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View Full Version : Do you let weather Dictate?? - Moved from Q&A



KMartman
06-26-2006, 07:44 AM
YOUR PLANS..

Ok so heres the story. I buddy and I had an overnight hike of a section of the AT in Jersey planned for this past weekend. Obviously as all in the area know the weather wasn't all that great. We had been talking about the trip for about a month and had the dates scheduled well in advance (as we both have semi hectic schedules), I had spent about 1.5 hours on planning and mapping, etc. ...Spoke MANY times during the week...all seemed well. Spoke Friday night the night before the trip..discussed the weather and spoke about the requisite rain gear that would likely be necessary. Everything SEEMED FINE....he seemed prepared and we were going to "do this"...

Fast forward to Saturday morning..bags packed...foods ready...raincovers already on...packs in the car...waiting for buddies 8:00am PRE PLANNED arrival...waiting...waiting...8:10.....8:15....FIN ALLY 8:20..and he pulls up...nonchalantly gets out of his car with a cup of coffee and says "do you really think we should do this with the strong possibility of rain?" I was like "WHAT?"...I thought he was kidding, but much to my shagrin......he wasn't..he did't want to go??? What did I get up for? What did I pack for? You couldn't have explained your skepticism to me the night before??? The DAYS before?? I mean really the weather report didn't fluctuate for DAYS prior...we direclty discussed the impending rain...whats the deal...

Needless to say I was angry as I was fully prepared to complete the hike wet or not....I have wet weather gear and the shelter I brought would've been 100% fine for the weather...all he had to do was show up with his food, water, and sleeping bag..thats it...I did EVERYTHING else...I had the maps, I had the trail description...all he had to do was show and walk....Well WE DIDN'T GO...I'm STILL angry....don't know when i'll get a chance to slate days for this trip again....big mess and waste of my time...

I think I need to find some more friends that have "like mind" for the outdoors...I think I am going to do this hike without him in the next couple weeks..I think SOLO as I know I'll show and be ready to go .

What would any of you done???

Thanks..

skibones
06-26-2006, 07:56 AM
I think your buddy should have expressed his dislike of hikingin the rain. Now thunderstorms might be another matter-but sounds like he just didn't want to get wet.
You need to find some new hiking buddies that can be more reliable. What a disappointment.

jeanvabu
06-26-2006, 08:00 AM
That's a real bummer. I'm sorry things didn't pan out for you.

I do let weather dictate a bit. Generally if I hear predictions of thunderstorms I'll bail on a trip (like this weekend). But I definitely think he should have let you know about his weather ideas prior to the departure time.

poison ivy
06-26-2006, 08:58 AM
I would have just gone by myself... (and have in fact gone by myself in similar situations.) For the most part, I don't bother to look at the weather anymore (okay, except in winter...I am obsessed with the weather in winter, so perhaps the rest of the time I'm recovering.) Granted, I usually have a general idea as people talk about the weather a lot and I will hear a forecast while I'm driving to the trailhead. :)

Anyway, to answer your question, the weather really doesn't impact my plans for three-season hiking. I like hiking in the rain for the most part. Plus, if I waited for good weather to come along, I'd never get out there since it almost always seems to rain on me. :D

Look at it this way... if your buddy went and was absolutely miserable it may have ruined the trip for you anyway!

- Ivy

KMartman
06-26-2006, 09:06 AM
I would have just gone by myself... (and have in fact gone by myself in similar situations.) For the most part, I don't bother to look at the weather anymore (okay, except in winter...I am obsessed with the weather in winter, so perhaps the rest of the time I'm recovering.) Granted, I usually have a general idea as people talk about the weather a lot and I will hear a forecast while I'm driving to the trailhead. :)

Anyway, to answer your question, the weather really doesn't impact my plans for three-season hiking. I like hiking in the rain for the most part. Plus, if I waited for good weather to come along, I'd never get out there since it almost always seems to rain on me. :D

Look at it this way... if your buddy went and was absolutely miserable it may have ruined the trip for you anyway!

- Ivy

True about if you plan around weather you'll likely just be planning and never actually going.

I contemplated going it alone, but the little lady wasn't too keen on it. I haven't done a solo overnight yet, but plan one VERY soon. Get it under my belt and then I can just do more solo's should my partner bag out last minute.

You're right though...if he was miserable it wouldve ruined it anyway... ;-)

Thanks for the insight.

M

Artex
06-26-2006, 09:10 AM
Bummer. It's really a bigger impact when it's just one other person going and not a group (I assume that was the case). If torrential downpours are forecasted, I've bailed many a time (ask MEB), but never that very morning. I always try to give as much of a heads up as possible and it's usually been during hikes with at least a few people, never just one other person.

Best of luck in the future.

KMartman
06-26-2006, 09:32 AM
Bummer. It's really a bigger impact when it's just one other person going and not a group (I assume that was the case). If torrential downpours are forecasted, I've bailed many a time (ask MEB), but never that very morning. I always try to give as much of a heads up as possible and it's usually been during hikes with at least a few people, never just one other person.

Best of luck in the future.

yes ONLY one other....and like I said..VERY last minute...like ready to leave??? Naaaa I dont wanna go anymore...I swear I felt like punching him...

Ahhh theres always next time...or NEW FRIENDS..

M

giggy
06-26-2006, 09:35 AM
you just have to know who your going with and what their treshold for bad weather is -

I typically don't like hiking in all day rains with little hope of clearing. But - I make this very clear when planning with people. In warm weather - I will go, but in spring when you get that cold rain - I will let the weather dicatate sometimes, becuase I don't care who you are, what you have done, etc.. - in 30 and 40 degree temps and rain all day - your gonna get wet and it is a recipe for hypothermia. :eek: :eek:

I wouldn't hike in winter nor'easter either. :eek: So - yes, I do let the weather dictate what i am doing -

if you don't like the rain and its not fun - then why go? Better this person bailed on you on a weekend trip and not a bigger trip. That being said, he should have let you know bailing was an option - the rain for the weekend was no secret.

I have also been in many situations when its a last minute descion - do I go, do I not go?? - He was probably on the fence and decided last minute - I am just not into this. Maybe his gut was saying don't go -

sucks for you though.

Tom Rankin
06-26-2006, 09:59 AM
Weather definitely dictates for me, but communication must be there! And you need to have a backup plan. For instance...

Sunday, we saw it was going to be 'partly cloudy' in the DAX, vs 'rain' in the Catskills. Turns out the DAX were mostly clear and the Catskills were definitely 'RAIN!'. Easy choice! :D

KMartman
06-26-2006, 10:28 AM
I guess "dicate" wasnt the right word...I really just wanted to get a feeling from everyone on how they'd react to this particular situation....

Obviously weather SHOULD dictate hiking plans...like mentioned..cold rains...heavy snows..etc. Weather should be monitored days prior and a decent understanding of what you may encounter on a trip is paramount..

This situation was different...we BOTH knew the weather reports for DAYS in advance and had discussed them ad nauseum...he was "in" up until it was time to go....

I found that very lame...especially when it wasn't gear related...just decided he didn't want to go anymore...no matter what time I had put in planning and getting things together...didn't matter..he just didn't want to go...

I thought this was monumentally LAME..

M

jfb
06-26-2006, 10:31 AM
If I'm planning a trip with friends, weather doesn't determine whether we go or not. However, we may change plans if the weather is bad.

On the other hand, I usually prefer hiking and camping in nice weather and will frequently go solo so that I can change plans at the last minute (in bad weather) without affecting anyone else.

In the case of the "no-show," I'd follow the old saying:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Rik
06-26-2006, 10:32 AM
Depends on who I'm going with. If the forcast is for rain and I'm hiking with my wife we usually cancel. Not fun for her = not fun for me. If with someone else or by myself I will usually go but might modify my itinerary. If I'm bailing it is with good reason and as much notice as possible.

snowshoe
06-26-2006, 11:04 AM
I would at least have given it a shot. Worst case after one night you are not having fun then head back, (if it is more than an overnighter planned) or make the trip shorter and use the shelters or camp at the AMC center (Mohican). It is always more pleasant to stay at a shelter than a tent when it is raining. Another option you could have done is day hikes and then rented one of the yurts at Swatswood SP or cabins at Stokes SF. It is always good to have back up plans. I have backed out of backpacking trips last minute but I always make an attempt and hope the forcast was wrong or jsut day hike around. At least your still outside doing something.

dug
06-26-2006, 12:12 PM
Absolutely I let the weather dictate my plans. I postponed, and eventually re-routed, a trip into the Dry River Wilderness last year due to heavy rains. I'll change an internary to stay in lower elevations instead of being above treeline if I don't like the weather. I've bagged the peaks I want to, so I don't HAVE to get anywhere. Shoot, I've even turned the alarm off and gone back to bed if I didn't like the forecast. Conversely, I have also woken up, seen unexpected blue skies, and bolted for the mountains on short notice.

Mr. X
06-26-2006, 12:28 PM
I think your buddy should have expressed his dislike of hikingin the rain. Now thunderstorms might be another matter-but sounds like he just didn't want to get wet.
You need to find some new hiking buddies that can be more reliable. What a disappointment.

I agree with Skibones, and Poster Boy.

Seriously though. Frodo invites me on several hikes, and usually I turn them down cause I know I won't like the conditions, if they are predicting them. He just warned me that the bugs were really bad this passed weekend. If I had gone, I probably would have leaped off Bond Cliff.

-X

KMartman
06-26-2006, 12:34 PM
He just warned me that the bugs were really bad this passed weekend. If I had gone, I probably would have leaped off Bond Cliff.

-X

That was the best part of the day hike I did yesterday and wouldve likely been what we encountered on the trail...NO BUGS...not a one...not even when I stopped for 10 minutes...

M

sapblatt
06-27-2006, 04:11 PM
It seems like I only hike in the rain.

When you have a hectic schedule (read: job, wife, kids) you have to hike when you can - for this reason I rarely will not go in bad weather - if I have a day I can hike I will. What I will do is change my plans to a more forested, sheltered route - this past Saturday we decided to do Carter Dome instead of going over Glen boulder and Boott Spur...made more sense with the rain, limited visibility and t-storm potential.

Two people baled on us, but it was well over 24 hours ahead of time.

KMartman
06-27-2006, 04:14 PM
It seems like I only hike in the rain.

When you have a hectic schedule (read: job, wife, kids) you have to hike when you can - for this reason I rarely will not go in bad weather - if I have a day I can hike I will. What I will do is change my plans to a more forested, sheltered route - this past Saturday we decided to do Carter Dome instead of going over Glen boulder and Boott Spur...made more sense with the rain, limited visibility and t-storm potential.

Two people baled on us, but it was well over 24 hours ahead of time.

See 24 hrs..that wouldve been at least acceptable....he just shows and assumes i'll be ok with him backing out..I was truly disgusted...

M

cbcbd
06-28-2006, 01:20 PM
If it's a well-in-advance planned out trip I usually will not let the weather dictate if I go or not (unless it's fatal weather). I don't have the luxury of driving 30minutes to get to the mountains and my schedule is packed as it is. I usually have to plan something like that at least a month in advance and ff I'm going out then I'm going come hell or high water.

I would be pissed if a friend did that to me. That's just something you don't do in life. People have plans and things to do... that's just a blatant lack of consideration.

KMartman
06-28-2006, 02:05 PM
If it's a well-in-advance planned out trip I usually will not let the weather dictate if I go or not (unless it's fatal weather). I don't have the luxury of driving 30minutes to get to the mountains and my schedule is packed as it is. I usually have to plan something like that at least a month in advance and ff I'm going out then I'm going come hell or high water.

I would be pissed if a friend did that to me. That's just something you don't do in life. People have plans and things to do... that's just a blatant lack of consideration.

Yeah it was pretty lame of him I agree...and YES this trip was planned weeks in advance, because like you I am exteremely busy, and don't live close enough to great trails, so these things MUST be planned WELL in advance...If he had given some notice or inclination that he was leaning toward NOT going like the night before, I wouldve been angry yes...but would've understood more and also wouldve slept in and made plans to do other things. My weekend was essentially shot. So I still havent spoken with him (this is like one of my long time best friends)..and dont think ill be calling anytime soon..

New hiking friends is the real answer here, that or go alone more...Well hopefully my move the the Whites will come by end of this year and I will have trails VERY close.

M

Tim Horn
06-28-2006, 04:11 PM
Don't get angry and don't get mad. First he was more than 15 min. late and did not call? The Tough Sh*t rule applies, you must leave without him. Second, when he does arrive and does not want to go why not just go on without him? It is fine if he changed his mind, were human, we do that. No reason to be pissed. At least you know not to waste your time waiting for him in the future. Life is short, play hard every chance you get.

David Metsky
06-28-2006, 04:22 PM
I think the answer is to be completely self-contained. Learn how to be comfortable going solo, and figure out how to show your wife that it can be safe. Many people on this site wouldn't think twice about solo hiking and backpacking in summer, learn from them what works.

Once you are capable and willing to go on your own, friends and hiking partners become added bonuses, not requirements. If your friend (and he is your friend, don't be too hard on him) backs out it won't be a big blow. Your weekend won't be ruined and your friendship won't be strained.

Accept that people won't always want to do what you want. These days I will often decide to change plans or cancel if the weather turns nasty. I just don't enjoy it very much. Have a backup plan if you don't feel comfortable with the original plan now that it's solo. But if you want to avoid being disappointed you need to remove other people from the cirtical path. So you can get out on the non-critical path.

-dave-

KMartman
06-29-2006, 11:45 AM
I think the answer is to be completely self-contained. Learn how to be comfortable going solo, and figure out how to show your wife that it can be safe. Many people on this site wouldn't think twice about solo hiking and backpacking in summer, learn from them what works.

Once you are capable and willing to go on your own, friends and hiking partners become added bonuses, not requirements. If your friend (and he is your friend, don't be too hard on him) backs out it won't be a big blow. Your weekend won't be ruined and your friendship won't be strained.

Accept that people won't always want to do what you want. These days I will often decide to change plans or cancel if the weather turns nasty. I just don't enjoy it very much. Have a backup plan if you don't feel comfortable with the original plan now that it's solo. But if you want to avoid being disappointed you need to remove other people from the cirtical path. So you can get out on the non-critical path.

-dave-

Great suggestions..I HAVE to do my first SOLO VERY soon...I feel the need to hike MUCH more lately..don't know why yet...but it's how I feel..

M

carole
06-29-2006, 11:58 AM
Someone made me angry one day and so I set off on my first solo hike. :D
I'm lovin' it!!

Mike P.
06-29-2006, 05:46 PM
That's how I started solo & has Dave said, people are a bonus when hiking but I don't count on them when making my plans.

I leave the mountains, the trails & approx time at home (with several hours built in as a cushion in summer, a couple extra in winter) where my wife can see it.

Start your solo hiking locally at place you know first. Another suggestion is if you are not familar with traveling by head lamp, do the first couple trips on trails you know well, it's a bit different than daylight travel.

forestgnome
06-30-2006, 07:24 AM
Another thread revealing the joy of hiking alone! I always consider the weather when chosing where to hike, but I NEVER have to worry about someone else's mood.


Hiking alone through the forest on a drizzly day is a beautiful experience. Heavy rain is another matter, but I love drizzly days. The trails are uncrowded and forest is lush and the light is soft. I love the sound of the birds on days like that.

Happy Trails!

Adk_dib
06-30-2006, 12:02 PM
I will check between the adk's and catskill's and choose the best weather. Although you cant believe a single thing the "weatherman" says. in the summer when I am trying to peak for the high peaks I will go rain or shine. I do try to save the better summits for the best weather. I waited weeks to get a clear day for Noonmark. in the spring or fall I will not go in a downpour.

Neil
06-30-2006, 12:47 PM
I usually plan all my trips as if it was a solo trip even if friends are coming. The result would be still going if they couldn't make it. In fact that's exactly what happened last fall on an off-trail hike. My partner had to bail at 10:00 the night before and I went anyway. Another occasion was a pretty heavy duty 3 day bushwhack affair and my partner called me up at 10:30 the night before with a sprained ankle. I got to say, "take 2 aspirines and call me in the morning". It wasn't any better in the morning and I elected not to do the hike alone.

Hiking in the rain is something that I don't mind at all if I have the right company but I don't do slide climbs in the rain. If river crossings are likely to be dangerous I'll change itineraries.