Some good suggestions, thanks.
All I wanted to know is what more experienced folks than I, do when they have 12 hours of dark and sleep maybe 8 of them. What do people do with a dark 4 hours in a tent or under a tarp? Legitimate question, I thought. I wasn't expecting to have this thread turn into an analysis of the defects of my personality and the limits of my intellectual capacity.
"Intelligent people don't get bored." Just isn't true. Intelligent people actually crave more stimulation than dull people. Reference the research on how less intelligent people make better drivers...they're concentrating on driving. More intelligent drivers are bored and diverting themselves, and also getting into more accidents. Loads of additional research that intelligent people crave stimulation, intellectual and otherwise. Especially people that are High NFC. And, too much meditation has been shown to decrease IQ. (Notice I specified "too much"... some is good for you, hours of it are not. Hours of meditation has an effect similar to hours of TV...makes you dull.)
In my original post, I said I "run out of things to do," I never said I run out of things to think. If the rest of you are doing fun stuff in the dark, I want to know what it is. That's all.
"Also, it seems that some people are task oriented (which is me) and others are more people oriented, which I suppose may mean the people oriented solo hiker may have difficulty occupying themselves at night. Work at it." Pop-psychology introvert/extravert generalities aside, let me ask you: You have four hours of dark, you're under your quilt to stay warm. You've inventoried the stars, written in your journal. What other *tasks* are you performing? If they are interesting tasks, I may follow your lead. But I'm not going to be working out quadratic equations in my head for fun, because I don't find that fun.
"You must live a carefree stress free mistake free life Delmar because when I'm hiking or sitting/laying around camp my mind is a problem solving flashback projector." I wish I was stress/mistake free, Clayton! Truth be told, this sort of rumination is EXACTLY what I wish to avoid. And by thinking about past problems, one doesn't "purge" them, that's the old catharsis hypothesis that's been pretty thoroughly discredited by psychologists. Thinking about intractable problems is a good way for me to ruin a trip. When in the wild, I try to adhere to Hemingway's philosophy to avoid thinking about big problems. Which is why Hemingway drank a good bit, I understand.
Sounds like I need to bring a couple of oz of Everclear and an ipod, and I'll be fine. Thanks for all the suggestions.