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Wife in the backcountry
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Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
Wife in the backcountry on 10/03/2005 14:31:35 MDT Print View

Do you take your wife/girlfriend on backpacking trips? Would you like to but she doesn't think it's much fun? Has this been a sore point in your relationship or do you like having your space?

Alex Orgren
(big_load) - F
Re: Wife in the backcountry on 10/03/2005 15:54:05 MDT Print View

I bring her whenever I can. She doesn't get as much vacation time as I do, and she doesn't like backpacking as much as I do. She's happy to let me go solo when I want, and she's fun to be with when she's able and willing to come along. I don't push too hard when she says no, and she doesn't pressure me to stay home.

One compromise that has worked really well is to break trips into two parts. I'll take off a week ahead and do a rough solo trip, then she'll join me for a couple easier days.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
wife in the backcountry on 10/03/2005 17:54:25 MDT Print View

same problem. Most of the trips that I want to do are not up to her level. She like low mileage days. 2-3 days and not much in elevation gain. Most of my friends have started families so all of my hiking partners are gone for a few years. Solo does seem to be the answer but I have yet to try it.

Courtney Waal
(d0rqums) - F
Re: Wife in the backcountry on 10/03/2005 20:56:38 MDT Print View

Eh, your wives are just making it look like they don't do backpacking because they want to go out on their own and have you never suspect a thing. Taking the boyfriend with me just means I'll be bothered with questions like (1) "Are you sure that's not going to blow over?", (2)"Doesn't that need to be cooked longer?", (3)"Won't you let me carry that for you?", and (4)"Are you really going to eat that without washing your hands?".

(1) No, but let me see /you/ pitch a poncho tarp without ridgeline tie-outs, mister engineer!
(2) No. Couscous is meant to be crunchy and it's certainly not a sign that I didn't put enough alcohol in the stove. It's al dente!
(3) No! Then you'll think that you did me a favor, and goshdarnit, I didn't spend hours choosing the appropriate pack for what I'm carrying for you to take some of my carefully selected stuff!
(4) I'm sure my roasted cricket didn't wash his hands, either.

Sigh. Men.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
wife and hiking on 10/04/2005 15:28:18 MDT Print View

Hi, I hope that I did not sound sexist. I was just trying to point out that my wife does not share in my enthusiasm or the need to hike the way that I want to. I think that the original poster was lamenting the fact too.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wife in the backcountry on 10/04/2005 16:30:56 MDT Print View

In the past I have gone backpacking with my wife. In the last few years I haven't taken her. Why? A number of factors has made backpacking no fun. Is it a sore point? Slightly. She and I like doing things together, and so when I do trips it means that we won't be together, and I am typically leaving her behind with work. The "soreness" is more my wife toward me than me toward her. But she is a good sport and don't express "soreness", but we limit the number of trips I take.

While I enjoy my wife's company, I also really enjoy the solitude of solo trips. So taking solo trips doesn't produce any soreness on my part because what is most important for me is that my wife is having a good time.

If my wife didn't enjoy backpacking, I wouldn't try to drag her. Since she theoretically like backpacking, we are working so issues so she can go backpacking again and enjoy it. Going forward we will take some family backpacking trips which are designed for maximum family comfort, and then I will do some solo trips design to challenge me (which the family would hate). What sort of things are we doing to make a trip fun:

1) Make sure we go to destinations that she will really like.

2) Make sure the trip isn't too demanding physically.

3) Attempt to plan for good weather (easier in california than many places) and bail if the weather is really nasty.

4) Make sure she isn't carrying too much stuff. [This means carrying more than my fair share.]

5) Take food that she will enjoy. I typically cook simpler when I am solo.

6) Make sure she is comfortable... even if that mains carrying heavier stuff.


Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
less conflict on 10/04/2005 16:34:15 MDT Print View

My wife used to hike with me but it exacerbated our differences. In town it is not a problem that she is a night person and I am a morning person, but there is conflict when we hike together.

My wife loves her quality time alone while I am hiking. I am happy I don't have to watch those chick flicks.

We have many shared values and activities, but hiking is no one of them.

doug rawlings
(douglas) - F
a rarity on 10/14/2005 15:08:19 MDT Print View

most gals just aren't into it, in my experience...i'd love it if my wife was, but i doubt she could muster the stamina, or the ability to see the appeal...she'll do a car camp with no worries, but packing is probably not gonna happen, particularly since we're both 47 years old....

role reversal on 11/09/2005 15:38:20 MST Print View

Role reversal for us: I'm the one always pressuring my husband to schedule backpacking trips. (though he's actually happy once he's on the trail.)

Truth be told, I may be the gearhead, researcher who comes up with the plan and keeps us well equiped, but push comes to shove, he knows how to build a fire and build a Tom Brown-style debris hut.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: a rarity on 11/27/2005 13:16:33 MST Print View

That isn't quite true Doug...thing is, out here, where I live I know tons of women who hike and backpack.

Years ago, when I started hiking (on my own...just one day I got an idea I wanted to hike... I didn't have any hiking partners-so I decided to to swallow my fears and meet people online. In the past number of years since 2001, I have met around 120 people thru online forums. About 2 of them have been fruitloops out of that ;-) Orginally we did ladies only hikes in WA state. Then we started getting guys on the forums asking if they could come. Out of that, our hiking group, the PNWH came. We have a Yahoo group where we plan and stuff.
The joke in our group is that to be a man, you have to be laid back, not care that the ladies plan 99% of the trips, are chatty and bring kids along.
(I bring my son along with me on almost every trip, and he does the same mileage as the adults carrying a full pack.)
In Wa and Or you see as many women as men on the trails. Women in the West like being outside-in fact what you hear is more women saying they have men who are not as outdoorsy as they claim.

For me, I met my boyfriend on a hike. Now he truly loves the outdoors, but he is a tech guy, and is on call quite often. But eh, he doesn't grudge me. I go often without him. We also like different styles of hiking. He likes woods, I like being above treeline, he is a photographer, etc. So when we go, I set my mind straight and know that it isn't about me, it is about us. I can do the trips I want when he has to stay home! He doesn't mind that I go on trips with other guys or do stupid death marches just to prove to myself I can do it.
Then again, it is like this: He four wheels. I like going with him, but I cannot handle the scarier stuff. He knows that, and goes on those trips when I am not there.
Give and get ;-) It works!

Edited by sarbar on 11/27/2005 13:17:59 MST.