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Old 09-12-2016, 07:53 AM   #1
SaraHikes
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Camping Alone

I've been going on a lot of solo trips the past year. I love backpacking with a friend or two, but the older I get the harder it seems to coordinate schedules. So I just head out on my own. I'm wondering what is everyone's favorite activity to keep themselves occupied at night when you're alone before you fall asleep (PG please!). There's always a few hours in the evening before I pass out, where I feel a little bored/lonely and paranoid (every twig breaking is a bear or a serial killer). Do you like to read a book, play cards, etc? I myself usually end up sipping some tea and reading a book. I'm curious as to what pastimes others enjoy when they are camping alone at night.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:10 AM   #2
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I usually end up going to sleep early. It certainly is difficult to coordinate schedules sometimes. I seem to do a lot more solo trips especially at the last minute.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:12 AM   #3
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My one luxury item is a very expensive set of headphones. I get myself comfortable, my dog/s situated, and then let my tunes carry me off to sleep.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:19 AM   #4
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A warm campfire & cold beer! 🔥🍺
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:20 AM   #5
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I go to bed early as well, but I will often set up a candle/ headlamp (I don't do campfires) and read parts of a book. During baseball season I will bring a pocket radio with earbuds and catch part of a game before I drift off.

With a friend, I have played cards, but as a solo you could do solitaire.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:33 AM   #6
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I usually allow myself the very rare luxury of absolute zero external stimulation. I lay in my bag (quite early, me also) and let my mind wander randomly as I slowly doze off.

Sometimes I'm brought back to a state of wakefulness when a 200 lb chipmunk walks by.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
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I read a book, but I usually stop reading and start trying to sleep by 9 when I'm camping, unless I'm late getting in and am still eating supper till later.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:37 AM   #8
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I hike until it starts to get dark, camp, then fall asleep.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:49 AM   #9
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Meditate (can go really far and deep without society's electromagnetic smog), paint/draw/write, or decide on a small bushcrafting project (making a spoon, walking stick, feathered spirit stick if I come across feathers, cup, seat, gnome/elementals figurines via whittling, etc).

These are part of the whole hiking experience for me. I was never one to hike to somewhere in record time, pitch a tent, and go to sleep. I like to maximize the experience and really use it in a therapeutic way where I'm not feeling like I'm rushing or testing my body's limits of how many miles or peaks I can bag.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:03 AM   #10
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A nice, relaxing smoke of crack.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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A nice, relaxing smoke of crack.


"Sure gotta' purdy mouth ain't he?"

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Old 09-12-2016, 11:22 AM   #12
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I haven't backpacked in decades but when I did, after supper I'd write a few notes about my day in a journal. I still have the notebook(s) and they're a time capsule of my experiences and thoughts (and penmanship).

FWIW, I usually planned my day so there was just enough daylight remaining to pitch my tarp, set up a bear-hang, cook/eat/clean-up, and turn in at sunset. Entertainment was listening to the noises in the woods and trying to identify the animals responsible for the sounds. It didn't take long to learn that everything that sounded like a bear, wasn't.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:11 PM   #13
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And in the summer, it's not dark for very long. If you head into the tent at dark and just go right to sleep, it will be light again in (sometimes less than) 8 hours.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:44 PM   #14
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My biggest problem with winter camping is the opposite of what TCD said. I once went camping in Christmas Eve and went to bed when it got dark. 10 hours later it was still dark (and cold) and I didn't want to get up!
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:12 PM   #15
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My biggest problem with winter camping is the opposite of what TCD said. I once went camping in Christmas Eve and went to bed when it got dark. 10 hours later it was still dark (and cold) and I didn't want to get up!
Nothing worse than sleeping 9 hours, waking up rested, and it's 3am.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:13 PM   #16
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Early evening is my downtime. I use that time to do nothing except to enjoy my fire and the silence of the night. The loons, owls, and coyotes keep my mind occupied. Just before dark it's really neat to watch the birds find their roost for the night. You are never alone in the Mountains!
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:02 PM   #17
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Nothing worse than sleeping 9 hours, waking up rested, and it's 3am.

I plan these trips around the phases of the moon. Bed around 5 pm, wake up 1-2am, and can see clearly with the moonlight reflecting off the snow.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:19 PM   #18
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Usually I am wiped out so I just kick back and relax. I just sit there and stare into the fire and think about the day or whatever I don't get to daydream about normally. Sometimes I don't start a fire and just stare at the sky without any light pollution. Then I put in my headphones and relax with some music or an audio book until I pass out. Side note, bears do not fear snoring.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #19
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I recall this June after I hiked the Macintyre Range including an out and back whack of Avalanche Peak and passing by Shepherd's Tooth. I got into the Henderson L-T reasonably early but fairly tired and I just sat there for an hour in my underwear with the sun beating down on me and listened to the gurgling of Indian Pass Brook. It was heaven on earth and a book or music would have lessened the experience for me.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #20
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if i have my boat along, i always like to paddle in the wee hours, even in light rain. if i'm boatless or the weather's too cold or windy, i lay in my bag and curse my inability to read the weather and/or bring my boat along...
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