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How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo?
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Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 13:56:32 MST Print View

When solo, I spend a surprising lot of time in my tent, under my quilt, because I tend to head there when it's dark and getting cool. I don't carry loads of sit-in-camp warm gear so the quilt is king when I get chilly. Frankly I run out of things to do when the sun goes down. Sundown to sunup can be 12 hours, and I'm impatiently waiting for the sun to get up so I can have some fun.

Writing in my journal helps, but occupies maybe a half-hour. (And notebooks are freaking heavy, have you noticed?) What do you do with your solo downtime? I don't want to start bringing a Kindle, I really don't, but...I need more dark-time, down-time solo activities.

Edited by Bolster on 03/02/2014 13:58:36 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 14:08:26 MST Print View

Not trying to be smart, but might be worth trying a trip carrying some insulated clothing so you can sit outside and enjoy the evening.
Sitting down watching the stars can take up a lof of time.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 14:10:24 MST Print View

That would drive me nuts. I would just keep trekking with a headlamp.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Hike in the dark on 03/02/2014 14:16:54 MST Print View

I get bored on solo trips too. Sometimes I read but normally I just hike into the dark. I try to time my night hiking so I'm not missing anything especially scenic. After about an hour in the dark I'm pretty sleepy. By the time I set up camp I'm ready to go to bed and sleep.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 14:16:56 MST Print View

+1, Stephen. It's very easy to get lost in contemplation, provided you aren't uncomfortably chilled.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Hike on 03/02/2014 14:48:01 MST Print View

Hike, sleep. Wake up and repeat. Don't want to do the extra miles, adjust your schedule during the day.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
podcasts on 03/02/2014 14:51:54 MST Print View

I recommend some good podcasts (and/or music) on an Ipod shuffle. Oh, and scotch.

Edited by DaveT on 03/02/2014 14:52:29 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 15:04:56 MST Print View

What tent?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 15:07:44 MST Print View

watch fire

listen to radio or mp3 files - Sansa Clip is $30 and 1 ounce

if I wear an insulated jacket or vest I can stay warm, then wear it inside sleeping bag

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 15:10:41 MST Print View

You guys are serious hiking machines. I try to get to the campsite by late afternoon, so I have time to set up camp, treat the water, and score the night's firewood. From then until dark, I wander around the area, checking everything out--animal signs, neighborhood geysers and fumeroles in Yellowstone, and incredible views in Glacier or Colorado. Maybe there's a good sunset to watch. Then there is the important business of playing with the fire while sipping Wild Turkey. I like to eat late, so that I have a full supply of calories to last the night. I'll watch a few stars until the drowsies hit, and I sleep well.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 15:17:25 MST Print View

same here Gary, I don't mind finding a spot a couple hours before sunset, or even three, and investigate

but it depends, sometimes I'm more into hiking some distance

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 15:50:20 MST Print View

"...checking everything out--animal signs, neighborhood geysers and fumeroles..."

A geezer checking out the geysers, I like that....

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Fire vs Podcast on 03/02/2014 16:14:24 MST Print View

At least you guys have fires to look at. I can't remember the last time here in the southland that a fire was allowed anywhere you'd want to hike.

I'm thinking the podcast idea will work for me.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Fire vs Podcast on 03/02/2014 16:27:26 MST Print View

Sansa Clip is cheap and light. Apple products are expensive (sometimes you get what you pay for?).

Sansa holds maybe 200 hours but the battery only lasts for 50 hours. I got a lipstick battery to recharge, from amazon.com, maybe $10, 2.5 ounces, good for another 100 hours?

You can download any music from CDs or your PC

(are CDs like 8 track tapes?)

http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks has free audio books. Mostly older ones that are past copywrite. They have links to other free mp3 files like online courses.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 16:37:33 MST Print View

I can't remember the movie, I was just a kid when i saw it... Some old classic I'm sure, something with Steve McQueen in it. It was a prison camp movie. The question was posed about how to keep your sanity when locked away in isolation.

He said he used to spend a lot of timing working on his motorcycle, so in his mind he'd take it apart and put it back together... bolt by bolt. I'm an only child, I was a single parent. My sanity is still intact (that's what my voices tell me ;) ) because I'll never forget that movie line. I don't take apart motorcycles, but the concept is the same. It works in the woods just as well.

I guess if a person can't find something to do in their own head, then more "stuff" is the answer. Lots of threads on using a smartphone as a do-it-all device for podcasts, kindle, games, movies, etc... Could carry a ton of batteries for the weight of a kindle I'd think.

I'd rather stay up late, than get up early, when it's dark, cold and wet and I'm hungry and thirsty and have to pee... I'm not a good morning person.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 16:44:50 MST Print View

The Great Escape :-)

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 16:46:04 MST Print View

MP3 player with audio books on it. And extra batteries for more than a couple days. And you can have music on it also.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Downtime when Solo on 03/02/2014 17:00:54 MST Print View

Geyser Geezers 'R' Us, Dougie. Want to hike with me to the Shoshoni geyser basin in YNP next summer? You know, pester the wildlife and other hikers, burn wood, sip whiskey and talk smart, and project The Rocky Horror Picture Show onto the side of your cuben shelter? Oh, and there are all those geysers to play with, you geezer...

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime on 03/02/2014 17:07:23 MST Print View

I used to bring one good pocket book. Now, I've splurged and bring the cheapest Kindle--which is also the lightest. Great because you can have a ton of reading options. So I have no boring hours. In fact I look forward to reading time.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: How Do You Occupy Self during Evening/Downtime when Solo? on 03/02/2014 17:20:51 MST Print View

Readin', writin' and radio. Looking forward to some evening fishing this summer.