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My first Solo Hike

1:13 p.m. on October 19, 2010 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

Trip report....well let's see...their was pain and then there was a whole lot more pain. Wish I could say it was a success, however it was not. I had hoped my knee would hold out, but after about two hours climbing, I decided that it was not worth risking a perment injury. I hobbled back down the trail, which by the way, was loaded with people. Now earlier that morning I was talking to several men about the trail head, one of which was a Boy Scout Troop leader. Later that day as I was trying to get back down, I ran into him and his family as they were going up. He offered to carry my pack and help me get down. I said thanks, but I figured I could make it without any help. Anyway,  about 5 min. later, here he comes again, he caught up with me and said he really thought I needed help. So I agreed, I took off my pack and sat it down on the ground. I really fell badly about what happened next. I told him the pack was heavy, he under estimated the weight. He slung the pack back over one shoulder and the weight took him straight back and he fell flat on his back. Thank God he did not get hurt, but it was a hard fall. After a few minutes he got the pack on and helped me get back down. I had to park in the lower parking lot, so he drove me back to the my car. I thanked him over and over, and we parted ways. I stopped in the Pinnacle Pavilion and was talking with the ranger there; she said she had one open camp site. So I stayed for the night. The next morning I didn't feel to bad so after I broke camp, I hiked out the Palmetto Trail for about three miles, had some lunch and went back. Yesterday, all I could do was lay on the couch. Today I may get out there and see if I can get a couple of squirrels. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, I love being out there. And I will be going back, but I see that you can not condition your body for such steep climbs by walking on level ground. Pictures, well I took one of the trail sign and one of Table Rock from a distance, the rest of the time I was just hanging on for dear life. So ends my first solo hike.

2:40 p.m. on October 19, 2010 (EDT)
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts

I'm sorry it didn't go so well, Mike. I believe that if you want to go on a solo trip you'll find a way eventually. It just may require some more preparation or some changes in plan.

I'm glad you met another nice fellow on the trail though. That's a silver lining.

How heavy was your pack?

And are you seeing someone about the knee troubles?

I'm curious, what, if anything, would you change about the hike to make it work next time? Gear? Pack load? Trail? Conditioning?


3:12 p.m. on October 19, 2010 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

Alicia, I think the biggest change I would make or should have made, would be to pick a less strenous section for a first time hike. I just didn't understand what strenous really meant. Second, conditioning, I have no hills to walk on as a result my body was not ready for that. As far as pack weight, it is what it is. I think with all the water I had it was about 40 lbs. total. I read somewhere that you should limit your pack weight to 1/5 your body weight. So I was right at the upper limit. The walk that I took the second day was with a full pack but I did not have my tent and sleeping pad. And that felt like I could manage that, I did go down one steep section and had to climb back out on the way back. And I didn't have much problem with that, except my knee started to hurt again. I will be going to the VA hospital this Thursday for a general check up and will ask about that problem. And as for Jim, the troop leader, he is a special kind of person. His son is a Eagle scout and is in the ROTC program, so it shows some good upbringing. His troop is Troop 172 out of Liberty SC. I will write a letter to the Boy Scouts Council expressing my many thanks....take care....Mike

8:29 a.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts

Good luck with the doctor visit. I hope it all works out.

12:47 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

So my VA check up was a joke as usuall, they looked me over, not much detail. He said if my knee is still giving me problems in a couple of months that he will order some X-ray. Well, I have been taking IBs and using some IcyHot. Also a heating pad for an hour at a time and it is getting better. The VA called me back this morining and took blood, so I can't complain to much, it's free. All I had to do was go to Nam and come back in one piece, you know what they say, " Make it out of the Nam and the rest of your life is gravy."

12:48 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

Just wanted to chime in that I have had the same experience with not being able to train for hills on flat ground.

I've had better luck since I joined a gym and started doing 60 minutes on an elliptical three or four times a week -- gradually working up to as much resistance as I can stand.

If you can find stairs anywhere, doing laps on them is a workable substitute. My problem was I had no handy location for stair laps.


April 18, 2014
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