Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 53

Thread: Hiking is less fun in the internet age

  1. #16
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Somewhere in NH
    Posts
    728
    Great subject, hikerbrian.

    I am still enthused about hiking in the Whites, but it's not a long drive for me. I think I have a different hiking style than most and this is what allows me to ignore the overcrowding. I hike because I love to be alone in nature. It makes me feel human. I rarely hike with another person, and I never see other people where I hike. I never research much of anything about where I'm going. I usually hit an empty parking lot in the Whites at about 2:00 PM. I carry gear sufficient for an overnight. No cellphone. I hiked all the 4000' peaks in summer and winter before the Internet existed and I haven't been on a peak in a while. I think that's where the crowds are. I am pleased to have embraced redlining, 40 years after I started hiking, since it takes me into the kind of quiet woods I like. When I set foot on a trail, I hike as slowly as I can for the first half hour or so. Then, during the next half hour, I try to slow down and hike at half the speed of the first half hour. If someone hikes with me, they only do it once.
    AMC Adopt-A-Trail Program Region Leader Emeritus: Pemigewasset 1993-2005 Southern Presidentials 2005-2017
    Trail Adopter: Webster Cliff Trail

  2. #17
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    2,858
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    No summit needed, the ravines are spectacular and often not very crowded (got this idea from Daytrip a few years back).
    Definitely no summit needed. I've done countless trips into the Presidentials without hitting a single summit. I've been doing a lot of "virtual hiking" lately through old photos of my hikes and that "ravine kick" I got on after the 48 was awesome and rarely involved summits. Just long, tough loops through wilderness and some of my most fun and memorable hikes. I also like doing wacky loops of unusual trail combinations to avoid the "typical routes" most people take. As an example, yesterday I came across a hike I did in 2017. It was a 22.8 mile loop of Pierce with 5,294 ft of vertical. Or a 22.7 mile out and back of Garfield. Sometimes total nonsense can be fun too. The vast network of trails in the Northern Presis has tons of awesome options for doing this.

    Last year I really got into over night trips and wilderness areas and that has been really fun and where my enthusiasm has been of late, although even some of these are starting to see people and the related issues (trash, trail erosion, etc). Had a lot of trips planned for this year before the whole world imploded. Hopefully we get back to normal pretty soon. Not sure how much more of this I can take.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 04-09-2020 at 09:20 PM. Reason: grammar
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  3. #18
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    457
    That in itself looks a list to me!

  4. #19
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    457
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    I'm bored.
    Have you ever tried birding? It goes well with hiking and can be practiced in your backyard too. Perhaps all birds appear alike at first but they are really different. The best way to get started? Watch a comedy The Big Year - I found it really enjoyable, although I have already started birding by the time I watched this movie. A camera and binoculars are a plus. Most info can be found on the Internet. The app to get? Merlin - id birds from pictures & more.

  5. #20
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    457
    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    If you like birding you might like this: https://stonemaiergames.com/games/wingspan/ It's quite enjoyable and competitive, and really hammers home how impressive birds are.
    Thanks for the link - maybe I will ask my wife to get it for me next time she is out of gift ideas!

    And yes, I really enjoy birding & bird photography. Every once in a while I get a nice picture like this Carolina wren I spotted last weekend:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC00258-2.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	120.9 KB 
ID:	6360

    Perhaps birding is not for everyone as it often requires a lot of patience and a slower pace to observe what's around you but the fun part is that "you never know what you're gonna get."

  6. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ipswich, MA
    Posts
    558
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MacGray View Post
    Or hike to someplace that isn't a summit like like a lake or pond.
    I've been slowly working my way through Steve Smith's Lakes and Ponds book and have found this to be much more rewarding than the traditional lists. I'm pretty unmotivated to get to the Whites lately, as well, and picking a random pond I haven't been to yet when I get stuck usually fixes that. Views of the mountains are just as nice as the views from them.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT
    Posts
    3,001
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    I've been slowly working my way through Steve Smith's Lakes and Ponds book and have found this to be much more rewarding than the traditional lists. I'm pretty unmotivated to get to the Whites lately, as well, and picking a random pond I haven't been to yet when I get stuck usually fixes that. Views of the mountains are just as nice as the views from them.
    That's true, the views from Lonesome Lake, 13th Lake (ADK), Unknown Pond up at the Horn, Chimney Pond, Elk Lake, Round Pond & Lake Tear of the Clouds are great. I miss Marcy Pond although I still take the picture when I'm on what's left of the dam. Even the popular ones are not too crowded provide they are not right on the road like Chapel Pond or the Cascade Lakes.Then there are the lakes and ponds on the Allagash, including another Round Pond.

    The one thing I have found with ponds is that the taller grass around ponds tends to hold more ticks as you can't avoid the vegetation while being in the center of established trails may keep you from touching any plant life.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bloomville, New York Avatar: Dress for success!
    Posts
    6,643
    Wow, thanks!
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO

  9. #24
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT
    Posts
    3,001
    Wouldn't a state's top ten list be counted as a list? Certainly Everett, the 8th highest peak in MA is not a place to go on a weekend for peace and quiet. Apparently, you can hike any where in CT also as CT and RI didn't even make the New England section of the list. BTW, Bear Mt is not a place to go for solitude either. I have the list of top ten CT and MA peaks, I believe it's in the AT Guide for CT & MA.

    I don't hike in VT much but as Ethan Allen is over 3600 Ft and near Camel's Hump, I've been as well as Hunger which if VT had a 52 WAV, it certainly would be on the list, it's in the VT's Day Hike book.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  10. #25
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    658
    Lots to think about here, especially:
    Bushwhacking. While I'm not overly fond of crashing through the really thick stuff, I do REALLY enjoy navigating by map and compass. Combined with the process of pouring over maps in advance, this could be quite fun and interesting. One question - any tips for avoiding spruce-thicket-hell? Can you predict nasty areas by looking at a map?
    A new hobby. A very good friend of mine has been pushing me to join her on a MITA tour. Checks a lot of boxes. It's very strange to think about focusing on anything other than hiking-related activities. But maybe it's time to broaden the horizons.
    Birding. My wife and I lived in this fantastic loft apartment in the sticks of eastern CT for several years, and we had the MOST amazing birds you can imagine. We bought a book and some really nice binoculars, and we systematically checked off the visitors. Over time, we both became quite adept at knowing, just by the shape and mannerisms of the birds either in flight or at rest, whether it was a new bird or one we already knew. It was surprisingly exciting! And learning the songs and calls - towhees, cardinals, wrens (in the early morning, ugh), robins (in the evening), purple finches, gold finches, Baltimore orioles, catbirds, and the countless others that have distinctive calls - these still provide tremendous comfort and joy, and you don't even need to see them! But the variety at that loft was unreal: waxwings, crossbills, redpolls, kinglets, a gazillion different warblers, literally every New England woodpecker, tanagers, grosbeaks...the list goes on. So, yes on birding.
    Ponds and lakes. I just ordered the Steve Smith book, thanks so much JoshandBaron for the recommendation! Water features are right up there with good views for me in terms of places I like to end up.
    Redlining. I've always had a soft spot for doing things in a way that most people don't. How do you check off Monroe? Via the Dry River Wilderness, obviously. :-)

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. In addition to the above, I'm really happy to read all the different ways people spend their time in the woods. Wardsgirl, I love your style. And I'm never joining you! :-) I believe there is fun yet to be had in the Whites, even if that looks a little bit different for me than it has for the past 35 years.
    Last edited by hikerbrian; 04-10-2020 at 12:41 PM. Reason: spelling
    Sure. Why not.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    western 'daks
    Posts
    869
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Lots to think about here, especially:
    Bushwhacking. While I'm not overly fond of crashing through the really thick stuff, I do REALLY enjoy navigating by map and compass. Combined with the process of pouring over maps in advance, this could be quite fun and interesting. One question - any tips for avoiding spruce-thicket-hell? Can you predict nasty areas by looking at a map?
    Of course you can. Not always, but this is part of map study and experience, fun to learn. Look for lowlands where water may accumulate, especially in areas known to be inhabited by beavers. Avoid intermittent streams with little slope or gradient in the area where they begin or terminate in low or flat beaver prone areas. Stick to the almost always nearby sloped topography.

    In my area (western Adirondacks) there are many ancient and ghost skidder logging roads (mapped or not) that may look tempting for travel routes. More often than not, the previously open roadways are great places for overgrown thickly spaced saplings and thorny briars to grow in the open direct sunlight. If I choose to follow these, it is usually easier to walk several yards parallel off to one side, rather than "in the road".
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  12. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,387
    There was a VFTT hiker, Onehappyhiker? that used to post his off trail excursions, I never asked but suspect he just looked for open ledges and talus fields on aerial photos or google earth and then found a way to get there. There was also the couple who went to all the existing and former NH fire tower sites including many obscure ones. I knew one person who searched for elusive USGS benchmarks down in the valleys away from the summits.

    My observation is many folks complain about the loss of adventure and then proceed to download a GPS track to follow on their next hike. I realize the temptation goes back to human nature tested in the Stanford marshmallow experiment over immediate versus delayed gratification but IMO my level of gratification increases on how the journey was conducted versus reaching the destination. I got some crap several years ago stating that folks doing bushwhacks to untrailed summits following someone else's GPS tracks should have an asterisk on their certificate and have not changed my opinion. If someone wants or needs a "crutch" as a backup plan that is their prerogative and I respect that but once its switches to "follow the beep" I lose respect on their ability. I and another VFTT member one time joined a group for a winter conditions bushwhack and we both were embarrassed to find that the group we joined were pretty clueless on off trail travel and rather depended on "following the beep" right to the edge of cliffband which would have been obvious if they looked at the topo. The group was stalled clueless until us outsiders came up with a solution. The leader is a well respected AMC member and one time VFTT member but even 10 to 15 years later when I see the name I wonder how many shortcuts were taken on the latest adventure. I do use GPS for chasing boundary disks on the Maine AT as I am there to monitor the boundary not go out for a recreational hike and I am expected to carry one to report my coordinates so I do.

    Might be time for folks to find a copy of the Waterman's Wilderness Ethics: Preserving the Spirit of the Wilderness book 1st published in 1992 as there is discussion about how carrying and using technology can degrade other peoples experience and this predates GPS and cell phone technology.

    In the meantime there are still many rarely visited places in the whites, you just may not see trip reports. A general speculation is the farther north and east you get away from the areas that can be easily dayhiked from Mass or southern NH the more chances of finding rarely visited places. Heck, I run into many folks over the years that have not even been to the Pond of Safety and it can be driven to (worth throwing a canoe on the car) although the loop from Randolph Hill road is a fine way to see RMC's trail building skills.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-10-2020 at 03:00 PM.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT
    Posts
    3,001
    Guilty, although I do know which AMC Guide Map Pond of Safety is on. OTOH, if just going in the woods, we have those here too.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  14. #29
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    658
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    My observation is many folks complain about the loss of adventure and then proceed to download a GPS track to follow on their next hike.
    Truth! I now carry a GPS on hikes where navigation could be a challenge, or where there are considerable consequences of losing the trail (when I'm hiking in the winter with my boys, for example). But I find 'following the beep' to generally suck. The exception to that rule is above treeline in the Presi's in winter in low visibility. I spent a fair amount of time up there pre-GPS, but I will say pulling out a map and taking a bearing in heavy wind with no landmarks at all in fading light and dropping temps - well, I don't need to do that too many more times in this lifetime. Interestingly, a good friend of mine just finished a masters in Outdoor Leadership or some such thing, and part of the graduation requirements were to do an extended group backpack in some faraway location. They went to the Balkans. Very undeveloped. Not many real trails. But my friend's description of the days was, "Wake up, have breakfast, turn on the phone, load Gaia, follow the track, eat dinner, go to bed." He was not a fan, and I don't think I would have been either. Still, having the GPS along in the top of the pack - I like that reassurance. Looking for open ledges and such via Google Earth is also a very good idea.

    Re: stuff north and east of the Whites: a friend and I stayed at Mollidgewock a couple of years ago and did some kayaking and hiking in the area. It was fabulous. But it's a long drive for me, and I have a harder time just driving up without having some confidence I'll end up someplace I like. I guess that's why the Presi ravines are still working for me - I know they're great spots. Still, the Cohos trail (someone mentioned below) has a lot of appeal. That one seems to still be fairly off the radar.
    Sure. Why not.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    western 'daks
    Posts
    869
    I have never put as much stock in actually reaching a remote bushwhack location as I have in the process of actually using my own brain and developing the skill of getting there using traditional methods. I do have a GPS, several of them as a matter of fact, necessary tools for SAR, and as a land nav training instructor for NYS homeland security classes and as a NYS SAR crew boss. I use GPS as the necessary tool that it is extensively for those purposes. To become a DEC certified SAR crew boss you must confidently demonstrate how to use M&C and GPS (separately and together) proficiently without question.

    But kids these days and their reliance on devices... I also am part of an 8-day certification program for BSA wilderness trek guides in the Adirondacks. They (typically of college age) desire to be hired for the summer and learn to be outdoor guides working out of BSA resident camps, taking troops and adult leaders on 5 day treks in the Adirondacks and elsewhere. During their field training, after a detailed training session using map and compass, I take my small trek group on an off-trail bushwhack excursion where I explicitly forbid use of GPS. I one time caught a student who was the designated leader at the time cheating by sneaking a look at a forbidden GPS. Failed him on the spot, no certification, no summer job. I don't care if the group "gets lost" trying to reach a given destination. There is no better way to learn than to make a few mistakes and then to figure out what happened in a post exercise discussion. Chances are those mistakes will not be made again.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

Similar Threads

  1. Internet sites to sell used gear?
    By Peakbagr in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-23-2013, 07:18 AM
  2. Everest wired up with Internet
    By MichaelJ in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-30-2010, 06:19 AM
  3. New Hot Spot - Internet Access at EMS
    By bobandgeri in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-21-2005, 02:42 AM
  4. Trolling on the Internet
    By Mr. X in forum Site Help
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 03:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •