Hiking alone

Hiking Related – Not Trail Specific

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none

Do you hike alone

Poll ended at Jul 29 2006 4:23 pm

Yes
23
92%
No
2
8%
 
Total votes: 25

User avatar
cass1234
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 12 2006 5:36 pm
City, State: Gilbert, AZ

Hiking alone

Post by cass1234 » Jul 22 2006 4:23 pm

I hiked to the summit of Superstition Mountain today by myself. I have never hiked alone before except for Camelback Mountain, which doesn't really count. I think that being alone added quite a bit to the experience, but it was also kind of scary. I never really felt that I was in danger, but it just felt strange out there without a partner to watch my back. What are all of your thoughts on the matter?

User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: Hiking alone

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 22 2006 5:20 pm

In response to cass1234's reply:
We had a long discussion of this. If you are interested, you can find it at
http://hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtopic.p ... ne&start=0
Hikers much wiser than me said just about everything there is to be said and Joe locked the thread.

You might also be interested in discussions on outdoor survival
http://hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtopic.p ... cody#20744

Lots of good ideas in both of these threads. Especially the recommendation of Cody Lundin's book 98.6 Degrees the Art of keeping your ass alive.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

User avatar
joebartels
Posts: 6989
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Hiking alone

Post by joebartels » Jul 22 2006 7:39 pm

cass1234 wrote:I think that being alone added quite a bit to the experience, but it was also kind of scary. I never really felt that I was in danger, but it just felt strange out there without a partner to watch my back.
You're one of the lucky few that has been allured by the true spirt of adventure.

Just wait 'till you get lost, you'll be swearing you'll never hike alone again. Then the next weekend rolls around and you'll be pushing the limits again. Beware, there are no twelve step programs for hiking.

You should absorb all the knowledge you can, but you also have to take chances. The secret is knowing your limit.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1436
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Post by Nighthiker » Jul 22 2006 8:58 pm

And being prepared.
jk

User avatar
Abe
Posts: 304
Joined: Jun 09 2002 8:55 am
City, State: Prescott, AZ

Post by Abe » Jul 23 2006 6:33 am

In the past I have hiked/backpacked alone for many years. Up until a year ago this July when I found an awesome partner willing to share the experience. Nevertheless, Cass, as joe pointed out you're one of the few, perhaps, really the many who share this experience. Really none like it in my opinion; you're on your own, basic backwoods skill inprove over time, and if your lucky, maybe a sixth sense.

But you really want to know the truth, by yourself or with a partner to cover your backside, mishaps/disasters can occur. It is how well you prep yourself with gear, your knowlege of the gear, knowlege of the outdoors, mental strength, physical shape, experiences.....ect.

Short story! Then I'll be gone. June 4th-9th my partner and I backpacked into the "Canyon". The focus was Clear Creek. Week in advance I talked to friend who hiked it, I got on line; reviewed the park site and HAZ, followed up by visiting the NOAA site for the weather. Hot! Well when it's all said and done, when the day comes and we discussed it after the park ranger told us the high out Phantom Ranch was a 109 degrees, my partner and I decided to hit the trail at three in the morning and put as many miles of trail under our boot treads. It paid off. I will say though toward the end of this portion of the hike we were exposed in the open to the sun, our breaks were dictated by what shade we found, but man, by the time we hit Clear Clear well before noon, we were still fresh and spent the rest of the day in heaven! Naturally, I had planned to spend the next day there as well, we were in no hurry to leave.

My point is prepping is important and when we hit Clear Creek Trail I thought it would be a bit harsh. It was a piece of cake.

Well, must go, don't mean to bore folks. Congrat's cass and remember, use your head and savvy.
"Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character." James Russell Lowell

User avatar
DesertDirtDog
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 10 2005 7:21 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Hiking alone

Post by DesertDirtDog » Jul 23 2006 8:52 am

In response to cass1234's reply:

I hike and backpack mostly alone.

I got tired of not doing the things I wanted to do because logistics seemed to prevent me from doing them with others.

So now I just go.

It can be more risky, but prudent preparation and conditioning reduce the risk. And solitude (for me) is not something to be evaded.

