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When your Self Confidence Exceeds your Abilities

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    • When your Self Confidence Exceeds your Abilities

      Bad things can happen.

      This post is in part a reminder to myself not to get over my head on my little adventures. I am a but a guppy, I am not equipped to swim with sharks. Every hike, everything we do, involves some measure of risk. Luckily, I have a healthy level of fear that has so far kept me safe.

      In case you have not kept up with the story of the woman who died of hypothermia in the Adirondacks, here is a cautionary warning from her family....

      lakeplacidnews.com/page/conten…al-mistake-.html?nav=5059

      And this sad story also reminded me of a post by Paul Mags which I will link below since they seem to go hand-in-hand....

      pmags.com/thru-hikers-specialized-outdoors-knowledge

      It is always wise in any situation to think about the worst case scenarios (I get soaking wet, I break a leg) and have a contingency plan. I have no problem taking calculated risks. Still, thinking about the folks back home always makes me try to keep the risks reasonable.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Sometimes it's just bad luck. Sometimes it's 1% or 0.1% chance of failure, but it happens to you.

      We aborted a hike up Kinsman yesterday because of high water in a stream. I didn't feel like rock-hopping over icy cold water, from one ice-covered rock to the next, while wearing crampons. Julie, with longer legs, made it across, but on the way back, got a boot full of ice water. It would have been tough going if we'd had to cross that stream and continue for miles. Sometimes it's best to let nature have the last word.
    • I believe my biggest challenge is my expectations exceeding my physical preparation, but I try to soldier on.

      For this summer I am working to be more physically prepared and considering NH, that is a probably a good thing. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • It's not high self-confidence but low self-confidence and fear of failure that gets me in trouble. I will pass up a great campsite when I'm exhausted and need to stop because I worry that the next day's challenges will be too difficult and I should make more miles.

      Sometimes if I make a mileage/destination goal, I feel I must meet those goals at all cost and will push myself to my physical and emotional limits. It sounds very negative and risky (and it is) but as a consequence, my endurance and confidence improves. Sort of a catch 22.

      Hiking with only a loose plan has helped me be more relaxed and enjoy my hikes a lot more. That is a benefit of living in the SE with milder weather and landscape. Hiking in the North requires more precise planning and caution.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • TrafficJam wrote:


      Hiking with only a loose plan has helped me be more relaxed and enjoy my hikes a lot more. That is a benefit of living in the SE with milder weather and landscape. Hiking in the North requires more precise planning and caution.
      Do you find your hiking successes build self-confidence?

      Personally I've found my past hiking/camping experiences have allowed me to know my abilities. However predicted weather and the experience level of companions is the yardstick (or meter stick) I utilize to gauge safety issues.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Bad things can happen.

      This post is in part a reminder to myself not to get over my head on my little adventures. I am a but a guppy, I am not equipped to swim with sharks. Every hike, everything we do, involves some measure of risk. Luckily, I have a healthy level of fear that has so far kept me safe.

      In case you have not kept up with the story of the woman who died of hypothermia in the Adirondacks, here is a cautionary warning from her family....

      lakeplacidnews.com/page/conten…al-mistake-.html?nav=5059

      And this sad story also reminded me of a post by Paul Mags which I will link below since they seem to go hand-in-hand....

      pmags.com/thru-hikers-specialized-outdoors-knowledge

      It is always wise in any situation to think about the worst case scenarios (I get soaking wet, I break a leg) and have a contingency plan. I have no problem taking calculated risks. Still, thinking about the folks back home always makes me try to keep the risks reasonable.
      I'll loosely quote Rasty

      "If I fall in a crevasse and die my wife would kill me"
    • Bouncing my head off a sharp rock, hypothermia, partial tent collapse in a puddle, and a ground pad too thin for conditions forced me to improvise.

      Spending 21 days on Naked and Afraid does not sound like fun. One guy managed to only lose 6 pounds. A 20 pound weight loss seems typical for most men on the show.
      I am human and I need to be loved - just like everybody else does
    • rafe wrote:

      Sometimes it's just bad luck. Sometimes it's 1% or 0.1% chance of failure, but it happens to you.

      We aborted a hike up Kinsman yesterday because of high water in a stream. I didn't feel like rock-hopping over icy cold water, from one ice-covered rock to the next, while wearing crampons. Julie, with longer legs, made it across, but on the way back, got a boot full of ice water. It would have been tough going if we'd had to cross that stream and continue for miles. Sometimes it's best to let nature have the last word.
      Smart choice.
      We all do stupid schit. Most of the time, we get away with it...until we don't.
      Life's risky and enjoyment adds a bit of risk most of the time. Quality over quantity, I guess. Working with hikers after an unseasonably warm March, when someone has a pack less than 25 pounds with food and water, I reverse my questioning to make sure they have enough to be safe out there. Hypothermia's nothing to play with.
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • JimBlue wrote:

      My hike today showed me i need to pay attention. I shouldn't have worn the flannel shirt over my hiking shirt, gone to the restroom before hiking, drank water more often, snacked more often.

      Forgot my trowel, but didn't need it.
      I like a fleece jacket with a full-length zipper. I can take it off without removing my pack.
      I am human and I need to be loved - just like everybody else does
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Another sad story... a 26 year old hiker died of what looks to be hypothermia on Bondcliff in NH.

      bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/…AP09hVOMlcbWlO/story.html

      Hypothermia can sneak up on you, you need to pay attention to the warning signs.
      A sad and sobering story...

      The kid had good gear and a reasonable itinerary. It's not like he was heading out in sub-zero temperatures like Kate Matrosova.

      My hiking partner still thinks we wussed out by leaving the trail at Elk Garden instead of continuing up Mount Rogers to the Thomas Knob shelter during a snow / ice storm. Maybe this story will convince him that you can't out-hike hypothermia.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Pinkham Notch NH.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Another sad story... a 26 year old hiker died of what looks to be hypothermia on Bondcliff in NH.

      bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/…AP09hVOMlcbWlO/story.html

      Hypothermia can sneak up on you, you need to pay attention to the warning signs.
      A sad and sobering story...
      The kid had good gear and a reasonable itinerary. It's not like he was heading out in sub-zero temperatures like Kate Matrosova.
      Sometimes temps in the 30's with freezing rain can be far deadlier than zero degrees and snowing.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      StalkingTortoise wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Another sad story... a 26 year old hiker died of what looks to be hypothermia on Bondcliff in NH.

      bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/…AP09hVOMlcbWlO/story.html

      Hypothermia can sneak up on you, you need to pay attention to the warning signs.
      A sad and sobering story...The kid had good gear and a reasonable itinerary. It's not like he was heading out in sub-zero temperatures like Kate Matrosova.
      Sometimes temps in the 30's with freezing rain can be far deadlier than zero degrees and snowing.
      I'll take zero degrees and snowing over 30 degrees and raining any day.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • I know that this October we were close to hypothermia in our second day of hiking in the rain. It was around 45 f and blowing sideways rain at a constant 30mph or better with gusts above that. When we stopped to grab water we were starting to shiver. We ran for probably a mile after that to warm up and didn't stop until just before Erwin when it finally let up. Only time I've ever been scared of weather while hiking.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • meat wrote:

      Something dosent jive about this story for me, I'm only basing it on what is in the story, but if you're trained and have the right gear...what happened? I'm wondering if he didn't have a heart thing as Mary-Ellen calls it. Sad story indeed.
      It is a good hike in to where he was found, 8 or 9 miles. I would argue that on a hike like that to a remote location in the winter overnight gear is mandatory. It appears he did not bring a shelter or a sleeping bag. Not sure that would have saved him.

      One report said he had put his jacket on upside down. Likely confusion due to hypothermia came in to play here. I am thinking it came on pretty fast because he was found just a few hundred feet from the shelter of tree-line. Perhaps more info will come out later.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      meat wrote:

      Something dosent jive about this story for me, I'm only basing it on what is in the story, but if you're trained and have the right gear...what happened? I'm wondering if he didn't have a heart thing as Mary-Ellen calls it. Sad story indeed.
      It is a good hike in to where he was found, 8 or 9 miles. I would argue that on a hike like that to a remote location in the winter overnight gear is mandatory. It appears he did not bring a shelter or a sleeping bag. Not sure that would have saved him.
      One report said he had put his jacket on upside down. Likely confusion due to hypothermia came in to play here. I am thinking it came on pretty fast because he was found just a few hundred feet from the shelter of tree-line. Perhaps more info will come out later.
      yup, like stalking totrtise said, ya can't out hike hypothermia...lots a truth in that in as much as if your pushing through the cold trying to stay warm vs. pitching a tent, getting something to eat, get on dry clothes and get in your bag and chill...no pun intended.
    • In the eighties, in my 20s, I was crawling all over the Whites and Greens, Adirondacks. Just out of the Marines...made of iron, 50lbs packs.........

      I decided I wanted to get lighter and started to take much less stuff. Wool blanket, poncho....no frills.

      July 4th week in the Greens, third day of rain, I was soaked to the bone, nothing was dry.

      In one shelter I wrapped my friends tent and my wool blanket around me.........I have never been as cold as I was that night.

      Not in Montana, or any MLK day.


      No ultra light for me....I want to be warm and dry.
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • CoachLou wrote:

      In the eighties, in my 20s, I was crawling all over the Whites and Greens, Adirondacks. Just out of the Marines...made of iron, 50lbs packs.........

      I decided I wanted to get lighter and started to take much less stuff. Wool blanket, poncho....no frills.

      July 4th week in the Greens, third day of rain, I was soaked to the bone, nothing was dry.

      In one shelter I wrapped my friends tent and my wool blanket around me.........I have never been as cold as I was that night.

      Not in Montana, or any MLK day.


      No ultra light for me....I want to be warm and dry.
      glad ya made it, that story could have ended so different and we wouldn't be here talking about it.