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Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.

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Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 09:44AM
Per Chick-on and others here, hiking alone is baaad. How about if you are staying on a main trail (JMT)?

I really like hiking alone for 3 or 4 days, I need the solitude.

One time I was waiting for YARTS in the valley and this old dude git on the bus, no water, no pack, gets off at Olmstead pt. how the heck did he do that! Was he drinking raw h2o? Did he have a steripen, the size of a pen?

Anywho I see that peak-baggers and off trial Hanging basket daredevils should have a buddy, for an old mule like myself on the interstate what the hay?
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 02:46PM
Perhops u misinterpret.

Signature was dig on
"He/She who hikes alone, has a fool for a companion."
which I take exception to.

(I no post in dead peeps or lost peeps threads)

Me no daredevil. Me always go out prepared.

I'm safe. You should be too whatever you are doing.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 03:24PM
I often hike alone - for days at a time. I stay on the trail though. I have a quality map of the trail that I have reviewed before hand. (A map printed on a handkerchief does not count.) I never go off trail alone. I've never been lost in the thousands of miles I've hiked in my lifetime. It's not hiking alone that is bad; it is hiking alone UNPREPARED that is bad. It is trying to bag a peak without knowing how to mark your trail that is bad. It is going cross country without the proper preparations that is bad.

Basically doing stupid things out there is bad.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 03:37PM
I haven't read that people here have claimed hiking alone is "baaad." However, there is no disputing the fact that hiking alone is more dangerous than hiking with a partner. That's indisputible. As a female, I would never hike alone. I doubt I would do so even if I were male. Obviously countless people hike alone and nothing "bad" has ever happened to them.

Hike your own hike, as they say. smiling smiley
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 04:26PM
I wonder why I hear so often of people who are lost from groups, then. You get no security in groups unless there is a very clear understanding within the group - it does you no good if they all go marching off full speed and assume you are coming along slowly, you're fine, and then you twist an ankle. You have to resolve to stay together NO MATTER WHAT. Communicate about where you are going and how long you will be gone, even if it is merely going out to dig a cathole. One whistle means stop, two means come here, three means come here hella fast there's a critter chewing on me/I fell and can't get up/can't move/OMG....

You also get no security in groups if one person does all the navigating. He'll get knocked out or demented by dehydration, then you're all goners. Or he'll just get lost digging a cathole. Or any number of unmentionable and unlikely things, like randomly deciding to glissade and busting his head open. (wups, just mentioned one.)

No security in groups if they are all noobs and terrified of their own shadow. They keep you awake all night yelping when things rustle or squeak, and they leave you to chase off the bears harassing your canisters, all by your lonesome.

I am safer alone than I am with some groups. It All Depends. And I am female, and not at all scared to go out with random strangers, hike alone, or hike without a weapon. I have the good sense to know what a marijuana farm looks like and what to do if I see something like it, and that's about all I'd worry about, frankly, since I am forever doing nightly tick checks, on the lookout for rattlers, and obsessively minding landmarks and pacing myself carefully. I would not recommend to someone who has not been out a lot that they go alone, however, nor would I expect anyone to do anything they do not feel safe doing.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 05:11PM
You guys are right that hiking in a group (and only on trails) is not proof against getting lost, unless 1) there is a well established first and last member of the group, and 2) they regroup at every possible intersection. You'd think that would be easy, but you'd be surprised how few groups can maintain even that simple bit of discipline. Somebody steps behind a bush to relieve himself, and isn't missed for hours....

I much prefer to hike with friends, off-trail. Two people can easily stay in contact. Three cannot necessarily do so, since the guy in the middle can't maintain contact simultaneously with the leader and with the third person. The leader generally looks back only to see that someone is in sight. Any group of more than two needs to make an extra effort to make sure that everyone knows exactly where they are going, and does frequently re-groupings. Especially if there is a photographer in the group!

Yosemite is among the easiest places to navigate, if you have studied the topos and carry a compass, and you aren't in a howling blizzard. You have to be smart enough to not go down any place that you can't get back up. [Except by clear and careful plan, like the rappels in Tenaya Canyon, and if you carry suitable climbing gear where appropriate.] I usually carry a GPS as well, but wouldn't be lost if it quits working.

I often do day hikes alone and off-trail. But my wife has a printed map with my expected route on it, knows my planned schedule, and knows what do do when I don't show up. I have little appetite for multiple day trips off-trail and alone, so I can't comment on that. You could die waiting for someone to start looking for you. I would try pretty hard to find someone to hike with, unless the hike was right on a major trail....
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 05:35PM
I thought hiking with a partner was safe. Then I read Angels in the Wilderness, where the lady fell off a steep part of the trail and broke her leg, and thought - what would a partner do? hike out to get help. Leaving me sitting there with a broken leg. Then when a group of three people showed up (in the book), I thought, three people would be better - one person to stay with the injured, one to go back for help. But what if the person going back for help got hurt? Well, four people would be better. One will stay with the injured person and two will go back...

It gets a little much. You do what you need to do to reduce risk, stay safe, in the end you are still going to do the best you can and hope for the best, if something does happen. Which surprisingly happens less often than one would think, given the number of ignorant or stupid (there are both kinds of hikers, more often the former than the latter I think since as we learn as we go along you are hopefully more informed than before and less ignorant - stupid folks are the informed ones who ignore and do the dumb stuff anyway) there are out on the trail taking risks - or off trail. Electronics fail, your reasoning fails, your buddies make a dumb assumption, mistakes are made. And I still don't think they should charge for SAR. No matter how dumb people are. You only approve of the "stupid tax" until you are the "stupid" one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2010 05:36PM by AlmostThere.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 19, 2011 01:47PM
Quote
Dave
I often hike alone - for days at a time. I stay on the trail though. I have a quality map of the trail that I have reviewed before hand. (A map printed on a handkerchief does not count.) I never go off trail alone. I've never been lost in the thousands of miles I've hiked in my lifetime. It's not hiking alone that is bad; it is hiking alone UNPREPARED that is bad. It is trying to bag a peak without knowing how to mark your trail that is bad. It is going cross country without the proper preparations that is bad.

Basically doing stupid things out there is bad.

Hey Dave,

I'm with you on this one. I posted in the general discussion thread 'Don't Be Afraid to Go Off-trail' a request for advice for an off-trail route for a off trail first-timer , I mentioned I was going solo...maybe that's why no-one responded. Anyway I'm looking forward to this Thursday, looks like the highs are in the 70's instead of the 90's in Bay Area, I'll bring my pole..
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 20, 2010 06:05PM
From what I know... Muir hiked alone. He did OK.
There is SOOOOOO much off trail that is worth exploring.
The trail is in many instances not in the best location for views.
Also always amazed at how close peeps gotta camp next to the trail.
Like there is some magic pizzie dust on it that will protect them.
Get some experience and spread your wings.

I've been burned hiking with others not knowing where they are...
so I keep my hawk-like eyeballz on them all the time now.
(not u old dude)
Always setup meet points EVERYONE knows exactly where they are.
And STOP and MEET at ALL junctions.

If I'm alone I only gotta worry about myself.

Dats all I'm saying on dis topics



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 21, 2010 11:52AM
Thanks all who responded, I need to take a class on compass/topo so I can enjoy the off trial experience more, when I see some of Bill EG's posts I get pretty envious, you know how when you lay down at night and think about happy things. I like to think about the day when I can actually go off trial to some of the places Bill goes. Or maybe Deadman's loop in Sequoia natl. My main hiking bud is my 28 y/o son, who btw carries 35 lbs, whilst i carry 50...old mule am i.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 21, 2010 03:17PM
Quote
rroland
Thanks all who responded, I need to take a class on compass/topo so I can enjoy the off trial experience more, when I see some of Bill EG's posts I get pretty envious, you know how when you lay down at night and think about happy things. I like to think about the day when I can actually go off trial to some of the places Bill goes. Or maybe Deadman's loop in Sequoia natl. My main hiking bud is my 28 y/o son, who btw carries 35 lbs, whilst i carry 50...old mule am i.

Off trail hiking can be exciting. I found a cave that I believe no one else knows about. It was small, dusty, with a small basket in the very back. There were no footprints in the cave. I left it that way. The only way to get there is off trail. But I had a good topo, a compass, and checked my position regularly.

