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Topic: Solitude, How important is it to you?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 11:54 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's been some discussion lately about folks wanting solitude on their BPing trips.  I'm just wondering how important it is to you on your hiking trips.  Personally, I don't mind meeting three or four parties a day on a hiking trip.  I often actually enjoy the interchange and conversation.  I will admit that I don't particularly like camping near other folks though.  I guess a lot depends on my mind set when beginning a hike.  If I'm in a popular area where I know I'm going to meet a lot of people, I just accept it and it's no big deal. However, if I want to be by myself and pick a hike specifically for that, then I come across others in "my wilderness", it's a bit disconcerting depending of course, on the numbers.

How about you?  How important is having the area to yourself?


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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't care about having the area to myself so much, within reason, but enjoy making the journey solo more often than not.

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"To be a friend of the Earth, you have to be an enemy of the people." -T.C. Boyle
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can construct a trip in a cross-country enough fashion though if I don't want to see anyone else, either.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do a lot of solo dayhiking and really enjoy it. But given the choice I like having company.

Jer I left the Ranch because it was too isolated and the surrounding area didn't have a big enough selection of women with teeth. Now that I live just outside a resort town with lots of beautiful women there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I had a teleporter to get to the Ranch so I could take an evening or morning walk.

In terms of hiking 3 or 4 parties is one thing, several dozen is another. Fortunately for us in the American West there are so many less than popular yet arguably just as spectacular places for us to go where we can almost count on not seeing another person.

I have met some great friends on trails. Very few posterior orifices once I got a mile or more from a trailhead. In my experience the trail seems to attract generally good people.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Solitude precedes scenery. I'll go to some drab area where there is no one else before I'll pick a place with great scenery and too many people.

Over the decades I've met plenty of people in the backcountry. I'm willing to take that route occasionally. But in general, I prefer off-trail and away from other folks — even if it costs me trophy photos and "bragging rights" about destinations.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:11 pm)
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women with teeth.

Sounds dangerous. ???

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like both.  There's a lot to be gained from both hiking solo and hiking with friends.

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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:11 pm)
QUOTE
Now that I live just outside a resort town

Outside of town...in a cabin, in the woods, with a typewriter....

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After so many years (decades) of solo hiking, solitude is something that I come to need in the wild.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess I like both.   Prefer it not be crowded, as in passing people every couple of minutes or full to capacity backcountry campsites.  But I enjoy meeting and talking to others.  I learn a lot from them.

Glacier last July (Belly River) area was about perfect IMHO.    Long stretches of no one but three or four groups at each night's campsites.  Interesting people and conversation.

Still, when I get to a point I perceive fewer people are dependent on me, I'd like to take a few multiday trips where I don't see another soul.  Not every trip, but occasionally.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like either and I take what I get when I go.  I'm always amused by the people who complain that someone else is ruining their wilderness experience, as if they're owed something by strangers that they meet in the woods.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:39 pm)
QUOTE
I like either and I take what I get when I go.  I'm always amused by the people who complain that someone else is ruining their wilderness experience, as if they're owed something by strangers that they meet in the woods.

And as if they, too, weren't ruining someone else's (experience).

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 12:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Reminiscence @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:41 pm)
QUOTE

(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:39 pm)
QUOTE
I like either and I take what I get when I go.  I'm always amused by the people who complain that someone else is ruining their wilderness experience, as if they're owed something by strangers that they meet in the woods.

And as if they, too, weren't ruining someone else's (experience).

Exactly.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 9:55 am)
QUOTE

(Reminiscence @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:41 pm)
QUOTE

(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:39 pm)
QUOTE
I like either and I take what I get when I go.  I'm always amused by the people who complain that someone else is ruining their wilderness experience, as if they're owed something by strangers that they meet in the woods.

And as if they, too, weren't ruining someone else's (experience).

Exactly.

While true, experiences are ruined only when we let them.

Folks who 'go with the flow' will experience far fewer 'ruined' trips.


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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As one who is a bit of a recluse, I prefer being alone. But for me, solitude is more of a mental place rather than a physical place. I can find solitude in the midst of a sold out rock concert if I so choose.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I prefer solo and that has been the way for decades.

Just recently though, I've let a friend come along on the AzTrail sections once a year. Maybe I've been too selfish for too long. But, there's nothing like not hearing a human voice for four or five days.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mostly solitude, but a few good people around is okay.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like social hikes at times, but I also need to get away from people altogether once in a while.  It's not hard to find places that can provide solitude, and crossing paths with a few people isn't a horrible tragedy if it should happen.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 2:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wilderness areas, even popular ones are more empty than people often complain about.  It is true there are crowded places in the backcountry especially in parks where only designated campsite camping spots are allowed or popular fishing lakes within an easy day hike of a trailhead.  But hey folks go beyond the day hiking range or visit places away from trails even near roads and guess what?

Typical is the group that hikes 8 miles on a trail virtually empty of people on either side of the trail which eventually arrives at some well known lake.   :p  Where the trail meets the lake, one can expect to find the majority of group campsites every 100 to 200 feet along the shore.  So despite the fact the majority of the rest of the lake shores have hardly any groups, many decided once they arrived to plunk down at the first available usable spot just a wee beyond where they think they might be too close to other groups.   My own suspicion is a fair amount of people are simply a bit uneasy and afraid to be in real wilderness where they are alone so their subconscious gregarious tendencies effect camp spot decisions.   Of course when they relate their experience later, some will whine about it being crowded.  :O

Personally I've had enough solitude in wilderness for several life times.  Finding solitude is EASY.  I have little problem enjoying solo trips as I find so much interesting and fascintating. Thus not the type to arrive at some destination then spend hours putting around camp.  Conversely I do enjoy social people especially those that can make good conversation thus on balance enjoy myself more when there are like others on backpacking trips to share experiences.  :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey, if I want to go someplace no one else is, I just look inside my head.  No one home there.  :)  

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 3:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 9:55 am)
QUOTE

(Reminiscence @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:41 pm)
QUOTE

(no_granola @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:39 pm)
QUOTE
I like either and I take what I get when I go.  I'm always amused by the people who complain that someone else is ruining their wilderness experience, as if they're owed something by strangers that they meet in the woods.

And as if they, too, weren't ruining someone else's (experience).

Exactly.

Yep.

I just figure if I see too many people on the trail, it's my fault for choosing the wrong trail.
For some people it's just the opposite though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't mind meeting people out on the trail as long as they are not noisy. I would prefer not to have anyone close by when it comes to setting up camp though. I like to be able to sit around camp at night and enjoy  the peace and solitude that the backcountry provides.
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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like both.

I really remote area with one or two friends is a nice compromise.

Busy trails I would prefer to avoid.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 5:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(QCHIKER @ Feb. 23 2013, 12:44 pm)
QUOTE
I don't mind meeting people out on the trail as long as they are not noisy. I would prefer not to have anyone close by when it comes to setting up camp though. I like to be able to sit around camp at night and enjoy  the peace and solitude that the backcountry provides.

Yes noise is more of the metric for me as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 5:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoy solo and group trips. But when I run into people in the woods I don't know I almost always give them the smile and hello as I walk by. Sometimes they are so interesting that I have to talk to them. But mostly I will stick with my first answer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 6:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Solitude? Do you know how many billions of soil bacteria you'll be sitting on? The thousands of insects right behind you? The tens or hundreds of bats just waiting for you to attract the flying insects they'll snack on: swooping right above your unsuspecting head to snag them on the fly? The rodents staring at you from the shadows waiting for those crumbs to fall? The hawks watching you cross that meadow waiting for you to scare up their next ground squirrel dinner?

So why let people who'll number far less than the mites living in your eyebrows cause a fuss?

Just because we can see the people doesn't mean that's the only thing out there watching US. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 6:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I live by the AT, so I see a lot of hikers, but I don't mind a bit.
Usually once you're in the back country you're pretty unlikely to see anyone, especially past about the 6 mile mark.
So, this way I get a little bit of both worlds. I usually feel like I'm the only one camping when I go out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 6:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Feb. 23 2013, 6:06 pm)
QUOTE
Solitude? Do you know how many billions of soil bacteria you'll be sitting on? The thousands of insects right behind you? The tens or hundreds of bats just waiting for you to attract the flying insects they'll snack on: swooping right above your unsuspecting head to snag them on the fly? The rodents staring at you from the shadows waiting for those crumbs to fall? The hawks watching you cross that meadow waiting for you to scare up their next ground squirrel dinner?

So why let people who'll number far less than the mites living in your eyebrows cause a fuss?

Just because we can see the people doesn't mean that's the only thing out there watching US. :)

Right. Not to mention drones. :O

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 6:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Admittedly, I am selfish and stubborn when backpacking; usually this means going solo. Much like above, after decades of Sierra wandering, I have found that even at the most crowded campsite, solitude can usually be found only 1/8 mile away – easy to find. I can be also quite gregarious with the "right" sort of individual but will actively shun others. -  
I practice wilderness profiling.

Some great friends were met in the wilderness – usually they all have similar traits:
The ability to make good conversation is important but so much more important is the ability to also know when to shut up.
Quality equipment stands out - well used - Fishing gear is a plus…
Being an expert on everything – not so much.
Love dogs at home – not running wilderness free.
Single Malt carriers get extra points.
Kids with electronics - Argh!

The last two years,  started hiking with a friend, a retired SEKI Ranger – a self-admitted basshole...Usually on 3-week long adventures.
We hike apart, (unless off-trail), always camp a short distance apart, fish apart, but have cocktails together at 5:00 sharp. I do the cooking and he cleans the fish…the perfect hiking companion.
I guess would rather have company along… sometimes, but since I hate everybody – difficult.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 10:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's all good, but I'm not too fond of crowds or noise, unless I'm the one being noisy. I often hike alone, but I have met some pretty neat people along the way.

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"Travel suggestions from strangers are like dancing lessons from God." -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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