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Avoiding nasty hiking partners...
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David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/23/2014 14:05:40 MDT Print View

I used to hike with a guy that was a complete jackass. If he was bored on the trail, he would sneak pebbles into your pack all day long. If sharing a tent he would wake you up when it was black, black saying " OMG do you hear that bear?". Then he would use the flash camera to sunburn your brain through dilated pupils. He was known to wait until you were snuggled into your pillow and then point out he had put his dirty underwear in your pillow sack. The list goes on.

Many times I was inclined to beat him senseless but was dissuaded by the fact he was a BIG guy that could just rip my arms off.

Anyway OP, I have noticed that playing any of these pranks on a woman will make her hostile. So if that is what is making the woman hostile you should probably quit. If not, then go ahead. Might as well entertain yourself.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Vetting hiking partners" on 07/23/2014 14:57:36 MDT Print View


Actually my last backpack with "Her Dreadfulness" in Utah WAS the "vetting". And not going on this trip was "taking myself out of the situation".

Our trip leader has been the same great guy. He hadn't the heart to turn her down - yet. But I feel the day is coming B/C she is s burr under others' saddles and he is well aware of it.

I do (attempt) to practice Buddhist principles and even then she was able to make the trip miserable. Two other women were not pleased with her ventings.

In her 50s now I feel sorry for her that she herself is so miserable. She's a single professional with a good income and nice home and a lot for which to be thankful.
I dunno.

Edited by Danepacker on 07/23/2014 15:00:31 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: "Vetting hiking partners" on 07/23/2014 15:08:15 MDT Print View

Eric - my vetting comment was speaking more to what Bob said.

vetting, or get to know you encounters should be short and sweet.
none of us gets along with everybody.
I can't image going on a week or longer trip with someone I've never met.
going on open trips organized by others can present issues ... I avoid any of them longer than a day.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
"Vetting hiking partners" on 07/23/2014 16:55:59 MDT Print View


You don't always get to vet your partners beforehand, especially when they're an add-on by another member of your well-vetted group whose judgement you trust.

Said member has never hiked with that individual since. Enough said.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/23/2014 17:11:58 MDT Print View

Back in the old days when I led group trips, I never had much of a problem with nasty people. I did have the occasional problem with one or another when they couldn't cut the mustard, so to speak.

One guy signed up for a trip. Then a couple of days later, he asked me if there was still room, because he wanted to bring his ex-girlfriend. I told him that she could probably go, but that I needed to talk to her first. He said that he would vouch for her, that she was experienced, yada yada... (note: never accept that!)

They showed up for the trip. Now, this was a short but rugged trip, off-trail. She was two tons of fun. It turned out that she used to be an experienced backpacker, but that she hadn't done any for ten years for obvious reasons. About eight of us got started. Then about four miles in, she fell and broke her ankle, or at least so she claimed. I am no physician, but I assessed the injury as a bad sprain. That greatly altered the trip for everybody. We ended up carrying her gear, and she walked out with an empty pack. By the time we got back to the road, she was walking almost normally.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/23/2014 18:10:01 MDT Print View

"Those who solve this problem by going Solo are probably the ones unwilling to compromise to make things work, think about it ..."

True enough, Art, but maybe also good to think about why people go into the mountains in the first place. If everything ends up being a compromise, with all the attendant emotional overhead, maybe they're better off solo or with a small group of trusted companions. My own preference is for one person I know well, as I just don't have time to waste on the complexities/frustrations of group dynamics. There's enough of that in the front country. I have on two occasions had a really good trip with people I didn't know well or hadn't met personally, but that has been enough of an exception that I almost never do it.

The two exceptions were with BPLer's, and they turned out to be trips I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/23/2014 22:47:23 MDT Print View

Tom - I'm not implying there is anything wrong with going solo. It can add a new dimension to any experience. just that those who go solo should be honest to themselves about it. People don't need to compromise all the time.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/24/2014 07:29:14 MDT Print View

Check out possible partners by scrutinizing their Chaff posts. Has worked great for me. I've got a great group of folks to choose from now. And a really long list of who to avoid. Out in the middle of the woods is the perfect place to get in one's face and tell them how it will be from now on.

daniel B
(dbogey) - F - M

Locale: East Coast
Didn't know she liked to hike on 07/24/2014 07:38:46 MDT Print View

Eric - didn't know my ex wife was hiking with you. She can be a real biach sometimes .....I had to throw that in there.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Avoiding nasty hiking partners... on 07/24/2014 07:58:15 MDT Print View

"Check out possible partners by scrutinizing their Chaff posts."

