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Old 04-06-2016, 10:35 AM
ppine ppine is offline
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Originally Posted by Ozarkshiker View Post
I forgot to add...if you're using a tent, or anything else that zips up, one of those little luggage locks is nice to have. I don't use them anymore unless I'm in a well traveled area, but they gave me some (probably false) peace of mind.
Everyone in the bush carries a knife, which is the antedote for a luggage lock.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:52 AM
uphillbothways uphillbothways is offline
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Originally Posted by Ozarkshiker View Post
I forgot to add...if you're using a tent, or anything else that zips up, one of those little luggage locks is nice to have. I don't use them anymore unless I'm in a well traveled area, but they gave me some (probably false) peace of mind.
Did you use them to secure the tent while you were inside? I would hate to have to get out in a hurry if that was the case , if I heard something outside I would not want to be fumbling for a key in the dark.
Lock a tent? I think almost everyone has a master key that will open your tent= a knife.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:03 PM
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I haven't read all the posts. Yet. But I have camped in PA and NJ over the year. But solo I would hammock camp with a tarp. Easier to get an unobstructed view of your area. A book to read helps pass time if you can't sleep. A dog makes a great hiking buddy and early warning system. And from the dollar store I got a 2 pack of mini playing cards, play solitaire. Card deck is about as big as a Zippo. Another early warning system you can make from dollar store window alarms is basically a window alarm or pull chain alarm for runners made into trip wire and attach on trees with zip ties. Fire is always boosts morale. And just try to enjoy the time to be outside. As many have said good knife and firearm. I hope that helps. Might not work for everyone but this works for me
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:44 PM
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I must thank everyone here for their comments made to this thread. It has helped me gameplan for my first outing. It looks like i will be solo camping on 04/16, which is a week from this coming Saturday. It will only be a 1 nighter, but i feel that is good and will not overwelm me at the start. I am now less nervous and more excited to get out there. I will try to keep detailed thoughts of how it goes and come back to this thread and reveal them a bit. I look forward to breaking into the solo camping club!
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
Through hiking has turned into a fad. No offense to anyone that likes it. This year I am avoiding the PCT.
Ppine, Im northern Nevada too, where you backpacking? im looking for somewhere new to go.

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Sorry bro, but you're making -15 out to be a legendary polar expedition. I was doing that regularly with the boy scouts as a teenager. The toughest part was trying to sleep through the scout master snoring from the hq tent. Dug out snow shelters muffle it, but expedient lean-to shelters don't.
Lol, i grew up getting my Eagle scout in the sierra nevadas, not quite as cold as your spot but pretty cold. -15 is more advanced and requires the right gear but i agree not a huge deal.

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I look forward to breaking into the solo camping club!
Also OP, i think you got it. You will get uncomfortable once it gets dark no matter how well you prepare, experience is trumped by nothing. In fact when you're sitting by that fire and the creepiness hits you remember that its normal and everyone here has had that moment. expect to hear some snaps and breaks, it would be weird if you didnt. Post some pics for us!
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:00 PM
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Swimm4r,
Death Valley, Sheldon NWR, Table Mtn in the Monitors, Ruby Crest, and anywhere in the Sierras not on the PCT.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:46 PM
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Why I said a false peace of mind. My dog would wake me up to anyone approaching and anyone that stuck a knife into my tent would get a couple new breathing holes in their chest!
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:50 PM
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Did you use them to secure the tent while you were inside? I would hate to have to get out in a hurry if that was the case , if I heard something outside I would not want to be fumbling for a key in the dark.
Lock a tent? I think almost everyone has a master key that will open your tent= a knife.
I did when I was first started backpacking/camping solo. I only do when I car camp now.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CGC2020 View Post
I must thank everyone here for their comments made to this thread. It has helped me gameplan for my first outing. It looks like i will be solo camping on 04/16, which is a week from this coming Saturday. It will only be a 1 nighter, but i feel that is good and will not overwelm me at the start. I am now less nervous and more excited to get out there. I will try to keep detailed thoughts of how it goes and come back to this thread and reveal them a bit. I look forward to breaking into the solo camping club!
Enjoy the trip. One day is a good way to help figuring out what helps. And dark makes you over think things the first few times solo. Just relax and enjoy it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:08 PM
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If you are afraid of people at night, camp somewhere else.

