Does drinking and backpacking mix?

2:23 a.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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I am somewhat concerned over the trend lately by some backpackers who feel the need to bring alcoholic beverages and or drugs into the backcountry.

I can assure you I had some rather unpleasant experiences with some people drinking, especially at mandatory campsites where there seems to be a alarming amount of these types of incidents.

I know Rich Bauer forbids any drinking on any of his hikes, for the obvious reasons. I must confess I couldn't agree with him more (see rule 14).

These are some of the concerns and guidelines for anyone who is wondering if one of our trips is for them?

I suggest that a hike or 1 night Backpack trip might be the way to start. A lot of these people that participate started out this way. Some of these items might seem harsh or restrictive at first but believe me, after a few bad experiences you will agree with them and want to add a few more. We are out there to have a good time, relax and enjoy what the natural environment has to offer. We want all people to get along and be aware that we are out there as a group and concerned about the safety of those involved. That is what these rules are for.

1 … know Your physical capability and limitations and remain within those limitations. Do not take on a trip you know you are not capable of completing, it impacts the whole group

2 …Let the leader know as soon as possible if you are going, if no one signs up it will be canceled. (Back Pack trips usually have a limit of 10) If you cancel, do so as soon as possible so some one else can go.

3…You are responsible for getting to the starting point or Trail Head, we try to car pool and share expenses.

4…Be on Time (early)

5…Have the necessary gear. don’t know.?? Ask the leader??

6 ...Illegal activities are not tolerated !!!

7…Radios are other equipment must have earphones and not disturb others. (Most people go for the solitude not a concert)…. NO FIREARMS!!!

8 … Dogs will be considered but remember that he is your dog, not the groups! This will be up to the Leader !!

9 …When we camp we try to leave it as it was with no or low impact.

10…Follow the Recommendations of the leader and don’t get ahead or behind the group. Leave something on the trail if you have to get off for whatever reason.

11. Remember you are part of a group, tell the Leader about a Problem. We try to help one another.

12 ..You are responsible for your self and your actions. I and those participating in an event will not be held libel or responsible for any thing that may happen or effect you in any way.

13 .. A parent must accompany anyone under the age of 18!!

14..Alcohol is not a substitute for a energy Bar or Food, We don't drink and hike for a lot of the same reasons you don't drink and drive.!!

4:52 a.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Responsible drinking and backpacking mixes like water and gatorade!

A flask of tequila is standard equipment for my backpacking trips.

I truly enjoy having a bit of a buzz and relaxing in the hammock.

9:19 a.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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rule #1 covers alcohol

your rule #1 "1 … know Your physical capability and limitations and remain within those limitations." applies to alcohol

12:31 p.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

Not my rule but Rich Bauer's.

1:19 p.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

creek, I'm kind of confused as to the point of your message.

For my own edification:

1. who is Rich Bauer?

2. You say "our trips". Whose trips?

1:29 p.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

Rich Bauer is from Missouri. He is part of the Old Goat Patrol, a group of retired people who enjoy hiking and backpacking.

2:39 p.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

I'm with Ed on this one, but, for me, its a flask of bourbon. You sound like you're describing too separate instances of drinking: one that everyone has experience with is the folks that come to paid camp sites, or short walk-ins to raise a little hell away from civilization. Personally this doesn't bother me, I even enjoy it time to time back in the Ozarks with some friends, and people who are looking for solitude should know to avoid these areas. The other instance you talk about, actually drinking alcohol while hiking, I've never known anyone, or actually witnessed anyone doing this while truly backpacking.
The rules of your group are logical, but seem more suited to an expedition style of adventure, rather than a mere backpacking trip. For me, being in the woods is about being free from everything else. The only time I want to hear the words "leader" in the woods is when I'm on patrol.
Finally, I think its more than acceptable to bring alcohol into the back country when, just like in the regular world, its used in a responsible manner. After a full day's hike, and a well cooked dinner, nothing much is better than a little conversation and some bourbon to sip before bed.

7:36 p.m. on March 2, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

You posted them and appear to be promoting them. Your rules.

cheers
ag

12:33 a.m. on March 3, 2006 (EST)
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Crikey that's a lot of rules for things you should or shouldn't be doing in the backcountry!

You say: "I am somewhat concerned over the trend lately by some backpackers who feel the need to bring alcoholic beverages and or drugs into the backcountry." Is it a trend?? For all the old timers I know it's not a developing trend, it's a fine tradition. Nothing revs a crusty old greybeard into telling war stories from ancient trips better than a glass or two of wine with dinner. (this is not meant for Bill S personally if he's reading...Bill is probably a tee totaller)

Some suggestions for backcountry alcohol consumption:
Beer-if you know you'll have a good cold stream to chill it in and don't mind carrying the weight...well worth it, and can be bartered for all sorts of goodies.
Wine-A good red. For panache, take it in the original bottle and uncork ceremoniously at dinner and pass it round. Otherwise decant into a plastic soft drink bottle just before the trip (definitely loses the pose value but is just as, um...effective otherwise).
Port-For some reason this is great when snowcamping. Tastes bloody sweet and horrible if you try to drink it under any other circumstances.
Rocket fuel-50/50 mix of green ginger wine and whiskey. Some folks swear by it...surprisingly drinkable but not my cuppa tea.
Whiskey-For those longer trips (like 10-20 days waaaay in the backcountry). Power to weight of course. Make sure you've got some mountain water to mix it with, or maybe pop up to that snowfield above camp if you want it 'on the rocks'. Great as a celebration after that big day, or when watching that perfect sunset.

