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I did it - solo backpacking trip!


jen3kids
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One night only, but it's a beginning!!!!  

Day 1 - I hiked just over 9 miles to campsite where I set up my tent, filtered water, made supper, and went to bed by 8pm.  I didn't sleep well since I still don't have a better pillow, but I used a stuff sack with my extra clothes (in addition to my crappy pillow) plus it was chillier than I anticipated.  But, my sleeping pad was much more comfy on the ground and with a bit less air!   I am still very interested in the ZenBivy system though....

Day 2 - I actually slept a little later than I planned (Isn't that the way?  Don't sleep all night, but come 5:30am - sound asleep!) and got on the trail shortly after 8:30.  I hiked just over 4 miles and waited for the shuttle I had arranged to take me back to my car.  

I hiked pretty much by myself both days and at the campsite an older gentleman set up his hammock a bit away from my tent and there were a bunch of other people set up a ways up the trail.  Everyone had to walk by me to get to the water source, so they all knew I was there, but I think the older gentleman was worried about me being on my own - he and I had chatted at an overlook for 10-15 minutes about 3 miles before the campsite.  Anyway, it was nice he was there, but I felt totally safe before he set up.  Everyone I spoke to on the trail was nice, chatty, and easy going.  

I can't wait to do it again - hopefully for 2-3 nights next time.

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Wow! What a wonderful adventure. I always fantasize about this, but I know dh will be extremely against the idea. I dont live far from parts of the AT and I want to do what you did. 

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Congrats! I did a two-night solo camping trip a couple of months ago. I hiked/walked trails each day, but only out and back and stayed in a campground. (Pretty sure my husband's head would explode from anxiety if I said I was going to camp solo along trails.)

I was just thinking the other day that I'm ready to go again, and you've inspired me to start planning the next one!

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Thanks everyone.  I am darn proud of myself!  My husband is totally supportive; he wasn't too keen on it at first, but after I did a few day hikes on my own, he realized I'd be fine.  He does worry, but I usually have service at the trailhead and he always knows where I'm going and when I'll be back.  None of the hikes I have done are really remote either.  I'll probably get a Garmin Inreach GPS eventually as I go further afield.  

The AT is pretty hard to get lost on, at least the parts I've travelled.  It's a very well-worn path and the trail is blazed quite well.   Honestly, my biggest worry is going off the trail to pee and not being able to find it again - the trees all look alike (to me - my dad and brother would be horrified by me saying that!) and it is really easy to get disoriented only a few feet from the trail!  My goal is to finish hiking the PA section of it this summer, but I've got a bunch of other things on the calendar too, so we'll see!

I've been wanting to do this for years, and I'm so glad I finally did.  I feel fulfilled 🙂 and can't wait to go back out!

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8 minutes ago, jen3kids said:

Honestly, my biggest worry is going off the trail to pee and not being able to find it again - the trees all look alike (to me - my dad and brother would be horrified by me saying that!) and it is really easy to get disoriented only a few feet from the trail!   🙂 

I recommend using a GPS app on your phone , like Gaia or Hiking Project. GpS works even without cell service. If the trail is on the electronic map, it's impossible to get lost.

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15 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I recommend using a GPS app on your phone , like Gaia or Hiking Project. GpS works even without cell service. If the trail is on the electronic map, it's impossible to get lost.

I have downloaded the Gaia app, but I haven't used it yet.  Is it pretty intuitive/easy to use?

 

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1 hour ago, jen3kids said:

I have downloaded the Gaia app, but I haven't used it yet.  Is it pretty intuitive/easy to use?

Yes, it is. And it's great! I would never hike without a paper map as a backup, but in practice, we've been using the Gaia App pretty much exclusively. It's especially valuable in terrain that has few distinctive features, or lots of almost identical ones.
You need to download the maps for the area beforehand, so you can use them when you are offline.

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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

Yes, it is. And it's great! I would never hike without a paper map as a backup, but in practice, we've been using the Gaia App pretty much exclusively. It's especially valuable in terrain that has few distinctive features, or lots of almost identical ones.
You need to download the maps for the area beforehand, so you can use them when you are offline.

 

3 hours ago, Rachel said:

Yay! I’m glad you had a great trip. Yes, get Gaia, you do still want a paper map because electronics fail, but apps make things so handy.

 

I always have the map of the area.  I'll spend some turn learning how to use Gaia this weekend.  Thanks for the encouragement.

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5 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

@jen3kids  The zen bivy light beds are on sale 20+25% off now.. that is a great price but limited to stock on hand.

 

 

@Ottakee I saw that.... so tempting.......  Maybe just the quilt to start with.......  This past trip I put my sleeping pad into a silk sleeping bag liner to make it a bit quieter and it worked quite well.  

 

Are you a side sleeper?  The one review video on saw on YouTube showed the guy sleeping on his back all night, .  I might start out that way but I don't stay there; I move a lot!

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1 hour ago, jen3kids said:

 

@Ottakee I saw that.... so tempting.......  Maybe just the quilt to start with.......  This past trip I put my sleeping pad into a silk sleeping bag liner to make it a bit quieter and it worked quite well.  

 

Are you a side sleeper?  The one review video on saw on YouTube showed the guy sleeping on his back all night, .  I might start out that way but I don't stay there; I move a lot!

I am a back sleeper, side sleeper, almost stomach sleeper and back and forth all night long.   I went with the 25*77 one.   It is quite long but I appreciate the width.   If they had a 70 or 72 in the wider I would have done that.

It IS pricey and the fabric is slippery bit that comes with the lightweight.  I love the different configurations possible and that the pad had an R5 rating as I am in Michigan and hope to do some fall camping 

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1 hour ago, jen3kids said:

 

@Ottakee I saw that.... so tempting.......  Maybe just the quilt to start with.......  This past trip I put my sleeping pad into a silk sleeping bag liner to make it a bit quieter and it worked quite well.  

 

Are you a side sleeper?  The one review video on saw on YouTube showed the guy sleeping on his back all night, .  I might start out that way but I don't stay there; I move a lot!

Boy, I hear ya! I am the original thrasher sleeper. When I go tent camping, it is very hard for me to figure out the comfort issue.

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2 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

Boy, I hear ya! I am the original thrasher sleeper. When I go tent camping, it is very hard for me to figure out the comfort issue.

That is why I went with the Zenbivy...I am restless now.....then add in hot flashes ....and the quilt is nice.

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2 hours ago, Ottakee said:

That is why I went with the Zenbivy...I am restless now.....then add in hot flashes ....and the quilt is nice.

I hear you on the hot flashes thing. Ugh! Sleeping bags are torture devices when the flash hits!!

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