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Space Force Recruit
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Hey,

So I spend a lot of time in the woods and remote places hiking, camping and whatever and have been doing so for a long time. I'm a very solitary hiker and have never really done any outdoor stuff with people except for when I was younger in the Scouts.

I feel more at home in the woods than I do in my own home, but I've been seeing this girl who is a city girl by every definition. She's only really been out of civilization when she's in a car driving through a less traversed stretch of road. She's been telling me she wants to start hiking with me, but she's refusing to do less strenuous hikes closer to civilization to start out with, wanting to do trails that are close to a hundred miles to begin with.

At this point I'm pretty lost as to what to do. I've tried explaining to her that it'd be easier and more enjoyable for her to start out on smaller hikes where you're not climbing mountains to build up to the multi day hikes and that didn't work. I've even tried explaining to her that she needs to test out her gear, find out if her shoes work for her, figure out what she packs that she doesn't need and things she didn't pack that she needed, ect. first and she didn't seem to think that was necessary.

I would like her to come hiking with me, as I really enjoy her company but I'm completely at a loss on how to get her to realize that she's going in completely unprepared and it could be dangerous for the both of us. I really want her to enjoy the whole experience and I really don't see this possible with her approach.

Other than outright refusing to go, can anyone give me advice on how I should approach this?

Thanks in advanced, I probably won't be back for a week or two to check on the thread as I have very limited access to a computer.
 

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She has no experience or just book exp. My first trip with friends was.like jumping off the hi dive.
It really depends where and when you want to go. If you decide to try then plan your trip with several bailout options.
Also remember, don't let her set to many ground rules or she will think she can set them with you for EVER.

Girls are like buses, a new one will be along in 20 min. (yeah, same for guys)
 

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Listen to the ghosts
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She's been telling me she wants to start hiking with me, but she's refusing to do less strenuous hikes closer to civilization to start out with, wanting to do trails that are close to a hundred miles to begin with.
When I clicked on this thread and began reading it, my first thought was, "Whatever you do, start her slowly. Car camp somewhere from which you can take nice, interesting day hikes. Just don't start her on long hikes."

As I read your post, I realized that you were already there. I agree with ametrine60...you have a larger problem.

I still say you shouldn't take her on a longer trip for which she is unprepared. My best advice is to try and find a hike that looks like more than it is. Tell her you can't take off work long enough right now for one of those 100 mile trips so you're going to go on this first trip because that's all you have time for. Find a trail that's maybe a 5 mile loop. Newbs can't believe how far a mile or two is when they start putting some weight on their back and start hiking. Don't tell her how far it is...just put a little weight on her, hike in a bit and set up camp. If she has new equipment (esp. footwear) it will seem farther than it is. And, once she gets there for the evening, at that point she will be glad it's not 100 miles. If worse comes to worst, you can hike her equipment out yourself. Make two trips, take her on the first one and let her wait in the car.

I hope.

Good luck.
 

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plan a long trip, expect an overnighter. explain you cant carry her load for such a long trek. let her load up all her food and water for a 5 day trip. hike out, listen to the whining. camp, and come back tomorrow
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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I HAVE spent about 90% of my bush time alone, also by choice.
I do not want to suffer chatty Cathys or Clem Stumbles or mindless manchilds who think it is just as safe as walking in your living room.

That said, I have taken folks into the bush I have had short day trip experiences with first. IF they can keep quiet and follow a trail without hurting themselves they moved up the list. If they were a pain on a day trip, someone would be dead(not me) before the end of a multi day trek.

That said..
IF.. you have a trail where there is a possibility for several "outs" along the way then as someone said, explain the facts of life with no sugar coating(so it cannot come back at you as "You never said I would have to ...fill it in") then load her up and take off. If things get intolerable that is why you need a trail with outs along the way.

ME, I do not care how great she is... I wouldn't take a neophyte on a multi day trek if the trail were scattered with hundred $$$ bills...still not worth the grief... just make sure if you do make the big jump that it is a state without capital punishment.
 