Hmmm...that must be why no one wants to hike with me...just had to throw that in there : )

David T
(DaveT) - F
the list on 07/24/2014 10:33:55 MDT Print View

> Check out possible partners by scrutinizing their Chaff posts. Has worked great for me. I've got a great group of folks to choose from now. And a really long list of who to avoid.

Agreed! :)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Training & experience helps - but only to a point on 07/26/2014 15:47:05 MDT Print View

As mentioned,

>I taught high school students for 35 years. (And taught psychology for 20 years.)

>I practice meditation.

>I've been trained by the Sierra Club in Outings Leadership courses.

>I'm a Ski Patroller who has handled drunks, beeaatches and other combative, cranky injured folks successfully.

>Been on several Canadian wilderness canoe trips where we've handled "canoe fever" problems along the way and all parted friends.

Those are my people management creds.

BTW, that last trip had two other women, both nurses, who were great to hike with. So I ain't a misogynist. Both my lovely daughters can attest to that.

So maybe now you get a handle on just how bad this woman is.

(THERE!, now I feel better.)

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Training & experience helps - but only to a point on 07/26/2014 15:51:36 MDT Print View

Now you are just teasing us! Come on, dish a few snake-lady stores. We wont tell. Remember it is for educational purposes here...ahem.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Snake Lady Stories on 07/26/2014 17:15:04 MDT Print View


The temptation to tell those epics is great but I know I've already gone too far here as it is.

Well, OK, just one.

The leader, another woman and I reached the agreed upon final campsite. We waited over an hour and no Snake Lady (thanks Marko, love that name) or the two nurses.
So the leader said he was going back downstream to find them. The other woman, a very competent river guide, went with him. I said I'd stay behind and watch our camp. I said send one person back for me if medical attention was needed.

When they returned with snake Lady (who had made a wrong turn) the first words out of her mouth were "Well Eric, I see you weren't concerned at ALL where we were. Thanks a lot!"

Whaddya say to that? Nuttin' is what I said, just made a big grin and winked at the nurses.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Snake Lady Stories on 07/26/2014 17:56:21 MDT Print View

"Whaddya say to that?"

I often miss the part of my brain that processes words before allowing them to escape my mouth. The immediate thing I thought of, and would very, very likely have said, was "It's not that I wasn't worried about you at all, I was just much more worried about the campsite...."

Now you know why I don't hike with many people....

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Snake Lady Stories on 07/26/2014 17:57:03 MDT Print View

Maybe she needs lots and lots of chocolate!!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Snake Lady Stories on 07/26/2014 18:13:37 MDT Print View

There was advice I got from a guy who lived in the country about what to do if a dog bites you (sorry to mix animal metaphors here, but I don't have a good snake one) and that was not to pull away, which is what they expect and probably want, but to instead shove your hand/arm hard down their throat until that gag. I doubt if this would work on attack dogs AT ALL, of course, but I have tested this on several overzealous pooches over the years, and it really works. After doing that you can virtually dare the dog to bite you and it will flee.

The moral of the story is this: I can already recognize the personality type (my aunt was a bit like that) and it may be just a certain style of communicating, albeit a very annoying one. This is especially true if you have a stoic personality type (as I do) which mixes very badly with the "mouthy" type, for lack of a better term. I grew up in the south, and the first time I met a large number of northern east coasters (alright, I'll say it - New Yorkers) was when I went to college. It took me a month or so before I felt comfortable, and finally realized that their aggressive way of communicating was just their style.

But, back to the shoving your hand down the dogs throat. I probably would have played along and said, "Damn, just when we thought we lost you. Well, tomorrow is another day". This shows her both that you don't take her complaints seriously, and that you are prepared to give back as good as you get. For some people they feel you are being hostile if you don't bite back, and are mistrustful, and for others the implicit if humorous warning is enough to moderate their aggression. Of course there are a few other types where things explode, but I say damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. The main danger with this approach, in my experience, is she will start liking you.

(advice for entertainment purposes only, no warranty intended either explicit or implicit, all legal liability null and void except in districts were explicitly prohibited by law.)

Edited by millonas on 07/26/2014 18:21:05 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Snake Lady Stories on 07/26/2014 19:50:48 MDT Print View

The Snake Lady probably has stories about Eric the Mongoose.


Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Mongoose? Moi? ;o) on 07/27/2014 15:10:09 MDT Print View


Yeah, she must have something agin' me. Or maybe she just doesn't like men. I suspect the latter.

Me a mongoose? Nah! I'm just a little puppy with sharp little teeth and not yet housebroken.

Edited by Danepacker on 07/27/2014 19:23:00 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Mongoose? Moi? ;o) on 07/27/2014 15:16:50 MDT Print View

a nice puppy

Mom, can I pet the nice puppy?