View Poll Results: Do you hike or climb solo? How often? What seasons?

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  • I hike or climb solo all 4 seasons with some frequency.

    110 69.62%
  • I hike or climb solo all 4 seasons occasionally or rarely.

    22 13.92%
  • I hike or climb solo in warmer seasons with some frequency.

    12 7.59%
  • I hike solo or climb solo in warmer seasons occasionally or rarely.

    12 7.59%
  • I do not hike or climb solo.

    2 1.27%
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Thread: Poll: Hiking or Climbing Solo - Do you do it? Ever?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Poll: Hiking or Climbing Solo - Do you do it? Ever?

    Since it has come up in many threads recently, I thought it would be interesting to get a sense of how many of us hike solo and in what frequency and time of year.

    Edit: For the purpose of the poll, you can be hiking solo with a dog.
    Last edited by Raven; 01-30-2014 at 07:03 PM.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    OK, I'll start.

    I hike solo as much of the time as I do with a group/partner in all seasons, so I picked option 1. Incidentally, I don't really change what I carry when with a group unless it's extra for someone else. I carry enough for "comfortable" overnight in winter and enough to survive the night in warmer months. I like the benefits of both solo and hikes with companions.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  3. #3
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    I mostly hike solo, once or twice a month, three seasons.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    I'm about 50/50 solo, higher percentage in the Fall and Spring, lower in winter. That said, some of the winter solo's included Washington, Isolation, Eisenhower,Pierce, Flume and multiple solo trips on Pierce and Liberty. Did Moosilauke & Field solo within the first three days of Spring and April trips up the higher Franconia peaks and winter solos of the highest four peaks in the Catskills and multiple winter solos or Greylock and Monadnock. (some of the Monandnock ones mid-week so they actually had a solo feel)

    Recently more trips with my son, currently ten. Can't afford to get very risky since my dilemma could mean his life also, especially in winter. We did Pierce last winter, may try and get up for Tecumseh in March.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
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    I hike and backpack solo more often then not- probably at least 75% of the time, year round.

  6. #6
    Member thegibba's Avatar
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    I'm about 90% solo. Aside from the odd time a family member wants to come along. Which I'm glad to oblige. Really there is something special being in the woods or wherever. Taking in whatever you sense. Moving along at my pace. Its certainly nice to meet and chat with someone on the trail for certain. But weather its 90 degrees or preffereably 20. Something is sparked. If a younger family member sees comes across something remarkable though. It does feel great to help them experience that. You still have to encourage the next of us. So even that 10% left is just as rewarding as the 90%.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KV's Avatar
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    I hike solo probably as much these days as I hike with my usual partner. I stay on trailed hikes, both solo and tandem. I have become disoriented, lost the trail and had to backtrack, been injured, turned back for various reasons (but usually not the weather - we tend to be conservative).I have been fortunate to not have been disabled while hiking and I like to think I can get myself safely out of anything I get into. I agree with the previous poster that there is something special about being alone in the woods. I will continue to do hike solo when the spirit strikes. I am very familiar with the White Mountain trails. My methods and comfort level would be different if we were talking about hiking in un-familiar territory or more extreme weather conditions such as the desert or Mt. Rainier for example.
    Life is a trip. Pack Accordingly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I'm a 100% solo hiker in all seasons (although I have only officially started hiking in "winter conditions" two seasons ago - i.e. hikes with ice, snow, etc, say Nov-Mar for time purposes). All of my hikes are in the Whites on posted trails and I am generally well prepared (more than most as far as I can tell). I officially started logging my hikes two years ago:

    2012 16 hikes, 166 miles, 40 summits (3 "winter" hikes)
    2013 29 hikes, 283 miles, 35 summits (7 "winter" hikes)

    I have had two significant injuries hiking (badly sprained ankle and dislocated shoulder) and was able to get out of the woods unassisted both times. I am willing to complete trails of any degree of difficulty but I am fairly conservative when weather is a factor. I bought my first GPS last summer in anticipation of winter hiking/more remote hiking and also bought a personal locator beacon this past November for the same reason/because of the prior injuries I had.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 01-31-2014 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Forgot a sentence

  9. #9
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Not sure it's useful to conflate hiking and climbing here.

    Hiking solo, you have to suffer a major accident to need rescue. (Or you could get lost in a winter storm - that happens to groups all the time.) Climbing solo means one slip and you're dead. Some climbers are so good that climbing a cliff is like crossing the street to them, but those folks are rare.

    I hike solo most of the time, but it's been years since I solo climbed anything over ten feet tall.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
    Not sure it's useful to conflate hiking and climbing here.

    Hiking solo, you have to suffer a major accident to need rescue. (Or you could get lost in a winter storm - that happens to groups all the time.) Climbing solo means one slip and you're dead. Some climbers are so good that climbing a cliff is like crossing the street to them, but those folks are rare.

    I hike solo most of the time, but it's been years since I solo climbed anything over ten feet tall.
    Agreed about the added dangers of climbing however hiking a steep snowfield above Jefferson Ravine solo is also very different than snowshoeing the Boulder Loop Trail and both of those fall under hiking.

    I asked about both hiking and climbing, not to compare the dangers, but to get a sense for the number of us out there solo under any circumstance who may at some point need a rescue and may have this fact held against them.

    Edit: after 40 responses, no one has yet said they do not hike or climb solo at some point, more than 70% of those do so frequently in all seasons....keeping in mind this is not a scientific poll.
    Last edited by Raven; 01-31-2014 at 11:38 AM.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  11. #11
    Member Dehydrator's Avatar
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    Hiking solo is a matter of convenience to me. It's so
    much easier to pick your own route, your own
    pace, your own start time, etc... Also, as noted above there is something meditative about being alone in the woods.
    That said, there are some trails I am less familiar with or that have tricky water crossings, steep scrambles, or that require a car spot for which company is welcome.
    "It's about the smiles, not about the miles."

  12. #12
    Senior Member summitseeker's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Yes, I absolutely solo hike (all 4 seasons) when conditions are favorable. There are some hikes which I prefer to have someone with me (Owl's Head, Isolation, A Zealand-Bonds Traverse). I enjoy hiking with others but sometimes there is nothing better for the mind and soul than a solo hike.

    Be well,

    Papa Z
    "Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road.
    Healthy, free, the world before me.
    The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose."
    - Walt Whitman

  13. #13
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    I'd hike solo more often if I didn't have so many great friends whose company I enjoy.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  14. #14
    Member CrazySage's Avatar
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    I really enjoy hiking solo, and one of the biggest reasons is that I can be purely selfish in decision making. I am a fairly conservative hiker (despite hiking 4-season solo) and will turn back if the conditions warrant. When I'm with others I concern myself with my companion's feelings, and I know I've made some sketchy decisions based on not wanting to disappoint my companions (I'm a people-pleaser, for better or worse).

  15. #15
    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    I was getting into hiking solo several years ago, doing a fair amount of trips in warmer weather. I have a group of really good friends that have got into hiking in the last 5 years so I haven't done a solo trip in a while. I'm thinking about doing a few this year though.

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