Andrew (who almost never drinks alcohol away from the backcountry)

12:35 a.m. on March 3, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

No I was using Mr. Bauer as an example, that's all.

As for my point, I know that some trails have designated campsites which one must use. I had the unfortunate experience of having to spend a night with some hikers who decided to drink, get beligerate and attempt to pick a fight. All due to alcohol comsumption. I should point out I was NOT part of that hiking group but just happened to be there at the time.

I go into the forest to get away from all those sort of people. Then to my surprise I find them there!!!

I hope you understand where I am coming from.

12:40 a.m. on March 3, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

Here's the proof they are Rich Bauer's rules-not mine:

http://www.richbauer.net/rules.htm

But I will admit Mr. Bauer's group seems like the ideal bunch of gents to go backpacking with. :)

6:39 a.m. on March 3, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

If I were you and someone was in a site close to where I was supposed to camp, I would move on.

I never stay in designated campsites, but usually within a 1/2 mile radius to try to be somewhat legal. I move until I can't hear anyone.

I'm a fanatic about low impact camping and you could never tell where I have spent the night. My hammock has wide web straps to prevent tree marking.


If I happen to stumble into or even hear another person while I'm on a backpacking trip I'm either lost or have had to much of that tequila.

1:47 p.m. on March 3, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

I plan a overnighter on the Paint Creek Trail BP Trail in NE Iowa sometime in May. Unfortunately one has to camp in designated campsites. Thoses are the Forest Rules (YRSF). It will be a little hard to avoid people in that situation.

3:18 p.m. on March 15, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

can i go on a hike with you

12:25 a.m. on March 16, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

All depends. First I would have to get to know you (in person) before the hike.

I stress the importance of drug/alcohol free hikes. Some may find this to be undesirable but I refuse to hike or camp with people that feel the need to bring alcohol along. That would be a problem if you plan a hike with me.

Just letting you know in advance.

4:04 a.m. on March 16, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

some brands of baby wipes do use alchohol as a disinfectant. There are some first aid products with alchohol in them.

So the people you want to camp with are sober, infected and have dirty butts :).

Just a joke son, I say a joke!

e

5:49 a.m. on March 16, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

Don't forget to check for alcohol sotves & hand sanitizers as well. Wouldn't want any of that alcohol to slip through.

1:57 p.m. on March 16, 2006 (EST)
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Re: rule #1 covers alcohol

I prefer white gas stoves myself. :)

Just a joke guys!

Have a good one. :)

11:05 a.m. on April 21, 2006 (EDT)
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Well first off...hike w/whom you like and share interests with.
Second...have you guys tried Cpt. Morgan w/hot apple cider (the powder mix)? Man...top that w/a nice cigar and a lay in the hamock over the bend in the river and your in total bliss.

4:02 p.m. on April 21, 2006 (EDT)
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I believe that all serious backpackers enjoy the coutryside and respect it. Yes we all like a drink, i add scotch to chocalate pudding to improve the flavour we all know that drink is not a subsitute to food the more experince should help educate the novice

5:19 a.m. on June 14, 2006 (EDT)
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F the drugs. Anyone who does them is a loser and I agree they shouldn’t be anywhere that anyone else is.
As for alcohol you can NOT backpack without bringing a good 18 year old + Scotch to watch the sunset with or read a book with as the last hours of day light fade away.

7:29 p.m. on June 29, 2006 (EDT)
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Honestly I'm too young to drink but hiking the A.T I have seen many thru hikers drinking while they walk and many tell me of how they brought only whiskey or scotch or whatever that certain person brought and nothing else to drink for those two thousand miles!

6:38 p.m. on July 5, 2006 (EDT)
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yoiks, it is not like people are doing meth or X and backpacking. I think it more like a little marijuana. But good for you just to lump it all together...

5:09 a.m. on July 6, 2006 (EDT)
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Oregonlarha - same thing. If you do any illegal drugs your a loser. There is a reason it is illegal and "its not just because". Pot, meth, ecstasy, cocaine or what have you it is all the same. If you do it you’re a loser and that’s the truth.

6:24 a.m. on July 6, 2006 (EDT)
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Heck, I hear of some very wealthy republicans who vote for democratic candidates, carry guns inside their bibles, smoke pot (decriminalized in some states), drink irish whiskey in their coffee, take sleeping pills every night AND they command the highest respect among their peers.

Maybe it's time to close this thread?

1:13 p.m. on July 6, 2006 (EDT)
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Agree with Ed. Time to close the thread/

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