience, pretty much do and learn out there. I don't really like people asking "where to camp" or "give me gps coordinates." You can figure that out when you get near your destination. But to each there own.


Having boy scout experience and 3 like minded friends at 16(ish) to go backpacking with is worlds away from what I was working with at that age. Having parents that would allow me to drive to a trailhead and head out for a few days at that age? Forget about it. I think that my experience was more the norm than the exception for my generation. I expect younger generations have it even worse. The world is much different and expectations have to take that into account.
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:53 pm

Yeah. I was hunting big game with Dad at 13. I had some time out there prior to learn things, and didn't die from it. :)

I see the generational rift. I don't see the desire to learn the skills.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby schmalz » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:58 pm

rlown wrote:Yeah. I was hunting big game with Dad at 13. I had some time out there prior to learn things, and didn't die from it. :)

I see the generational rift. I don't see the desire to learn the skills.


That is really cool. I'm sure you are still grateful. We are already working on my son to do our part in helping inspire a new generation of adventurers.

Image
User avatar
schmalz
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Altadena, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Hobbes » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:50 pm

Yeah, Cali is a helluva trail dog; we're hatching a plan to get her up this incline next spring:

The Chute on Whitney's main trail used when the cables on the 99 switchbacks are iced over:
Image

To second what Brian said, simply extending the hiking season - especially into the longer days of spring - is an easy way to gain solitude while still accessing some of the "prime" spots in the range.

To illustrate another comparison of changing times & values, when I started surfing Santa Cruz in the 70s (hitching over from Los Gatos before getting my license), there weren't any stairs down to either Steamer Lane or Pleasure Point. No one cared, no one made it easy - we were pretty much on our own in our own little world. (I saw a kayaker get killed after getting washed onto Seal rock during a heavy swell. 2 years later, a stunt pilot doing loop-de-loops crashed right offshore from us.)

There certainly weren't any surf schools. There weren't any video cameras either, so you could get into a fight without being sued. Even so, since the "old guys" were only in their 20s, there weren't any assets to go after either. Now, there's a ton of old guys (no one ever quit as expected) in the truest sense, with a house, family and savings, and no can do or say anything without the ever present eye recording the action.

http://hbcams.com/live/pier-north.html

I'm sure you could take a look at any sport/activity and describe a similar arc.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Rockyroad » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:04 pm

Reading through this thread, I would say that the main point of this thread is...

maverick wrote:...how do we regain the spirit of adventure, or more importantly, those of use who do have it, pass it on to fellow backpackers, and the next generation.

where adventure is defined per Maverick's opening post...

maverick wrote:noun
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
verb (used with object), adventured, adventuring.
5. to risk or hazard.
6. to take the chance of; dare.
7. to venture to say or utter:
to adventure an opinion.
verb (used without object), adventured, adventuring.
8. to take the risk involved.
9. to venture; hazard.


But even with all of these specific definitions, I agree with WD that an adventure to one person may not be an adventure to another. So what is it that we want to pass on to fellow backpackers and the next generation?

Should we tell them to leave the gadgets at home? How many of us have taken advantage of the latest technological advances? Cuben fiber this? Carbon fiber that? Inreach toy? Do these and other advances really limit the "spirit of adventure"? Maybe. Or do they just give us the opportunity to spend more time doing what we love? Or maybe some added confidence so that we could be more "adventurous".

Do we tell them to limit their research and just go? Some people plan vacations with very detailed agendas. The same people that have every hour planned on their Paris vacation will want gps coordinates for setting up their tent. These are also likely to be less experienced backpackers, who with experience, will soon realize that this is unnecessary. But they'll ask initially. And we can answer as I've seen on this forum. Or we can be more vague. But most of us will also do our own research. We'll look at topo maps, Google Earth, check the moon calendar for photography... How much information is too much? Why wouldn't we want to optimize our limited vacation time and even gather information for alternative plans just in case? I think each of us has fine-tuned or will continue to fine-tune our pre-trip research based on experience and whatever information is available.

My opinion is what we really want to pass on to fellow backpackers and the next generation is the joy of backpacking and let them decide through their own experiences what gadgets and information they need rather than force them to adopt "our" definition of "adventure".
User avatar
Rockyroad
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:05 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:11 pm

I guess, buy a paper map. understand how to read it and compass work as well. Convince your parents your ok with your endeavor, and go, if the parents won't help you, thats a different problem. If you just stand at the trail-head and look at the map and what your embarking on, you get a start/feel.

If you're staring at your gps to make sure you're on trail like a cell phone, you haven't let go.

devices are support. no direct help for common sense.

If you look at Hobbes drawing of his potential route for Cali, That is really enough info. They won't follow it exactly because every time out is different. You have to roll with it.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What happen to our adventure spirit?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:42 am

For the younger generation, there may be more obstacles to "adventure" as parents have become such "helicopter parents" and plan and organize their every activity! Adventure starts with letting kids "free range" a bit more. I think we more experienced backpackers need to also inform/educate parents to actually LET their kids go backpacking. It is sad that there are fewer organized groups for kids to join and learn the basics. Great if your parents already backpack and can teach you; harder for those kids who have no access either to adults who backpack or the means to even get to the trailheads. I guess what we really should do is reach out to a kid (neighbor, friend's kid) and take them backpacking with us.

By the way, my daughter will not let me take my grandkids backpacking yet (they are 5 and 7)- I took her on some highly "adventurous" backpacks when she was a teen and she actually did not like it. She thinks I will kill her kids. I probably dunked her head into too much "adventure" a bit too early.

An old friend of mine has a 14-year old who just went on a week backpack with the scouts. She was very concerned and had me e-mail the scout leader to be sure he was qualified. She was a nervous wreck the whole week! But at least she has her kid in scouts.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests