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post #16 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:32 PM
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You will eventually run into starving cougar.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Cerial View Post
You will eventually run into starving cougar.
Not if the vending machines get to you first!

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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.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 02:28 AM
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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.
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if you're not hiking you should be skiing
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:32 PM
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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.
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Last edited by IslanderBob; 01-13-2017 at 05:19 PM.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 03:43 PM
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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.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by vern.dewit View Post
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.

That's why it's important to plan multi-day trips (and the longer the better). You won't be driving on those days when you're deep in the backcountry
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 06:21 PM
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"It is an entirely new experience to be alone amid these scenes of majesty and desolation. The peaks wear a more solemn aspect, the sun shines with a purer light into the soul, the blue of heaven is more awful.... the feeling of self-reliance is very sweet, and you contract a closer friendship with the universe than when you trust to the eye and arm of your guide."

John Tyndall
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:48 PM
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Judging by the fact that the majority of thru-hikers hike solo (people hiking trails like the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trail, paths which are literally thousands of kilometres long,) I'd call solo hiking pretty safe. I think the main issue is bears; herd mentality, that 'staying with a group' to protect yourself from danger is a legit strategy, but the fact is, we're humans, not elk. A lone deer or elk is certainly in danger of attack from predators but most wild animals want nothing to do with us humans. I hike solo out of necessity - at 26 years old, I don't have a hiking partner apart from my father, who is nearing retirement and can't quite hike as well as I can anymore. I still hike with him sometimes obviously, because he's my dad and he's fabulous, but I've hit the place in my life where I have realized that he won't be around forever - and I am not going to wait for a mythical significant other to appear magically from the nether before I go on epic multi day hiking adventures. Since I don't have any outdoorsy friends the situation basically comes down to a choice - miss out on my favourite sport, hiking, because of illogical fear, or go forth, hike, build my confidence and have an incredible trip!

As a former scout, I live by the Scout motto: Be Prepared. I always make sure that I go hiking prepared with the proper gear and knowledge, always leaving an itinerary of my trip with a loved one. On my last trip, I left an itinerary not only with my eldest brother, but with my best friend in Texas too.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 08:01 PM
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Overwhelming support for "hike alone" concept is quite interesting. When this thread first popped up I expected quite the opposite; 'security experts' voicing displeasure etc. Times are changing.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 02:18 AM
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I too hike alone often, much for similar reasons stated; scheduling, solitude, fitness. Though not to so some of the same ambitious goals that I enjoy reading about here yet, but I am young and have time to build experience and knowledge to get to that point. I think the point that has been stressed when hiking solo is that one must be prepared both physically and mentally by taking the time to hone those skills necessary.

- Justin
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vern.dewit View Post
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.
I guess we could all stay home then.

if you're not hiking you should be skiing
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of responses almost exclusively by the solo hikers justifying solo hiking and why its okay because they are so more experienced and prepared than others[ solo folks.]
I've summitted 40ish peaks , half with 1 other, half with 3 others, many, many finding/using alternate routes. Pretty rare are the days I cannot find a hiking pal. I see lots of comments about huge groups and that hassle-not sure how that came into play? The stories in the news about lost people in the wild are very rarely about 2 or more, they are about one person.
Thanks for all the comments. I have my bias from the fact that all my best stories are about people, not about me. I like my beer better with another, my bed, my road trips, my travel, my movies, my paragliding, my laughs, my pictures and my hiking. Someone getting your back out there enhances my appreciation out there{and my Inreach). I still revel in the stillness and stark beauty as much as all... as a now officially named "duohiker"!

Happy 2017 hiking!
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 07:36 PM
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I think we can all agree that hiking when prepared, whether solo or in a group is fun and "okay". A group of any size can run into problems if even a single person in the group is not prepared with the proper fitness, gear, experience and ability to complete the hike safely. Solo or in a group - take the proper precautions to limit potential risks and most likely all will go well. Being critical of those unprepared and taking unnecessary risks is one thing, but to say solo hiking or group hiking is okay/not okay is a little much. Both are awesome if done safely.

2 weeks ago I did Harvey solo, but chose this week to summit Brunswick with 3 others as I felt more comfortable in a group on a mountain I had only done once during summer many years ago. Both hikes were equally enjoyable...
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