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How often do you hike or backpack?
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cosmo teddy
(cosmoteddy) - MLife
How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 10:07:16 MST Print View

For those who live near good hiking and work full time., how often do you get to hike? I am looking for approximate days of the month.

I guess we could ask the same thing for those that have to drive farther to get there, how many days do you get to hike or backpack?

I am considering a move to the mountainous area, but I wonder if being close to good hiking makes a difference in how often you can get on the trail.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 10:22:34 MST Print View

what do you consider as a hike ? day ? ovenight ? short ? long ?

I am on trails under my own power (no wheels) an average 5 days a week.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 10:28:37 MST Print View

I've fortunately lived about a few hours from some very good backpacking since 1995 (except when deployed), so it's usually averaged about a weekend a month due to work, household chores, and other social commitments. Some months more, some less. Wildfires have interfered in 2011 and to a lesser degree, 2012

I went "feral" for about a year, backpacking every weekend, working during week, but it got old, so that got cut down to backpacking once or twice a month (more in the summer/less in winter). Love backpacking but there's biking, BBQ-ing, etc... watching the local university have another losing football season. In 2012 I spent much of May outdoors but did less into the summer (a few weekend trips, then a long distance one). Fall came and work gobbled up my Sundays. Get outdoors while you can I guess.

To answer your question, yes it makes a big difference when you can leave work Friday and sleep at the TH that night - before midnight. I've explored much of the 4 corners primo locations that way.

ed: add

Edited by hknewman on 01/23/2013 10:42:19 MST.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Re: Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 10:40:12 MST Print View

Even though Angeles National Forest is literally only an hour away from me, I only get to backpack once or twice a month due to family and work obligations - and my backpacking trips are often just 24 hours (hike in Satuday and hike down Sunday)

I do dayhikes around the local trails in my neighborhood on weekends but those trails are mostly fire roads and city views can get old.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
how often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 10:54:15 MST Print View

Glacier National Park is 30 minutes from my house. Year round I average backpacking 2 out of 3 weekends. Some months its more like 4 out of 5, some 1 of 3. It's very easy to get out; I can leave work a bit early on Friday, hike/ski in and camp that night, hike all day Saturday, and be home for a social commitment that evening, and have all Sunday at my disposal. In the summer I'll sneak in a mid-week overnight fairly often, but mid-week hiking, skiing, or mountain bike outings are usually close to town just to cut down on driving time.

Bottom line; people plan all year and spend 1k+ on travel to do what I do on an average three-day weekend.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: how often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 11:26:55 MST Print View

"Bottom line; people plan all year and spend 1k+ on travel to do what I do on an average three-day weekend."

+1 To what Dave said.

My wife doesn't backpack, but enjoys day hikes. We camp a lot in our tent trailer. Most years were are out camping or I am backpacking 100 nights per year. I often do short day hikes on the trails near my house. Sometimes everyday of the week during lunch. We have a limited number of free days in our inventory of days. I try to maximize this inventory. Every inventory day I waste is gone forever.

I just posted this last night on my blog:

Hike where you live. Live where you hike.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: how often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 11:46:28 MST Print View

"Bottom line; people plan all year and spend 1k+ on travel to do what I do on an average three-day weekend."

Add several kids with mid week and weekend activities, and a full time job and that may change. Enjoy it while you can.

I live 30 minutes from the Rocky Mountains (the real ones in Canada) and I still don't get out nearly enough.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 01/23/2013 11:46:34 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/10/2015 06:48:11 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: The math on 01/23/2013 12:10:59 MST Print View

52 weeks per year X 2 days off = 104
8 Holidays per year = 8
20 vacation days per year = 20

Total = 132 potential days.

When my wife wants to visit her family in Nevada, we take our camper to Lake Mead. She visits and I backpack for several days. I do come back to spend some time with her family.

Our vacations are usually camping in our tent trailer, so we are doing day hikes every day.

When my son wants to visit, we go camping or backpacking.

I hike solo, so no need to worry about someone else's schedule.

I live at the bottom of a big ass mountain.

132 days off - 32 for family and projects = 100


Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 13:10:22 MST Print View

It depends on a lot of factors (like kids or not, family nearby, job or business responsibilities, etc.) but over the last 40 years I have averaged 4 trips a year didn't matter really if I lived next to the national forest or was 3+ hours away like I am now. In my 20's I didn't get out for 8 years while building two businesses. Now in my late 50's I get out a bit more with at least 5 trips a year including some longer ones. Because I am a produce farmer the growing season is out of bounds and only leaves Oct.-March for hiking so I try for one a month.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Hiking days on 01/23/2013 17:14:34 MST Print View

I take advantage of my close proximity to a large national forest and lots of trailheads. In fact, I can walk to my closest TH and go for an a.m. trail run before work.

I also get every other Friday off and try to use these weekends for quick 1-2 night trips rather than dipping into much of my vacation time.

Ultimately, I'd say I get out for 1-3 one or two night trips each month during the fall through spring. During summer when our backcountry is too hot and dry many of these trips instead become trail runs or hikes before or after work. The weekend trips become a little less frequent as I have to start to drive a bit to pleasant summer hiking destinations.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Hiking days on 01/23/2013 17:26:05 MST Print View

Last year I got out for nine 3 day trips, 3 in Ireland, 1 in Canada and 4 in the US, also got out for about 6day hikes in the Uk/Ireland.
I am lucky that half those trips where with Bpl over here and Outdoorsmagic folks back in Europe. I problay got about 18-20 nights wild camping last year.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: The math on 01/23/2013 17:48:22 MST Print View

I'm with Roger Dodger on this, if I can get 4 or 5 weekends and maybe a week in the early summer, I'm feeling pretty good about it. With working weekends, family activities, etc., getting out more than that just isn't going to happen.

(BTW love the handle, you old codger. Er, hope that's an old Army joke commo reference and not your real name. :)

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
re: how often on 01/23/2013 18:04:37 MST Print View

"For those who live near good hiking and work full time., how often do you get to hike? I am looking for approximate days of the month."

I don't work full time, but I am a full time grad student. I live pretty close to lots of woods and trails. Sweden is mostly woods, and has many hiking trails.

My monthly hiking can vary depending on a number of factors. I usually do at least one overnight trip and one day hike, but some months I spend 4-5 nights out. I would say I do about half as many day hikes as I do overnight/multiple day trips. In 2011 I spent 18 nights out, and in 2012 it was 21 nights out.

After I am done with my education and reach my goal of teaching at university, which will provide me with both stability and an income, I intend on spending at least 30 nights out in nature each year.

Gerry Volpe

Locale: Vermont
Its never enough on 01/23/2013 19:17:43 MST Print View

Feels like almost no backpacking now that I have a baby girl, though she loves sleeping in a tent so things will improve as she gets older. I can't complain though as I got out lots before I became a dad. Luckily I get a built in day trip at work once a week hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or paddling. Often a weekend day hike or ski tour with the family as well. Waiting on delivery of a Wilderness Engineering kinder shuttle that should make winter day tours and even hut trips much easier and safer with Maya.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: how often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 19:29:01 MST Print View

"Bottom line; people plan all year and spend 1k+ on travel to do what I do on an average three-day weekend."

Yep, I was one of those people too. My wife and I honeymooned in Whitefish and drove to Glacier every single day. Loved every second of it.

I've got two young kids that are ages 2 and 4 so I stay close to home now days. Probably get to do a couple day hikes a month and 3-4 weekend trips on the AT per year. The mountains will be there in a few years and I can take the kids along.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 01/23/2013 19:30:57 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
How often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 19:34:02 MST Print View

"Bottom line; people plan all year and spend 1k+ on travel to do what I do on an average three-day weekend."

I try to live by the same goal.

I've done an overnight on the last 3 weekends, was car camping for two nights the weekend before that.
Backpacking is typically at least once/twice a month with bigger trips every longer break I get.

I surf 4-5 days/week, sometimes more, typically before work.

Just got in from my 3rd trail run this week, a quick 5K in a local canyon. Will climb something much bigger this weekend, likely on snowshoe.

Fortunately, I live 1/2 mile from the Angeles National Forest border. But I work 3 miles from the beach. Yes, I do a lot of driving, but my work hours are good and I do what I can to take full advantage of the situation.

Just got the permits for 7 days in the High Sierra early summer.

Camping and running across Joshua Tree in early May.

Camping in Death Valley with the family on President's weekend.

My family also road trips (camping) for 3 weeks every summer.

I think I can say I get out a lot, even with a wife and two kids, and a full time job.
Thankfully, they're either supportive or come with me....

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: How often do you backpack on 01/23/2013 20:30:16 MST Print View

I live in the Flathead just south of Dave and spend most of my summers in Glacier--I'd say 2-3 weekends a month with lots of dayhiking in between. That should go up now that I have some external commitments ending at the beginning of July (when our summer really starts). My plan this summer, once I finally have a break in classes for the first time in 18 months is to expand well beyond the Flathead into our many other wilderness areas between here and the Greater Yellowstone.

In the winter months, less so. I am going to grad school at the same time as teaching high school full time, so I put in 50-60 hours a week plus nights on classes. When the bulk of my coursework ends in a few months, I'll be out a lot more. Even so, I usually get into the park at least twice a month for a day right now.

Living in Northwest Montana has its perqs, but it comes at a serious cost too. But, like Dave said, I can find out that I have a few days free and throw a trip together at the last minute that most people plan their year around. That's worth it for me.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 20:33:14 MST Print View

At least one day hike a week in the Cascades, two a week when the snow melts out, plus 3-4 trips of 5-8/9 days. So, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 days.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: How often do you hike or backpack? on 01/23/2013 21:38:01 MST Print View

I'm probably in the 100ish nights a year camp, Fall/winter/spring I'm backpacking at least 2-3 weekends every month and live bordering a good sized wilderness area, so weeknight overnights are easy. Summer is the slow time for me; my work is very busy in summer, which involves lots of hiking, so I generally get my fix during the work week, and the desert is generally not as pleasant then.