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Thread: Going Solo?

  1. #31
    Sweeper's Avatar
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    I can't sleep well at home, so it's no different on a solo, lol. I too suffer from what you mention, I sometimes take the dog with me (she tends to do patrol all night), other times I actually like to camp by moving water since I know that things are ok and it helps me to sleep. On my last week long hike in the SNP (I still owe a trip report from last month), my worst animal encounter was with a dad-gum WHIPPORWHILL! He set up literally right over my head and wouldn't go away or stop....at about 2am I was up literally throwing rocks in the trees to try and run him off - the folks in the shelter heard the noise, saw my headlamp going up and down, and wondered if I was fighting a bear or something. I maybe got an hour of sleep all night, then walked 20 miles out of the park the next day. Not my finest hour.

    All that is to say, as many others have, just keep doing it. You'll eventually get over the fear. My desire to be in the woods overcomes my fear of the dark every time.
    Hiking & Hanging is therapy, and much cheaper than medication in the long run. Carry on.

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  2. #32
    Senior Member exup's Avatar
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    I too have/had the same nervousness. I thought I was alone until I found a friend had the same as well. Like he said, you get over it and pretty quick. My first 2 trips were alone and it was not fun at camp. I'm much better now but still prefer to to go with others. What I hate the most is the boredom alone at camp.

    Like WV said, you'll get over it after 10 trips or so. Hike long and hard, stay occupied, get tired, I've taen tyloenol pm before, and go with people when you can.

  3. #33
    Senior Member hiker_DC's Avatar
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    You could always try valerian. It is a mild herbal sedative that is not habit-forming. You can still wake up if you need to, but it helps you get to sleep. Just get the standardized formula so you know you are getting an exact amount of the active ingredient.

    I also like the idea of taking a dog on the trail.
    I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. ~G.M. Trevelyan

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  4. #34
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    I just did my first solo a couple weeks ago. I was nervous about it before I went too. If I had not been so exhausted from the heat when I got to my campsite I probably would have hiked out in the dark. As it was, after poking my head up to shine my light on noises for what seemed like hours (but by my phone was about 30 minutes) I settled down and finally got to sleep. Now I am looking forward to doing it again, in cooler weather. It helped that I had 3G cellphone service in the park. I could keep myself somewhat occupied.

    Follow good practices with your pack, gear, food, and waste. Get out somewhere that is difficult to get back. Get through one night. Either you will be up all night and decide it isn't for you or you will eventually get tired like I did and fall asleep. After the first night is behind you, you will know you can do it.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Bomber's Avatar
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    Just get out more, and start close to civilization. And after a couple of trips your comfort zone will increase.

    Personally i'm more worried when i'm in the city - in my experience the majority of lunatics and freaks is on the streets at night.... not the in woods(and thank god for that!)
    /Bomber.LTD
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  6. #36
    Senior Member thegreatjesse's Avatar
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    I go it alone most of the time, for the sake of convenience. I go pretty fast, usually around 20 miles per day, and I get up really early. So it is convenient for other people if I don't bring them along! I admit, I've had a few scary experiences at night, like hearing a bobcat shriek nearby and a bear scratching at a nearby tree (I hung my bear bag way too close to my hammock because it was nighttime when I stopped - haven't set up camp in the dark since!). Mostly, I like the solitude. I bring a book and read until I fall asleep. I don't have to listen to whining or wait for people at the top of big ascents, but sometimes at night I wake up to an owl hooting or something running through the brush - my heart pounds for a minute and I kinda feel that heavy sense of isolation, but I can usually go right back to sleep.

    I second the "hike 'til you drop" suggestion. If I stop and camp early, I get bored and eventually lonely, and my mind gets all imaginative. Instead, I push myself to keep going - I rarely plan or map where I will camp, because I sleep in a hammock, don't build fires, and can pretty much camp anywhere. So I just go until I drop!

  7. #37
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    Well there is no such thing as a boogie man,zombie or purple people eaters... you will be just fine...
    Last edited by Randy; 06-23-2011 at 04:48.
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  8. #38
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Well there is no such thing as a boogie man,zombie or purple people eaters... you will be just fime...
    Maybe not, but there's Hook Man. I've seen him....well, I saw his hook. Sweartogawd.
    Dave

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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by thexuprising View Post
    Like WV said, you'll get over it after 10 trips or so.
    I said you'll get over it, but I don't think it will take 10 trips. There's nothing so wonderful as waking up to morning sunlight the second day and realizing that you're still alive.

  10. #40

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    Being a city slicker, I find the first night out a little strange, mostly because of how quiet it is. I end up sleeping with headphones in with music softly playing. By the second night, no problems.

    This also works when camping with others to deal with them snoring (they're on their own to cope with my snoring).

    I'll also echo what others have said about being exhausted from a long day and falling asleep easier.

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