Frame of mind/Psychology of solo trips.

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Cyclingrelf

Mod
Mod
Jul 15, 2005
1,158
15
45
Penzance, Cornwall
I wonder how usual it is in the female though?
Even in a family such as mine where it is common, I don't know any of the womenfolks who really are 'loners'. The few spinsters/ widows within the family were incredibly social people.
Yes, I'm curious about that too.

I mostly prefered living on my own once I finally got a little house and stopped flatsharing, and I generally feel very uncomfortable around large groups of strangers (for some reason, bushmoot appears to be different??? There's even sneaky footage of me dancing to Mad Dave and Cap'n Badger's mobile-phone amp at the bushmoot, which is unheard of as I normally never feel that safe in a big group of strangers :dunno: And it's got nothing to do with alcohol consumption - I was sober at the time!)

BUT I love parties where it's just a small group of my good friends, and I find I have to make myself go walking/camping alone as I'd prefer a close friend or two along with me. Not generally because of fear - because of loneliness, though I enjoy myself when I actually pluck up the will and go. None of my friends are geographically close enough at the moment to come with me, and not many of them enjoy camping anyway tbh.
 

firecrest

Full Member
Mar 16, 2008
2,496
4
uk
Curious. What is the evidence for this?

Babies left in a room with vipers crawled to a chair or a corner?

Babies were more fretful in dark rooms than brightly lit ones?
I think they did do one with babies left in a room with snakes. anyway here is an interesting peice of evidence on monkeys and fear of snakes.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3592370/You-cant-teach-a-monkey-to-fear-a-flower.html

It cant always go to follow though, as I got a toy snake as a kid and the dog was terrified, even though she had never seen a snake in her life, she hid from this toy and wouldnt go past it (she never did that with any other toy!) So some animals at least, have an inbuilt fear.
 

wentworth

Settler
Aug 16, 2004
573
2
36
Australia
I enjoy solo trips. I like walking at a fast pace, stopping when I want to stop, seeing what I want to see. But I also love camping with other people. Completely different experiences.

In the beginning, I used to get nervous at night. I remember my 3 litre platypus falling over onto a slab of rock, me jumping out of my skin at the noise.

I find that as long as you keep busy, cooking, carving, tending the fire or reading, your mind doesn't tend to play tricks on you.

Just don't start thinking about Wolf Creek.
 

jackcbr

Native
Sep 25, 2008
1,561
0
46
Gatwick, UK
www.pickleimages.co.uk
For me, I don't mind the odd campout on my own. But having a bit of company is great. Someone to share experiences with. I have several people I can spend long periods of time with them without having to converse.

I do have to watch my mood when I go alone and keep looking for the upside to what's going on. Keeping busy always helps.

I'd love to go off and do the Coast to Coast again, but am struggling with whether I would cope for such an extended period on my own. Last did it with my Dad who is sadly not well enough to go again.
 

Dark_Lighter

Member
Sep 11, 2009
13
0
Plymouth, Devon
Actually the fears mentioned are not quite the same. A fear of darkness (nyctophobia) is a fear of the unknown not of a particular construct but of what our imagination is able to create. And as for the nature v's nurture debate on fear of snakes (ophiophobia), there have been a great many investigations into this fear im talking 1000's if not more, however the one i find most interesting is the one where it was proven that the actual shape of a snake is recognized by the amygdala which is the part of our brain that is responsible for fear responses to certain stimuli, this basically proves that the fear of snakes transcends any learned pattern of action or 'fear' of snakes. And as mentioned above this could be said to support the evolution theory. there is also work carried out by Öhman who presented pictures to participants and the snakes and spiders pictures we're located faster.

Also on a side note it is widely believed through cranial studies that the amygdala was very small in neanderthal man. leading them to be almost fearless. and hence a theory is that they died out by taking more and greater risks.

if anyone wants me to dig up some psychological studies on fear snakes etc let me kno.
 

Dodger

Member
Oct 4, 2009
29
0
UK
I suspect that there may be a link between one's upbringing (e.g. as an only child living in the countryside versus with siblings, living in a densely-populated area with lots of other children living nearby) and one's level of comfort with solitude.
 

V4V

Tenderfoot
Aug 23, 2009
70
0
Yorkshire
www.r4nger5.com
I really enjoy being alone in the woods. I think the solitude is a big plus, but you are more aware of anything in the immediate area, and sometimes a little paranoid.

The first few times I went, I needed an mp3 player and a knife at my side, but I was still drawn to spending time alone in the woods at night.

It is a time for reflection and peace that you can only find in your own company.

Does anyone else feel different and 'other' in relation to the people you see going about their lives on the way back, as if they were all a slightly different species?
 

silvergirl

Nomad
Jan 25, 2006
379
0
Angus,Scotland
IDoes anyone else feel different and 'other' in relation to the people you see going about their lives on the way back, as if they were all a slightly different species?
You mean they aren't?
:rolleyes:

A lot of good thought on this thread.
For me I spent a lot of time as a child in the woods on my own. It felt perfectly normal.
I still go on camping trips on my own, but usually I take the family. Walks I still do on my own, mostly.

It never fails to surpirise me that people think I am strange for going walks by myself, it is just something many people would never do. I used to run a project to get people out walking in their local area and the main reason people didn't go was because they had no-one to go with.

My only worry on my own is meeting someone. I have similar coping stratigies to Grooveski and hide if i hear anyone approach. I think that is a direct throw back to childhood when I thought someone was coming to find me to take me home when I was having fun :D

Camping on my own, noises in the dark do worry me, but again its always worry there is a human out there, anything else I don't mind.Second night I'm too tired to care anyway.
 