Using a lock to close yourself in at night is for fools. If there is a fire or the teeth and claws come knocking you want to be able to make a quick exit.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:51 AM
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I just wanted to give all an update who gave me advice: I took my first solo trip on saturday. It was just a 1 night trip into a local area that i am pretty familiar with. I got started hiking around noon after a big lunch to fuel me. I hiked around 3 miles and was approx 2 miles from the nearest "civilization." Once i identified my area as being off the path and shouldnt easily be stumbled upon, i stopped and set up camp.

I first just relaxed and made a mental checklist of what needed to be done before nightfall and then the order of importance. I started by building a lean-to shelter. This game me a nice cover but still let me view my surroundings. I then gathered firewood for awhile, getting small pieces to start out and then varying sizes up to logs that i chopped with the small ax that i brought. I got my fire going with a ferro rod and some shaved wood. It was pretty dry so it wasnt too difficult. Then I padded my shelter floor and laid out my sleep pad. I ensured that the fire was secure and safe before i explored a bit my resources. I filled up my water bottle from a nearby spring and came back and settled in as the sun was beginning to set.

As for the psychological aspect. As the sun was setting i gave myself something to do. I found a nicely sized stick and began to widdle it into a spear. i knew that was something to keep my mind busy and a small defense mechanism if needed. This coasted me into nightfall and i relaxed by the fire for a few hours before settling into my shelter for the night. I was tired and slept better than expected for my first outting. I was only awoken once in the night by what i think were deer in the area. They stayed pretty distant and went around me.

I felt prepared and confident throughout the trip. Having a plan and being prepared helped me out a lot mentally. I never found myself nervous or worried once it got dark. It was nice and i look forward to my next trip already!
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGC2020 View Post
I just wanted to give all an update who gave me advice: I took my first solo trip on saturday. It was just a 1 night trip into a local area that i am pretty familiar with. I got started hiking around noon after a big lunch to fuel me. I hiked around 3 miles and was approx 2 miles from the nearest "civilization." Once i identified my area as being off the path and shouldnt easily be stumbled upon, i stopped and set up camp.

I first just relaxed and made a mental checklist of what needed to be done before nightfall and then the order of importance. I started by building a lean-to shelter. This game me a nice cover but still let me view my surroundings. I then gathered firewood for awhile, getting small pieces to start out and then varying sizes up to logs that i chopped with the small ax that i brought. I got my fire going with a ferro rod and some shaved wood. It was pretty dry so it wasnt too difficult. Then I padded my shelter floor and laid out my sleep pad. I ensured that the fire was secure and safe before i explored a bit my resources. I filled up my water bottle from a nearby spring and came back and settled in as the sun was beginning to set.

As for the psychological aspect. As the sun was setting i gave myself something to do. I found a nicely sized stick and began to widdle it into a spear. i knew that was something to keep my mind busy and a small defense mechanism if needed. This coasted me into nightfall and i relaxed by the fire for a few hours before settling into my shelter for the night. I was tired and slept better than expected for my first outting. I was only awoken once in the night by what i think were deer in the area. They stayed pretty distant and went around me.

I felt prepared and confident throughout the trip. Having a plan and being prepared helped me out a lot mentally. I never found myself nervous or worried once it got dark. It was nice and i look forward to my next trip already!
Thanks for the update. Sounds like it was a good time. I like hiking solo but joining up with others at camp...I will camp alone if I have to, but I like the camaraderie and social aspect of sitting around a fire with others.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGC2020 View Post
I just wanted to give all an update who gave me advice: I took my first solo trip on saturday. It was just a 1 night trip into a local area that i am pretty familiar with. I got started hiking around noon after a big lunch to fuel me. I hiked around 3 miles and was approx 2 miles from the nearest "civilization." Once i identified my area as being off the path and shouldnt easily be stumbled upon, i stopped and set up camp.

I first just relaxed and made a mental checklist of what needed to be done before nightfall and then the order of importance. I started by building a lean-to shelter. This game me a nice cover but still let me view my surroundings. I then gathered firewood for awhile, getting small pieces to start out and then varying sizes up to logs that i chopped with the small ax that i brought. I got my fire going with a ferro rod and some shaved wood. It was pretty dry so it wasnt too difficult. Then I padded my shelter floor and laid out my sleep pad. I ensured that the fire was secure and safe before i explored a bit my resources. I filled up my water bottle from a nearby spring and came back and settled in as the sun was beginning to set.

