Why solo hike? - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 62Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:31 AM
Senior Member
 
vern.dewit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,152
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
I've done a few solo trips over the years, including 10 day backpacking trips off trail solo. It's not something one just leaps into, it's something that you take the time to develop the skill sets that let you travel safely alone.

And there is just something about being out alone in the wilderness. Where the only human sounds are the sounds of my breathing, the sounds of my footsteps and even the sound of my own voice as I talk and sing to myself (something I discovered, after 3 days totally alone I have full-on conversations with myself). The wilderness just seems larger and somehow even more beautiful.
This definitely rings true for myself as well. Also what Steven and Dieter said. When I started out I often had Friday's off and it was tough to find partners who could change objectives at the last second (most people really hate changing their minds about anything ). I like to be "mean and lean" both in planning and execution of my trips. If the weather changes last minute, I'll drive an extra 300km to get better weather.

I like being alone in the wild. Everything looks sharper, smells stronger and takes on more meaning when I'm alone or with another strong hiker who doesn't need to be right near me the whole time (i.e. Steven, Phil etc). I notice way more details when I'm solo. I often miss goats, sheep and bears when I'm busy chatting with a partner.

I find it puzzling why so many people seem to only go out with huge groups as a social gathering. Don't they miss the quiet and stillness of the wilderness when there's 10 people chatting around them all day? I work with people all week and just want to escape civilization on the weekend!

I have to admit part of it is that it costs a lot for me to go out for a day or even more, a weekend. It takes me away from my family. If I go on a week day it literally costs me (and my family) tons of cash since I get paid hourly. I want to maximize my time out there - not have to run around calling for heli-rescues because someone tripped on a grass slope.

It is tough to find partners with the same commitment level too.

You know what Steven did when he dislocated his shoulder while descending Mount Sir Douglas? He popped it back in and then proceeded to downclimb 40 degree ice with two axes! You know what Eric did when his knees locked up 2km from the bivy site on Recondite? He yelled for a bit, then popped 2 Advil, took a few deep breaths and continued on. The next day he climbed Recondite and hiked another 20km. That kind of stamina and determination isn't easy to find!

Technology has made it much safer and easier to travel solo. Sat phones, Spot devices and GPS units have certainly made my wife a lot happier about me travelling by myself. She doesn't like it when I come home with stories of charging Grizzlies though...

Vern Dewit
vern.dewit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Smurf Village, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, exploring, reading, random shiny things
Posts: 2,332
Default

Who knew the responses here would echo mine?

Going solo allows you to go on your schedule, at your pace (be it fast or slow), take time to set up photos, or randomly break into a downhill trot. It allows for quiet reflection, or building personal confidence.

That said, I also really enjoy hiking with a friend or two when we can manage to coordinate our schedules. Joint experiences, conversation and tales of adventure between breaths, someone to bounce ideas off of, or mooch a yummy snack.

Either way, it's good. With regard to risks, well, they exist, but you can mitigate them with proper equipment and education.
susied and alpalmer like this.
guntis is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:21 PM
Advanced Member
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canmore, AB Canada
Posts: 2,510
Default

One aspect when it is safer to be in a group is in respect to wildlife. Groups make more noise so you run far less chance to surprise a bear.

Social preferences aside (i.e. "loners" vs "social butterflies") I think perception that it is safer in a group is born from inherent fear of the unknown. I.e. "I don't know what it is out there, so better stick together". But once you've been out for awhile & gain experience, this becomes much less of a factor.

I like what Vern said in respect to technology; like it or not (some don't) GPS has made navigation much easier; Spot devices can be used as wilderness 911, etc.
zeljkok is online now  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:53 PM
Senior Member
 
John and Katie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,740
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vern.dewit View Post
I like being alone in the wild. Everything looks sharper, smells stronger and takes on more meaning when I'm alone or with another strong hiker who doesn't need to be right near me the whole time (i.e. Steven, Phil etc). I notice way more details when I'm solo. I often miss goats, sheep and bears when I'm busy chatting with a partner.

I find it puzzling why so many people seem to only go out with huge groups as a social gathering. Don't they miss the quiet and stillness of the wilderness when there's 10 people chatting around them all day? I work with people all week and just want to escape civilization on the weekend!
I can't agree more. I work outside in construction around lots of rules, people and noise. Hiking is a precious escape for me. I have enjoyed the few group hikes I have gone on, but you are not fully in tune with the environment with all the chatter going on. Even hiking with Katie isn't truely solo because I have to pay so much attention to what she is up to (which I enjoy doing).

While solo, every sound, smell and sight is noticed, As alhike said on a group hike I was on with him, there is a conversation going on in the wilderness. You miss out on much of that in a group. If one has ever hiked with a dog and really paid attention to them, they may have noticed how dogs take note of every sound, sight and smell along the way. They respect that conversation going on around us. As an example, a bird in distress off in the distance always gets Katie to stop, listen closer and take note. There is probably a good reason for us to take note of a bird in distress and dogs know that. A group doesn't appreciate conversations like that. I love listening to that conversation. : )
Marc, susied, guntis and 7 others like this.

Those that can, do. Those that can't, talk.
John and Katie is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 02:57 PM
Junior Member
 
kellymcdonald78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Space History
Posts: 460
Default

There is also an element of understanding relative risk. While there are several possible scenarios where being with another person could be advantageous (and vice versa), by far, the most dangerous part of a hike (regardless of being in a group or solo) is the drive to the trailhead. People ask me if I'm afraid of bears or cougars, I respond by asking if they're afraid to drive to Banff for the weekend as from a risk perspective, statistically, both tasks are almost the same.


More people were killed or injured by vending machines last year than by Grizzly bears in the last century
alpalmer likes this.
kellymcdonald78 is offline  
post #16 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:32 PM
Starting Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Hope bc
Interest: Not decide this
Posts: 3
Default

You will eventually run into starving cougar.
Cerial is offline  
post #17 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:42 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 494
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerial View Post
You will eventually run into starving cougar.
Not if the vending machines get to you first!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
More people were killed or injured by vending machines last year than by Grizzly bears in the last century
I'm all about relative risks and feel far safer in the woods than I ever do on the drive there or anywhere in town. My fear of vending machines, however, has so far only revolved around the yummy and fattening foods they hold.
mclay1234 is offline  
post #18 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 02:28 AM
Junior Member
 
tinman610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: White Rock
Interest: Professional Rock Licker
Posts: 248
Default

It's probably been stated before somewhere but you are probably more likely to be injured or killed while driving to the trailhead than you are hiking. But no one publishes those statistics.
alpalmer and kellymcdonald78 like this.

if you're not hiking you should be skiing
tinman610 is offline  
post #19 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:32 PM
Starting Member
 
IslanderBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Victoria
Posts: 12
Default

The majority of my hiking and backpacking is done solo. I've done solo multi-day backpacking and solo one week kayaking treks.

Certainly hiking and backpacking with a partner can be a good, safer experience, but it's one of those choices you have to get right.

Solo vs two+ are different experiences. Solo backpacking is a significant personal challenge on an emotional and physical level. Many world class adventures (hiking, skiing, sailing, climbing) are done solo.

"....people that solo hike despite this being a common warning of what not to do when you head into the wilderness and the frequency of so many lost and injured in the woods as a result of this very odd phenomen...."

Those warnings are more directed at inexperienced, unprepared people who don't realize what they might be getting into.

A pair of hikers were recently lost in the Cypress Mountain area. Hiking with someone else doesn't necessarily save you from getting lost or getting out after an injury. IMHO, my chances solo on such a hike would have been better (with cell phone, GPS, SPOT, small air horn, strobe flashlight, ability to make fire, food/water, clothing choices). (Not that I would likely do such a hike in those late Dec conditions.)

Multiple people doesn't necessarily offset a lack of fitness, skills, judgement, or experience. Hiking with someone who is short on those qualities can be a significant liability.

"....I don't get the risk factor for yourself nor that of those having to go look for solo people when they don't come back (that's if anyone was even alerted to you being gone somewhere?)...."

Lots of things to mitigate that. Leave a trip plan with someone, carry a cell phone, SPOT, Inreach, send checkin messages from various trail locations. Not to mention having decent judgement to know what's doable vs what's too much risk.
vern.dewit and dlofting like this.

Last edited by IslanderBob; 01-13-2017 at 05:19 PM.
IslanderBob is online now  
post #20 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 03:43 PM
Senior Member
 
vern.dewit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,152
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman610 View Post
It's probably been stated before somewhere but you are probably more likely to be injured or killed while driving to the trailhead than you are hiking. But no one publishes those statistics.
That is indeed true, but doing both of those things on the same day still greatly increases your odds of being injured or killed compared to just doing one of them.
treord8 likes this.

Vern Dewit
vern.dewit is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the ClubTread Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1