How social are you in the backcountry?

12:15 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Anyways, just got back from a trip and decided to post this question here, I've been toying with the idea of asking this for a while, there are threads that touch some aspects of this subject but none are very straight forward, but here it is! Do you approach other people that are sharing the same campsite to say hi to them and start conversation? And when meeting someone on the trail, how do you respond to them? Do you like being approached? How do you behave when there are others sharing your campsite?
Since I started backpacking I always try to not bother other hikers by pitching my tent away from the trail and not leaving too much stuff out on the campsite, but once I make clear contact with someone, or they are sharing the campsite for the night with me, I always say hi (if it's not too late or they are trying to get to sleep or something), and often invite them to share the campfire with me, and their response is always mixed.  I've met tons of friends and still talk to them online this way, had many great conversations about where they've been, what gear they use, learned many backpacking skills from them etc... But just as often, I've met some people that turned their back on me, some that just starred at me and then looked down as I say hi to them, and many just ignore me completely. Some of those really creep me out, last year I had a guy on his early 20s that not only ignored me when I first said hi, but started chopping wood around 1am terrorizing my wife and forcing me to come out of my tent and confront him about it just to find out he "thought" it was almost dawn.  I wish people to respond to this as just how they are and what they prefer others to treat them like, and try not to criticize or argue about other member's way of being =).

12:48 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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You pose a thoughtful question.  I try to meet the people around me in a group setting  because it is courteous and defuses potential sources of conflict like noise, kids, and dogs.  We live a very rural existence and find more comfort in socializing with people than when living a more urban existence.

I like to say hi on the trail, and frequently chat with people.  It is a learned skill and good way to spread good will and get information.

It used to bother me when people ignored the simple gesture of saying hello.  I have learned never to take it personally.  Do not give other people that you don't know any power to make you unhappy.

My uncle coined the phrase "amiable rustics" for rural types that like to chat.  I have become one and have a lot of fun with people we meet in the outdoors.

Solo backpacking makes me the most social after a few days.




12:56 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree with ppine.  The longer I'm out and the more solo I am, the more gregarious I am.
My wife complains that it makes for very long trail days with me on popular parts of a trail - as I will yak with anybody who stops.   Most up hill people are are more likely to stop and gab. 

Down hillers are on the way to the stable it seems.

If sharing camping places it will more than likely end up in an extended family group at some point.  Mostly talking of other nice places we have all hiked into.

To me it is part of the fun to 'go back to the roots' of the 'ancients (from around 1950 and before).   Some of the questions/answers traded are timeless:  How is the water.  How is the trail. Any problems ahead?

2:14 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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speacock said:

I agree with ppine.  The longer I'm out and the more solo I am, the more gregarious I am.

 Pretty much true.  I always approach backpackers and campers in a camp unless they are inside their tents.  Over the years though I try to avoid seeking out dayhikers for conversation as they can be a strange bunch with their minds and hearts focused on Day Use Only and anxious to get back to their cars as soon as possible.  Such encounters can be a real bring-down on a long backpacking trip.

Often dayhikers belong to some club and they often think they know everything there is to know about an area and about hiking.  Some are even disturbed to see an overnight camper in "their woods", because if they had their way they'd close every foot trail off to camping.  This is just a small percentage of dayhikers, let me add.

Long trip backpackers need to be careful about encountering others, not for safety issues but for keeping their "headgear" on tight, balanced and healthy. 

On time I was going into the Bald River wilderness and a couple miles in saw 3 backpackers leaving and so we talked for a while and said our goodbyes.  Friendly bunch.  THEN I got to their last camp with a smouldering fire and heaps of garbage piled on top trying to burn and 12 empty beer cans under a rock overhang.  I bit my tongue thinking how stupid I was to have been so friendly to these miscreants.  This is one example of how interacting with others can be a mistake.

3:45 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I on the other hand rarely approach others in the woods. I like the solitude. Unless they come over and/or invite me to their camp or to join them on a hike I like to stay aloof.

4:18 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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7:04 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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In general, the people I meet backpacking are the type of people I would gladly give a ride to, have a beer with, loan a few bucks, share a campfire, etc. to say nothing of simply having a conversation.  One of my favorite things about the backcountry are actually the people I meet; the quality:quantity ratio is quite high.  

7:26 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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While on the trail I will stop and chat with anyone. But I don't camp with a group. I will make camp at least a mile away from anyone. Though I will visit with others. I just want my night peaceful.

10:20 p.m. on August 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I do, yes!  Several years ago, while off roading (yes, I have a Jeep and use it!) in Death Valley NP, I was way off in the backcountry looking for a 100 year old miner's cabin.  When I finally found it, there was another couple tent camping about 50 feet away.  Came up, said hello, told them what I was doing, then proceeded to set up camp about 1/4 mile away.  I had been planning on sleeping in the cabin, but wouldn't encroach on the campers, so I was setting up camp far enough away to not bother them (It was too far to drive out and find another site).  Anyway, about 30 minutes later, the couple came down and invited me to spend the night closer to the cabin, and share a campfire, which I happily did.

And last year, while solo hiking in Grand Staircase-Escalante, I bumped into a father/daughter team headed toward the same slot canyon I was.  They had never hiked a slot before, so we decided to team up.  We had a great time; took photos of each other, and swapped email addys.

We kept in touch this past year, and as it would happen, we are both returning to SoUtah in two week and have arranged another meeting.

9:44 a.m. on August 27, 2012 (EDT)
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That's great, I was starting to feel like I was  being a bother to people, but could be just the people new to backpacking or because I'm young and maybe too jolly to be in the outdoors and that scares them haha. Some of those people I meet give the impression like they don't want to be in the woods, but yet they are there on their own free will, maybe they are running from something =).

9:55 a.m. on August 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I always have time to stop and chat during my backcountry forays. I personally am not one of those folks that are driven by setting land speed records.

To me it is all about the experience. Sometimes meeting new people along the trail adds to that experience.

At the same time I do camp away from others.

4:59 p.m. on August 27, 2012 (EDT)
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It varies for me…I’m rarely out long enough to have a desire to get chatty. Since I’m on and off the AT quite a bit, I often have much opportunity for interaction. But quite often I’m seeking solitude; I work for a big company and interact verbally with people all day long. And I married a woman that likes to talk. J

I’ve yet to go on a trip long enough to make me crave interaction; not saying it couldn’t happen it just hasn’t yet.

But I’m never intentionally rude or stand-offish. Most of my days are spent in motion, so when needed, I just speed up and things take care of themselves. Like Tipi mentioned some folks can be a real downer…I met a couple through-hiking the AT while in Mt Rogers area earlier in the year and they were so depressed and angry (about everything) that it was really bringing me down to interact with them so I just sped up a little and listened to the echo of their cussing rant fade behind me (yes they kept ranting even as I sped away).

But I agree with Maxx on this point: the vast majority of people you meet in the backcountry are really good people. The farther you get from a road, the higher you climb the mountain, and the more work you do to attain the position generally equate to an even higher quality of person (that’s my theory anyway).

2:14 a.m. on August 28, 2012 (EDT)
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generally when Iam hiking and passing other hikers I do say hi. When in camp I say hello and introduce myself at times to other campers and ask where their from. There arte times I speed up to get away from hikers or I am just quite and want to chill from people.I thionk we all have has some experiances like your saying Maxx.

5:10 a.m. on August 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I am probably a chief reason people go camping – not to meet up with me, but hoping I will stay in town while they are out. 

I will talk to almost anyone.   If no one is present I will chat with the voices in my head.  If they ignore me, I will take up conversation with a tree or perhaps chase down a deer to catch up on the local gossip.  Sometimes the only conversation I can get is with the camp fire, sparking off at me.  Then again it is a captive audience, obliged to indulge me, else risk a dousing.  I am told folks don’t realize what they are up against until I am bending their ear to the point they mistake me family, and start calling me uncle.  But the longer I stay out on the trail something changes, and then they can spot me a mile away – I guess it is my off kilter gait, overly happy eyes, jaw aching smile with drool leaking from the corners of my mouth.  Or perhaps I just broadcast a powerful stink of trail dust and sweat.  They scurry, hoping I won’t notice as they hide their women and whiskey, and bring their bear hang into their tents, risking the obvious attack, rather than risk me rifling through their unattended pantry.

I have honed my senses to pick out the few who find my ways entertaining, if not engaging.  I have also learned to avoid certain types of folks.  We all have code words that hit our ears like a dog whistle.  You get to know which words to use to filter out who you want to talk to, as well as who you should probably let pass on down the road.  Sometimes though, it is intriguing to ignore these cues and see where certain conversations go with certain types of people.


10:21 a.m. on August 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I usually just give a greeting and then move on.  If I am unfamiliar with an area or vice versa, then, maybe a little question and answer session will take place but that's about it.  I prefer to camp where everyone else isn't.  Same is true when  my wife and I take an overnighter, we like to camp away from everyone else.  Even in a developed campground, which we do go to occasionally, we try to get the most secluded campsite.  Sometimes that not possible.  One time we went to Caprock Canyons here in Texas over Thankgiving one year.  We were unfamiliar with the camping options since it was our first visit, so we just decided to tent camp in the RV section which had nice, grassy, flat campsites.  Well a strong cold front came through, minus precip, and we were huddled around a fire one evening while it plunged into the twenties.  A grandmother and granddaughter walked by and the little girl asked her grandma where our travel trailer was.  The grandma said, "Those are REAL campers, honey".  We both laughed at that one.

9:21 p.m. on August 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Im like ed, I will talk to anybody. But I like to camp away from people. I grew up in a city so im always watching my back. Im not usually a scared kind of guy, but since I changed to a hammock I feel less secure. I dont know maybe its that im more exposed, not that a tent would stop anybody. I will camp around other people but I dont sleep as well. Not to stereo type but the people you meet on the trail in the south seem to be friendlier than here in the ne. Ive found that to be true on and off the trail, I had never seen a rude cashier or clerk until I moved north. Dont get me wrong there are friendly people here but they are in the minority. Must be something to that southern hospitality stuff...

10:22 a.m. on August 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Quick story about being friendly on the trail. The very first time I ever went backpacking, myself and two friends were hiking from cades cove up to spence field shelter by way of russell field. We were all really struggling, as we packed in way too big of a load being our first time. Along the way, we passed some hikers that stopped (they could probably see us struggling) and told us it wasn't too far to russell. asked us about our plan, and then told us to stop at russell for the night instead and take their reservations. Super nice of them, as we needed the early break. I probably wouldn't be as keen on backpacking if i had had to struggle the couple of more miles. Being friendly on the trail can really help some people out!

10:42 a.m. on August 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I always say 'Hi!' to people as I pass them on the trail or even just nod. Some answer, some don't. I notice that solo hikers usually answer more than people in groups, and are more likely to start a conversation.

I've met some neat people - many people from other countries, and even  a few I know from sites like this, or other organizations, who I'd never met in person before! I met one guy at two different places last weekend who was mapping the trails for a wiki called 'open street map', and a father/son team from France.

The ones I can't stand are the people coming back from a steep or a long hike who delight in telling others coming up that it's 'just a few more kilometres' or 'You're almost there!'. For one thing, there's an element of  boasting in those comments about how they made it, and there's a presumption that people just starting the hike need encouragement. If they want to know, they can always ask.

12:56 p.m. on August 29, 2012 (EDT)
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 That's funny Peter...


I get asked a lot "How much farther is it?" as if I knew where they were going. The Great Smoky Mountain NP where I frequently hike has over 800 miles of maintained, interconnected trails. So the answer could vary widely.


Recently a breathless backpacking woman asked that very question: "How much farther is it?" To which I replied "How much farther is what?", and she said "the shelter". And I had to say" I've passed three shelters today, to which are you referring?" As it turned out she didn't know or care and just wanted to know how much farther until she could take off the pack and collapse.


She seemed quite irritated with me but I was just trying to be accurate.

1:47 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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it varies depending on circumstances, but because i always take overnight or longer trips with people i already know, we tend to stick together, and interaction with others tends to be limited to a "hello, how do you do." whether i'm overnighting or out for the day, i tend to talk with people who look lost or seem to want/need help, always happy to do that. 

i tend to talk with people more in common shelter situations.  if our group ends up sharing a lean-to or shelter with others, there is usually more talking, more interaction.  in the winter, that has even occasionally turned into sharing the trail the next day, sometimes, especially if someone is soloing and wants some company in challenging conditions. 


