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  1. #1
    Senior Member spamburglar's Avatar
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    First solo trip?

    Ok, so I went and did a little scouting at Big South Fork this weekend for an upcoming hike&hang. I saw only a few people the entire time, and they were all within a mile of the trailhead. The remainder of the time I was completely alone. While I have "gone solo" before, I always end up sharing the trail and or campsite with others. After I thought about it, I decided that this little scouting trip was actually also my first true solo hike. This led me to wonder about others ideas of what a solo trip is and when their first solo was. Lets hear 'em folks!
    "Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here"~Jack Nicholson/As Good As It Gets

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mule's Avatar
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    I like solo hiking and camping very much. Most of my solos are just overnighters or at most 2 nights, but what amazes me about them is how I just wander around like a dog following his nose. You don't have to discuss whether or not to go left or right or when to camp etc.. Its usually very fulfilling.
    I like to camp with others too, but as some already figured out, I like everyone to be self sufficient even when going with a group. I am not one to go much for tee shirts and gear raffles and stuff like that, but I am in the minority there.
    Most importantly, I don't want to be entertained or to entertain others. I like being alone while being with others if you know what I mean.
    Thats my meaning of solo and not solo.
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
    Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  3. #3
    swankfly's Avatar
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    As I have stated in some earlier post, most of my trips are solo and most center around backpacking and flyfishing. My trips range from one night to four in the back country. I almost never car camp during "season" I just can't stand the crowds. I usually tell a responsible party my general plan, subject to small deviation and when to expect a call from me. I leave a more detailed itinerary under my car seat, come to think of it I need to clean that out, there are quite a few under there still.

    I usually don't make to big of variations from the itinerary, unless, I have been cursed with cell service and I can text out the change of plans. When I hit the trailhead until I get back in the car I wear a RoadID bracelet my wife bought me. I think it makes settling the insurance claim faster if they can identify the body, does anyone know what DNR means, it's on my bracelet? JK.

    Usually any variation is me coming out earlier than anticipated and that is usually based upon poor fishing conditions and the desire to move to better water. So for me a solo trip is not front country/car camping, it's in the back country. I think soloing is more about total reliance about just your skills to get you out, fed, and back without being able to walk to the RV next to you and borrow some olives for your martini.

  4. #4
    K0m4's Avatar
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    I do only solo. I shun people when I'm out, I want it to be my time with myself. I love just falling into a trance watching the fire after a day of fishing or bushwhacking, no words spoken.

    I should probably be better in telling people where I intend to be, but it's hard when you don't really know it yourself.

  5. #5
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    I did my first solo trip this year...with my dog. We did a very short backpack on the North Umpqua River Trail in Southern Oregon. The trail parallels the road (a two-lane country highway) so I never felt like I was "alone" per se. We were out for two nights. It rained almost the whole time. We encountered a grand total of 6 people the whole weekend. I want to do it again, just haven't had the time to. Even though I was using a tent, I had already been researching hammocks and finding a tent site was a pain...but there were trees everywhere, perfect for hanging!

  6. #6
    Gideon's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of hiking and car/tent camping with my children. I know they'll never forget our "real life adventures" as we refer to them. I wouldn't trade anything for those times. they were always a lot of work and it was always about them.

    Now I've started backpacking/hammocking. it's solo so far except for one overnighter with my son. I love being alone and not having to discuss anything with anyone but I've thought lately it would be nice to share it with a friend who was geared up. I wouldn't have to worry about them or take care of them but could enjoy sharing the experience together. I'm going on the first Missouri hang with some other forum members and I can't believe how excited I am about that but just a few weeks later I'm doing a three day solo in Irish Wilderness so I guess I have a bit of a split personality going on.

    I think I mainly like solo because I never seem to find an outdoor partner who is compatible. Whether it's fishing or hiking they're either too slow or too fast or have such different tastes. I used to scuba dive a lot when I was younger; of all the guys I ever dove with there was one guy named Steve who I simply loved diving with. For some reason we were just connected underwater. We'd understand each other without hardly any signals. We both lasted the same amount of time on a tank of air, enjoyed the same pace. If I could find someone like that to backpack/hang with I think I'd enjoy the fellowship. With someone like that you get the benefits of sharing the experience but you can still be "alone" together".

    So I bought another hammock setup and will be trying to take my kids out with me, one on one this fall. I can't wait for the Missouri hang and I'll keep going solo since it's so hard to find that perfectly compatible hiking buddy.

    I'm also thinking of trying to take my dog because I really like him but I know he'll require some work and attention on the trail.

    Not sure if my ramblings help but I have a feeling some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Gideon

  7. #7
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    G- Yes. I know exactly what you are saying. My kids are almost all grown and gone now except for my 14yr old son. He has his own activities and doesn't like camping so much anymore. I hope as he gets a bit older we can re-connect in the wilderness.
    The road to success is always under construction.
    http://hikingillinois.blogspot.com/

  8. #8

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    I ususally go alone, mostly I guess because it's easier that way (minimum 6-hr drive to any hiking) - but even then, it's rare not to cross paths with others along the way.

    Anyhoo, as far as a solo hike (even tho it was kinda short) in January I went in/out from AFSP to Stover Creek shelter on the AT -just me and the sky for a couple of days. Didn't see a soul until just before it was over.

    Thinking about that makes me want some cool weather. Played hoops with my son and his buds this afternoon, jeez it was hot.

  9. #9
    sargevining's Avatar
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    My first solo hike would have been sometime in 1963-64 at 10-11 years old, I can't remember, but did it often around Lake Massabesic, which was about three miles from the house I grew up in. I usually went with buddies, but if I couldn't find any, I'd just head out by myself. My kit back them was WW2 surplus field gear.

    My first solo overnight was in 1972 right after graduating High Shcool. Did the length of the Kancamagus Highway and some side loops along the way. I humped an old M1942 Mountain Rucksack. Instead of a tent, I carried a painter's drop cloth and would drap it over the picnic tables and sleep under them. One night, had a raccoon get under there with me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I've been all solo to this point. It's nice to have some quiet, although I'm looking forward to getting some hiking partners. One thing about solo that's very beneficial is that your decision-making skills need to be up to snuff. You don't have to be a mountain man, but you need to be able to balance a base level of knowledge, familiarity with your physical limitations, and an inherent sense of when you are about to be in over your head. These three things get worked out big time when you go out solo.

    That said, if I see other people out on the same trail as me, I don't really call that non-solo. If you head out and plan to provide for yourself and yourself only, I'd call that solo.

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