As for the psychological aspect. As the sun was setting i gave myself something to do. I found a nicely sized stick and began to widdle it into a spear. i knew that was something to keep my mind busy and a small defense mechanism if needed. This coasted me into nightfall and i relaxed by the fire for a few hours before settling into my shelter for the night. I was tired and slept better than expected for my first outting. I was only awoken once in the night by what i think were deer in the area. They stayed pretty distant and went around me.

I felt prepared and confident throughout the trip. Having a plan and being prepared helped me out a lot mentally. I never found myself nervous or worried once it got dark. It was nice and i look forward to my next trip already!

Yeah..deer..that's what they were...deer...

Just busting 'em... Congrats, sounds like you had a successful trip.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:07 PM
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Fayette Co near the New River Gorge area. I pass through Jackson county pretty routinely on my way to Parkersburg to see family. It seems to be a nice area.
awesome I'm down your way and do a little kayaking. maybe we can get together for a trip sometime. I'm headed out for my first solo overnight or two in a few hours. I wont be walking in, I'll be going in by ATV since I am over packing to test some stuff. This is also my first Hammock camp. so I brought some back up stuff just incase. after this under my belt I am going to scale back
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:44 PM
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Being tired is a great way to get around any anxiety. I used to take new folks on long grueling hikes for a few days and none of them ever had much problem trying to sleep.

Of course, none of them ever wanted to go with me again either, but that's a different problem.

Az
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:20 AM
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I usually head to the mountains a few weeks before archery deer season starts and go home at the end of bear season. I like to have time to set up camp and make any repairs from the previous winter and to do any last minute scouting. I usually take the dog and horses so technically I'm not solo, unless of course the animals have an attitude and quit talking to me. So I'm alone in the mountains from the beginning of August to the end of December. Years ago I built a small dug out cabin about an 8 hour ride from the nearest road or trail so I see very few people (4 in 10 years). Activity is key to mental well being. I started digging out the hillside for the cabin 35 years ago the following 5 years were spent cutting and laying up wall logs, packing the dirt back into the hole around the outside of the log walls, building and burying a waterproof roof system, rock fire place etc. the only part that doesn't look like a hillside is the front wall, door and a 3x3 window with massive shutters for security from bears. Each year I add a little more. Now the majority of the projects I start pre season for two reasons, one, to improve the cabin, two for mental well being. Having a cozy place to spend most of 4 months with some wilderness conveniences helps the time go by and by starting the clean up and upgrades keeps your mind busy while you mentally acclimate to your surroundings. It's tough to freak out about squirrels making big foot noises when you're dog tired. Speaking of dogs, take your good dog with you for company, they'll love it and as they acclimate to the surroundings they begin to go a little native so you don't have to be on guard all the time, bears and nuisance critters tend to want to avoid dogs. My horses are wild mustangs that I broke and trained myself to ride and pack in gear and supplies. Mustangs are probably the best early warning alarms I've ever had and two of mine have killed mountain lions that were prowling around their corrals. I keep a couple good knives and axes. Along with my bow and rifle I keep a revolver and a twelve gauge in camp for 2 and 4 legged nuisances. All in all, the solo mountains, riding and hunting are a great way to decompress, reset your internal clock (I'm usually in bed by 8 and hunting by 6) lose the stress and reconnect with yourself. After 35 years I have running water from the creek to the cabin and corrals, a primitive brush horse fence around a roughly 20 acre meadow for the horses to graze for the season, a root cellar for food storage, a mosquito netted hammock on the porch for the early season when the weather is still good. A wood frame full size bed with a feather mattress I made on site. I put in a board floor about 10 years ago. I built an outdoor solar shower and five gallon bucket out house. I also made a book case with about 200 of my favorite paper backs. Being solo in the wilderness has so many physical and mental benefits, it's just a matter of how much you want to rough it.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:55 AM
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The best psychological tips I can give you is this, you are stronger than you think you are, and there is nothing there in the dark that is not there in the light. I know this is the same advice we are given as children, but it is true. though it sounds like your worries are not psychological but physical in nature. bears, and sketchy people are very real. best advice there is a good dog, and a good gun. ( with proper training of course.) Best of luck.

Last edited by basic outdoor skills; 04-19-2016 at 09:56 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozarkshiker View Post
I did when I was first started backpacking/camping solo. I only do when I car camp now.
Really foolish behavior.
this is in reference to "locking a tent from the inside."
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:19 PM
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This was an awesome thread to read through... Bottom line is bring whatever you need to help YOU through the night. Be it your shotgun or a God damn teddy bear.
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