Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

"... We absolutely insist on enjoying life" (p. 132, Alcoholics Anonymous). Here's the forum for fun and frivolity. Enjoy!

Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby David A » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:03 pm

Hey all. I decided yesterday that I want to go on a short backpacking trip next week. The last time I did that was 11 years ago, just as my drinking was maturing out of fun and good times with friends to escape from constant feelings of dread.

I frequently tried to go backpacking while I was drinking, but I was always too damn drunk! I kept having to go back for more liquor, and I had so little money I couldn't even afford minimal camping gear. I decided to forgo a tent in favor of more booze -- you know, smart choices. Drunk math.

I'm really excited. I'm no longer so tethered to the bottle and so crippled by fear that I can't do these things anymore. So, next week I'll get dropped off in one of Oregon's many wilderness areas (I'm still deciding which one -- I'm thinking Bull of the Woods or Drift Creek, but I may go as far south as Mt. Jefferson) and walk & camp for 4 or 5 days. Planning on doing a little fly fishing and some photography.

It's good to be sober. Any other hikers or campers out there?
User avatar
David A
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 3:04 pm

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby kenyal » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:26 pm

I ran into the same difficulties you mentioned doing it drinking. Once sober, I was the only guy with much experience doing it in my group so from about 4 months sober on I'd put together a trip or two a year with up to 8 of the group guys. Some of the best fellowship I've ever experienced and highly prized memories came from those.

We did most of our trips in the mid part of the Sierra Nevada, but also hiked the length of Death Valley and did the Whitney trail a couple of times. Nice trips to Manson's cabin and some ghost towns. Usually gone for 8-9 days and covering around 75 miles.

Very excited for you. Always sniff any day hikers you pass getting back near the trail head. They smell like flowers.
kenyal
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Tosh » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:01 am

Sounds wonderful. Are you going alone, sponsorship?
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3645
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Squawking Hawk » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:15 am

SponsorshipQ, Have only day hiked sober and have backed off on that over the last few years. So, I can't really identify with your situation. However, I hope that you have a great sober hike. Does sound wonderful and please let us know how you make out.

Hawk
Ms. Hawk

I will never forget
User avatar
Squawking Hawk
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2015
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby David A » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks guys! Yeah Tosh, I'm going alone. A buddy invited me to go with a group, but I know it'll be a trip largely for smoking pot & drinking -- I'm not ready for that. Planning on doing some meditation, being present & being in touch with my H.P. :D
User avatar
David A
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 3:04 pm

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Tosh » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:48 pm

sponsorshipQ wrote: Planning on doing some meditation, being present & being in touch with my H.P. :D


Which is why I asked if you're going alone. I'm doubly jealous now. I doubt we'll ever be able to keep it more simple that hiking alone.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3645
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Peter.H. » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:18 pm

As a drunk, all I cared about was drinking. Even getting from A to B was measured by how many drinks it would take to get there.
When camping, or at a beach party, all I cared about was having enough booze to get blind drunk. And if I blacked-out, and fell into the fire at some stage, I would have considered it as a good time.
After going on a travelling holiday, all I can remember were the pubs and hotels, not the tourist attractions - because I never visited them.

Then when I got sober....
I used to do a bushwalk every fortnight with my AA girlfriend. We did this for about ten years.
We both loved exploring nature. We take our time walking, observing, and most times we find a nice spot to sit down and sink into the environment.
We would sit quietly, not moving and not making a sound. After about 20 minutes, birds and all sorts of creatures would show themselves.
A few times I had a bird land on me and then quickly jump to a nearby branch to look at me as if to say, : "What was that I just landed on?"
It is marvelous to observe birds on a branch just a few feet away, or watching animals pass by so close.
We used to go camping too. One time, when the possums come out at night, we placed cut fruit just outside or tent window.
When the possums came to feed, we would watch them - they being only one or two feet away.

The stars at night are so full in the deep bushland - away from city lights. With binoculars, we explored the star clusters, and identify the star signs.
We would wait for meteorite showers, passing satellites and high flying aircraft, and secretly hoping to spot a UFO.
And nothing beats watching humans first television - the campfire. Being mesmerized by the colours of the flames, reds, oranges, yellows, shades of green, and the odd blue.
What a change around sobriety is - thank God.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]
User avatar
Peter.H.
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:18 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby LindaD » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:47 am

Greetings! I'm new to the forum, and I hope it's OK to resurrect a topic from July. :) I just had to jump in when I saw the thread title.

I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. It was a gift of the program! I never would have done it in my active addiction. I never could have done it. I'm so grateful for this program one day at a time!

I love long-distance backpacking. Before, it was all 'camping with booze' and 'nature with booze' and everything with booze, where the most important part was booze and all the rest was window dressing. Today, after having been around a while, I can't wait to get out there for another long trip, to be truly immersed in nature and in trudging the road of happy destiny, one step at a time. :)
User avatar
LindaD
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:37 am
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA, USA

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Duke » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:31 am

Welcome Linda. I remember doing an Outward Bound adventure when I was a few years sober. It hit me like a ton of bricks about half way through, that just a few years before, I couldn't have done it because I would have had to bring booze with me. We actually had one fellow kicked out for the same thing. Grateful doesn't do it justice.

Glad you're here. Keep coming back.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3684
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Tosh » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:14 am

LindaD wrote:I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. It was a gift of the program! I never would have done it in my active addiction. I never could have done it. I'm so grateful for this program one day at a time!


Wow; that's amazing. I read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods (part of which he did with a struggling alcoholic) a few years ago. That's not a walk in the park.

Respect.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3645
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby Lali » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:38 am

Good to read your share, Linda!
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby LindaD » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:16 am

A scary thing happened late in the hike. I'd been out much longer than most of my hiking class, and it was deep in the fall, well past thru-hiking season. I got to a shelter in the late afternoon, getting onto dark, and I walked in to look around -- and there was a half bottle of bourbon that somebody had left. I used to be a bourbon drinker. And there I was, just me in the woods, alone, with that bottle that somebody had left there like a gift. The world was so silent for a minute, and so cold.

I got out of there as fast as I could, and pitched my tent somewhere else. :)
User avatar
LindaD
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:37 am
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA, USA

Re: Hiking/Camping/Backpacking

Postby ann2 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:59 pm

Wow Linda, chilling. Congratulations on surviving that. Great experience to build on.

I have been on different parts of that trail and I don't think any place is more beautiful. But then I remember other beautiful places. . . Still, would go again in a heartbeat.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 8687
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden


Return to But We Aren't a Glum Lot ...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests