how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

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JHH60

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by JHH60 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:57 pm

I look at the scenery. Sometimes I try to spot small stuff (flowers, birds, other critters) I haven't seen before. I also use long hikes to think about possible solutions to problems - sometimes in work, sometimes in my personal life. I almost never get bored hiking alone, even if I've done the route before, unless I'm exhausted. If you're getting bored because you are physically tired, maybe you need to mix up your fitness regimen. E.g. do long runs instead of some hikes, which are probably comparable to long hikes in terms of fitness, but take less time so that (in my experience at least) are less likely to cause boredom.

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MoapaPk

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by MoapaPk » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:30 pm

It's rare that I hike on trails all day, unless I'm with friends, and then conversation eliminates the boredom. Even on trail hikes, I often find a way to go off-trail the last couple miles. I've been up Charleston Peak 27 times, but by 13 routes (only 2 use trails the entire way). That solution (off-trail) may not be practical where you are, because of brush.

There are some trail sections where I've been 100 times, and I try to run down those stretches. Watching where you place your feet focuses your mind something wonderful.

I've never used an MP3 player; somehow I don't need to replace the natural wanderings of my mind with external noise. Maybe I just have ADD. A lot of the places that I go require attention to sounds like people yelling "ROCK!" or the sounds of a rattlesnake.

I spend a lot of trail time trying to spot chupacabras and mind-control aliens-- you know, the ones with green skin, big heads, and those slanted cat eyes. I haven't seen one yet in full view, but I'm convinced that other hikers are really aliens in disguise. Sometimes I turn around quickly when I sense the disguised aliens sneaking up-- I whirl around and growl loudly at them. Who do they think they are fooling?

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KBurnett

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by KBurnett » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:09 pm

Lots of good suggestions above. One thing to consider is that maybe you don't have the personality for long solo hikes.

I started running back in high school and immediately loved being out on the roads and trails alone for hours at a time. This was long before portable music players, fancy watches, HR monitors, or GPS units.

Later I got into cycling and found the same thing - I loved being out there for hours and never got bored. People would ask if I got bored and the question did not compute.

However, I've got a lot of friends who would find these activities boring as hell. They love to exercise, but it has to be a game - Ultimate, volleyball, soccer - anything with a score and other people to keep them interested. I notice that these friends would rather watch a movie than read as well. Nothing wrong with it, it's just their personality.

Long way of saying, maybe you'd be better served sticking with activities that suit you.

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mconnell

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by mconnell » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:57 am

I usually hike alone. I find that I am less bored hiking alone. I usually cover a LOT more ground when hiking alone than hiking with others because I push myself a lot harder. I don't have an answer to your question, since I don't ever get bored hiking alone.

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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by lcarreau » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:23 am

Alpinist wrote:Try hiking with your eyes closed for as long as possible.


Right on, George! You could also bring a stainless steel thermos of scalding hot coffee to help wake you up .... :wink:
"Turkey Vultures always vomit when they get nervous."

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lcarreau

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by lcarreau » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:32 am

Andrew Rankine wrote:To mix the two a little bit, but maybe more hard rock than metal, my favorite band is Rush. I'm partial to ..."


DUDE ... I was always "partial" to THIS ONE ..



Also dig THIS ONE while rock hopping ..... :D

"Turkey Vultures always vomit when they get nervous."

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mattcav

 
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Re: how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

by mattcav » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:17 am

thanks guys. thats all good advice and i'll bear it in mind for my next 15-25 miler.

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