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wetcanoedog
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01/20/2015 12:09PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
i was browsing around Youtube and ran across a bunch of "look at me i spent the night alone in the woods" videos.
i was going to reply, check out BWCA.COM and the solo forum, but i did not not want to deflate any balloons.
 
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Alan Gage
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01/20/2015 12:26PM  
Don't forget that there are people who would think the same of us, and perhaps justifiably so.

Alan
 
01/20/2015 08:47PM  
Yeah, but it might be good to remember my first few nights "alone in the woods". Not that I was scared or anything, but I am just a little more comfortable now ;).
 
kanoes
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01/20/2015 08:53PM  
my first solo I had a lantern burning in camp when I went to bed. I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea.
 
01/20/2015 11:20PM  
Don't know if it is ignorance or experience but I was very comfortable going solo for the first time. It was this year and I am " in my forties".
 
01/21/2015 01:13AM  
the first night of a solo is always kind of weird for me ...but I prefer an actual solo to a tandem trip or group solo any day.
 
jeepgirl
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01/21/2015 06:59AM  
I loved my first solo. The first night was tough even with ear plugs and Tylenol pm. The second night I was so tired from not sleeping the night before and spending the day on the water that I had no problems sleeping. I sleep great now in the woods.
 
01/21/2015 08:11AM  
quote mooseplums: I prefer an actual solo to a tandem trip or group solo any day.
"
I agree.
 
01/21/2015 04:08PM  
I've done 5 or 6 solos of a week or more and the first night is always interesting. The quiet and the noises that inevitably show themselves make me very aware. I think all of our senses are "boosted" on a solo.
 
01/21/2015 06:07PM  

quote boonie: "Yeah, but it might be good to remember my first few nights "alone in the woods". Not that I was scared or anything, but I am just a little more comfortable now ;)."

I hear ya' Boonie!

I took my first BWCAW solo canoe trip in September of 1986. I'd taken several solo river trips throughout Wisconsin, and numerous group trips, (both solo and tandem), in the BWCAW and Quetico before that. Still, I had this uneasy feeling the first few nights on my first "Canoe Country" solo trip.

As Boonie mentioned, it wasn't so much a fear of "things that go bump in the night", but for me, it was a concern about gear damage or losing my food to a pesky bear.

Throughout most of the 80's I worked in Outdoor retail, half of that time was at Rutabaga. On more than one occasion, I had customers that I had previously outfitted with canoes, maps, food, gear, etc., return to the store and tell me about their bear encounters.

One group mentioned that after they were all settled in one night, a bear came and grabbed one of the food packs. They were able to scare the bear off temporarily and recover most of their food. But the persistent bruin would not completely leave their campsite, no matter what they tried. As long as they maintained a presence near the food pack, the bear would keep its distance, or at least fade into the woods for awhile. One of the guys told me that although they didn't see the bear after awhile, they always sensed or feared it was nearby.

To avoid losing any more of the food cache, and the potential for an early termination of the trip, they all took turns guarding the food throughout the night until they could pack up a leave the next morning.

With this story now firmly implanted in my brain, a similar situation would be a major hassle if by chance this happened on my BWCAW solo trip. It's all well and good if you can share the guard duties with other group members, but I really didn't relish trying to stay awake all night in-order to protect my food cache.

Since that time, and after numerous BWCAW and Quetico canoe trips both solo and tandem, I figured the odds of finding myself in a similar situation would be incredibly rare. With that realization, and many more solo trips to the BWCAW and Quetico, that uneasy feeling quickly faded.

Hans Solo
 
01/21/2015 09:08PM  
quote kanoes: "my first solo I had a lantern burning in camp when I went to bed. I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea."

I think that whatever you have to do that first night out is what works for solo-ing. Can't remember what I did on my first solo backpack which was years before I solo canoe-ed but it was probably something similar. It's become so familiar at this point that I look forward to that first night because I have come to love the solitude...but it took a lot of practice to get to that level!
 
napinch
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01/22/2015 11:19AM  
The second night!
Due to strong headwinds all day, some extra paddling due to self-imposed navigation errors, poor sleep after 1100 mile drive, I don't really remember too much about my first night's sleep. Set up the tent, crawled in the bag and then out....no strange noises, no uneasiness.

Now, the second night.... a little more effort to get to sleep, but still managed to fall asleep without issue.
 
Alan Gage
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01/22/2015 12:05PM  
It's all well and good if you can share the guard duties with other group members, but I really didn't relish trying to stay awake all night in-order to protect my food cache.

That's why I sleep with my food in my hammock with me. The whole pack is too bulky so I unpack it all and spread it out evenly. Meat on the bottom, then cheese, then veggies, and any extras like hot sauce or sour cream last.

Alan
 
gkimball
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01/22/2015 01:02PM  
My first solo was backpacking out in Idaho in 1971 while working for the Forest Service. First night I was too tired to worry about what might come after me. Didn't hang my food, have a bear canister - nothing but a tent, a stove and some gear. Didn't really think about it. Just did it. Absolutely nothing bad happened, even though all the locals and old timers said I was crazy not to be carrying a gun.

Now after many more solos I don't get concerned about anything unless I know for sure that something a lot bigger and stronger than me is in the immediate vicinity. The only bad events and experiences have been due to my own mistakes, and bears are just a part of the woods that can be avoided.

I now regard myself as the same crazy as the first time, except I pay a lot more attention to where I am and what is around. That's how I feel secure, and it adds to the fun. My security comes from my own awareness.
 
01/22/2015 01:17PM  
quote Alan Gage: " It's all well and good if you can share the guard duties with other group members, but I really didn't relish trying to stay awake all night in-order to protect my food cache.


That's why I sleep with my food in my hammock with me. The whole pack is too bulky so I unpack it all and spread it out evenly. Meat on the bottom, then cheese, then veggies, and any extras like hot sauce or sour cream last.


Alan"


Now I know where the term "Bear Taco" came from!!!
 
cgchase
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01/22/2015 01:44PM  
My first solo camping trip happened immediately after I became lost on a solo day hike. It was winter in the mountains east of San Diego - short, warm days and long, cold nights. I had not planned on camping so I had no food, no water, nothing to start a fire with and no warm clothes. Basically, I stayed up as long as I could and then fell asleep on the cold ground. At one point, I was startled out of sleep by a loud growl/screech that I was *sure* was a mountain lion. I felt really good getting into my car the next morning, knowing that I had managed an unexpected situation for which I was totally unprepared. If Youtube had existed back then, I probably would've posted a video about it, ha ha.

As dumb as that was, it was actually a fun experience and it started me down the road to solo camping. I like to bring gear and food, these days.

I am planning my first trip to the BW this year and it was going to be a solo but plans changed and now it's going to be a tandem . .but I can't wait to do it solo.


 
01/22/2015 03:20PM  
quote kanoes: "my first solo I had a lantern burning in camp when I went to bed. I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea."


Just think of the fuel you didn't have to carry.
 
01/22/2015 03:23PM  
When I first soloed, I didn't even think twice. Just did it. I aborted my first attempt do to some unforeseen circumstances. I learned quickly what I was lacking and got back at it. Now I appreciate the opportunity to do it alone, but also enjoy some friendly company.
 
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