Strategies for longer trips ?

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by Ally, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Shewie

    Shewie Chief Slackpacker Staff Member

    Injury and kit failure have both had me home earlier than intended, both fairly recently as it happens.

    If bad weather comes in I’m happy to drop into the valleys and wait it out, I’m one of those who usually has to make the most of it if the trip has been planned in for some time.
    Dan Outdoors and rikdon like this.
  2. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I came home a day early yesterday from a high and snowy trip.....

    On top of 3 x fuel lines springing a leak whilst melting snow (2 were squirting and the third starting to go), I had both pairs of gaiters fail;

    My main pair saw the zip break, and the inbuilt puttee strap tore the tabs away yanking on them too hard. Not wanting to come home, I loaded the hammock kit with enough wine and proceeded to a usual spot.... which had been cut down. I came home...

    Currently at home, trying to sell a kidney on Ebay to fund Primus spare parts. :)

    Like Rich, plenty of bails. Some bad, some a real mixed blessing. Most of them weather related, but a few injuries too.
    As it happens, I had to bail on Cairngorms trip in Oct after finding out my Mum had had a big stroke and had to get back ASAP. It was a long 500 mile journey back
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Diddi, Taz38, Charles42 and 1 other person like this.
  3. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Full retreat - windspeed so high above Ennerdale (Crag Fell, 1990) I could only crawl.

    More recently, after four June days in the Western Highlands where the the overcast, drizzly and deadly-calm conditions didn't lift for a moment (I believe locals call it 'dreich'), I fled the midges by hopping on a ferry to Northern Island where the Mourne Mountains provided welcome respite.
    Charles42 likes this.
  4. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    As a family we once had to bail out, literally, when we woke to stuff floating in the tent porch and the dog insisted on climbing on my airbed as the water tried to come thru the groundsheet. A local river had broken its banks in the night during a big storm.

    I chickened out on what would have been my first solo wild camp in many years, when the weather turned quite nasty, spent the first night in a hostel, but camped the other two nights. That was the start of a few trips :) I also learnt one-man tents are not really big enough for me, a dog and kit. I'd also wanted to camp on top of the summits but sensibly decided to drop down a bit.

    More recently, after lots of planning, I postponed a pennine trip twice, the first time I'd booked accommodation as I felt I wasn't up to carrying a big bag (hip problem), thankfully I was refunded most of the money (yha keeps a percentage), the second time I'd already booked the train tickets and cancelled the trip a few days before as my knee didn't feel right, didn't get the train fare back (now I book the day before). Was quite miffed to say the least but these things happen. At the moment it doesn't look like I'm walking anywhere for a little while...

    It seems we're drifting off topic a little, my excuses.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  5. Scottk

    Scottk Trail Blazer

    Sounds like you had a pretty successful 3 days.
    I have done my route planning for the TGO recently and you need a foul weather alternative for some days. I got some good advice a while ago about route planning for it.
    I was told that FWA also stood for feeling weaker alternative and they have an FWA for most days of their crossing. I have done that this year as it gives you a safety blanket so if you wake up and something doesn't feel right or the weather is rubbish you use the alternate. Instead of pushing on you can make it an easier day which is probably more enjoyable and sets you up for another good day.
    Like Whiteburn, I'm pretty close to the Cairngorms and bailing isn't a big deal for me but I can appreciate that for guys travelling further it can add to the pressure but plans need to remain fluid. You did the right thing.
    For sure, going with another person can help pass the time and if things start going wrong it helps to have another person to talk things through.
    Best of luck for the next trip!
    andreostergard and Shewie like this.
  6. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    All of it plus 'injury not improving on day 4 after a fall' and quitting two (less interesting days with a crap forecast) days short of completing the 'tour de Ecrins'... (took 2 month to heal)

    But are all those scenarios mentioned here "bailing"...? I hike to hike and to climb mountains and is one route not as good as any other to "achieve" this "goal"? Disappointments (weather, too risky etc) yes - and plenty of those :D - but all the more satisfaction when I can finally hike a route on the 3rd or 4th attempt as hoped for... :)

    But turning back just below a high pass because of conditions - thats only a disappointment if it closes a further section onwards for me. If there's a way around, I have climbed what I wanted to climb, just going down the way I came instead of the other side - big deal...;)
    edh likes this.
  7. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Quite; I've spent 10 years trying to put together and do my 'ultimate' ridgeline traverse on Mallorca.., navigation, fitness, and willpower have all played their part in a lack of success; but I've enjoyed trying and learnt a lot..
    .. this April :D
    Diddi, Taz38 and tom like this.
  8. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Ahh yes - but I'm often in "tick" mode :oops:. I have now completed the "Mullardoch" 12 but it took 4 attempts :rolleyes:. The end is in sight :thumbsup: ……. but then I have an idea for another long term challenge :whistling:.

    - And often time limited - so not getting to "the end" and having to go home part way thru' is not satisfactory IMHO.

    In the end it's all in the mind of the participant :D.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    tom likes this.
  9. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    There's another option, which is to batten the hatches for a day or two (time and supplies permitting). On several occasions when either weather conditions and/or my physical state dictated it, I've just stayed camped, resting and recuperating while appreciating the weatherproofness of my tent and waiting for conditions to improve. I never find it boring - on the contrary, it can be a fulfilling experience in itself. For this reason I pack an extra day's food and two extra days' fuel as standard. In fact, I've come to enjoy this so much that I'll factor a rest/camp day into most of my plans, greatly increasing flexibility.
    Helen E, Teepee, Diddi and 2 others like this.
  10. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Only done that once as most of my trips (so far) are not that long. I drank endless cups of tea and the boy read his book. Nice down time :thumbsup:.
    rikdon likes this.
  11. Dan Outdoors

    Dan Outdoors Trekker

    Most of m trips are solo, I normally cant get anyone to join me for the full thing but I get what youre saying about the morale boost. My last trip I did have a friend join for a day and it was really nice having that banter with someone through the day and at camp.

    When I plan I try and underestimate my abilities so that if I do have a tough day im not stretching myself physically, though even then weather can scupper you. (I had a snow day that almost made me bail on the beacons way, I was also close to calling for a rescue)
  12. lakeshore

    lakeshore Trail Blazer

    Planning is good, plans are bad. Gen D Eisenhower.
    WilliamC likes this.

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