compatibility with backpacking others

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SSSdave
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compatibility with backpacking others

Post by SSSdave » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:24 pm

Concerning others one may choose to backpack with, list some of the styles, behaviors, goals of those hypothetical people and at what level one might do so. Most such will be those that are similar to one's own styles. Many of us have been in situations of larger planned group trips where one learns to flexibly work with different personality types much like in corporate work situations. For longer trips with less others, one needs more compatibility lest such impact decisions. In this era, if I go on a group trip with unknown others, it is sure to be an everyone has their own wilderness permit, their own transportation, own tent, own cooking gear, and thus have an option to more or less join others or at whatever point go their own ways. I could backpack at least at some level with many on this board so. With those that have different styles it is best pre-trip to clearly understand what are others expectations and have an agreed upon consensus.

For more closely integrated group trips, there are numbers of other's styles incompatible with my own photography oriented style and few that would work out. I spent decades in a successful career working as a peon with groups of highly intelligent hi tech engineers with diverse personalities I learned to be tolerant with. I expect to be at specific planned landscape subject locations at certain times of day and weather and that dictates where I camp and itineraries. I carry a heavy weight hiking slowly taking frequent short breaks. In unfamiliar cross country, I expect a group to hike together. I never snore and cannot tent too near where others do haha. I rarely make fires and often site campsites well away from trails or lake edges or water on pristine sites with afternoon shade near a view. I often semi-basecamp though am flexible with other types of itineraries. I prefer to not be around overly emotional people or those with poor communication or behavioral habits including pushy people. I actually get along with unknown women more so than average males maybe due to a lifetime as a small person haha. I do like hiking with those that have natural science knowledge especially botany and geology and of course other tripod lugging photographers. And have no issue backpacking with others that have different mountain interests like fishing, peak bagging, etc as long as they tell others where they expect to do whatever each day.








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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by rlown » Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:10 pm

how do you know you never snore?
Guessing you have never been married but still think you get along with women on the trail. Really?

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:18 pm

I always assume that everyone over the age of 50 snores! Ear plugs are an essential, even when I solo.

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by Lumbergh21 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:17 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:18 pm
I always assume that everyone over the age of 50 snores! Ear plugs are an essential, even when I solo.
Same here.

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by balzaccom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:31 am

My primary partner for backpacking trips is my wife. Since we've been married for more than 40 years, we've learned to sleep next to each other. When I join another group (trail crews, usually) I set my tent well off to the side of the rest of the group, Seems to work well. And when we invite people to come backpacking with us, we usually suggest the same.

But in either of those cases, someone is clearly in charge. If we invite you, we are taking you, we are driving (often supplying some of the equipment) and making most of the critical decisions---not that it's ever a big issue, but still.

And on a trail crew, the crew chief is in charge, and the rest of us can do what we're told, or we can leave.

I have never gone on a backpacking trip with a "group of equals..."
Balzaccom

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by TahoeJeff » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:15 am

balzaccom wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:31 am
I have never gone on a backpacking trip with a "group of equals..."
Wow!
Every time I go on a trip with a group, we treat each other as "equals".
Once Congress establishes that one person can live at the expense of another, it pays for everyone to try to do so.

Walter E. Williams R I P

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by rlown » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:26 am

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. In a group, it is good to know what those are and utilize them for the group. If the group is all friends, they pretty much know what to do and when to pick who is deciding what do. Seems natural that sometimes leadership changes in a group backpack depending on the situation, but yes, everyone should have an equal say.

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by gary c. » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:57 am

As some of you have seen in my pictures and reports I almost always hike as a group from 3-7 people. it is always the same same few folks, specially our core 5 that almost always includes my wife. Over the last 15 or so years as I got into backpacking I introduced all of them to it. Loaning gear until they buy there own. We all get tired and cranky and on most longer treks someone gets pissed off at the others for an afternoon or more. We know each others idiosyncrasies and accept them. We laugh at each other and take care of each other.

I have always planned our bigger trips. I send out maps and itineraries before we go but everyone has in-put about changes and ideas.When it gets down to it though on decisions concerning safety I insist on having the last say even though a couple of the others guys have much better capabilities than I do. I realized a long time ago that when I plan our trips I assume a certain degree of responsibility.

We all start looking forward to the next trip before we finish the one that we are on. Like I said it's not all smiles and fun but it is like family and I'm so glad to get to share backpacking with them.
"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."
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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:03 am

When I worked at NOLS, we spent a lot of time teaching "expedition behavior" or group dynamics and individual behavior that make successful expeditions. You do not have to have completely "compatible" members, just people who know how to act in the interest of the entire group, not just themselves. You also need strong leadership, which is not to say bossy leadership. Good leaders can be very subtle, but they have the ability to create group cohesiveness and harmony. I have been on trips with very diverse people that were successful trips because of good leadership. The more difficult terrain or weather, risky or longer the trip is, the more importance leadership becomes critical to success. Strong leadership and good followers is what I want if on a climbing expedition.

For general backpacking, on trails, in good weather, with little risk and of shorter duration, the "free range" type loose organization often works fine as does going solo. When I invite some to go with me, sometimes I prioritize competence even if they are a pain in the ass to get along with, other times I focus on objectives, such as fishing, an other times I want to be with others I know well (such as kids and grandkids) and plan the trip to meet their needs, not mine. All is well as long as you communicate the trip objectives up front so everyone knows what to expect.

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Re: compatibility with backpacking others

Post by Jimr » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:24 am

In all of the years and with all of the different people I've backpacked with, I've only had one incompatible partner and he was the last person I'd have thought to have issues with. We were dive buddies and friends for several years and operated very well with dive plans and communicated underwater very well. We even did a local backpacking trip to San Gorgonio without any problems.
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