Prawnster

Full Member
Jun 24, 2008
806
0
St. Helens
A very interesting thread guys.

I've never camped out on my own. Not because of fear, it's just I tend to do things with people. I can get along with my own company because I do go for long walks by myself. Staying out overnight would be a different kettle of fish though.
Although I probably will give solo camping a try I feel I'm always keen to share my experiences with someone. When Ed Wardle was enjoying himself (on the rare occasion) and he was able to appreciate the beauty of the place, I felt sorry for him that he didn't have someone there to share that with. No laughter (of the sane kind) no kindness, no different opinion and no one to reminisce with about it later. All his tales to tell could be seen as just that, 'tales'. Tales told from only one perspective. If I was doing a trip to somewhere as amazing as the Yukon I would want a companion. That shared experience and the bond that would be formed from it would last a long long time.

However as I say, solo camping is something I'd be willing to try. I'd be very interested to hear someone's experiences of changing their 'frame of mind' as regards to solitude in the wild. Is there anyone who was/is phobic of being in the wild alone who decided to confront their fear and go on a lone camp/trek/expedition? How did you change your mindset? What things did you have to remind yourself? What were the most challenging aspects?

It seems to me that Ed Wardle would have fared somewhat better if he got his head round being alone. How could he have done that?
 

Matt.S

Native
Mar 26, 2008
1,075
0
32
Exeter, Devon
I've never had a problem with doing things 'alone' (or 'in solitary splendour' as my grandma says). Probably comes from having been an only child until the age of 16 and having an upbringing where most of the people around me were adults, so I would usually have to occupy myself. That included 'playing out' in the woods.

Having on occasion spent long periods of time in enforced constant close proximity to people I find it relaxing to go and do stuff on my own -- and even empowering. There isn't much out in the woods that's going to do me harm if I'm not stupid; I might wander off a cliff but the Boogeyman isn't about to stomp on me. (Big cats on the other hand... ;) )
 

Dodger

Member
Oct 4, 2009
29
0
UK
It seems to me that Ed Wardle would have fared somewhat better if he got his head round being alone. How could he have done that?
I wonder to what extent the hunger, weight loss and attendant lethargy, inability to keep warm and so on, affected his state of mind.
 
A very interesting thread guys.

I'd be very interested to hear someone's experiences of changing their 'frame of mind' as regards to solitude in the wild. Is there anyone who was/is phobic of being in the wild alone who decided to confront their fear and go on a lone camp/trek/expedition? How did you change your mindset? What things did you have to remind yourself? What were the most challenging aspects?
?
When I was in my youth I had a somewhat troubled relationship with my Father and sometime when it became a wee bit too heated :eek: I ended up sleeping rough. I was absolutley terrified at first, I think the first time I did it I was around 8 or 9. In my early teens I began to associate sleeping rough with absolute horror. Try a cold wet November night in a city park for fun-no thanks. There really were things(people) that could hurt you!. I began to sleep rough on the local golf course and adjoining country estate.This I associated with peace and calmness and most of all safety. Today I must say I still associate that experience with safety and calmness and it has really been a need for me that I have to fulfil now and then to stay settled and to cope with stress.

I think the greatest personal asset to have is one of confidence and self reliance which only grows with experience. Once you learn to accept that old but profound cliche of living WITH your environment and being part of it rather than just being a visitor. Learn what makes al the unfamiliar noises and even then you'll hear things that are unfamiliar, you'll not freak but acknowledge that it's a mammal or a bird call that your unfamiliar with. Finding peace within yourself comes with practice, once found you will never feel uncomfortable solo however, starvation, dehydration, economics and a break down of social relationships all affect how the mind copes and will have a negative effect on most peoples ability to cope alone. It's only sociopaths who can overcome the breakdown of social relationships and not worry about it! pmsl

 

V4V

Tenderfoot
Aug 23, 2009
70
0
Yorkshire
www.r4nger5.com
Oh! just another thought about the solo thing - does anyone else get the feeling that they need to look after others when camping out?
I find it stressful to watch people doing things badly and itch to take over, sometimes. I do understand that they are learning too, and the only good way to learn is to do, but it's still a real effort to let someone fumble and occasionally fail, knowing that they will learn more quickly if they do it themselves.

When I'm on my own, I dont have any of that. I just get on and do it. It is, in some ways more realxing to go on one's own.
 

shep

Maker
Mar 22, 2007
930
1
Suffolk
Mostly solo for me. I love the self-sufficiency that goes with solo overnighters and the chance to catch up with my own thoughts. Work and home life are extremely busy, mostly looking after other people. I enjoy that, but need a break and that's what solo outings provide. I'm as happy alone as in a big group of friends. It's all about balance.

On the subject of snakes, didn't Freud say that we all inately fear them because they look like penises and we're afraid of developing sexual maturity. Just thought I'd throw that one into the mix!!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,659
2,806
Mid Wales
I suspect that there may be a link between one's upbringing (e.g. as an only child living in the countryside versus with siblings, living in a densely-populated area with lots of other children living nearby) and one's level of comfort with solitude.
I don't think that has much to do with it. I was a middle child and spent more time away from the family than anyone else simply to get away from the others (I'm not quite as antisocial as that now though the missus thinks otherwise).

The trouble is I have spent so much time on my own both working and recreational that I find more than two people a crowd and cannot stand the constant inane chitter-chtter that people seem to need.

I don't need to share the wilderness with others - I'm not alone when I'm out there - I'm just as happy saying "look at that view" to a robin ;)

Cheers,

Broch