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How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips?
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Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/08/2012 12:28:30 MST Print View

As I'm planning out some trips for this year I'm having a hard time saving some vacation days for other things, like visiting family back east or taking an actual vacation where I can relax. How much vacation time do the rest of you use for backpacking vs. other stuff?

Edited by csteutterman on 03/08/2012 13:30:32 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Lucky... on 03/08/2012 13:42:11 MST Print View

I'm lucky I live in an are where even my weekends can be pretty cool for backpacking (or the outdoors in general). WIthout fail, all my three-day weekends are for some sort of of outdoor activities.

This past year, two weeks of my actual vacation time were outdoor related. The other two was meeting my fiancee's family in Germany.

This year, I hope to use 3 of the 4 weeks for all outdoor activities. My company shuts down for a week at Christmas. Christmas 2010 went visited relatives back East.
2011, we went to Germany. 2012? Big Bend National Park. Never been and I think it looks quite nice.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Lucky... on 03/08/2012 13:57:47 MST Print View

I am in Paul's same boat. Living in Colorado really is nice but it looks like your from SF so have access to the Sierra's and coastline beauty near by. I find I like to take my vacation in short chunks. Maybe a few hours on a Friday afternoon and get a quick 2.5 day backpack loop somewhere in the state. I have never actually done a backpack of 4+ days, always 2-3 nights. I just find that a lot of short trips give me more pleasure and break up the work rut more than a few big trips.

Having said that I definitely daydream about the opportunity some day to take longer thru hikes or at least string a couple sections together for a week long trip.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/08/2012 14:00:05 MST Print View

I look at all my days off.

I have 104 weekend days to use. Most years my wife and I go camping in our tent trailer every weekend when I am not backpacking. On the camping trips we do long hikes everyday usually 10 - 15 miles, sometimes more.

I have 8 holidays each year to add to the mix above.

I have 20 vacation days a year. I try to do 1/2 for backpacking and 1/2 with my wife. We often visit her relatives on those trips and I can usually slip in a couple 3-4 day trips while she visits her family.

To me it doesn't matter -- day hikes or overnight trips, as long as I get to do a lot of them. This year I have been doing 1-2 hour hikes nearly everyday during my lunch break in the local mountains. I just got back from a hike up the Desert Skyline Trail, went up 2,000 feet and back down.

The goal is 100 full days of hiking each year. Overnights preferred but not required.

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Sick days on 03/08/2012 14:17:21 MST Print View

Would this include 'sick' days? :)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
At least half on 03/08/2012 14:31:50 MST Print View

I use at least half my vacation days.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Vacation Time for backpacking trips on 03/08/2012 15:10:27 MST Print View

It used to be that probably about 50% of my vacation time went to backpacking trips, mostly taking off a couple days bookending weekends or holidays to allow for long weekend trips. Now, between various family commitments, house projects and other hobbies/interests, very little of my actual vacation time is being set aside for backpacking trips.

Instead, I'm having to get by with shorter, but more frequent 1-2 night weekend trips to hold me over. To aid in this, I've worked out a 9-80 flexible work schedule with my employer, so I get every other Friday off. That has allowed for a little more wiggle room for more ambitious weekend trips or to get in a quick overnighter and still be around the house all day Sunday to work on projects.

And like others, I live in very close proximinty to lots of hiking options, so I spend very little of my weekend time driving to or from trailheads. That helps a lot with maximizing my weekends!

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Re: How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/08/2012 15:18:26 MST Print View

I try to get out once a month for a weekend trip, 1-2 nights, sometimes 3-4 nights (which burns 1-2 vacation days) but then will have at least one longer trip each year of 10 days to 2 weeks, occasionally 3. In the end I've used about half of my vacation for backpacking.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
long weekends are my friend on 03/08/2012 16:03:30 MST Print View

without long weekends the long drive locales wouldn't be possible. between backpacking and bicycle touring, i am planning on taking a 10 days vacation time, but i am lucky, i can earn comp time to be used in place of my annual and personal leave.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Weather permitting on 03/08/2012 18:55:24 MST Print View

I use most of my vacation time on bp trips, unless the snow is too deep in the Fall. I use 7 days out of 9-10 for a trip, love to spend time at home as I am away from home all week long because I work out of town. :(

Chris Wheeler
(ChrisW) - MLife

Locale: Stratford, Ontario
Re: How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/08/2012 20:55:17 MST Print View

I use about 2/3 of my vacation time for backpacking, plus the odd weekend.
Over the last six years most of that time was used for backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Northern Ontario. My wife and I usually get a weeks vacation in the Caribbean or Cuba, and we live in Canada.

Edited by ChrisW on 03/08/2012 21:00:30 MST.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/08/2012 22:00:07 MST Print View

I have a few weeks on either side of summer this year (Sun-friday backpacking, Saturday in town). Enjoy while I can. Weekends are Sunday and Monday, but for a long trip, requiring several hours on the road, I try to schedule a rest day (plus if something happens to the vehicle, I do not have to call my boss saying I won't be in). Throughout my adult life, I've been lucky to have about a month off for Xmas but family and friends are the focus for those days.

Next year, who knows?

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Re: How much vacation time do you use for backpacking trips? on 03/09/2012 00:12:52 MST Print View

I use around 6 to 7 weeks for backpacking usually; not all at one go. Supplemented by weekends and long weekends when things look good (and that principally means the weather in the UK).

I spend the rest of my time planning trips :-)

jacko vanderbijl

Locale: Shelley Western Australia
All and then some... on 03/10/2012 05:16:28 MST Print View

I took 6 1/2 weeks off at the end of September to walk the Bibbulmun Track.
5 weeks of that was without pay.
Next year I am going to do the AT. At most 1 month will be paid leave.

When you gotta hike you just gotta hike.

James McIntosh

Locale: Near Bass Strait
5 weeks on 03/19/2012 01:44:32 MDT Print View

About 5 weeks per year, with another week for other stuff. Here in Australia, it's normal to get 4 weeks leave per year. My nice employer gives the option of 'buying' extra vacation time. That means at the start of the year I say I want an extra couple of weeks, and they reduce my salary in proportion.


Edited by JamesMc on 03/19/2012 01:47:35 MDT.