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Thread: Extra Efforts for Hiking with Significant Other

  1. #1
    Junior Member bgatie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    West Orange, NJ

    Extra Efforts for Hiking with Significant Other

    In preparation for another trip into The Presidentials with my fiance this weekend and after reading the thread on "things we do to get our wives, girlfriends, etc... to allow/put up with our hiking," I am curious about another question:

    What sort of extra efforts do yall (please forgive the native Texan speak) put in when bringing your wife/girlfriend/etc along for the hike?

    Are there any extra efforts lady hikers have to take when bringing there husbands/boyfriends/etc along?

    A partial list of mine:

    1. Every trip out is like a training trip for Denali - she carries no pack so I get twice the weight (or maybe three times the weight given her tendancy to over pack )

    2. Must be an expert on any trail - requires extra preparation for every possible question that may be asked along the way.

    3. Early to Rise/Last to Sleep - Don't wake her up until the breakfast is ready and the coffee is prepared. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    All in good fun. I wouldn't have it any other way. Just curious what other people who don't have gung-ho hiking partners have to do.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jim lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Washington in March
    I'm lucky too, she only asks that I drive north in the morning of the hike so she can sleep!

    I agree with Alpine, sometimes my wife is tougher than me. She doesn't let me forget the day that she did both Torreys and Greys peak in Colorado in one day while I only did Greys (darn AMS)
    But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member woodstrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    The significant other in the greater outdoors

    Sounds about right to me- what you guys are doing. Maybe, go thru the pack and leave behind some of the extra stuff. But wake me when the coffee is ready- you bet!

    But, what I always say about taking a newbie out- Woo them! Plan a shorter hike for each day of the hike, take into consideration all the elevation gain for the trip and camp somewhere with a great payoff- like a lake for swimming, etc. And bring one surprise, like their fav snack food. Also, the differences between you at home will still be there in the woods. Who likes to sleep in, and who is the early riser. Who needs to have a mid-afternoon snack, who can hike until dark. You don't become a different person (not really) in the great outdoors. Backpackers are usually born, not made, so let the other person discover if it is for them or not under the best circumstances that you can arrange. Then, maybe, they'll come out again, and maybe carry more, go further, etc. Or, maybe try canoeing. I found backpacking akin to an addiction. One trip and I was hooked.

    By the way- I have the opposite problem- I find that I am tougher then alot of guys I meet. I guess when they see me they have low expectations, until, that is, I leave them way behind. I love to go off trail- and not everyone is comfortable with that, either.

    Good luck-

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Newton, MA
    My bride cannot hike the mountains anymore but she occasionally comes on a trip if it's an overnight and will pick us up at the other side of an end-to-end. The motivator? Dinner and a nice place to stay.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seeker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    I'm often the one who plans the trip and knows the route. So no need to pamper me--at all.

    The one thing that does irk me is if I am with a significantly stronger partner who isn't willing to carry a proportionate amount of weight for his strength. It DOES make a difference. If I am with someone my size (or in some cases, smaller) then I'll expect we carry evenly weighted packs.

    But those dudes with tree trunk legs who aren't willing to take a little more of the burden aren't playing fair!

  6. #6
    Senior Member ecc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ashokan, NY

    Sounds like you're engaged to my husband. Add to your list:
    Can't leave the house before noon.
    Can't hike more than 4 miles.
    There had better not be any deer flies about.
    Must be waited on hand and foot post hike.

    Luckily, he enjoys skiing and mountain biking more than he does hiking. But the first and last stipulations still apply.


  7. #7
    Senior Member peak_bgr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Wilmington Peak
    The only thing my wife asks is that we don't bushwhack. After a long day in the Sentinals with skin shreading spruce, black flies and 105 degree weather, swacking is out.

    Mavs--nice pic on Marshall, hope you enjoyed the trip.
    "Woods are not like other spaces.Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides.Woods choke off views and leave you muddled and without bearings.They make you feel small a confused and vulnerable.Stand in a desert or prairie and you know you are in a big place.Stand in a woods and you only sense it.They are a vast, featureless nowhere.And they are alive."Bill Bryson"


  8. #8
    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Wait till you get married

    It's very nice to do all this for her now and she will definately apreciate it with all her heart... but after you're married it may just come to a full stop. She's doing this with you now just to make you happy.... BUT there is a good side to it all.

    Once upon a time, 28 years ago when I had hair, I tried to get my wife out skiing, camping, tennis, mtn biking...etc, I was an animal in the outdoors. Like you it was a training session on each trip, we did have fun and I have plenty of pix to prove it. She tried it all, even took lessions, as long as I did intense instruction, took care of all the details and carried everything. It lasted for the first year or so till we got married. That's when it all ended! Now I go camping as much as she will let me and as long as it doesn't interfere with family events and functions.

    Well after being married 28 wonderful years, I have 3 great kids to show for it, the last will finish college in 2 years. My wife did a great job raising them and she turned out to be the best choice after all. So you see, I married the perfect mother for my kids, not my best camping buddy. She does let me enjoy my sports but I have to do it with my kids, my crazy friends or just go solo which I enjoy as much.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Periwinkle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Back in the 'burbs

    Re: Extra Efforts for Hiking with Significant Other

    Originally posted by bgatie
    What sort of extra efforts do yall (please forgive the native Texan speak) put in when bringing your wife/girlfriend/etc along for the hike?
    You are forgiven for the y'all. I am the Yankee cousin of a large southern family. From experience & personal opinion, I believe y'all should be incorporated into general usage!

    A little more opinion for the "fairer sex" (and what a tough bunch we are, huh ): I am just recently getting the hubby to push the envelope and join in on longer, tougher hikes. I think Woodstrider called than one -- it's best to woo them out. My DH left half of the hiking of the NH 4's to me after a miserable day on our first 4. I think I just changed his mind with a tremendous trip to Garfield. We going out again for another....

    He does carry his own weight. Seeker called that one right. Even thought I have more peaks bagged, it doesn't mean the DH shirks responsibilty on carrying weight. I carry half the gear by volume, but he gets the more weighty & bulky items.

    Other than that, I think the big thing is to let the least experienced person set the pace. We'll switch off on the lead, but I tend to set my pace to whatever he had been doing.

    Oh, and I cook on the trail. If you can call it that. That makes him happy, since I rarely cook at home.
    Last edited by Periwinkle; 06-15-2004 at 10:56 PM.
    One must take off her fear like clothing; One must travel at night; This is the seeking after God. Maureen Morehead, In a Yellow Room

  10. #10
    Senior Member Warren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    L: Portland, OR A: snowfield below Rainier
    I'll carry some of the more pain in the butt stuff, more than I would with an insignificant other but I generally make sure that with what they're carrying that they are still self sufficient should there be a separation or emergency.

    What I do do is make sure they understand what they're getting into, what to expect and I do a try out hike so we have an idea what we're ready for. Then I (hopefully, we) choose a walk that fits that.

    If there's any dislike to this, we go car camping.

    And yes, universally, my experience has been that they are much tougher than I.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Originally posted by Warren
    And yes, universally, my experience has been that they are much tougher than I.
    The difference between strength and toughness.


  12. #12
    Senior Member Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I don't think this fits under the 'woo' category but make sure she knows how to take care of and express her needs. I hike with lots of women who've never carried 25-30 lb packs before and we check in with each other frequently about eating, drinking, resting. I encourage eating throughout the day, rather than waiting for lunch. I also try to set goals for myself with water (i.e., I will drink this much by the time I get to that peak).

    Talking about how things are going throughout the trip eliminates that awful moment when someone is tired and dehydrated and cranky as hell, but didn't say a word until it's too late.

    On a personal note - I haven't done a ton of backpacking or carried a ton of weight before. Lately I've been zipping up peaks with little weight, so it will be interesting to see how I'm going to drag my butt along part of the LT with a heavy pack!!
    "I once met a man with a sense of adventure,
    He was dressed to thrill wherever he went,
    He said, 'let's make love on a mountain top,
    under the stars on a big hard rock.'
    I said, 'In these shoes? I don't think so.'
    I said, 'Honey, let's do it here.'" -K. Maccoll

  13. #13
    Senior Member shadowcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Guilderland, NY

    hiking partners

    i was glad to see that this was not a one-sided discussion about the guys having to do all the work & carry all the gear, etc. sounds like there's plenty of ladies out there who can more then carry their weight. it's just nice to see that when it comes to "partners" it doesn't matter who does what as much as knowing who can DO what & working with that. the 1st time i backpacked i had a full pack & carried all my own stuff, food, sleeping bag/pad, etc. my partner carried his stuff but he did pick up the weight of the tent & a few other misc things. i had never gone out & built up my strength or endurance to carry 30-35# on my back. it felt ok at home but a few minutes into the hike & i thought holly crap this is heavy how the heck am i ever going to make it to the campsite ? at the time i only weighed about 101# so that seemed pretty heavy to me. well i'm glad to say i made it, but it was hard. i wouldn't feel right backpacking in somewhere tho and not carrying anything! that's just not fair, unless there's a medical reason. everyone can carry some weight. but i will be honest, i do have dreams of a sherpa carrying all our big heavy stuff for us:

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Apple Valley Ohio!
    I am one of the fortunate few whose significant other is also a terrific trail partner. She carries 30-35 lbs with never a word of complaint. She's in charge of logistics(packing-food planning),I'm in charge of navigation(get us there and back). We do primarily winter overnight trips and as long as her fingers are warm-everything is just fine. We both have about the same tolerance for distance and altitude on a trip,so neither one is dragging the other along. Considering that she didn't start backpacking and winter camping-and sea kayaking,until she turned 50-I think the woman is nothing short of amazing.
    I don't step onto the trail unless she is with me.

  15. #15
    Registered User DeadFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Albany. Avatar: Dakota on Allen's summit
    I'm still lookin' for that partner willing to hike, let alone one who is willing to do her part (whatever part that may be) in the outdoors! The last GF swore she would never go hiking, let alone pee in the woods. (No WONDER it didn't work out! )

    My suggestion is get a great traildog to carry all your stuff. Only problem is...this usually results in the HUMAN carrying the stuff for the DOG!

    I love the fact that there is balance in this it should be! Personally, I think women are the tougher sex anyway. I mean, having babies?! Thank goodness I'm a guy!

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