4:12 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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My wife has always said, I meet no strangers. So I reckon I fall into the group of: Saying hello and meeting new folks

6:07 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I guess I'm not a gabber on the trail, I'll say hello and keep going. I try to camp away from the trail and other people. except for car camping. that is an entirely different story. Ill share campfires and stories with others, and dayhikes. Car camping is an entirely different culture. since I backpack with my husband, I guess we just talk to each other as opposed to strangers.

10:21 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Different strokes for different folks. I try to assess what the other person's desires are and then respect that. Generally, I enjoy meeting new people and learning their stories and where they've been... its a great way to get new trip ideas! Of course, sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a lot of chit chat... like when I am dog tired. I find that most people are pretty easy going and haven't had many interactions that were bothersome.

Happy trails!

11:03 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm willing and happy to talk in hoping I can instill a love of nature that will progress. I see people damaging the wild but I also hope they will learn the LNT. I try to explain if they are open to it.

One thing that goes along with not taking anything personal. I visit a very busy area and I see anger in some's eyes when contact is made. I believe most of these people have come, expecting the wild only to find it busy like a city park. They are not going to find the solitude they were expecting.

Usually, I'm a pretty happy smiling sort and people will ask me questions when we meet. I pretty much give them an ear full until I see I've overwhelmed them.

Heh, one encounter... Coming down after a hard day and rounding a corner I see a fella standing on the trail in a suit and dress shoes and he sees me at the very same time. He immediately turned all fidgety and I was wondering what was coming. As I got close to him, he says "Look, there's an elk there".  Sure enough, in a little stand of aspen there stood an elk.

That day I was tired and just gave a "yup". and kept moving. He then said "they sure are tame" to which I replied "They probably haven't whipped him yet". And then it came, "They do that". "Nope, just kidding". I probably didn't bring out a love of the wild in him but maybe a few thoughts anyway.

10:02 a.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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re: Better quality of people

I was heading up the Galatea Lakes Trail last summer, and I couldn't remember, for the life of me, if I'd locked my car! Already too far to turn back, and all I could do is wonder.

That's a busy trail just an hour or so from Calgary, and it's popular with the jeans-and-sneakers crowd. I passed a number of people on the way up, kids and nature-walkers and doggie people... But then one  couple came down the trail - scruffy-looking, big boots and backpacks, a bit smelly from a few days on the trail. My kind of people!

We chatted for a bit, and without really thinking about it, I asked them to look for my car when they got back to the trailhead and make sure it was locked. After they left, I realized I'd just told two total strangers that

  • there was an unlocked vehicle at the TH,
  • that the owner wouldn't be back for at least a few hours, and
  • that they could clean it out completely (or even steal it!) without any risk.

There was a note on the windshield when I got back saying they'd locked the car, and wishing me a nice day. Of course, nothing was missing.

It sounds like many of us have had similar experiences.

9:04 a.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I always make eye contact and say hello. Whatever happens after that happens. I rarely strike up a conversation unless they have a cool dog or a piece of gear I find interesting.

I go out to get away from it all, usually.

With my work schedule, most of my backpacking is done during the week, so the trails are usually quieter than the weekends. I run into a lot less people. I love the trips where I don't see a soul for a few days. It's almost rare, and rewarding in a way.

When I make camp, it's always away from a shelter/crowd/others. I do make stops at shelters to take a breather or eat or something. Or even at a viewpoint, lake or just a nice spot. This is when I encounter people the most and say hello. If someone wants to start a friendly conversation, I'm usually up for it, but not always. I do offer to share food, flask or smoke with people what seam nice.

Tipi - I 100% know what you're saying about the "day hiker clubs". I love when they treat you like you don't know anything. "Are you ok"? "DO you know where you are"? When there is no sign of stress. There are some dog hiking clubs around me that are out of control. They really think they own the woods. Dogs off leash and no where near the owners. I love dogs, I have 3, but the last thing I want to do is protect myself from a unruly dog. Last year I got surrounded by 2 German Shepard's and a Pitbull. At first there was no sign of anyone. A few minutes later I hear voices and screamed for them to get their dogs (they where smelling me, barking a little and just surrounding me). 5 minutes later the owners show up and want to socialize about how great their dogs are. I just gave them a quick piece of my mind and moved on (and let them know that someone else might have hurt their dogs - bear spray, mace, kicks, sticks, hiking poles etc.). Not everyone likes dogs and some are down right scared and will react. I have heard of situations where nice dogs got hurt because of stupid people.