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Only politics *****.
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Pretty easy solution: she wants to go hiking with you, she can go when you go. Just so happens you only got short trips in the prospects. She doesn't want to accept that, she's not mature enough for any trip and won't go hiking at all. (or it wont be your problem).

Or just lie and tell her you have a multi day trip planned, and you're doing 20+ miles a day, with extra height. Really push her and tire her out. Just keep it close to ways out, and let her suffer. (and if she can handle it, great)

First solution sounds better than lying though. If she can't respect your wishes, she shouldn't be even talking to anyone other than herself till she's getting the brain that she's asking you for a favor, and the one asking the favor doesn't dictate what happens. She needs to grow up first. She's not putting only herself in danger when she's not prepared, but you to.
 

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accipere rubrum pilula
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I’ve had the “enjoyment” of taking newbies on hikes with me when I was much younger.

A roomate had a girlfriend who wanted to go on a hike with a small group of us. This was a week long hiking and fishing trip and we tried to talk to her about the trip.

She assured us that she knew what she was doing and basically shut down all forms of advice.

The day to leave on the hike, she had a way over packed bag and some brand new, cheap Kmart boots meant for city parks. Needless to say the first day was slow, due to a heavy pack no one except her boyfriend would help carry, blistering feet and cramping leg muscles.

We set up camp for the night early, due to her complaining and whining. As she’s tending to her feet her bag is open and one of the guys spots a hair dryer and a big bag of makeup and he loses it.

In short, in the morning our friend and his girl friend heads back to the trailhead, while we continued on the trail for some fun & fishing. She never wanted to hike with us again.
 

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No matter how tempting she may be, she's not worth it in the long run.
She's showing an extreme lack of common sense.
 

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Jeez dude, you're not taking her on a hike into the heart of darkness, are you? Find a nice easy hike and take her with you. Most guys complain that their girlfriends don't want to do something they like to do, and you're complaining that yours does.
If you don't want to take her with you, be a man and tell her the truth. Then you can find yourself a fat girl who likes to stay at home and watch TV. Then you can complain that your fat girlfriend doesn't like to hike with you.
 

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Well, I've got experience, but my wife is really the expert hiking guide. She's taken several ladies out on backpacking trips, usually just a 3-5 days, and 30-50 miles.

She's the "pack-Nazi" and we always do a short pre-trip weekend to shake stuff out. She'll have them over and have them dumping their packs separating needs from wants and giving advice on which are really comfort items. Footwear is critical and even though newer trail shoes are comfortable off the shelf, proper fitment is extremely important when you start trekking significant changes in elevations.

My advice is to find a nice in and out hike or smaller loop trail. Share with her the level of detail that "should" go into planning, such as daily distances, water sources, weather forecasts, logistics planning such as TP, food, fuel, etc. Make the offer that this "shorter" hike is to just shake out the bugs and makes sure everything is functional. Hiking even for a few consecutive days will quickly highlight your level of fitness and help assess how your body recovers.

She may want to jump into a 100 mile hike, but if she's not willing to do just a small test hike, I would simply avoid the longer trek unless you just plan to carry all the food and part of her gear...because she will likely need it. As the outdoors is no place to prove your ego without experience. Until she has at least heard of a Diva Cup and pee funnel, she's not really a serious backpacker :D:

Also, you can risk it, but I would plot several spots to get off the trail if feasible and have a shuttle or other mode of transportation on speed dial...

This trip was about 40 miles on the AT with my wife's sister and co-workers. They've been doing this every year for the past several years. Several "want" to go, most bail at the last moment as they're not serious about actually doing it...



ROCK6
 

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I'd lay it out for her -- explain even experienced backpackers do shakedown trips to try out new gear, because that's critical for safety on the trail. If she's not willing to be safe and test her gear before going on a long trip, she''s not ready for the long trip. Period.

Then offer to take her on an overnight. If she wants to do a lot of miles, great -- it'll be a learning experience for her.

If she won't do the overnight, there's your answer.

