Socializing For Backpackers


Ok, let’s talk about socializing while backpacking on the trail. As some of you who have read my posts know I like the trails from late October until mid April. Most of the two legged animals are at home keeping warm. I like the feeling that I am all alone, self-sufficient and enjoying it.

However, no matter when I have gone backpacking, most of the time you will run into someone else. I have been out until Christmas Eve with snow on the ground and I have met another backpacker. And it was cold also. but there have been out for extended backpacks and I have not seen another human being.

You should think ahead on how to socialize while backpacking on the trail. My usual meeting conversation goes something like, hello, where are you headed to, where are you from, good day to you. I’ll answer some of the same questions but I don’t encourage more. I personally am not out there to meet people in fact I would rather not.

Most of the time at the campsite I will socialize a bit on topical issues. Strangers don’t have to know your personal life story. They don’t need to know specific details on who your are or where you live.

My caution to folks just starting backpacking alone or solo is when meeting one or another group on the trail is to greet, and move on. I don’t tell anyone where I am heading to. I don’t tell anyone where I just came from. If you get that sudden feeling of not being comfortable with this meeting, you can say you are meeting another person up the trail who is waiting for you. Or, that your backpacking buddy is just behind you on the trail.

I have never felt threatened while out backpacking. But you need to be aware of your surroundings, see and hear what is going on. There have been undesirable events occur on the trails. I do not let those event stop me from backpacking solo. I don’t go armed or carry an expensive watch or other jewelery for everyone I meet to take a look at. To sum this up, let common sense rule.