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  1. #11

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    It's not a bad idea at all! Solo is not a bad way to go. A fella can get a lot of thinking done. Stick with the advise these guys gave you and do it. Just go easy at first.

  2. #12
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Hiking solo can get you killed... But then so can taking a shower in your own bathroom. I have a set up with my wife. She knows when to expect me out of the woods. (Not _home_ just off the trail.) I have some health issues so she is directed to give me one hour from my expected time. Then she calls authorities and alerts them to the health issues involved. She's only ever had to do that once and that was when I went out in the canoe with my young kids.

    Leave your plan with someone and stick to it like glue. Stay on the beaten path. I've never been there but from all I've heard about RRG I imagine it is hardly complete isolation. Other trail folks can _usually_ be trusted to keep an eye on each other cause we're all in it together. It can also make sense to leave a windshield note in your car saying the general plan that you have particularly if you don't have to register with the rangers. BTW.. in the backwoods, by yourself, the ranger is your friend. If you are supposed to register DO IT. Just that many more eyes on your back.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  3. #13
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    as nike says "just do it". Let some one know where your going and when they should expect to hear from you. Trust your gut, have fun, its not a race its hikeing. Dont compare your self to other hikers you never know if how much or how little experiencec they have and what kinda hike they are doing. If something dosent feel right access the situation and if you feel unsafe at any point hike back to your car and try again another day. Enjoy your first solo I know I did and looking forward to a trip report.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  4. #14
    Member Lifeguard326's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support, I'll let you all know about it went when I get back in a few days.

  5. #15
    beep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Just have a good out and not too far from your car. At least the first time. Good to be able to bail!
    Shug
    +1 for Shug's advice. Your goals are about learning and enjoying your time "out and about".
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  6. #16
    Senior Member seawolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeguard326 View Post
    I would like to start backpacking but have no one to go with and have never been. I have time off this week and am thinking about going solo to the Red River Gorge for an over night and giving it a try. I have done a lot of reading and have gathered equipment. I'm in reasonable shape without any major health issues. So, I'm I being stupid for wanting to give it a try solo with no experience?
    Been backpacking since mid 80's, solo 95% of that time and still kicking.

  7. #17
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    The Gorge can be rough if you aren't familiar with the area. I've lost two friends who thought walking around at night was a good idea. One had only left his tent to relieve himself, they collected his body 3 days later. If you have a question about your skills you might check out the Daniel Boone National forest. Plenty of trails and areas to camp/get away and it is plenty wild.

    If you go with the gorge make sure you have a good map and stay well away from the cliffs. Other than that, what these guys said.

  8. #18
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    On the surface, there's nothing all that bad about starting solo.

    I would make sure that you've tested all of your gear and know how to use it. Cook a meal with your stove and figure out how you will clean your dishes in your backyard without the aid of your kitchen sink. Set up your tarp with your hammock and insulation. In RRG you'll want to use a bear bag, so make one and practice hanging it. Make sure you have a good map as well.

    Several sights have good packing lists to start with. I'd probably download one of those and customize it for your gear. That will help you keep from forgetting something important.

    Do let someone know what your expected departure and arrival times are. Give someone that information along with your intended route and the phone number for the local ranger district. If you have a "check in time" for your return, factor in cell phone coverage. You might tell your contact to expect to hear from you "know later than 5pm on Sunday" and find that while you did make it to your car by 5pm you were not in cell phone coverage until 6pm.

    I saw where one person suggested leaving a note on the dash. While this does have SAR advantages, it also tells whomever is scoping out the parking lot that your vehicle will be unattended for a specific amount of time. Personally, I prefer not to give potential car thieves my itinerary.

    If you have enough day hiking experience, can read a map and are comfortable in using your gear, you should be fine. Just start out easy and stay close enough to your car to bail out if needed.

    Most importantly, above all... HAVE FUN!

  9. #19
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Been backpacking since mid 80's, solo 95% of that time and still kicking.
    Ditto. 95% of the time I can't find anyone that will backpack with me either.

  10. #20
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    I saw where one person suggested leaving a note on the dash. While this does have SAR advantages, it also tells whomever is scoping out the parking lot that your vehicle will be unattended for a specific amount of time. Personally, I prefer not to give potential car thieves my itinerary.
    There is value to this comment. My thinking is more like.. Here is a car in the trailhead parking lot... It only takes 2 minutes to boost a car, less than that to break in. IMO the windshield note is no more incentive than the simple presence of the car in the lot. But then of course I drive cars that nobody in their right mind would want to steal.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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