FWIW, I tend to be a hard ass about people I backpack and hike with. I, or family members, have had several trips go badly because somebody decided they weren't having fun and decided to bail. Or they did something stupid and got hurt. Or both.
 

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The short hike to shake things out is a good suggestion. Let her learn from her own mistakes. She might be trying to impress you. If you are the experienced hiker you say you are, stand your ground. Your or someone else's life may depend on it.

When I prepare for Elk Backpack Hunts, I prepare at least 9 months in advance to get back Into shape and retest my gear. Those in my hunt party that don't prepare I flat out tell them to get a guide instead. I don't want the liability and they often respect me after heading my advice. Those that don'tget the hint never ask me again to include them in my hunt party, and that's ok.
 

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The short hike to shake things out is a good suggestion. Let her learn from her own mistakes. She might be trying to impress you. If you are the experienced hiker you say you are, stand your ground. Your or someone else's life may depend on it.
This is a good point and one of the ladies in the photo was both embarrassed and afraid to speak up about how her feet hurt on just a day hike prep they were doing. My wife scolded them pretty bad and said they need to be talking about how they're feeling, if anything hurts, or doesn't seem to fit right.

It's not so much just about safety either. You can ruin a trip with bad blisters, horribly fitting pack, or forgetting a critical item (like your stove, water filter, or fuel...as I've seen that happen), or be so miserable that they would never want to hike again.

ROCK6
 

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make sure she packs light. overload = overwhelmed = failure

make sure she's not wearing any cotton. anywhere. fast-drying performance fabrics and wool. sweat+rain+cold = bad times = failure

make sure she has enough water and electrolytes. lacking either one = massive, overwhelming leg cramps = failure
 

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Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it sounds to me like she “wants” to be a long hiker, and you want her company in the back country...if you train her right!
I agree with most of what people are saying, but how can you sell it to her and allow her to have an enjoyable experience so she’ll want to learn and get better, which should make you happier in the long run.
She’s probably seeing all the articles out there about thru hikes and long hikes and only sees the romantic glamour side of being a long hiker, but isn’t seeing the solitude and fatigue associated with covering many days of long distances(in higher altitudes in my case).
Your goal should be to allow her to experience a little of that without crushing her spirit.
I’m not sure what trails are around you, but I’ll use the South San Juan Mountains for a reference because I’m a little more familiar with them.
Plan a trip from Three Trails Trailhead (starts above Platuro Reservoir) up to the Continental Divide, then to Wolf Creek Pass. Good mileage there!
Try something along the lines of starting at a place like Three Trails Trailhead, hike up to Blue Lake which is on the Continental Divide. This is only 6 miles, but goes from somewhere like 9200 ft to 11,400 ft. If she’s overpacked, this will kick her butt! If it does, camp there and relax! In my opinion, it’s going to be hard to find a more beautiful and romantic spot!
If she’s still good to go, head north on the Continental divide. I can’t remember the exact mileages, but the next 2 trails you come to both lead back to where up left your car at Three Trails Trailhead. The next trail you come to after that goes out to the road you came in on only a mile or so before where you parked your car. These are all excellent “options”. The next couple of trails go back to forest service roads that will get you back to your vehicle. You have options in case equipment starts to hurt, fail, or the romance ends. If anything like that happens, take the closest option! If you can keep it from being too awful for her, and she understands there is more to it, she might try it again while being more prepared. And she might trust you more next time because you saved her.
I’m sure there are similar plans you can make along the PCT or Ap Trail and other places; I’m just not familiar with those.
Add the mileage up from Three Trails Trailhead to Wolf Creek Pass. It’s not 100 miles, but it’s a quality hike. Don’t tell her about the options. Let her think it’s for the whole distance. You’ll know about the options and can save the day if something goes wrong.
If she still insist on a longer hike, start at Chama, NM up to Wolf Creek Pass. Sorry but I wasn’t able to figure out how to shuttle my car around so I had to start in the middle (Blue Lake) and head south to Cumbres Pass, then backtrack and go north to Wolf Creek. My experience was about 140 miles total
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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Take her on the long hike...just in your mind (and keep this IN your mind) that this is going to be a short training hike.


