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. #31
    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    I used to do it a lot more often than I do now. As my kids got excited about hiking and became as capable as most of the adults I know, it barely ever happens anymore that I'm contemplating a trip neither one of them would want to go on. You name it, they're in.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    I used to do it a lot more often than I do now. As my kids got excited about hiking and became as capable as most of the adults I know, it barely ever happens anymore that I'm contemplating a trip neither one of them would want to go on. You name it, they're in.
    That brings up an interesting question.

    If hiking solo were to be considered negligent, how would the addition of minors/children play into that? As added safety or added liability? As with many questions, the answer will be "it depends." Sounds like your kids would be a help to you if necessary, but again, this would need to be determined case by case.
    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. #33
    Member Tito Alba's Avatar
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    My catagory is missing.
    As a cyclist, I only start hiking in winter. 99.999% solo.
    Suffer in silence. Complain with laughter

  4. #34
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    If hiking solo were to be considered negligent, how would the addition of minors/children play into that? As added safety or added liability? As with many questions, the answer will be "it depends." Sounds like your kids would be a help to you if necessary, but again, this would need to be determined case by case.
    Same question with dogs, an added responsibility but maybe a help. A friend of my mothers collapsed while walking and his dog was barking trying to attract attention. They may also help trail finding.

  5. #35
    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    I don't hesitate to hike solo in the late spring, summer, or early fall, although I do prefer company on any hike. When the conditions start to get icy or snowy, if I hike solo I will usually try to do something more popular, like Mt. Pierce. I seem to be in the minority of people here (not based on this thread, just based on other things I've read) in that I don't mind seeing others on trail or hiking with others. I like the social aspect of hiking as well as just being out in the woods.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    Same question with dogs, an added responsibility but maybe a help. A friend of my mothers collapsed while walking and his dog was barking trying to attract attention. They may also help trail finding.
    It depends on the dog. I've had dogs that didn't seem to have any tracking ability at all, but the trail finding ability of some dogs is nothing short of amazing. The last time I did Owl's head, we took the Black Pond whack. On the way in Lauky went where I went. But hours later on the way back through that whack it was raining fairly hard and Lauky took the lead and laid down a track exactly on top of the GPS track we laid on the way in. He even passed on the same side of the trees, I can remember passing right over a footprint that I had left in a mud patch that in the morning. We made it back through in 20 minutes, it was like walking on an established trail. Also, if someone has gone through the same area ahead of us he will follow that track. Too bad for us though if the person we're following has lost the trail and we do too. I guess we'll be lost together? Just the other day we were following the Benton Mackaye trail along the banks of the Hiwassee river in TN. At a certain point he started charging and I could tell he had picked up a track. We followed it for a long time when the trail cut to the left and switch backed up the side of the mt. Lauky insisted on going straight ahead but I wouldn't let him. My guess was that whoever he was following had gone straight ahead. Some time later 500 ft. or so above the river I heard someone calling from far off and sure enough sunning themselves on some rocks down on the river was a couple with a dog. Dogs indeed can be very useful.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  7. #37
    Senior Member Michelle's Avatar
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    If the weather is nice and I have the day off......partner or no partner, I'm going!! It's nice to have company but if no one is available......I'm not going to miss out on a great day in the Mtns! I have one 4K left on my "solo list" anyone want to join me?! Ha ha, kidding, just kidding!!
    ~Chickety

  8. #38
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    99% solo. I start at weird times and have strange photographic objectives. Hard to find company for that, which is fine by me. Mountains are one of the most magical places to be alone.

    Thanks for posting this - it's a good indicator.
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  9. #39
    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    If hiking solo were to be considered negligent, how would the addition of minors/children play into that? As added safety or added liability? As with many questions, the answer will be "it depends." Sounds like your kids would be a help to you if necessary, but again, this would need to be determined case by case.
    Sure, definitely. There was a while when they were really little (3 to 6-ish) where unless I had another adult along I would stick to more travelled routes, at least in winter. By the time they were 5 I'd taught them both how to insulate, shelter, and batten themselves down for a long wait in the cold should something happen to Dad -- and had them demonstrate doing it themselves, multiple times. These days we range further afield, and in most ways they're probably about as likely to be helpful in an emergency as any non-WFA-trained adult, save that they can't drive, are somewhat inexperienced with talking with authorities on the phone, etc. Having said all that, they've opened me up to a world of social hiking anyway, and it's rarely just my daughter and me anymore -- more often I go out with both kids, their mom, a dear old friend of ours, and his rock-star winter hiker fiancee. Definitely different than stealthing around the hills by myself, but I don't enjoy it any less.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    Sure, definitely. There was a while when they were really little (3 to 6-ish) where unless I had another adult along I would stick to more travelled routes, at least in winter. By the time they were 5 I'd taught them both how to insulate, shelter, and batten themselves down for a long wait in the cold should something happen to Dad -- and had them demonstrate doing it themselves, multiple times. These days we range further afield, and in most ways they're probably about as likely to be helpful in an emergency as any non-WFA-trained adult, save that they can't drive, are somewhat inexperienced with talking with authorities on the phone, etc. Having said all that, they've opened me up to a world of social hiking anyway, and it's rarely just my daughter and me anymore -- more often I go out with both kids, their mom, a dear old friend of ours, and his rock-star winter hiker fiancee. Definitely different than stealthing around the hills by myself, but I don't enjoy it any less.
    Nice. Good job Dad. My little one is bonding with nature and learning the ropes nicely as well.

    After predominantly hiking solo for a number of years, for the last few I've been closer to a 50/50 split between solo and company, I would guess. As someone mentioned earlier, I also prefer a group size of four or less, but to be fair, I laughed most of the day the last time I went with 10.

    @Tim - I couldn't agree more. Very spiritual places. Easier to be part of that as a solo hiker sometimes. And no one I knew wanted to join me on this "craziness" either. That lends itself to solo hiking.

    @Michelle - that's how I feel about it - I'm going hiking regardless of whether I have company and don't think much about it either way. I usually enjoy either situation.

    @Tito - I thought of that when I wrote the poll and figured there would be people who only hike solo in winter. I should have clarified this in the first post, but if you picked solo in all 4 seasons, that's great. Winter is meant to be the differentiating factor
    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. #41
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed'n Lauky View Post
    It depends on the dog. I've had dogs that didn't seem to have any tracking ability at all, but the trail finding ability of some dogs is nothing short of amazing. The last time I did Owl's head, we took the Black Pond whack. On the way in Lauky went where I went. But hours later on the way back through that whack it was raining fairly hard and Lauky took the lead and laid down a track exactly on top of the GPS track we laid on the way in. He even passed on the same side of the trees, I can remember passing right over a footprint that I had left in a mud patch that in the morning. We made it back through in 20 minutes, it was like walking on an established trail. Also, if someone has gone through the same area ahead of us he will follow that track. Too bad for us though if the person we're following has lost the trail and we do too. I guess we'll be lost together? Just the other day we were following the Benton Mackaye trail along the banks of the Hiwassee river in TN. At a certain point he started charging and I could tell he had picked up a track. We followed it for a long time when the trail cut to the left and switch backed up the side of the mt. Lauky insisted on going straight ahead but I wouldn't let him. My guess was that whoever he was following had gone straight ahead. Some time later 500 ft. or so above the river I heard someone calling from far off and sure enough sunning themselves on some rocks down on the river was a couple with a dog. Dogs indeed can be very useful.
    MY Aussie also has an uncanny ability to follow a trail, winter or summer. Just recently, he went off trail at a turn following someone who did the same thing. After 40 ft he stopped looked at me and turned around returning to the correct trail, I was very pleased.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Raymond's Avatar
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    I haven’t hiked with anyone else (started out hiking with anyone else, that is; I’ve fallen into step with someone else occasionally) since November 2011, when I convinced my son to join me for one last hike (my 12th in 12 different months) of Mount Watatic.

    My ladyfriend, Susan, retired from hiking after 2007. (Retired from climbing mountains, that is; we still walk around the neighborhood or local conservation areas, but her knees click on the steeps, so she won’t climb mountains anymore.) She did join me for a climb of Mount Kearsarge (the one in central New Hampshire) in October 2008, but I’ve been nothing but solo for more than two years.

    ‘‘With some frequency,’’ to my mind, implies more than just two or three times a year, so it may be overstating it to say that I hike with some frequency in four seasons, but I have done some solo hikes in winter in my life (Monadnock thrice, Watatic twice, Pierce), and to select the three-season option might imply that I do hike frequently with others during the winter — I’ve climbed mountains in winter, but the few winter hikes I’ve done with someone else are outnumbered by the few solo winter hikes.

    The gist of my vote for the first option is that any more hikes I do this or any subsequent winter will certainly be by myself.

    By the way, I took ‘‘hiking’’ to mean ‘‘hiking in the mountains,’’ rather than just walking around in the woods near my home or work here in Eastern Massachusetts. If, by ‘‘climbing,’’ you mean rock climbing, rather than merely climbing a mountain by hiking up it, then I’ve never done that under any circumstances aside from twice up the REI climbing wall.

  13. #43
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    MY Aussie also has an uncanny ability to follow a trail, winter or summer. Just recently, he went off trail at a turn following someone who did the same thing. After 40 ft he stopped looked at me and turned around returning to the correct trail, I was very pleased.
    A few years ago did what was supposed to be a moonlight walk up Glen Boulder, but our human leaders ended up bringing us down the Avalanche Brook trail. After a while we figured it out, but we were tired so we just kept going down to Rocky Branch. I ended up in the lead with my Demi, my 8lb Rat Terrier. She did a a phenomenal job following the overgrown ski trail in the dark considering she was walking under most of the vegetation.
    | 63.8% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail

  14. #44
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tito Alba View Post
    My catagory is missing.
    As a cyclist, I only start hiking in winter.
    As is my category. I'm a skier, I only hike in the summer and fall. If I'm backcountry skiing, I tend to go with at least one other person, but I'm not averse to soloing. This includes backcountry skiing by headlamp. I've a particularly fond memory of skiing the Camel's Hump backcountry in a snowstorm, solo, starting the tour well after dark, and getting what some might refer to as lost. In reality I just wasn't where I wanted to be, but I had no trouble getting back to my car. Though not physically very distant, seldom have I felt so far removed from civilization.

    As for hiking, it fluctuates. Many years, especially those when I'm focused on a particular list, it may push 90% solo. Other years, it may be 50/50.

  15. #45
    Senior Member Stash's Avatar
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    Mostly winter. Mostly solo. My last one really didn't count as I didn't catch a picture of that little piece of snow I saw...
    Stash

    What matters is what I do. Not what they do.

    Hiking Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35709829@N08/

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