Solo Overlanding

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Folklore

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Adventure

Member I

301
Wisconsin, USA
First Name
Tim
Last Name
Bauer
Member #

30302

Ham Callsign
N9BWA
Service Branch
Merchant Marines
I would have to say that about 75% of my outings are solo. I prefer going to remote locations, but the wife prefers car camping at designated campgrounds. She also doesn't have the vacation time I do... so I get away several time per year and do my own thing.

On my solo trips I look for remote places up in the Minnesota Arrowhead region where I can boondock, or remote camp, and get some fishing in.
 

12C20

Rank V
Member

Trail Mechanic II

1,500
South Jordan, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
First Name
John
Last Name
Ellis
Member #

6385

Since I don’t have a winch, I’m not terribly hesitant about turning around if something looks too challenging. Hopefully, that will work in my favor this trip and I won’t overestimate what I can do. Mainly going for the scenery as I don’t have a ton of interest in rock climbing, etc.
There's a key in this statement. There's no shame in scouting the trail, finding an alternate route, or turning back. Don't exceed you personal (driver, hiker, medic, etc.) capabilities, and don't exceed your vehicle's capabilities, and you'll have a great trip.
 

MMc

Rank V

Influencer II

1,749
San Dimas, Ca.
First Name
Mike
Last Name
McMullen
Member #

18647

Most important thing of solo trips is being happy with who you have for company. Are they quiet or do they blab all the time.
Sometimes it the best or worse conservation I have that day. When I can't hear the voices in my head I wonder what they are planing.
 

Kevin108

Rank V
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Member III

2,741
Virginia Beach, VA
Member #

6632

Solo travel is not without additional risk, but traveling at your own pace is pretty incredible. When traveling with others, sometimes you are so comfortable that your eyes are only half open. The trips I now remember most vividly were the ones where I was alone, at least for a day or two.
 
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Tundracamper

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,068
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Shepard
Member #

22670

Well, being as I’m doing a similar trip solo, but a few weeks earlier (sans CO), I’ll let you know:). I went to SE UT last summer and I enjoyed it enough that I’m going back by myself this May to hit the remote places I missed last summer (we did all the NP). This trip, I may do some of Capital Reef and Canyonlands, but tbose are not the focus. It’s a magical place!

Since I don’t have a winch, I’m not terribly hesitant about turning around if something looks too challenging. Hopefully, that will work in my favor this trip and I won’t overestimate what I can do. Mainly going for the scenery as I don’t have a ton of interest in rock climbing, etc.
I am currently on my way home from spending one night in TX, NM, and CO around the main event of four nights in UT. My only recommendation is GO. I went solo and had a fabulous time. Overall, it will be 8 nights solo and two nights at a family member’s place. I can’t believe how few people I saw in UT and of those several were solo. I probably overestimated my capabilities on one trail, but I made it unscathed, though I need to check the skidplates:). It amazes me how quiet the campsites are relative to those near my home. I was able to find sites at 8,000 ft that were much cooler than those at lower elevations, which made sleeping easier. It was close to 90 during the day at lower elevations. Go and have fun!!
 
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skiroc

Rank I

Contributor III

124
Bishop
First Name
Don
Last Name
Chambers
I just retired after 44 years with the same software company. It was an intense job, and my wife understood the need for me to get out by myself to unwind. I often spend 7 – 10 days by myself wandering around Death Valley. I’m not a mechanic so a reliable truck has always been important. I’ve never been stranded. I’ve had a Spot since v1 and today use an inReach. I ping my wife an “ok” message each night.

I was a climber for decades so where I was on the edge was some of my adventures while out by myself. Soloing backcountry routes up to 5.8 or so felt comfortable, but no longer. Today I stick to scrambling, maybe easy 4th class stuff, but mainly just hiking, exploring, fly fishing, photography.

I’ve only had one emergency and it was a doozy. By myself, out a 4x4 road, no cell service. Immediate slamming pain in my chest. Long story…blah, blah, I was found and life flighted to Loma Linda for emergency heart surgery.

I retired two months ago, now live in Bishop, and still get out. My wife is less happy with the idea, but after all these decades she knows that I still “need” this time by myself.

My first post, sorry so long!
 

shansonpac

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Influencer II

1,596
Bakersfield, CA, USA
First Name
Stephen
Last Name
Hanson
Member #

30447

I did a lot of solo last year and loved it. Went for a week without seeing a soul - I just went bush and base camped by myself. I am very comfortable being alone in the wild. Indeed I need time alone - it isn't the same even with just one other person.

I have a 2020 4Runner, Icon stage 6, winch, armor and it now has 30,000 miles on it - not likely to break yet. I have turned back from some trails as I won't push it - if I had a buddy I would have gone further. I have a zoleo and I send a check in every day. I am not a mechanic - if it breaks I will look at it, but probably would need someone to rescue me. Which is why I don't go on anything sketchy. And after a year I am not that inclined to get sketchy except for short stretches even in company. I don't want to break my truck. The joy for me is being out with nature. National Parks are mostly too crowded for me now - the scenery may be exceptional but if I am in stop and go traffic the experience is depressing. That was Zion last year.

On Imogene there will be a number of other people. I might consider chatting with some people and see if I could tag along - my 4Runner is way more capable than my skills. But I would be very gentle about raising the issue - best if they saw me as a solo and invited me, lol, and in chatting I got a sense that they knew what they were doing.

I am booking up a lot of group trips this year. I still have a few places I want to go I will want company - like Coyote Flats and Funnel Lake above Bishop. I am sure I could solo it, but I would be happier with another set of eyes I suspect.
Coyote Flats is on my list. You described my overland philosophy perfectly. I have a very capable rig. I love the journey as well as the destination. I want to get to places that the journey acts like a gate keeper for the masses. I also don't want to break my rig. I have no problems solo, and have an inReach so I can always call for help, medical, mechanical or otherwise. There is nothing like the thrill of being totally self-reliant. I'm very careful choosing my routes, and being mindful of the trailer I'm pulling. I was recently alone on a 3000-4000' descent. It was steep and rocky in parts, some shelf road but no off camber. There was a definite pucker factor, but I went slow and carefully chose my lines like my life depended on it. Was proud and relieved when I got to the bottom in one piece.

I prefer to overland with like minded people, but have no problem being alone.
 
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