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  1. #21
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry too much about finding a hiking buddy. If you just start getting out on your own, starting slowly like Water Monkey said, you will really enjoy it when you do start hiking with others.

    Personally, I'm neither social nor anti-social. I enjoy the company of others, but I enjoy solitude as well. When I plan a hike, I'm thrilled if someone comes along, but I will be darned if I'll cancel a trip because my hiking buddies pulled out at the last minute.

  2. #22
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortbus View Post
    i am going ok i think i know what im gonna do. This afternoon im going to head to the robbins branch trailhead for a easy (i hope ) overnighter i will be taking both my hammock setup and a tent just so if something does go wrong i will have a place to sleep if all goes well i will make a short trip report when i get back wish me luck i will check back one more time before i leave to see if anybody has any more advice or comments
    My $.02... Hiking is not just walking on an unfinished surface. There are tricks and techniques that either help or hinder. The way you place your feet can have a huge effect on how long you can hike. How to use trekking poles can drastically effect stamina. How to go uphill with/without a pack. What I am saying is learn to hike by doing the research needed to master the basics. My guide was a book "The Complete Walker" by Colin Fletcher It is probably out of date now in the details. It may even be out of print but the basics don't change that much. I am sure other folks found other resources.

    Knowing the ins and outs of your equipment is vital. But, IMO, that comes after knowing the ins and outs of the broader activity.
    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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  3. #23
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    If it makes you feel any better I sort of go through the mechanics of learning to hike every year to slowly get conditioned, practice using my gear, test out equipment, and integrate new techniques.

    Its all about being confident in yourself, and the stuff you bring with you. I love learning and trying new things, but only if I have a good base to start with. You just need to develop a base then enjoy and tweak slowly over time.

    Sleep in the backyard. See what you liked and what you didn't. Try it different a few times. If you can get your shelter up, and get some sleep in the back yard you can theoretically do it anywhere. After a few times doing it you'll have it down much better, and you'll feel better.

    Cook some meals over a stove/fire whatever you plan on using. You'll get used to cooking that way, and you'll probably learn to make your food a little better in the process.

    Go out on some nature trails or any place with a trail. Even just for a few hours. If you can load up a pack with what you have and go. Get used to the feel on the pack. Try unpacking and setting up camp during that time. Even if you are only out for a few hours.


    Know your limits, and be careful about pushing it too far. Specially on your own. Have fun, rest when needed, drink plenty, and have something to occupy yourself if you stop and rest (book, harmonica, etc.), or in camp. Enjoying your time out, and taking a good rest on the trail or lounging in your camp are my favorite things to do!

  4. #24
    Teegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortbus View Post
    overnighter i will be taking both my hammock setup and a tent
    If you truly feel the need for a backup: Ditch the tent, and just camp under your rainfly tarp. Bring a pad, and an emergency bivy.

    Thermarest Ridgerest closed cell pad 20"x48" 16oz @ $20 (You don't NEED it to go full length, put a pack under your feet to keep em off the ground.)

    Emergency bivy: 3.6oz @ $17

    Unless you're rocking an ultralite 1 person tent...

    If you had to go to ground, a tent won't help much, and you might as well use your hammock rain fly since you'll probably already have it up. You will need the sleeping pad either way, a UQ won't protect your heat from leaching into the earth once its compressed by your body weight. Also a bivy is MUCH warmer than a tent because you need to heat less air for a micro climate. Bivy's have condensation issues, but if you're only doing a 1 nighter I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure to change into fresh socks right before you slip into your bag, so you're sweaty socks don't soak your bag.

    Good luck!

  5. #25
    Senior Member Hiknhanger's Avatar
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    My first backpacking trip and overnight hang was in the Birkhead Wilderness just outside Asheboro in the middle of the Uwharrie Forest. Loved it! I want to go back.

    +1 on backyard hangs first. You learn a lot without putting yourself in a miserable situation that is hard to get out of.

  6. #26
    Brute1100's Avatar
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    One thing I do is I will walk locally... Like to my moms house which is about 1.7 miles... And up hill most of the way... I will load up my pack with just about everything and then throw in some of my wifes little 3 lb dumb bells which simulates food and clothes and the other what nots that are missing... And walk it, walk over visit for a few hrs and walk back... It is good practice and gets me a little alone time as well... I will also throw my pack in the trunk when we drive over and i will walk back after dark... It's nice, make sure you have a flashlight in your pack if you plan on doing this...
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

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  7. #27
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    There should be local, active hiking groups near you via Meetup.com. Join one of them and show up for a hike. You're basically going to be walking around in the woods.

    Don't worry about footwear, but lighter is better.
    Don't worry about your daypack, but remember to bring a snack and some water.
    Don't bring your backpacking equipment.
    Don't look strait down; look perhaps 6 feet in front of you as you walk.

    Do socialize.
    Do observe your surroundings.
    Do ask to stop for a rest; rest until your heart rate has returned to normal.
    "This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world." - Thomas à Kempis

  8. #28
    Kodiak1's Avatar
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    Tha Appalachian Trail is not far from Ashville you hike alone at times during the day but if you camp close to the shelters there is almost always people close by. I found it was a great way to meet other intersting people some might want to hike with you during the day also.Have fun

  9. #29
    Senior Member Oper8or's Avatar
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    Man if I lived closer to you I'd be all over this. I'm still learing too. Even though I'm in Maryville TN I'd be willing to join up with you in Aug for a hike and hang. FORWARNING: I"m a slow hiker. I take my time and look around. That is the part I enjoy. Covering 10-15 miles of trail without getting to enjoy what is around me is not very fun (for me anyway). I think it would be fun.
    I am me and no one else can be me without my permission.

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  10. #30
    Senior Member Oper8or's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oper8or View Post
    Man if I lived closer to you I'd be all over this. I'm still learing too. Even though I'm in Maryville TN I'd be willing to join up with you in Aug for a hike and hang. FORWARNING: I"m a slow hiker. I take my time and look around. That is the part I enjoy. Covering 10-15 miles of trail without getting to enjoy what is around me is not very fun (for me anyway). I think it would be fun.
    I'm not very conditioned right now. I just noticed that subject. I'm trying to get that way by going to a local spot that I hunt. To be honest its up and down for almost a 1/2 mile constantly, then it only get worse from there. You have to bushwack most of it if you want to avoid the horseback riders (which I do). I usually end up finding a nice spot near the lake somewhere and I used to put the tent up. Now I use my tent to simulate my food weight and my .45 simulates the weight of my clothes. What? You think I'm going into a hunting area without a gun.. your nuts.
    I am me and no one else can be me without my permission.

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