First Solo: I Did It!

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#21
For me if I can find companions who have the same goals and mindset as me, and hike at the same pace then I really enjoy going with people. Going solo is still a really cool experience whenever I do it though. My wife prefers I go with others, but sometimes logistics and life just don't allow that, and I'm not going to sit at home watching TV just because I can't find someone to go with.
 

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#22
Great trip report! I was out there last summer and it is a beautiful place. I have yet to try a solo trip. I have always tried to go in small groups. But because of that I don't do as many trips as I could. Thanks for sharing!
 

WasatchWill

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#23
Nice job! I totally understand the solo vs company insight. Makes sense why you'd enjoy company more. I enjoy both styles of trips. Lots of benefits to both styles and so I try to balance those out now.
 
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#24
Congrats Miya. That's a big first step, and you pulled it off fairly effortlessly. Well done.

As for the mosquito repellent, there's some studies out there that show that the most effective ones have a high percentage of DEET. Deep Woods Off scored highest. The eucalyptus and other "natural" ones come up pretty short. I don't like using repellent unless the bugs are really bad, but when I do, it's the high DEET ones. The military version (100% DEET) works great but I feel like I am seriously poisoning myself when I used it, so I don't anymore.
 

Miya

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Thread starter #25
Congrats Miya. That's a big first step, and you pulled it off fairly effortlessly. Well done.

As for the mosquito repellent, there's some studies out there that show that the most effective ones have a high percentage of DEET. Deep Woods Off scored highest. The eucalyptus and other "natural" ones come up pretty short. I don't like using repellent unless the bugs are really bad, but when I do, it's the high DEET ones. The military version (100% DEET) works great but I feel like I am seriously poisoning myself when I used it, so I don't anymore.
Yeah I tend to get bit up quickly. As time goes on, I will keep experimenting. I had a high deet one for this trip and the natural one I used the next weekend. I was bit up heavily both times. :tongue:
 
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#26
I did my first solo last weekend! 06.30.18 - 07.01.18. Thank you to everyone who offered me tips, advice, and words of encouragement!
Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA, Sifford Lakes.
It took about 4.5 hours to get there from my home. I left early, got my permit and made it to the trailhead around 10 AM. My plan was to camp at one of the Sifford Lakes. The first lake was only 2.1 miles and the next grouping of lakes probably 2.5. I was really nervous that I would be terrified at night and would want to flee back to my car, so I made sure to pick a lake not far from the road.

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New boots, my feet were happy I returned the trail runners. Guess I really do need the ankle support, just not Danners.
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The trip ended up being very uneventful, I didn't even take many pictures.

I traveled to the second set of lakes, but was worried that I wouldn't see anyone. I ended up hiking back to the first lake and setting up camp around 13:00. There was very little shade on the trail and at the lake, so I sat in the lake and tried to keep cool. It was only 83 degrees (over 90 in my tent hah), I know I should have been grateful for the temperature, since it was a torturous 105 back at my house, but I was hot and sweaty and remembered why I prefer winter hiking.

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I spent most of my day reading 'Earth Abides' and wishing I had brought a swim suit.

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A couple showed up and camped right next to the lake around 1600; I watched them jealously since I had set up my tent 100ft from the lake, in the flaming sun.

A family of 4 showed up at 21:00 as the sun was setting, (also camped right on the shore of the lake). I vengefully imagined @scatman showing up to throw them in his imaginary prison.

It cooled down to mid 60s while I slept. For the first time, I was comfortable, with my sleeping pad R value of 5.7, my fleece liner, and 10 degree sleeping bag. I was very happy with my ability to fall asleep, I wasn't nervous in the least and didn't have any nightmares!

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Heading back to the car.

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I really enjoyed Lassen, and cannot wait to go back and check out the sulfur pits and Cinder Cone area.

Now that I have solo hiked, I prefer being with someone. I am always alone. Alone when I go to bed, alone when I wake up. I go to restaurants alone, go shopping, go to the movies...everything I do is alone. Hiking, I like to do with a partner or two, but still so thrilled to know that I can when the urge becomes too strong!

Oh yeah, another thing I forgot about summer hiking...Mosquitos. On my trip back to the car, I was treated with 18 bites. They are currently still itchy haha!

Road pictures near the entrance.

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Good Job on your 1st solo backpacking! I remember my 1st solo thinking "what am I doing!!", being so nervous and unsure. You come back a better person. :)
Beautiful pics!
 

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