View topic - The reasons for going solo.

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PostPosted: March 24th, 2013, 10:31 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
I think most of the reasons why I often solo trip have been enumerated above. I organized group trips for 20+ years, and for a long time enjoyed the peculiar challenges of putting together trips with friends.

Eventually my enjoyment of those challenges began to wane. The last group trip I organized involved all of the elements that can make for an unsatisfactory outing.

The pre-trip planning was months in the making and involved far too many e-mails and discussions, with folks opting out and opting in but deciding to bring additional companions.

Despite those e-mails and discussions one of the paddlers elected to bring a boat that was ill-suited for the conditions and was forced to alter their route half way through the trip, splitting our party into two groups.

Once split off that group experienced personality conflicts, with two paddlers vying for leadership roles and further splintered. Folks who had agreed to supply some of the common gear did not do so, leaving one of the groups poorly outfitted after the split.

There was little communication between the splintered groups, leading to further disharmony as some members of each group were dependent on each other for transportation at the takeout.

In the end it was a giant clusterf$%#, with recriminations, finger pointing and broken friendships.

I still trip with companions sometimes, but only a very select few whose character and dependability are proven assets in the backcountry.


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2013, 10:26 pm 
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PostPosted: March 31st, 2013, 10:43 am 
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I have been doing an annual solo trip every year now for the past 18 years. My reasons for going solo are like most, I like to be alone in the wilderness. It gives me time to recharge, reflect and to move at my own pace. I go every year in mid May on my solo and then do a couple trips with the family as well.


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PostPosted: August 9th, 2013, 4:18 am 
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for the same reason that there is the saying "dance like no one is watching"

things change when you're alone. the way you behave. the way you grunt. the amount of time you stare at something. the places you advance toward, the sounds you chase. the pride in keeping something dry. the pride in a knot. your campsite feels like your skin, like an extension of your body. the sound of a tent zipper at night (does not change as much as become so heard).

the way you think changes, because the routes of your thoughts are not modified or aimed according to what is appropriate (socially) or to what is relevant to the other, or to your shared context.

the whole thing changes. the way you perceive things. the wind has a personality when you go alone, it's more alive or something. when a wave slaps your canoe there is the slightest instant where you perceive it as though it were an animal that did it, something with the intent of doing it, something that somehow is aware of you, that means something toward you.

you notice your place amongst the land, and you notice the land amongst you. it's an utterly honest, perfect and pure relation between you and the wild when alone, saturated as an outcome of not being diluted by the company of another.

but these aren't reasons to go alone, for me. not in the sense that i could say "i want to feel those things, and that's why i go alone". it's not true that i want to feel those things. you don't seek them directly. i mean, you don't go because you want to "notice the land amongst you". that does not come about in your mind as a desirable thing, so it's not something to be your reason to go alone. but when you go alone it HAPPENS, these things happen-- they rain on you-- and secretively they are what pull you back. at least for me, i think.


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2013, 7:33 am 
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Location: Miami Manitoba
As any parent/ husband will know personal time can be at a premium. So for me any solo day, weekend or even the odd week long trip is great Me time. No worries of the other person, do as you please, canoe well into the night or sleep late or change schedule or route on a whim and no one else to have issue with it.
Me and my dog thats it thats all.
good times.

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PostPosted: November 30th, 2013, 6:46 pm 
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Location: Newfoundland
I only go solo. I will take someone who asks because I like for others to have experienced the backcountry, but usually solo.

I go alone because I get to go at my own pace. I have found on my first solo trip, that wildlife is everywhere. I see so much when I am alone, and rarely see anything with others. I find that many animals are not intimidated by me and allow me to get photos. The great wildlife viewing is a major reason for me going solo.

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PostPosted: December 1st, 2013, 11:13 am 
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Location: Calgary, AB or wherever life takes me
Trippers, you bring up a good point. I too tend to see way more wildlife when solo. My senses seem to be way more keen, likely because none of my focus is on other people, and is only tuned in to my surroundings.

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"Paddle faster, I hear banjos!"


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PostPosted: December 1st, 2013, 11:45 am 
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Location: St Catharines, Ontario canada
I love the heightened sense of awareness. When I hear something, I can stop and listen for as long as my soul desires...the sounds of water trickling down a brook or the wind whistling through the pine trees. I can watch the clouds drift lazily across the sky or listen as the rain touches everything around me. I can stand there in silence and take in the aroma of the wilderness around me and appreciate the rareness of it.
Of course there's always the adrenaline rush at 3AM when you hear something breaking branches outside your tent, then hear the snuffling right beside your head, imagining that it's a 600lb hungry bear, when in reality it's most likely a 30lb raccoon looking for a free meal. lol...It's all part of the adventure and it's the adventure that I love so much.

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PostPosted: December 1st, 2013, 8:03 pm 
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bgiroux wrote:
.....when in reality it's most likely a 30lb raccoon looking for a free meal..

Yeah, that's fine for you, but we don't have racoons to explain these things. :o :lol:

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PostPosted: December 1st, 2013, 9:23 pm 
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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2013, 10:59 pm 
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On a boardwalk in Bayou Sauvage, SE of New Orleans, we saw four (4) racoons way up in a hackberry, apparently looking for berries that hadn't fallen. A couple of them were getting way, way out on slender limbs. We once owned two racoons as pets, so I know they are good climbers, but this was extreme. I guess they knew they were in a no hunting zone, Bayou Sauvage being a National Wildlife Refuge.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2013, 12:01 am 
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dunkin' wrote:
u, but we don't have racoons to explain these things. :o :lol:


ask nicely and we'll send you a few of ours as a special favour!!!

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2013, 9:41 am 
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wotrock wrote:
dunkin' wrote:
u, but we don't have racoons to explain these things. :o :lol:


ask nicely and we'll send you a few of ours as a special favour!!!

My wife is from Ottawa, and I have heard lots of stories from her father and siblings about the ones that roam in the city, and none to favourable. Probably like bears though, nobody likes the nuisance ones that have been spoiled by humans about them, but everyone loves the ones in the wild.

I wonder what it is about our environment that they don't live here though. I guess by looking at the blizzard raging outside, I might just understand. :)

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2013, 1:29 pm 
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dunkin' wrote:

I wonder what it is about our environment that they don't live here though. I guess by looking at the blizzard raging outside, I might just understand. :)



They will get to you eventually, in fact they are already getting close!

At one time it would have been rare to find a coon North of the Florida Panhandle, today they are found throughout the entire lower 48 and in most of Southern Canada. Population levels in South-Central Canada are small NOW but they won't be that way for long. Actually a simple Google search reveals that they are already setting up residence in Calgary.

Where humans go, rockies will follow.........

At this point we should probably drop the subject of raccoons, this thread is about solo travel and raccoons rarely travel solo as they prefer the security and camaraderie of a large group.

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2013, 1:40 pm 
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Well the cousins of the above culprits are a real threat especially when soloing. While you are off to attend business and the store is unattended the gangs move in fast. I was gone five minutes and returned to find one attempting to drag the barrel. In the Everglades, where the real threat to your trip is not snakes or gators but raiding raccoons.

Maybe the reason I solo is for a raccoon wildlife encounter?


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