Besides- we've all gotta go, and I'd just as soon die doing what I love as waiting around for terminal degeneration. :lol:

User avatar
Trishness
Posts: 629
Joined: May 21 2003 9:33 pm
City, State: Apache Junction, AZ

Post by Trishness » Jul 23 2006 4:35 pm

I think it depends on the trail. If you're on Siphon Draw or Piestewa Peak, there are usually tons of people around but if you're in West Clear Creek or Sierra Anchas....not so many if any. I've hiked many hikes alone on the more heavily used trails but tend to get a little spooked by myself on the lesser traveled trails so prefer a hiking partner for those.

:mrgreen:
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

User avatar
PaleoRob
Posts: 2341
Joined: Apr 03 2006 12:21 pm
City, State: Grand Junction, CO
Contact:

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 23 2006 6:20 pm

Most of the time, I hike alone. Especially with my job now, there's lots of wandering in the woods my myself. Even if I'm not on the job, most of my explorations recently have been solo. I do enjoy hiking with close friends and family (people that can appreciate the wilderness), but as someone else said, the logistics of such get-togethers can be a limiting factor.
As long as you're prepared, there's no reason why hiking solo can't be a very rewarding experience.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

User avatar
Trishness
Posts: 629
Joined: May 21 2003 9:33 pm
City, State: Apache Junction, AZ

Post by Trishness » Jul 23 2006 7:58 pm

Not to rain on anyone's parade but I've known some VERY well prepared and extremely competant and seasoned hikers who have run into trouble on the trail.

I ran out of water ONCE....never to be repeated
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

User avatar
joebartels
Posts: 6989
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Post by joebartels » Jul 23 2006 8:02 pm

The two most dangerous situations I've ever been in were in group hikes. For myself it had nothing to do with being prepared either.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
fricknaley
Posts: 432
Joined: Jun 20 2003 4:07 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Post by fricknaley » Jul 23 2006 8:04 pm

I typically go it alone, especially for my longer and/or off-route trips. For sanity's sake I also do not post some of these. However, I have met some friends who enjoy the longer torture sessions with me, and that has been a nice change. Either way, just prepare to the best of your ability and have fun hiking.

My cardinal advice, to echo Trishness, is to make sure you NEVER run out of water. :stretch:

User avatar
Hakatai
Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 25 2006 12:57 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Post by Hakatai » Jul 23 2006 8:35 pm

I agree with the sentiment that solo hiking is a little scary. Everything is a little bigger, steeper, and wilder. This is especially noticeable off-trail. On well maintained trails in a familiar area it is no big deal, but when you give a sigh of relief for 100 yards of faint game trail as a reprieve from the dense brush it can seem like a big thing to be alone. The biggest problem is on the ride home there is nobody to relive the glory with.

User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: Hiking alone

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 23 2006 10:45 pm

In response to cass1234's reply:
As a concession to my wife, when I hike alone I carry a Personal Locater Beacon registered with the US Coast Guard. So I guess I never hike alone since I have the whole USCG with me when I hike. :lol:
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

User avatar
Nature Nut
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 27 2006 9:49 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Hiking alone

Post by Nature Nut » Jul 30 2006 5:32 pm

In response to Trishness' reply:

I agree with Trish......on the more congested trails, I don't mind hiking alone. I definitely will not hike alone on a trail that I'm not familiar with.

I did, however, hike Mt. Humphreys last week by myself (my friend had to work at the last minute). I enjoyed it very much, but it would have been nice to share the experience.

User avatar
Sredfield
Posts: 1579
Joined: Sep 08 2002 1:07 pm
City, State: Ahwatukee, AZ

Post by Sredfield » Jul 30 2006 5:44 pm

I don't take hiking alone lightly, you really are "out there" all alone. I've done it and have no problem with it, well maybe a bit spooked a few times but not so anyone would notice. In the summer heat you have one more monster that can get you, I don't hike in the heat alone or with someone.

Superstition Mountain in the summer heat, alone? Not me, but I won't rain on your parade Cass. However, we don't want to hear about you on the evening news.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

User avatar
cass1234
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 12 2006 5:36 pm
City, State: Gilbert, AZ

Post by cass1234 » Jul 30 2006 7:49 pm

Thanks for all of your insights and advice.

I like what Joe said about geting lost, because I actually did get a little side tracked on my trip up Superstition. When I was heading back down from the flatiron I went down the wrong gully for a short time. It had a similar climb at the top, but I still don't know how I could confuse it with the one I came up. Anyway, I was swearing up and down that was never going to hike alone again. And as Joe predicted I was out there again this weekend, but on two very easy and well traveled trails.

I think that it is also a good point that there are a lot of trails with enough traffic that you are never really alone. That was how I justified doing Superstition solo, but I was wrong and there was nobody out there.

User avatar
azbackpackr
Posts: 8122
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flag-summer-Needles-winter

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 31 2006 5:20 am

I live in an area where if you aren't willing to hike (or mtn. bike) alone, you probably aren't going to go hiking too often. But I have always hiked and biked alone. I belong to about 4 hiking clubs, but I mostly hike alone, because I just get up in the morning and go. I enjoy the club hikes, and hiking with the one fairly reliable hiking pal I have here in Eagar, but the fact is, I want to hit the trail almost every day, and it's just not practical for my friend to go with me every day. There is no hiking club in this town, I have to go all the way to Pinetop if I want to do a club hike. Also, every summer I lead a backpacking trip or two for a Tucson club up here in the mtns. They like to come up here to get out of the heat.

I haven't backpacked alone in many, many years--about 28 years, probably. I plan on doing it again sometime, but haven't gotten around to it. (I think I would have to argue with my family about it!) Plus, I have to say, that the evenings in camp on a solo backpack got pretty lonesome and long, and even a little scary for me. One time a mtn. lion started screaming nearby, also! I want to try it again sometime soon, though.

User avatar
RedRoxx44
Posts: 804
Joined: Feb 15 2003 8:07 am
City, State: outside, anywhere

Post by RedRoxx44 » Jul 31 2006 5:38 pm

I have a love/hate relationship with solo hiking; I do about 85% of my hikes solo. I love the freedom of hiking at my own pace, stop when I want, or put the mileage down. If I am backpacking set up camp early or late and where I want it.
It can get lonely and sometimes I see something wonderful I would like to share with someone.
On the other hand, I love the more remote and longer backpacks solo. It does a wonderful number on my head about the third day out, the more "alone" I am the better. Spent 5 days in the Dirty Devil River region in utah this past may and never saw another person. It was nirvana.
Of course the problem is makes me want to get out a lot more, and for a lot longer. The longest I've gone is 7 days with no other contact. And not all the trips have gone smoothly but you just work it out and go with it.

I like it.

User avatar
IRIE_LION
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 15 2006 11:28 pm
City, State: Tolleson, AZ

Post by IRIE_LION » Aug 02 2006 9:13 pm

BACK BEFORE I MOVED OVER HERE FROM CALI, I WOULD HIKE AN EVEN NUMBER WITH OR WITHOUT SOMEONE. SINCE I RECENTLY MOVED HERE TO AZ I HAVE NO PARTNER, I TOO BEEN HIKING RECENTLY IN THE SUPERSTITIONS SOLO...BUT THERE IS PROS AND CONS WITH BOTH, SOLO HIKING, AND COMPANY HIKING.
SOLO HIKING TO I OUT IN THE WILDERNESS IS LIKE GOING TO CHURCH. THE MORE I GET OUT ON MY OWN THE MORE I REALIZE I AM NOT ALONE...THE MORE CONSCIOUS I GROW WITH MY CREATOR WITHIN. IN OTHERWORDS, THE MORE CONSCIOUS OF GOD MAN BECOMES WHEN REACHING THOSE HIGH REGIONS WHERE NO MAN GOETH... EVEN THE MORE ANCIENT THE MAN BECOMES WHEN HE LEAVES THE CIVILIZED WORLD. WHEN OUT IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE NO OTHER SOUL CAN BE SEEN NOR HEARD, THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE, THE I N I. WELL WITHOUT MAKING THIS TOO LONG, EITHER WAY AS LONG AS YOU ESCAPE THE CIVILIZED WORLD IN MIND BODY AND SPIRIT, ALL SHALL BE CLEANSED FROM ALL THE FILTH AND CORRUPTION LAYED BEFORE US IN THE SHITY.(CITY)

THAT BEING SAID....ONLY A FEW WILL EVER FORSAKE THE MODERN FOR THE ANCIENT...

MORE LOVE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.....

User avatar
Hakatai
Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 25 2006 12:57 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Post by Hakatai » Aug 02 2006 9:44 pm

In response to RedRoxx44's reply:

RedRoxx, we saw you at Powers Garden last spring (05). In the brief conversation we had, you laid out a fantastic route that you had done. I think the the biggest problem for you is finding partners that could keep up and enjoy it. You do some awesome hikes.

Post Reply

Return to “General”


cron