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Solo???

Postby DenneyR » Fri May 10, 2013 8:03 am

Hi there fellow climbers,

I'm curious of what others think about hiking solo.

I hear quite often not to hike alone. when I tell people hike and climb 14er's solo they think I'm crazy and I'm putting myself in danger.

Personally, I love the solitude, the total quiet of hiking alone.

I'm 63 and in pretty good shape. I always leave an itinerary of my day and contact relatives when I get back to my car. I always bring the proper gear to spend a night out if I need to. I start early and get below treeline before afternoon storms. I'm not unwilling to turn back if weather or fatigue warrant it. I only hike 2+ difficulty or less.

Am I nuts??? Does anyone share my "Solo" passion?? Am I putting myself at unnecessary peril?

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Re: Solo???

Postby Scott P » Fri May 10, 2013 8:07 am

Many of us (perhaps most of us?) find ourselves hiking along at times. Sometimes it is by choice, or sometimes you can't find anyone to go with you on the mountain you want to climb.

Just let someone know where you are going.
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Re: Solo???

Postby ajkagy » Fri May 10, 2013 8:07 am

I hike and bike solo all the time. As long as you are smart and do not take unnecessary risks I would say go for it. Also, consider getting a SPOT messenger, it has a nice tracking feature which can put loved ones at ease when moving through the backcountry. Always leave an itinerary as well.
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Re: Solo???

Postby DenneyR » Fri May 10, 2013 8:10 am

ajkagy wrote:I hike and bike solo all the time. As long as you are smart and do not take unnecessary risks I would say go for it. Also, consider getting a SPOT messenger, it has a nice tracking feature which can put loved ones at ease when moving through the backcountry. Always leave an itinerary as well.


I keep hearing bad things about SPOT. I've considered getting one though.

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Re: Solo???

Postby screeman57 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:11 am

I do it all the time. As the others have said, I consider it imperative to let people know my plans, particularly where I'm going and my planned return date (several people). And I carry a SPOT tracker now to call for help if necessary (do not count on just a cell phone).
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Re: Solo???

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri May 10, 2013 8:12 am

DenneyR wrote:I keep hearing bad things about SPOT. I've considered getting one though.

You might also do some forum searches on "SPOT" and other terms since there's previous discussion on these topics. I vaguely recall a couple of threads related to solo hiking...
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Re: Solo???

Postby ajkagy » Fri May 10, 2013 8:17 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:You might also do some forum searches on "SPOT" and other terms since there's previous discussion on these topics. I vaguely recall a couple of threads related to solo hiking...


yea it's easy for someone to gain a false sense of security when carrying a SPOT, but like any electronic gadget they can and will fail, batteries loose their juice, ect. It should be common sense for someone to be much more conservative in their decision making when solo regardless of what gadgets they are carrying with them.
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Re: Solo???

Postby kansas » Fri May 10, 2013 8:19 am

Being truly solo on a 14er during the summer months is almost impossible. You may be hiking alone but there will usually be plenty of other people on the mountain.

The SPOT is useful in a lot of ways, I primarily use it for sending out "OK" messages so my contacts know exactly where I camp and when the hike is over.
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Re: Solo???

Postby DenneyR » Fri May 10, 2013 8:23 am

kansas wrote:Being truly solo on a 14er during the summer months is almost impossible. You may be hiking alone but there will usually be plenty of other people on the mountain.

I've always that way also, I have yet to hike a 14er or many of the popular day hikes without seeing other people.

The SPOT is useful in a lot of ways, I primarily use it for sending out "OK" messages so my contacts know exactly where I camp and when the hike is over.


I would never depend on any one thing.....to me an itinerary and letting someone know your plans is most important. And some common sense.........

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Re: Solo???

Postby Dex » Fri May 10, 2013 8:25 am

Denny,
If you are crazy then I am insane. I have the same criteria as you do for safety. Also, I've turned back near the peak if it was too dangerous - e.g. Missouri about 70 yds from the peak - there is a spot that is a narrow path of ice/snow that looked too dangerous for me.

I've never hiked a 14er with anyone else and I do it in winter conditions - I'm 58.

Search the forums for info of SPOT vs PLB - I went with Find Fast.

One reason I don't hike with anyone else is getting out of bed. Some mornings, like today, I'm all set to go, the alarm clock goes off and I just say, I'm not feeling it and go back to sleep.
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Re: Solo???

Postby DenneyR » Fri May 10, 2013 8:27 am

Dex wrote:Denny,
If you are crazy then I am insane. I have the same criteria as you do for safety. Also, I've turned back near the peak if it was too dangerous - e.g. Missouri about 70 yds from the peak - there is a spot that is a narrow path of ice/snow that looked too dangerous for me.

I've never hiked a 14er with anyone else and I do it in winter conditions - I'm 58.

Search the forums for info of SPOT vs PLB - I went with Find Fast.

One reason I don't hike with anyone else is getting out of bed. Some mornings, like today, I'm all set to go, the alarm clock goes off and I just say, I'm not feeling it and go back to sleep.


I also like the flexibility of going it solo. If I decide to push and summit, I can.....if I decide to turn back for whatever reason, I can.........if I find a fork in the trail and want to see where it goes, I can take it. If I want to sit for an hour and listen to the birds, I can do it.

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Re: Solo???

Postby GregMiller » Fri May 10, 2013 8:32 am

I'd personally recommend a delorme inreach over a spot, have had good experiences with mine so far, and will be doing some solo hiking this summer with it.
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