The other annoying group is the hoards of senior citizens that show up. Some really think they own it all, know it all and can be quite rude. Not all though, some are very nice.

And the slobs. I parked at a lake a few months ago to do a day hike. On the other side was a family (mom, dad, 2 little kids) hanging by a rock eating pizza, Chinese food, soda and beers.  A few hours later on my return, they where gone but there pizza box, containers and cans where all still there, thrown all over the place. Yea their teaching their kids well....

Anyway, I guess it comes down to the fact that I am always polite, but not always social.

11:04 a.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I just like the next backpacker, go on a trip hoping not to see many people, rarely I go on a multiday trip without seeing a single soul on the trail, but sometimes it ends up being a good thing.
On the last trip I went to I met a group of 4 backpackers, we shared a fire and chit chatted, they were real nice folks, but the next morning we parted ways, they intended to go back to their car, we were on our way to another campsite. We left before them and took our time enjoying the scenery, while taking a break at some nice shade, we saw 3 of them coming our way, we chatted a little bit and asked about their third member, they said he had to stop and he should be coming behind them, they told us if we saw him to let him know they were just ahead, they kept going. Eventually we caught up with them, no sign of their friend, we asked them why they decided to follow this trail instead of getting back to their car, and guess what, they didn't! They were lost, we showed them in the map where they were, which was about 4-6 miles from the last intersection we passed which split between this trail and the way to the trail head, they separated from their friend right before that intersection and took wrong trail(the trails around this area are not too well marked for first time visitors).  From where we were, there was a shortcut to go where they left their car, we decided it was best for them to retrace their steps and follow the original path to their car and look for their friend, me and my friends would cut our trip short, take the shortcut to their car to see if their friend was there. When we got to their car their friend was not there, it was raining so we left a note wrapped in plastic on their windshield and went to change and use the restroom, when we came back the 3 ppl were arriving without their friend. At the park there is no cellphone signal and they didn't have the key to their car, their friend had it. We gave one of them a drive to a nearby store so they could phone their parents (they were supposed to be arriving home by this time), when we came back their lost friend was arriving at the trail head, turns out that while the 3 people were coming back they kept telling everyone they med in the trail what had happened in case they came across their friend, one of them did and told their friend the to meet them at the trail head.  Had they just kept to themselves the whole time, who knows what would've happened! 
On another note, sometimes when I'm running low on water and I'm at a new trail, I ask people coming from the opposite direction about how far is the next water source is, to gauge my water intake (mind you I have to share it with my wife so it's harder then while solo), and when it's getting late I ask how far is the campsite to gauge our pace too! But since I've been carrying a GPS that never happens anymore =)

12:03 p.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I think it depends where you are as to who you are going to meet. I climb mt mndk once a week, you are going to meet a lot of people. When I want to get away I go where I think I will be alone. If you hike a park or tourist trap its gonna be populated. No one should expect solitude on well marked public trails. I like to hike these areas when the weather is bad or in the dead of winter. Thats the only time you can expect to be alone or reasonably so. There is no excuse not to look a fellow hiker in the eye and say hello.

2:09 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Usually seeing people is far few and in between, so talking with people is my favorite thing to do.  Sometimes you can tell if people are itching to get away ( like thru hikers who have a destination goal to reach every day ) so I make sure I respect their politeness and time.

I think when I'm way out in the sticks and there's no body else around, its a mutual happiness to talk socially.  However, when I'm in more regional areas or highly populated, people want to get away from others.

3:25 p.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

Often dayhikers belong to some club and they often think they know everything there is to know about an area and about hiking.  ...This is just a small percentage of dayhikers, let me add.

Thanks for mentioning that last bit, Tipi.

As someone who often leads groups of dayhikers, I have to say that my experiences with the various clubs are as different as the people in them.

The ones who make me crazy are the ones who have little actual experience, but think they know it all because they looked it up on the internet! Some clubs consist mostly of people who work as computer geeks, and it's a case of the blind leading the blind.

You also mentioned the slobs and litterbugs. I've taken advantage of my groups to explain little details about things like why it's not a good idea to take shortcuts where there are switchbacks, or to promote leave-no-trace ideals. When one guy tossed a banana peel into the bushes, I went over and picked it up and explained to the group that it would take a month to start to disintegrate. When I explained to a family of Chinese tourists about the damage caused by the shortcuts, everybody in my group got the message, too.

Unlike backpackers, dayhikers usually have limited time available to them, so they don't get the opportunity to sit down and relax as much. They miss the best views, like watching the sun go down, and they miss the (usually) more relaxed pace of backpacking. On the other hand, they can often go higher and faster, and get to a mountain peak or that scenic lake a bit more easily.

Just like backpackers, the majority are friendly, pleasant and helpful, while a few are arrogant, ignorant jerks.

11:33 a.m. on September 8, 2012 (EDT)
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I learned a lot the hard way & I learned a lot by joining a hiking club. I eventually gained enough experience by learning from others that I moved on to backpacking with other small experienced groups or going solo.

When I'm out solo, I tend to be fairly recluse, I have my own agenda, I like to get in my own zone, and I can usually cover more ground than with a group. Interaction with a group requires you spend time talking & planning. This is time I could spend eating, packing, or hiking. Sometimes hiking with a group can water down the experience when you are trying to find a way to please everyone. No hard feelings of course.

When I'm out with a group ( an experienced one) I enjoy talking & getting to know other people, learning from the experience, sorting things out - like who enjoys doing what, or who is good at what. You often get to see different types of gear and have discussions with someone who has been using it.

I like going solo & going with groups. It's all a trade off.

Mike G.

4:36 p.m. on September 8, 2012 (EDT)
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I am an avid dayhiker, just about all I have time for lately, and have met diverse people on the trail. never had any disasters or anything like that, but there was the one time I shared water with a trail runner. she was scantily clad in the middle of winter, california winter but still winter, asking where the trailhead was and how far away was it,because she was out of water. there was rainclouds in the distance, heading towards us. I gave her some water, told her which direction to go, and went on my way. don't know what happened to her. it started raining before I finished my hike, and I wondered if she made it out or not. it amazes me how ill prepared some people are, especially dayhikers. my daypack weighs ten pounds, and I  don't consider myself thoroughly prepared. but I see some of these people out there with NOTHING, not even water, and wonder what the hell are they thinking! I am amazed that more of these people don't end up in the news.   

4:05 p.m. on September 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Trailjester, I agree with you completely about the jeans and sneaker day hikers.  The SAR teams pull a dozen or so people every year out of small 700  - 1500 acre woods around Western New York.  No map, no compass, no water, no flashlight, no whistle, no common sense.  They get injured, or get lost, or get caught by darkness, and are lucky to have a cell phone that gets reception to call for help.

I never go into the woods unless I'm prepared to survive an unexpected night. Getting in and out of the woods in one day is something you plan for.  Being able to survive an unexpected night in the woods is something you need to prepare for. 

In many of the group hikes I join there are always a few who show up with sneakers and jeans and ask why I have a pack.  I then tell them the story about Rev. Thomas Hamilton who went for a day hike with his daughter on well marked x-crountry ski trails in Allegany State Park, got lost and died despite a massive 8-day search.  His body was found 2 years later just 500 feet from the trail.  A space blanket, whistle and flashlight would have saved his life.  

12:10 p.m. on September 11, 2012 (EDT)
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My wife and I like backpacking because it gives us the chance to really get out away from people and have some quality time on our own.  I am always friendly on the trail, and at least say hello to anyone I meet, plus maybe a question about their destination or trailhead. 

But once we decide to camp, we look for a place far from the madding crowd.  And we're not pleased when someone camps too close to us.  It's one of the reasons we often spend the last hour or two of any day going off trail...


A nice quiet place far from everyone else is the perfect campsite.

4:43 p.m. on September 11, 2012 (EDT)
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have never had to spend a night out unexpectedly, tho I am prepared for it. we haven't had any incidents in our local mountains lately, hope it stays that way.

March 31, 2020
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