Let her do what she likes, pack how she wants, wear the shoes she wants, and wait untill she is having problems. THEN, help her solve those problems for the next hike.

Be positive and supportive. Sometimes people need to jump in the deep end first, and then reevaluate. no amount of advise is going to change that.

Remember, she has no idea what shes getting into. she has fantasies that she "Thinks" are reality....and she is banking on them like they ARE real.

If she is very physically fit, it will probably go easier,as she will out perform your expectations.


My last excursion along these lines lasted less than a mile before she was done.

However, she was more reasonable about doing shorter day hikes and simple one nighters after that.

Hey,

So I spend a lot of time in the woods and remote places hiking, camping and whatever and have been doing so for a long time. I'm a very solitary hiker and have never really done any outdoor stuff with people except for when I was younger in the Scouts.

I feel more at home in the woods than I do in my own home, but I've been seeing this girl who is a city girl by every definition. She's only really been out of civilization when she's in a car driving through a less traversed stretch of road. She's been telling me she wants to start hiking with me, but she's refusing to do less strenuous hikes closer to civilization to start out with, wanting to do trails that are close to a hundred miles to begin with.

At this point I'm pretty lost as to what to do. I've tried explaining to her that it'd be easier and more enjoyable for her to start out on smaller hikes where you're not climbing mountains to build up to the multi day hikes and that didn't work. I've even tried explaining to her that she needs to test out her gear, find out if her shoes work for her, figure out what she packs that she doesn't need and things she didn't pack that she needed, ect. first and she didn't seem to think that was necessary.

I would like her to come hiking with me, as I really enjoy her company but I'm completely at a loss on how to get her to realize that she's going in completely unprepared and it could be dangerous for the both of us. I really want her to enjoy the whole experience and I really don't see this possible with her approach.

Other than outright refusing to go, can anyone give me advice on how I should approach this?

Thanks in advanced, I probably won't be back for a week or two to check on the thread as I have very limited access to a computer.
 

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She'll learn by doing. Take her in, but be prepared for what could be a very abbreviated hike. End the hike when she decides to quit, even if its very early. Be prepared to step in if you see her doing something very potentially dangerous.

A group I only very occasionally hike with was going to do a particular state forest in my area yesterday that they had no idea what they were getting into. They all knew each other from hiking as a group, I knew at best only one or two of the hikers. Different dynamic when you're the outsider.None of the other 10 people on the hike had ever been to that trail, including the hike leader. None of them brought paper maps. The hike leader had taken a screen shot on her phone of the All Trails route, and had planned to guide the hike solely from that screen shot. I initially made some suggestions at the trailhead about modifying the All Trails route to better suit the group for vistas, terrain difficulty, etc. One guy, not the hike leader, immediately piped up that they had come to hike the All Trails route and that would be that. OK then, I thought....

I've previously hiked with that group when they got lost, and the area they were going to attempt yesterday is known for its lost hikers and skiers. Lots of trails over hundreds of acres, and if you don't know the area or at least have a map, its a disaster waiting to happen. I've gone into that area multiple times previously for lost hikers. I gave up hiking with my normal hike group to come along with this group because I perceived the risks, and brought enough paper maps for everyone. I let the hike leader lead, and when we'd get to an intersection where I thought my input was optimal, I'd speak up. They did take my advice a couple of times, but otherwise I told them that they wanted to hike for distance, we'd fit their proposed route into the time frame they wanted to be done by. Otherwise, I hung out at the back and let the regular group members do their thing. They aren't going to learn by any other means than by doing.

Finally we got to a major intersection an hour later than we had planned, and I stood off in the distance while they argued over which of the five routes at that intersection to take. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and told them which way they should go, and thankfully they took my advice.

We ended the hike nearly two hours past the published finish time.

People learn by doing.

Good luck, OP.
 
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