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Bryan K
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Shameless Peakbagger
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 11:37 am 
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I was at REI the other week getting some maps and the cashier asked where I was going. I told him I didn't know yet, that I would decide that night and head out in the morning. He asked how many people I was going with and I told him I was going solo. He gave me a look and said that I should find someone to go with. Of course I went solo cause I can't find partners that easily. When I go for a hike I try to find somewhere that I will be able to do alone, not out of my ability range. If things on a route get a littls sticky I'll back out and wait for either better weather or a partner, whatever is needed. I'm wondering if that kid was just being weird or do some of the outdoor stores push people to partner up?

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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine



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Really Useful Engine
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:13 pm 
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I do a lot of solo hiking, for many of the same reasons you list, HB (hard to find partners, timing, etc).  And yes, I get the same knee-jerk response from folks when I tell them I'm heading into the woods alone.  They don't know offhand how much prep work I do, or how much experience I have, so the first reaction is a typical "you're crazy" kinda feel.   shakehead.gif   Apart from a genuine concern for my wellbeing, I've learned not to let "them" get to me.  Solo trips can be highly rewarding and I don't plan to stop any time soon.

To thy ownself be true!

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Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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Spotly
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:18 pm 
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If I waited till I found someone to go with, I'd get fat sitting at home watching Oprah. It's hard to explain to the absolutists out there why you'd do it solo so I don't even try.
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jenjen
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:33 pm 
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Hiking solo is just something alot of people don't understand.  There's a real knee-jerk response against it.

I hike solo on a regular basis, and just don't talk about it to salespeople.

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If life gives you melons - you might be dyslexic
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Backpacker Joe
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:35 pm 
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I think it was just him.  In general humans have a hard time with being alone.  Many many people wouldn't even conceive to going out alone.  Many of us here do it all the time.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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The Tamster
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:50 pm 
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I have hiked (or trail run) alone with Rex (my retriever) and have had wonderful times!
Unfortunately over the course of time, I have shared these trips with friends and family- all of whom freaked out.  How can one alleviate the fears that loved ones have?  Do you think busier trails are safer in general for women hiking alone?
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 12:51 pm 
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The knee jerk response against it is valid and needs to be taken into account. There is a good reason.

We have many missing persons threads currently on this site that would had less chance of occurring had these people had a partner. One found dead, one missing in the oly's, one on the Chiwawa.

There are no guarantees ever, but even with good judgement and route explanations, traveling alone is a risky buisness because sh*t happens. We've all done it, I still do it, usually it's OK.

But it does increase the risk. Having people give you a bit of a ration for going alone seems perfectly normal to me, because like it or not, the buddy system does save lives. not always, but often.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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jimmymac
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 1:17 pm 
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The Tamster wrote:
...Do you think busier trails are safer in general for women hiking alone?

Oh boy...  stuck.gif

Good luck my friend.  clown.gif

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"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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Backpacker Joe
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 1:26 pm 
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The Tamster wrote:
Do you think busier trails are safer in general for women hiking alone?

You would think so wouldn't you?  I'm not sure. I don't like the idea of women hiking alone!  That said I'm old fashioned too.  You certainly have every right, but you must recognize the fact that women are targets for violence in our society much more so than men.  Frankly (and I'm going to get sh## for this) I'd like to see every woman carrying a concealed weapon.  And I'd like every man to know about it.  We'd see attacks on women drop substantially

That's my opinion, and I get to have it. I'm not pushing my beliefs on anyone. Please don't attack me for it. If you disagree fine, nobody will every make anyone carry a gun.  For now it's our individual choice.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



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Shameless Peakbagger
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Hey BPJ, your weapon comment is something I would expect to hear from Criminal  biggrin.gif

I agree though, the trails aren't as safe for solo women as it is for solo men

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ragman and rodman
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 2:14 pm 
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Use this two step plan for solo hikes:

1. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return.

2. Don't change your hiking plans without keeping your friend informed.
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Quark
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Niece of Alvy Moore
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 2:23 pm 
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I think the REI guy was just being a fellow human -  and being a man of character and news savy, was simply being concerned for your wellfare.

I get hinky when I know I'm alone on a trail.  The only car at the trailhead, alone at the destination - if I got hurt, no one would know.  I do leave a trip agenda with 2 separate folks - but after the search & rescue is deployed it might be too late.  I'm a real klutz sometimes.

Like R&R suggests, I do not veer from my original plan, tempting as it might be.  I go where I told my freinds I was going.

I usually backpack solo on trails that are likely to receive traffic, but I admit 2 trips where I sought solitude and chose areas where I felt I'd see no one (I was right), or I'll go when the weather is rainy and running into other folks is unlikely.

I have stayed on trails while solo, but lately I have been considering doing some easy navigational excersizes as solo trips.  I some off trail near Glacier Peak last year, and enjoyed the one problem I encountered and solved.

The way I look when I'm backpacking - I doubt anyone would notice my gender unless they see me act like a big sissy at a creek crossing.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Foist
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PostWed Jul 05, 2006 2:44 pm 
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Yeah the dangers from hiking, and hiking solo, have nothing to do with man-made violence, so I don't see how gender matters.  Have you EVER heard of a person harmed by another person in the wilderness, outside of the movie the River Wild?  Just stay away from Kevin Bacon.

I get a funny reaction from people who hear I'm hiking solo, often for reasons having nothing to do with safety.  They don't appreciate the joys of hiking, so all the more so they don't appreciate why somoene would WANT to go solo.
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lookout bob
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WTA proponent.....
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 2:50 pm 
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done numerous long solo hikes.  Like it.  Like to hike with others too.   I get those looks when I tell folks I hike solo.  I second the 'rules'( as eloquently put by Ragman and Rodman...) and would add to NEVER NEVER NEVER go off trail alone when soloing.  That's when folks go missing and never found.  I tell people when I'll be out and where I hike and don't go off established trails.
BPJ...just for the record....I totally disagree....have never owned a firearm and would not like to start seeing anyone (male or female) hauling guns around routinely in the back country.  I don't see the need.

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"Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")
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Hiker Boy
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Hinking Fool
PostWed Jul 05, 2006 2:56 pm 
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Personally, I'd take the advice given from the concerned salesperson on soloing in the spirit it was given, accept it with good grace.  I wont follow it but I appreciate the sentiments behind it.  Not quite sure where all the bs about arming every female in creation with a firearm fits in.   huh.gif

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Honey Badger Don't Care!
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