Solopacking or Buddypacking……what’s your preference?

As I sit here and ponder yet another kitlist for an up and coming trip, something occured to me. Is the great outdoors best enjoyed on your own or with friends?

I have to admit that most of my hilltime is spent on my own, probably about 90% plus. Most of this is due to last minute opportunities to go walking/camping so is understandable. However, when I have the time to plan a trip or walk, I do find myself pondering whether or not to call upon others to join me. Sometimes the answer is yes but most often no.

Why is this and is it the preserve of male outdoor enthusiasts or does it occur across the gender divide?

One thing I thought of is that it gives me the time to ponder life in general and get lost in a half-waking reverie whilst walking. This would be unsociable if done in the company of others. Perhaps solitude is required to fully appreciate the nuances of the outdoor experience? Having said that, I do enjoy the company of others and believe that to wander the hills in solo perpetuity is not actually my bag. The trip I have coming up is in North Wales and will see me meeting up with some characters I havent seen in a while. I am looking forward to a bit of ribald humour and the chance to talk of inconsequential things whilst enjoying the great outdoors. A kind of great outdoor pub experience, but without the trappings of modern life or the denigrating feel that sometimes accompanies it.

Once more I will walk with others, but then they feel the same way as I do and so the trip is one I am looking forward to. There again, when do I not?


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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11 Responses to Solopacking or Buddypacking……what’s your preference?

  1. Martin Rye says:

    Solo is a thing I like but I don’t mind sharing. A mate from work is now into backpacking and I like walking with the lad. He has it in him to kick on and not complain if its wet and hard going. So as a walking buddy he is turning out to be a good one. Solo is a joy that is always going to draw me back to do trips on my own.

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    I guess most people will do both sorts rather than exclusively one. It’s what mood you happen to be in as well. If I have a thorny problem to solve or uber stressed, then its a solo hike for me. If I am fair to middling, company is good

  3. Joe says:

    I like mixing it up, whilst it’s one kind of challenge to pit yourself against nature and a chosen route it can be another to get a group consensus on which way to go or even when to take a break!

    I enjoy solitude but I love a bit of banter too.

  4. backpackbrewer says:

    yes and thats an important thing to remember that when with others the concensus rules. Sometimes the wanderlust prevents me from being too gregarious 🙂

  5. Hendrik M says:

    I take the best of both worlds. But have their advantages and disadvantages, but being a social person I like it to be in good company – like with Phil & Steven or the Nordic Fellowship. And also in a good group it is no problem to wander off on your own for a while, I think.

  6. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Hendrik. I think most people like to have the option to go off on their own even if they start off in a group. of course the bigger the group the easier it is…. 🙂

  7. backpackingbongos says:

    If people are free then I will go with into the hills with them, otherwise I am just as happy to head into the hills solo. Gives more freedom to do as you wish, change plans, have a lie in etc…………..

  8. backpackbrewer says:

    I definitely have to be in the mood for either company or being on my own……..

  9. Solo or company? Both totally different experiences. Even a best mate can seem not such a best mate after days of continual company and compromise. For a very long walking trek I would go solo every time – and on your own you tend to chat and meet up randomly with people more easily anyhow. And you can then go your own way in the morning or whenever… When younger, I’ve walked and camped with mates, but now I’m older it’s solo every time.

  10. backpackbrewer says:

    I have to admit that I prefer a group of people to just one companion if travelling with others….just in case! 🙂

  11. YakDriver says:

    I’m not averse to company, but usually prefer to hike with just my dog. Whether a day hike or a three-day ramble, he’s always a willing companion.

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