how do you keep yourself focused when hiking alone?

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
User Avatar
KBurnett

 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:45 am
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

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.

The following user would like to thank KBurnett for this post
mattcav

no avatar
mconnell

 
Posts: 7494
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:28 pm
Thanked: 338 times in 201 posts

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.

The following user would like to thank mconnell for this post
T. White

User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4217
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Thanked: 1884 times in 1402 posts

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."

User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4217
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Thanked: 1884 times in 1402 posts

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."

User Avatar
mattcav

 
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:25 am
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

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.

User Avatar
Hamed

 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:53 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

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

by Hamed » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:59 am

When i do solo climbing normally listen to music, have some sunflower seeds, dried plums, chewing gum, walking backwards,....

But the most fun i do is descending the mountain with only stepping on stones and not the soil. Its a challenge and very enjoyable.

User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

 
Posts: 1201
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Thanked: 282 times in 184 posts

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

by Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:42 pm

Mentally pooping out? Are you SURE that you enjoy what you are doing?

I solo a lot, mostly because it's difficult to find partners during the week, or for periods longer than a weekend.

I've spent months backpacking solo. I've done a lot of solo mountaineering. Solo big walls. Free-solo rock climbing. Solo caving. Solo backcountry skiing. Solo scuba diving. Solo ski mountaineering. Solo whitewater kayaking. Solo sailing.

The only time I've ever mentally "pooped out" was after being on the trail for 3 months.

You asked a question, so I am answering your question. You shouldn't have to work to keep yourself interested. You shouldn't have to listen to music, or resort to other diversions. If you need to listen to music in the backcountry, then why are you in the backcountry in the first place?

Sounds to me like you're doing what you're doing for the wrong reasons. Reconsider your interests and goals. Soloing points a giant magnifying glass right at your psyche, and shows you what you really like and don't like, what you really want to do and don't want to do. Sounds to me like you really don't enjoy backpacking.

If you really like what you are doing, then head off trail. Head cross country. Get a map and compass (screw GPS) and navigate through the wilderness. Grab a camera and make each trip a photo excursion. Study the geology. Or go super-light and make it a long trail run instead of a backpacking trip.

The following user would like to thank Sierra Ledge Rat for this post
boyblue

User Avatar
David Senesac

 
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:51 pm
Thanked: 25 times in 12 posts

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

by David Senesac » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:13 pm

Almost all hiking enthusiasts do not get bored on trails. If they do, they would soon take up other leisure activities. However if one hiked the same trail repeatedly, it would likely soon become boring but then hikers have much more reason to visit places they have not yet experienced or at least recently and or at same times of season. They are there to experience the outdoors, nature, fresh air and not to simply pass some time walking. If that was the goal, one could walk around the city block multiple times or if it was a fitness need go down to a gym and walk the rubber of a treadmill while watching the gym's boob tube screens. The above noted, there is a small minority of hikers that are narrowly into distance, fitness, and challenge time pursuits and your statement of 10 to 20 miles fits that mode.

Generally people that enjoy hiking trails are looking at scenery and interesting things they see passing by and are not just looking at the dirt footpath in front of them. They are also not likely moving along like someone in an athletic speed event, breathing hard, sweating, in semi delirium of strenuous effort. Instead are walking more leisurely taking time to take in what their eyes and others senses experience. The more such enthusiast do so, the more they are also likely to learn what they are looking at. Thus plants are no longer just a tree, a flower, grass, or a bush but rather have names, have features, have reasons they are growing where they do. Learning about the geology, knowing the plants, animals, birds, insects, weather makes it all increasingly so much more interesting with every step. And also knowing the topographic landscape and map details, and place names, makes places more than, a lake, a stream, a peak, a meadow etc.

The following user would like to thank David Senesac for this post
Montana Matt, T. White

User Avatar
technicolorNH

 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:19 am
Thanked: 5 times in 4 posts

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

by technicolorNH » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:37 pm

A good bushwhack is a surefire way to dispel boredom in a hurry.

The following user would like to thank technicolorNH for this post
Bob Burd, John Duffield

User Avatar
Bill Reed

 
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:46 pm
Thanked: 71 times in 57 posts

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

by Bill Reed » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:38 pm

I don't think I've ever gotten bored while hiking alone (except in boring terrain-treeless plains and deserts maybe). Perhaps it's the mindset one has going into it. Why do you do it? 10 to 20 mile hikes sound crazy to me. Why would you hike that far as the norm, especially if you get bored? Are you mixing it up, hiking different trails? Do you have any interest in the surroundings where you're hiking?

I guess I'm lucky, I just love being out there and I really enjoy hiking alone because it's special time, everything moves at my speed, which is radically different than moving at someone else's speed. I never listen to music and really don't understand why anyone feels the need to, unless your hiking on a city street. I do a lot of thinking along the trail and have started noting some of those thoughts in my phone as I go - things I need to do/get, whatever seems important or particularly brilliant! :D :D My solo hikes vary from a few miles to 8 or 9 usually. I'm always looking around, checking out tracks, scat, etc.. I love a loop but also enjoy an out and back. Everything looks different from the other direction.

Backpacking solo is different story for me. I still enjoy the hiking alone but the camping part gets a little weird. I guess at that point I'm ready for some social interaction and there ain't none.

I'm also lucky in that I'm retired and I live at the edge of the Rocky Mountains with lots of options within 10 miles and lots more within an hour or twos drive.

The following user would like to thank Bill Reed for this post
Puma concolor, T. White, technicolorNH

User Avatar
T. White
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:19 pm
Thanked: 12 times in 7 posts

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

by T. White » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:40 pm

Bill Reed wrote:I really enjoy hiking alone because it's special time, everything moves at my speed, which is radically different than moving at someone else's speed. I never listen to music and really don't understand why anyone feels the need to, unless your hiking on a city street. I do a lot of thinking along the trail and have started noting some of those thoughts in my phone as I go - things I need to do/get, whatever seems important or particularly brilliant! :D
Backpacking solo is different story for me. I still enjoy the hiking alone but the camping part gets a little weird. I guess at that point I'm ready for some social interaction and there ain't none.


Couldn't have said it better on all counts, and extra kudos for explaining why backpacking also isn't really my bag!

The following user would like to thank T. White for this post
Bill Reed

User Avatar
Grampahawk

 
Posts: 527
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:42 pm
Thanked: 8 times in 5 posts

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

by Grampahawk » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:50 pm

I add 30 lbs of water to my pack so that I get a good workout but it slows me down enough that I can be alert for animlas and other photo opportunities. I also vary the hike to frequently go off route and do some bushwacking to discover new areas. If the extra weight becomes a problem I just dump the water out so I can move faster.

User Avatar
Puma concolor

 
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:49 pm
Thanked: 1000 times in 574 posts

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

by Puma concolor » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:39 pm

I always hike alone. Except when I don’t. LOL.

Last time I had a partner of any variety was about 2.5 years ago on a guided climb far from home. Have met up with a solid handful of SPers over the years, but for all of the reasons mentioned by Bill Reed and others, solo is really the best way to go. Also enjoy multi-day solo backpacking trips.

To each his/her own, of couse. YMMV.

The following user would like to thank Puma concolor for this post
seano

User Avatar
LincolnB

 
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 6:20 pm
Thanked: 14 times in 11 posts

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

by LincolnB » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:20 pm

Bring a dog. Whenever I get bored I just watch mine for inspiration - for her, everything is exciting all the time! If you don't have one, borrow a friend's dog. Or check one out from the local shelter - will make their life a little brighter.

Also makes me feel better to have a dog along when I'm out at night in the middle of nowhere. Feels less creepy.

no avatar
drak00

 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:58 pm
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

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

by drak00 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:00 pm

I locate its more agreeable and I don't get as exhausted as when climbing with (and monitor) of associates that continue jabbering about the issues they have back in the city. When you're climbing alone you turned out to be more mindful of your environment. I'm continually taking a gander at the plants, little creatures (bugs, reptiles, blooms), HostGator DreamHost Bluehost winged animals, and geography on and close to the trail. What's more, since you're not making a great deal of clamor, there's the possibilty of seeing some bigger creatures that would regularly sneak off here in Southern California - catamounts, coyotes, even a ringtail(!). Never observed a cougar or bear, however have seen indications of their quality ordinarily. https://tgw.onl/hostgator/ , https://tgw.onl/dreamhost/ , https://tgw.onl/bluehost/

The following user would like to thank drak00 for this post
Puma concolor

PreviousNext

Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests