Dealing with loneliness on a solo trip?

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Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,483
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Europe
I admire the fortitude of adventurers like Sara Outen (http://www.sarahouten.com/blog/). Months at a time alone. Being out on the ocean, that's really alone. The solo racing yacht sailors ditto.

Like people here have said, it is rare to be alone in the wild. I prefer walking by myself. Then I get a chance to sit in quiet with the wildlife. Sit quiet and it is amazing how quickly you are accepted, then there is a whole story happening in front of you, a live movie.

Aye, Sarah has been a real inspiration for me, as has Al Humphries and Emily Chappell.

But, by the definitions some are using on here, she's not alone. She's been listening to Wind in the Willows audio book as she rows, chatted to a near by fishing boat, and is sending regular tweets as well as having written a blog post 8 days into her 80ish day crossing. She also has a sat phone and is in regular contact with her support team.

I don't want to in anyway devalue what she's doing and the mental and physical struggle she is going through. But by the definitions that many on here are using for "solitude" and "loneliness" as being completely cut off from everything, no radio, no podcasts, no phone, no text messages, she doesn't meet it.

And I think this demonstrates an important aspect. All who go alone into the wild places do so for different reasons. There is no right or wrong way to do it. If you are comfortable walking for 90 days without talking to another person, without listening to the radio, or any outside contact. Good on you. That doesn't mean it's anything less if someone finds that to keep them sane they want to listen to some Terry Pratchett, or enjoy some comedy by the QI Elves. Or send a message to the outside world just to let them know they are safe.

There is no right way, there is no wrong way. Each unto their own.

J
 
Ok so I've done a few solo overnighters, I love the idea of total solitude and being completely self reliant and one with nature. So I've been wanted to do a several day solo trip for a while now and have finally got round to setting a date.

My only issue being, I am a incredible social person, I don't do particularly well in my own thoughts, so much so I have music playing through majority of my day to day life, even on single overnighters I get a bit lonely, so I'm a bit worried I'm going to go bat **** crazy aha!

So my question is does anyone else have this issue? Any tips to get used to solitude? As i really do love the idea of it I would really like to be able to do several week trips solo!

Lets see what you got :D

Brian.

Have some kids! Your be asleep the whole time your away... peace and quiet!!!
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
14
Scotland
Remember being out in the desert for the first time and thinking that it would be a silent and lonely place; which is what I was looking for. Night fell and the panoply of stars was mind blowing. But I wasn't alone in the darkness. The noises of beasts calling to, munching on and killing each other was amazing. I.think I've felt more solitude in a snowhole in Scotland. Darkness out side and once the cooling ticking of the.stove had dissipated the surrounding snow muffled all other noised. The only real noise was the inner noise of my heart and the blood moving through my.veins.
There's a lab in London which is so well insulated against noise that it has something like a minus 16 decibel level inside. Seemingly a lot of folk find it uncomfortable to be inside it for too long.
Writters like Dick Pronneke and Mike Tomkiss who've lived for some pretty solitary lengths.of time are worth a read. Though (cant remember his name and the book was called something like Into The Midnight) a book I had about a chap who lived for a winter in his icebound boat up in the arctic is very worth a read. He did get a bit strange with the isolation. At the end a group of Eskimo leave some fresh meat (which he'd long run out of) for him on the boat but keep their distance. As he's tucking into the raw meat he begins to wonder why they are keeping away. They eventually aproach and let him know that they always keep back from folk who've been alone for long periods as they often go mad and can be dangerous.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
Writters like Mike Tomkiss who've lived for some pretty solitary lengths.of time are worth a read.

I’ve read a few of the Mike Tomkies books Goatboy, he speaks a fair bit of isolation and loneliness. I have added a coupe of good films about his life on the Media section of the forum if anybody wishes to see them. For those that don’t know he gave up the life of a journalist interviewing famous show business folks at the age of 38 to live alone in a remote cottage in Scotland studying and writing about nature around him. Ironically though he sought isolation he eventually gained quite a fan club through his books and folks began to seek him out instead trying to find his remote cottage. Many folks like the idea of something but not the reality of it in practice, if people sought to be true to themselves instead of wishing they was someone else they may be more contented. For some isolation is not so much a choice as a need. Human nature is a complex thing and there is a debate whether nature or nurture makes us who we are. ATB.

[FONT=&amp]PS – for those interested go to the Media section of the forum under Resources to see the films about Mike Tomkies life. -- (hope I’ve put vid in the right section as I was unsure, if I didn’t then sorry so mods may wish to correct). [/FONT]
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
14
Scotland
Cheers for popping up the videos Joonsy. And for guessing who I was talking about despite my memory murdering the spelling of his name. He really is worth reading and has a lot to teach folk.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 
Apr 12, 2014
476
0
middle earth
I can relate to what you're saying. I have music or the radio or iplayer on most of the time (I'm listening to the News Quiz Extra as I write this...).

On some trips I've found that listening to podcasts is really good to help my sanity. BBC produce some good podcasts (Friday Night Comedy, Costing the Earth, Inside Science, Women's Hour etc...). I also am a big fan of No Such Thing as a Fish, and the The Outdoors Station.

Alternatively I keep myself company by swearing/talking to myself... such as as I pushed my bike up a hill in Luxembourg there was a lot of "Julia, you're a bloody moron, pay attention to the contours damnit..." and words to that effect... Kept me going for hours...

J

just checked out the outdoors statuon. brilliant!!
 

Qwerty

Settler
Mar 20, 2011
617
11
Ireland
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Though (cant remember his name and the book was called something like Into The Midnight) a book I had about a chap who lived for a winter in his icebound boat up in the arctic is very worth a read. He did get a bit strange with the isolation. At the end a group of Eskimo leave some fresh meat (which he'd long run out of) for him on the boat but keep their distance. As he's tucking into the raw meat he begins to wonder why they are keeping away. They eventually aproach and let him know that they always keep back from folk who've been alone for long periods as they often go mad and can be dangerous.

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Tristan-Jones/dp/1574092731 is the book you are referring to. A ripping read and absolute, 100% fiction, it ultimately turned out (sadly).
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
14
Scotland
http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Tristan-Jones/dp/1574092731 is the book you are referring to. A ripping read and absolute, 100% fiction, it ultimately turned out (sadly).
Sorry I meant to look this out this morning, got sidetracked. It wasn't that book it was, North To The Night: A Spiritual Odyssey In The Arcticby Alvah Simon. LINK
51cZsb2oPrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


Well worth a read, and as far as I know true.
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