Canadian Canoe Routes
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The reasons for going solo.
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Author:  Charlie Wilson [ December 4th, 2013, 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

I have been afraid to mention this evolutionary adjustment for fear of causing widespread panic, but have recently been convinced it would be better to inform Homo sapiens and allow time for adjustment.

Have you noticed that road-kill raccoons are getting larger? They are evolving into a larger species in a process analogous to up-sizing of NFL linemen.

Larger ones survive the fender and leave the roadside to procreate. Soon they genetically modify to be able to take the hit, stop the car, open the door and shake the tasty morsels inside out where they can be eaten.

The up-side is this will control human overpopulation, even if it compromises pension-fund pyramid schemes.

It is the most adaptable species that survive.

Author:  dunkin' [ December 4th, 2013, 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

littleredcanoe wrote:
Maybe the reason I solo is for a raccoon wildlife encounter?

Maybe you have weird priorities then......just sayin'. :D

Author:  littleredcanoe [ December 4th, 2013, 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

The score over the past weekend(statewide) was moose 4 , police squad cars 0. There must be a line item in the police dept budget for moose.

Not a thing about solo tripping! However as my next solo trip is in Florida I am paying attention to the bear situation in the Orlando area. While it seems the best chances for sightings are in a housing development I hope to see some on nearby rivers..that is if bears are still being bears.

Author:  Uppa [ March 21st, 2014, 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

For a few sweet blissful days, having absolutely no responsibilities or obligations to anyone other than myself. Being alone in the wilderness is an incredible experience. Plus my preferred craft is a kayak, which tends to discourage company (or at least even numbers).

Author:  Paddle Power [ March 24th, 2014, 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

K2?

Author:  beeman86 [ March 26th, 2014, 2:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

I am very lucky that my wife understands my desire and need to have alone time. I am comfortable on my own (some aren't). I have done some solo camping/canoing and I spend time locally hunting and hiking alone with my dog. Raising a family involved in sports and working shifts has made it tough to do any longer trips due to time and financial constraints.

Why solo? I enjoy the solitude, the quiet, the time to be introspective and examine myself ( which isn't always easy if I'm honest). Just slowing down and trying to live in a simple fashion is refreshing for me, and necessary. I think sometimes I need to prove to myself I can be alone and get along just incase one day I find myself in that position - and I hope I don't. That's the short answer for me - since someone asked!

BTW with retirement looming ,and me still being mid 50 my time has come to REALY test myself!!! My wonderful wife has encouraged me to fulfill a dream I have had for the past 6-7 years: to take a trip to the home of the late Dick Proenneke in Twin Lakes Alaska. If you don't know who that is you'll have to google him. I'm hoping to do this in 2015. I'll need to plan this carefully as it will be unguideded, so I'll be back here for advise - this will be my most ambitious undertaking. I'll have pics of that to post then.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ March 26th, 2014, 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

Bear report.. 1. It left prior to camera. If I were in a group it would have been zero.

Charlies hypothesis is null. It didn't work for my husbands bear accident. The 350 lb bruin lost but was unable to open the door and pick out husband. It was my new car too. It also lost..

So much for the large rodent road rage hypothesis.

Author:  weeoak [ November 2nd, 2014, 10:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

I went on my first solo trip last year, and my usual camping buddies felt a little jilted because of it.

My motivation was to find and strengthen that feeling of independence you get from "roughing it", though to be fair I was using a Kevlar canoe, a fiberglass axe, a propane stove, etc. - not exactly roughing it when you have fancy equipment.

Still, at the end of my trip I felt physically and mentally strong. It was lonely and I was glad to be done, but I'm also glad I did that. It was more of an ego thing for me than anything else, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Author:  C. Potvin [ November 3rd, 2014, 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

OK, I'll come out and say it. Solo canoeing sucks.

First there is no one to whine with when a portage is long and buggy, then there is no one to celebrate with when the portage is done. Then when you come home and tell everyone about the epic portage, there is no one to back your story. And finally, when you are old and grey, you have no one to reminisce about the portage with.

When I tried soloing, I discovered that I was bad company, and didn't appreciate the conversation. I felt like leaving myself behind at the last portage, but then I had to drive all the way home with myself. I even picked a crappy radio station in the car and made myself listen to it.

I can handle a nice quiet afternoon paddle alone, but more than a day or two, and I go batty. I'm just a social animal and need someone to share the successes and failures and struggles with.

Author:  canoeguitar [ November 3rd, 2014, 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

I did my first solo trip out in B.C. around 1997 or so. A short 5-day trip in April as I recall. Many years passed before I was able to plan another solo, but the feeling of pure freedom from that first experience continued to stir my imagination.

Fast-forward to 2014. While I really enjoy tripping with friends & family, I religiously plan at least one ambitious solo trip each year, and maybe another short one just for good measure. My longest to date was a 30-day trip, though I've done several 2-3 week-ers. I'm aware that soloing isn't for everyone - it's a lot of work, and the isolation can weigh on you. However, in my experience, I was determined to overcome the psychological challenges of solo tripping, and sure enough, years ago while on a Lake Superior kayak trip I feel as though I crossed an important threshold.

Since that time (and I believe I've mentioned this on another thread) the solo has become the sacred trip - a time when I feel a sense of profound freedom, and am more alive and more aware than at any other time in my life. Do I talk to myself out there? Sure. Do I occasionally get "the lonelies"? You bet. But I also feel that there is no more potent and lasting way to connect with the Earth, and to truly test one's mettle than on an extended solo trip in the wilderness. The pure freedom of the solo canoe trip is unsurpassed.

Author:  sturgeon [ November 4th, 2014, 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

C. Potvin wrote:
OK, I'll come out and say it. Solo canoeing sucks.

First there is no one to whine with when a portage is long and buggy, then there is no one to celebrate with when the portage is done. Then when you come home and tell everyone about the epic portage, there is no one to back your story. And finally, when you are old and grey, you have no one to reminisce about the portage with.

When I tried soloing, I discovered that I was bad company, and didn't appreciate the conversation. I felt like leaving myself behind at the last portage, but then I had to drive all the way home with myself. I even picked a crappy radio station in the car and made myself listen to it.

I can handle a nice quiet afternoon paddle alone, but more than a day or two, and I go batty. I'm just a social animal and need someone to share the successes and failures and struggles with.


Fair enough. It's funny though...The reasons you don't like it are my reasons for liking it. Guess I'm a bit antisocial, maybe.

On the buggy portage, sure, I have no one to whine with, but on the other hand, it's nice when no one whines! And the epic portage becomes a kind of perverse secret. Not every struggle needs to be shared. When I am old and grey, I will remember, like Sinatra, that I did it my way, haha.

I love singing by myself at the top of my lungs in the car to the guilty pleasure tunes (like on the Dock 104.1). Don't have to worry about annoying anybody. A great part of the trip.

Mostly I don't think too much about going solo. It's just another way to go.

I'm interested in the bush, and none of my friends are. I'm curious about the next lake and the next bay and the next trail, how I'll get there, if I can handle these waves, that headwind, where I can camp, etc. The puzzle of working all that out by myself is interesting and satisfying.

I'm admittedly pretty shallow (my wife would agree!) and non-introspective, so I don't get lonely or feel that I'm "finding myself" or experiencing any "personal growth" by going solo--I don't really know what that means. I'm middle aged, not a lot of personality change happening here. Just want to see what's around the corner, and if I already know what's there, because I've been there before, I'm curious to see how it has changed since last time. Hope this makes sense.

Author:  greenriver [ July 12th, 2015, 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

When I canoe, it is usually down a river, and when I am with a group of people, I find myself looking for the roughest water I can possibly find, unless it looks too rough. But I am eventually finding that a loaded canoe can go through a lot worse stuff than I ever imagined and with a group I can be quite brave. Eventually, I will probably find myself going for an unplanned swim in the river, and when I do, it will probably be in some pretty rough stuff. This is a real good reason to be with a group. Logistics is another good reason to be with a group, as well as safety in the camp. However, I do find when I am with a group and we are paddling our butts off like there is no tomorrow, I often have thoughts such as" if they are all in such a panic to get it done, why did they even start?". I spend a lot of time and money getting ready for a canoe trip, car wear and tear, gas etc, and I would like to get my moneys worth. I hate being on a deadline and I hate being in a race. I have gone solo on a day trip down the river, and it was one of the greatest days of my life. It was on a stretch of river that I have done before, so I knew I could take my time and still be done long before dark. There was absolutely no reason to panic ever. I lit a fire and roasted some smokies for lunch(something we seldom do on group trips), I had a nap on an island. When I paddled, I paddled gracefully and enjoyably. I was the boss of my whole trip. I took my sweet time and prolonged the trip for as long as I possibly could. I got my moneys worth.
I am pretty sure that someday I will solo and camp. Probably starting with a one nighter. I will take my sweet time and cook breakfast and will probably leave camp a lot later than we usually do with a group. If and when I get doing it more days, I will be doing less miles in a lot more days.
I do like being in the company of others for both safety and enjoyment. There are so many pros and cons to each, but I really like being the boss of me.

Author:  Lonestroker [ March 10th, 2016, 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

canoeguitar wrote:
...the solo has become the sacred trip - a time when I feel a sense of profound freedom, and am more alive and more aware than at any other time in my life. Do I talk to myself out there? Sure. Do I occasionally get "the lonelies"? You bet. But I also feel that there is no more potent and lasting way to connect with the Earth, and to truly test one's mettle than on an extended solo trip in the wilderness. The pure freedom of the solo canoe trip is unsurpassed.


Just digging my paddle around these forums and came across this topic which is fairly close to my soul. Interesting to read through everyone's personal reasons for adventuring on their own - thanks for sharing. While pondering how to express my own reason, I felt Mike's quote above spoke to me as I'm sure it did to some of you other solo canoe-heads.

I crave being on the water in my canoe with a wooden paddle in my hands. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than being by yourself exploring with a sense of curiosity and facing your fears head on. A 'sacred trip' indeed.

A.

Author:  Sam82 [ March 10th, 2016, 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

Initially it became necessary for me to paddle solo in order to paddle. After I finished school my parents no longer went canoeing, my friends...well I lost touch with most friends while studying and going from school to school, and I really didn't know too many fellow paddlers. I would get out once maybe twice with the group who introduced me to paddling but since I wanted to get out as much as possible it meant going out on my own.

I'm a cheater though and always paddle with my dog.

Author:  Lonestroker [ March 10th, 2016, 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The reasons for going solo.

Guilty.Image

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