I carry only a 10 pound pack. My llama carries a 70 pound pack. Llama
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 21, 2010 06:54PM
James,
dats dee idear. wish udders would show some stuffs. there's a lots out there.
forum no need be only yosemite either
u need to get ur pack weight down seriously before doing the intense off traily stuff
50 lb pack on your back boulder hopping is a recipe for disasta
Happy Trails
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 22, 2010 12:22PM
Quote
chick-on
James,
dats dee idear. wish udders would show some stuffs. there's a lots out there.
forum no need be only yosemite either
u need to get ur pack weight down seriously before doing the intense off traily stuff
50 lb pack on your back boulder hopping is a recipe for disasta
Happy Trails
Chick-on is looking at you!

I agree. When you are up high crawling over boulders with your butt sticking out in a stiff breeze that heavy pack feels like it wants to take a different route,----a backwards summersault.

For clarification, I crawl over the boulders. Ansel Adams hopped over them. Bill-e-g claims he hops over them. Chick-on leaps from peak to peak in a single bound and waits for bill-e-g to arrive for the photo op. The marmots rearrange the boulders from time to time to keep it interesting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2010 12:24PM by tomdisco.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 22, 2010 02:15PM
Hiking alone is not good or bad but more dangerous. You can prepare to make it less dangerous. If i'm going solo in the backcountry, I've brought SPOT or sat phone. In less remote areas, at least a whistle around my neck. But if something happens and you can't use them (say you're unconscious), they won't much. Staying on trail is better than off-trail in terms of being found if something happens, but you could be off answering the call of nature where you won't be spotted. Or, other things can happen. I ended up w/ HAPE camping at 10k' on the north side of Donohue Pass doing a solo hike from TM to Reds last year. I was hardly "alone" but had to repack and carry my gear and haul my a** down 1500ft and out 10 miles back to TM, spitting blood all the way. NOT FUN. I had my SPOT and knew what was happening, but didn't fire it off b/c I didn't think it could be that serious if I was still walking. When I got home, the doctor said I should have.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 08:11AM
cjoz,
Please educate me a little bit on this...
My understanding on this matter is that everyone's physiologically different and
that altitude affects everyone a little differently. Some people just don't
have the stuff physiologically to climb high peaks or even be at
elevation at all.
I personally go from nearly 0 to over 10K frequently within a few hours.
I almost always feel just fine. Take some ibuprofin at bedtime... and
good to go the next day.
So my question is... how do you normally feel at high elevation?
Was this a strange occurrence?
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 10:44AM
Like you say, wer'e all different. Last year was my first time above 10K (Young Lakes) in many years. It hit me in two ways. Obviously, I was breathing heavy to take in more oxygen. Also, my legs felt like lead because the muscles were not getting the amount of oxygen they were accustomed to. It was like hitting a wall. This year it hit me on the first day backpacking because I failed to acclimate after living at 350' elevation for the previous 12 months. I felt somewhat winded; legs were fine; but a roaring headache was a new symptom for me. The headache mostly dissipated by the time I got below Echo Lake. Back at 10K two days later at Bernice Lake/ Vogelsang area I was fine. Subsequent day at Saddlebag I was fine. Acclimation had set in.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2010 10:45AM by tomdisco.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 02:13PM
Quote
bill-e-g
cjoz,
Please educate me a little bit on this...
My understanding on this matter is that everyone's physiologically different and
that altitude affects everyone a little differently. Some people just don't
have the stuff physiologically to climb high peaks or even be at
elevation at all.
I personally go from nearly 0 to over 10K frequently within a few hours.
I almost always feel just fine. Take some ibuprofin at bedtime... and
good to go the next day.
So my question is... how do you normally feel at high elevation?
Was this a strange occurrence?

Yes, very individualized experience. I normally have mild effects for the first day at altitude (winded, rapid heartrate, sometimes headaches) but I've never had a problem like this. What's more surprising is I had spent the previous 3 days in Yose. doing day hikes at decent elevations (North Dome, Half Dome and Cathedral Lakes) b/c I wanted to be good and acclimatized. Although, looking back, I my heart was pounding all night before my trip staying at Mammoth Mountain Inn (9200ft). From what I've read, HAPE can develop w/ heavy exertion, so it could have been the long hike in and pushing up the switchbacks in the same day. I also didn't exactly follow the "climb high - sleep low" addage. Who knows. If I had camped somewhere between Kuna Creek and the switchbacks and waited to head up the next morning, might have ended up differently. Anyway, I got some diamox from my doctor and it really helped a ton for my trip this past June which had me going over Clouds Rest.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 10:54AM
I am usually OK up to 10K (Cloud's Rest), but the legs do get weaker and the pack heavier. I get headaches in the temple area and get winded easier. Q: I work out at a gym, can cardio training help, or is it all acclamation?
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 11:06AM
The key is to not get old.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 11:08AM
I keep tellings da old dude getty hyperbomic chamber.
He no listen.

Sing this:
"I'm looking at the old dude in the bubble... "



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 11:17AM
Quote
bill-e-g
The key is to not get old.

Mikey, time to add your two cents.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 12:47PM
Quote
bill-e-g
The key is to not get old.

Now you tell me?
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 11:50AM
So what is the difference between today's hiker and John Muir? Was he more prepared? Was he in better shape? Did he have better survival skills? Did he have more time?

Well, he definately had more time. He didn't have a 3 day weekend or a 7 day vacation to adhere to. He could be gone for months and had nowhere else to be. So did he get lost? Probably. Did he panic, probably not. He just kept going.

He knew how to eat off the land and slept under the stars. He could drink the water because it wasn't full of giardia back then as far as I know, and he could also trap/kill animals for food, something you can't do now.

He was also as fit as the most fit of today's hikers, not like the one week a year hikers who push themselves to their breaking point, literally. He could go and go and was well suited to the task. He had trained his body for the altitude, something few of us do today.

The point is, that if you are prepared and well trained, AND have enough time, you can do anything today, go anywhere alone, within reason. You do have to bring all your food, since you can't eat rabbits, squirrels or anything else, except maybe fish that you find along the way.

Of course, my post is my opinion, and based on a lot of assumptions. Curious what you all think?
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 08:34AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
So what is the difference between today's hiker and John Muir? Was he more prepared? Was he in better shape? Did he have better survival skills? Did he have more time?

Well, he definately had more time. He didn't have a 3 day weekend or a 7 day vacation to adhere to. He could be gone for months and had nowhere else to be. So did he get lost? Probably. Did he panic, probably not. He just kept going.

He knew how to eat off the land and slept under the stars. He could drink the water because it wasn't full of giardia back then as far as I know, and he could also trap/kill animals for food, something you can't do now.

John Muir was really small for a man - chronically undernourished (as many of that era were). He lived on bread and tea. He did not fish or hunt. If you suggested it to him he'd probably have a few choice words for you.

http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/frameindex.html?http://www.sierraclub.org/john_Muir_exhibit/life/john_muir_menu_j_parker_huber.html

I suspect that you (or anyone else who tried it) would be unable to combine hiking and living off the land. Hunting and trapping take a long time - fishing not so much, but you can't live on them without becoming malnourished. Plants/mushrooms can be poisonous and most edible varieties are not found in alpine regions.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 10:47AM
Other things to consider is that nearly, if not all, of the lakes
in the Sierra have been stocked by man. This started, from
what I have read, by perhaps the 1850's. So I doubt that
there were many fish to be had even if he wanted to by Muir's
"First Summer in the Sierra".
Additionally, he had to contend with the CA Grizzly his entire life.

Large number of well established trails, zero wildlife danger,
mild weather, relative ease of off trail travel, lightweight gear.

I know when I have it good.... and I have it VERY good.

(pretty darn sick of seeing brand new fire rings everywhere I go though!)
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 11:00AM
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
hotrod4x5
So what is the difference between today's hiker and John Muir? Was he more prepared? Was he in better shape? Did he have better survival skills? Did he have more time?

Well, he definately had more time. He didn't have a 3 day weekend or a 7 day vacation to adhere to. He could be gone for months and had nowhere else to be. So did he get lost? Probably. Did he panic, probably not. He just kept going.

He knew how to eat off the land and slept under the stars. He could drink the water because it wasn't full of giardia back then as far as I know, and he could also trap/kill animals for food, something you can't do now.

John Muir was really small for a man - chronically undernourished (as many of that era were). He lived on bread and tea. He did not fish or hunt. If you suggested it to him he'd probably have a few choice words for you.

http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/frameindex.html?http://www.sierraclub.org/john_Muir_exhibit/life/john_muir_menu_j_parker_huber.html

I suspect that you (or anyone else who tried it) would be unable to combine hiking and living off the land. Hunting and trapping take a long time - fishing not so much, but you can't live on them without becoming malnourished. Plants/mushrooms can be poisonous and most edible varieties are not found in alpine regions.

Kindly cite the data that indicates the height of John Muir.

TR thought he was tall, and TR was generally agreed upon to be 5'8".

Thanks in advance.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 11:33AM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Kindly cite the data that indicates the height of John Muir.

TR thought he was tall, and TR was generally agreed upon to be 5'8".

Thanks in advance.

He's certainly taller than TR:

Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 01:01PM
Apologies - when I said small, I didn't mean short. I should have said thin, not small.... Since he was nearly six feet tall and weighed at most 148....
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 01:37PM
I guess I am also mal-nourished.
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 27, 2010 03:08PM
Quote
bill-e-g
I guess I am also mal-nourished.

I lost a lot of weight too... perhaps hiking causes weight loss if you do it every week.

Seriously - I suspect you eat more than bread on the trail. I definitely do, and could probably stand to improve my diet for my health's sake - except for this pesky dollar store budget I'm on....
Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 23, 2010 01:20PM
I hike alone fairly often mostly because I can't find anyone to go with me. This year I did the ridge from echo to mathes crest to unicorn solo. Didn't feel at all uncomfortable. I live at 5800 ft and run regularly 5 miles a day. I train with weights (squats etc to build legs) Never felt the effects of altitude. Legs felt strong. In fact I felt so good I went down to Mathes Crest lake then over the ridge to the east and back to Elizebeth and back to TM campground in one day. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous on the ridges being alone, anything can happen. I do carry emergency equipment in my pack not just for myself but for others I find all to often in need of something on the trail. I do try to be as prepared as possible when I venture off solo. Others know my route and approx time of return etc. Mainly I prepare myself physically so I don't have problems. Just my humble opinion that preperation is extremely important if you are hiking in the mountains, alone or in a group.
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 21, 2011 01:57PM
Since this thread has been resuscitated from the dead, I'll have to throw my unwanted 2 cents in.

I'll echo most people's sentiments, hiking alone isn't inherently bad or good, its up to the individual in question. I've done plenty of solo trips and haven't had anything bad happen. However, I do leave a detailed list of where I should be with a family member or friend with instructions on who to call if I don't check back in with them when I'm supposed to.

As for the elevation, as billy said, everyone is different. I don't really have any issues, and I've gone from the Bay Area to 10,000+ in a day and had no ill effects. However, I have a buddy that gets sick as soon as he crests over 8000. I don't know how much fitness level vs basic physiology plays into it. I suspect that obviously, the fitter you are the better off you are, however I do think that some people's bodies just don't like elevation.


I know that I definitely have it good hiking wise. One of my main buddies I go with is in his 50s and reminisces on the days that the only pack to be had would be an old army surplus behemoth that weighed a ton. Now I have a GoLite Jam pack that is under 2 pounds. Combine that with trail maintenance, accurate maps a gps and a Kindle and I'm very happy. Oh and not to mention the weight of freeze dried food vs real food.

On the John Muir note, I really don't think he lived off the land. You can't trap animals and travel miles each day. Hunting and trapping takes a lot of time...
avatar Re: Wenz I hikes alone I in bad company.
September 21, 2011 07:29PM
Getting old doesn't necessarily lead to problem with altitude. I'm 51 and have never had any issues with altitude. I noticed no difference on top of Half Dome (granted, not 10K), nor anywhere else. I just breath a little harder. And I even had wine every night!

Oh yeah, I'm not all that physically fit. I fly a desk and for exercise I walk (at about 4 mph) for a whole 30 minutes. I usually average a staggering 5 days a week. Sometimes weekends are a little more active, sometimes not.
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