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Topic: Hiking and "not" roughing it?, Not for everyone perhaps< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 9:22 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rain, mud, wet clothes, ice, leaky tent, wet sleeping bag, hard ground, mosquitoes, bad coffee, soggy food, shivering at night...ah the joys of backpacking!!!

Actually sometimes the harsher the environment and more "miserable" the conditions, those are the hikes that we in a weird way seem to remember & enjoy the most. We never forget them and we gauge all other hikes against them. For some of us the gnarlier the conditions the better!

I remember doing a hike in the Cohutta mountains of GA/TN along the Jacks River in late December several years ago. It was about 26 degrees outside and you have to ford the ice cold mountain stream 19 times in 3 miles. After the 9th or 10th crossing I couldn't feel my feet anymore. Then that night it got down into the teens and I shivered all night in my sleeping bag & got no sleep & was praying for morning to come...but it seemed like an eternity.


Here I was 12yrs ago with my backpacking partner snapping a picture on a cheap waterproof disposable camera on one of the 19 crossings on that section of river.

And my ultralight fishing pole broke during the first 10 minutes. But none-the-less I remember it as an awesome overnight hiking trip!

Fast forward 12yrs to this past weekend. Did some more hiking, this time with my wife. Instead of freezing to death & eating soggy food pouches and laying on rock hard ground...we traded all that for gourmet food & warm cozy beds and still had a great time hiking outdoors!

Weekend Hike Trip (Details & Pics)

I enjoy both types of hiking. The harsh & the comfortable.

What about you???
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Montanalonewolf Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 10:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like solo winter backpacking and for some odd reason, the nastier, the better. Snowing, driving howling winds and dropping temps.

Perfect weather and trails are boring.


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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 10:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Who doesn't love it both ways?  All of my most memorable stories and trips are from both great weather and horrible weather.  One of my most memorable bad weather trips was to Mt. Washington in NH.  First time any of us ever tried to summit Mt. Washington, none of us realized how insane we were for trying it in October with basically no knowledge and not the right gear.  Luckily I had the commonsense to turn the group around before we got really beaten by the storm.  That night at basecamp it poured, the winds came down off the mountains with such tenacity it was unreal.  I can still hear that wind at least ten years later.  It was awesome.

Then again on my honeymoon trip to Grand Teton and several other parks, it never rained once.  It was also the best time of my life.


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Tipi Walter Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's backpacking and then there's Dayhiking.  I myself, personally, cannot tolerate dayhiking as it's torture to go out in the woods and not stay there.  Dayhiking starts from a car and a parking lot and ends at a parking lot and a car---a very bleak prospect.  Why dangle the grapes if you can't eat them??  Why journey deep into the forest if you can't stay there?

Ergo, I try to avoid getting real friendly with dayhikers when I'm on a long backpacking trip as I find them, generally, to be intent on staying to their route without deviation (and therefore moving quickly), sometimes unwilling to talk, and often self-appointed experts in the area they are hiking.

HikerDude73---You pic reminded me of an 18 day trip I did into the Snowbird backcountry in January 2012 and hiked thru snow in my crocs with 12 creek crossings.


Here I am on the Snowbird Creek trail after re-booting from the butt-cold crossings.



The last crossing has this new footbridge which saved my toes.



After the crossings my toes got incredibly painful and I found the main problem---my new Christmas present crocs were a size too small and so later in camp I cut away the toe box for the next day's crossings.

And BTW---I'm planning on returning to the Big Frog/Cohutta soon so I'll be crossing the Jacks too as you did.


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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think it is fair to say that we all are as varied & different in our personalities & pursuits in life as the grains of sand on a beach.

Some like solitude, some like companionship, some like dayhikes, some only prefer multi-days, some like good weather & sunshine, while others prefer harsh conditions, some folks are personable & some are stand-offish...etc.

I think whats important is that we all enjoy nature & the outdoors. The more people that get out in the wild the better chance our planet will have of more people wanting to take care of the precious natural resources that we all enjoy. Each person can decide how & when & why & where & for what reasons they hike. So many people sit home watching T.V. and miss the simple pleasure of being outdoors. I'm trying to teach my two sons not to be that way.

Just my $.02  :)
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Tipi Walter Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 1:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The harsh and the comfortable will come on any long trip in the 3 week range.  I've often left on a 20 day trip in January and start out at 40F and by the next week I'm in a blizzard at -10F.  People say you need the right tool for the job when backpacking but it's has to be a multi-tool when conditions change so drastically.  

Some of my harshest trips have been in the summer heat, most notably a 22 day trek on the BMT from the Tellico River south to Big Frog Mt.  The heat was terrible, the bugs bad and the section along the Hiwassee was a furnace.  

Blizzards and severe cold is tough in another way and more dangerous physically I guess, but hot weather backpacking is misery.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 2:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tipi Walter @ Dec. 27 2012, 1:09 pm)
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...hot weather backpacking is misery.

I agree with that. I don't hike or backpack in the summer here in the south. I literally about die of heat stroke if I do. I'm a cool/cold weather hiker only.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 3:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HikerDude73 @ Dec. 27 2012, 9:22 am)
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I remember doing a hike in the Cohutta mountains of GA/TN along the Jacks River in late December several years ago.

Cgaphiker and I have done 72 (I think) river crossings in the Cohuttas. None of ours were in the winter though. That water is biting ass cold in summer. I can't imagine doing a winter crossing there. Kudos.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 4:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's a couple shots of the Jacks from a trip in 2011.  


This is at the Rice Camp ford on the Jacks.  Weather it's brown silt or brown algae making it slick, the Jacks can be a bear to cross with some real world weight on your back.  



Another shot of the Jacks.



The Conasauga is much easier and doesn't seem to have the brown silt of the Jacks.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tipi Walter @ Dec. 27 2012, 12:09 pm)
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Blizzards and severe cold is tough in another way and more dangerous physically I guess, but hot weather backpacking is misery.

I've had extreme heat exhaustion a couple of times, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  The next step is heat stroke and then death.  I'm not sure that's safer than the cold, but I prefer not to experience either extreme if I can help it!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 1:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hike yer own hike.........
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 30 2012, 12:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You are so right -- the harsher the conditions, the more memorable, but not necessarily the more enjoyable at the time! LOL

My son and I went backpacking this past summer in the UP of Mich, the Porkies to be specific.  It was his first time, my umptyumpth time.   Had a great time, weather was almost perfect except for one short three hour span while we traversed the worst trail of the trip -- seems as if that's the section that we both remember with the most detail!

I like camping, backpacking, car camping, dayhiking, whatever I can do.  It's all fun.  I don't particularly like crowded campgrounds and noisy people, but I've been known to find fun in that, too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 1:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Summer heat and humidity don't bother me too much, but I have a decided preference for cold and windy. The last few weeks have been great! For some reason, I also enjoy long dayhikes, and short overnighters in what most people consider miserable conditions. Especially like *dry* cold and windy, which is why my vacations are out West, and typically just before or after tourist season.
I don't really consider anything I do "roughing it" as long as I have gear appropriate for the conditions, though, and have no desire to relive the "joyous misery" of my youth. Got plenty of that in Scouts and the military.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 8:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Owen571 @ Dec. 31 2012, 1:30 am)
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I don't really consider anything I do "roughing it" as long as I have gear appropriate for the conditions, though, and have no desire to relive the "joyous misery" of my youth. Got plenty of that in Scouts and the military.

Very well put!!!  When a trip is well-planned, and the proper gear is packed, barring any unforeseen disasters, the trip is rarely "roughing it."   But, for me, that's because I try to stay within my comfort range.  Some of the trips I've read about on this site would be "roughing it" for me, no matter how well-planned!  :p
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 6:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Roughing it, to some means no toilet and no air conditioning. To me roughing it means conditions you are prepared adequately for. I camped in NC last weekend. It was 30 and raining at night, but with my down underquilt and sleeping bag, I was warm and comfortable. With the fire before bed (before the rain) and the vanilla coffee, bagel, honey and dried fruit in the morning, I would definitely say it was a nice breakfast.
On the other hand, I have "roughed it"... Cold dinner, no underquilt so I shivered in my bag, carrying too much. That sucked.


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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 8:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(theosus @ Jan. 10 2013, 6:59 am)
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...with my down underquilt and sleeping bag, I was warm and comfortable. With the fire before bed (before the rain) and the vanilla coffee, bagel, honey and dried fruit in the morning, I would definitely say it was a nice breakfast.

There is truly nothing better than a sitting by a warm campfire at night after a long, enjoyable & tiring hike and then snuggling into a warm sleeping bag and passing out from exhaustion on a cool/cold night with nothing but the sounds of the forest or a babble of a stream.

I LOVE IT!!!
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