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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    1st Solo Overnight and I got lost - Batona Trail 11/12 to 13, 2011

    Went on my 1st overnight solo in the Pine Barrens National Preserve in south New Jersey. I decided to hike from Batsto Village to Lower Forge Wilderness Camp.

    To add to the degree of difficulty, I chose to hike in at night. There were several lessons learned on this trip:

    1. I am too stupid to hike at night. Trail markings, shmail markings.
    2. I am too blind to hike at night. I'm blind in one eye and can't see out of the other.
    3. I am also too stupid to hike in the daytime. I lost the trail as many times in daylight as I did at night.
    4. I am too blind to hike alone in the daytime. I need a seeing-eye dog who can read trail signs.
    5. My pack, my boots, and my sleeping bag are too heavy. Gotta trim some weight somewhere. My hamstrings and achilles are very angry with me right now. Near the end of the trip I could not stop to rest because if I did, the legs would have gone on strike.
    6. As long as my pack is this heavy, I will never, ever, go more than 10 miles in a day. My original itinerary was 7.5 miles in, 7.5 miles out, but with all the getting lost, I figure I did somewhere between 20 and 30 miles round trip.
    7. I will never, ever, forget my compass again. In fact, I will get a GPS chop-chop (something I previously considered only for wimps).
    8. I need to learn more about the position of the sun and moon in relation to North-South-East-West. At times I got discombobulated with regards to the direction I was going.

    While it may be ignorant, I have hiked my entire life without a compass, GPS, and oftentimes without even a map. It was always part of the adventure to me. The only person I was endangering was myself, since I hiked alone mostly. Now that I am trying to get my son involved in hiking, I realize I need to be a bit more responsible. He would have had a conniption fit if he were with me on this trip. He would not have reacted well.

    I learned a lot, had a memorable time, and am looking forward to exploring more of the Pine Barrens. It truly is one of the most unique and beautiful places I have ever seen.

    I trimmed the hell out of these videos, but they're still too long. Hopefully, you will enjoy them!


  2. #2

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    Enjoyed your adventure. What a positive attitude. You left us hangin' though (pun intended). Did you make it home or did someone find your camera and post the video?

    Great meeting you at MAHHA. Didn't you set up across the trail there? I sense a pattern here...

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    Enjoyed your adventure. What a positive attitude. You left us hangin' though (pun intended). Did you make it home or did someone find your camera and post the video?

    Great meeting you at MAHHA. Didn't you set up across the trail there? I sense a pattern here...
    I don't think that was a trail at MAHHA - it just became a de facto trail as all the hammockers dispersed behind me had to go by my site to get to the campfire. And Jay, you know how bad my eyesight is - we talked for a while Friday night and I ended up introducing myself the next morning 'cause I never really saw your face at night! Imagine those eyes trying to find a trail marking in Stygian darkness.

  4. #4
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Second Video 1st Overnight Solo Batona Trail 11/12 to 11/13/11

    The conclusion of my solo overnight misadventure.


  5. #5
    Senior Member vtrek's Avatar
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    Sounds like an adventure. Thanks for sharing.
    For there is one GOD and one mediator between GOD and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men... 1 Timothy 2:5+6

  6. #6
    The Spaceweaseal Paradox spaceweaseal's Avatar
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    Man that was very fun to watch.
    You got a great attitude.

  7. #7

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    Ahhh... You made it out of the piney woods alive! Yipee!

  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    Ahhh... You made it out of the piney woods alive! Yipee!
    I was hesitant to post these videos because they make me look stupid. It could come back to haunt me when I run for elected office! However, I learned so much that I wanted to share with the forum. Next time I go out on the trail I will be much better prepared. Still, I think the whole point of my trip was to be out of my comfort zone, and I accomplished that.

  9. #9
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Heh. Fun stuff; even in the face of adversity, you find humor. That's a pretty rare quality, and definitely one that should be encouraged.

    Don't feel bad. Everyone's first backcountry solo overnight doesn't go as planned. Mine sure didn't (I had to fight the durned banana spiders and bears down here!), and I'm willing to wager that most everyone else's didn't either.

    Thanks for taking the time to put the video together. 'Tis truly appreciated.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jerseydave's Avatar
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    Great video, hope you enjoyed yourself even though it didn't go as planned.

    jd
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