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Thread: Single Travel

  1. #1

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    Jan 2007
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    Single Travel

    Have you been National Park along with LF camera? Do you think this is even a good idea? Perhaps the foremost concern of the solo or single traveler is safety. Without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable to criminals and scam artists, as well as simple health worries. Do you have any tips for solo travel? Thanks

  2. #2

    Re: Single Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by tax888 View Post
    Have you been National Park along with LF camera?
    That's a question that certainly demands more context. For the park I'm most familiar with--the Great Smoky Mountain NP--most incidents are property crimes directed at parked cars; physical assaults are extremely rare. Other National Parks in other parts of the country--especially in urban locales--might require a different threat assessment on your part.

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Single Travel

    Yes, have been to NP with the 4x5, by myself. All were in the West/Midwest so I wasn't worried about crime. Usually no one else was around at all. If going out at night I carry either a pistol or bear spray. Mostly leery of mountain lions or bears.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

    Re: Single Travel

    Plus... who the hell would want a large format camera?!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Single Travel

    I was doing work on a boat in Corea Maine, next to the Schoodic part of Acadia NP. So I get done a couple hours early and go to the park by myself. Of course the major risk there is getting swept away by waves, but that's for stupid people who want to be thrilled and splashed by waves, not for me. The biggest risk is probably a tick bite which would cause no immediate harm but might cause health problems weeks on as doctors are very unskilled at dealing with tickborne illnesses.

    Realistically anywhere in Maine, if you have health problems requiring attention, realize that cell phone don't work everywhere, and if you have prescriptions meds, don't mention it to non-medical people or post it on social media. Tons of opiod problems and prescription medicine abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abus...aries-by-state

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: Single Travel

    Well, general tips are to tell someone where you're going and when you'll return. I always carry a Swiss Army knife, a few granola bars, plenty of water, bug spray (in season,) butane lighter, and a small flashlight. The flashlight is in case I get stuck unexpectedly in the woods after dark. It's a small but very bright one that can be used for signaling if needed.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7
    Les
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    Re: Single Travel

    Many places have no cell signal (some are working on it).....based on 41 NP I've been to, tho I always felt safe. As to safety, and if you feel on the edge, I'd take two pepper canisters: one for a human and one for a bear :>). I think your bigger problem will be folks that will not leave you alone....and peppering you with questions.

    I've camped at certain NP's for a week at a time with friends/families and only one time we encountered something v. strange. In the middle of the night a siren started to wail....it was triggered by an invading bear (what's new, it was hungee). Sure, people that slept in tents were concerned (I had a shell around me). Some folks are silly enough to leave food out, tho they could face some steep fines (not to mention endanger others) and yet there are special lock boxes for that. The bear was promptly caught and driven away. This took place in Yosemite.

    Many parks can be some distance away from the nearest clinic/hospital....if I gave that too much thought, I'd spend most of my life on the porch and not travel or explore various places. If I give this more thought, most places in Alaska are likely further away from one another than a conventional NP (in Conus) and the nearest healthcare provider.

    Les

  8. #8

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    Re: Single Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by tax888 View Post
    Have you been National Park along with LF camera? Do you think this is even a good idea? Perhaps the foremost concern of the solo or single traveler is safety. Without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable to criminals and scam artists, as well as simple health worries. Do you have any tips for solo travel? Thanks
    I'd think it depends on the park, the weather, where in the park you shoot, how much gear you have to manage and your own wilderness savvy.
    In Sequoia National Park thieving chipmunks and crows are known to make off with small shiny objects.

    That's a whole different thing than running into a meth-head at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Single Travel

    Over the years I've been on multiple multi-day solo backpack trips in the wilderness with cameras ranging from 35mm to medium format to 4x5 inch format. The main problems posed by the cameras is their portability which is proportional to the format.

    First you must choose the lenses that you will be bringing as you can't bring them all. For me it was the 45/55mm, 75mm, and 165mm for the Pentax 6x7 camera - I prefer the 55mm lens but it is much more bulkier and heavier than the 45mm so this was a major consideration on each trip. For the 4x5 (Toyo 45cf) it was the 90mm, 150mm, and 300mm – latter two being very compact with the 150mm folding-up with the camera. For me the 75mm and 150mm are my most used outdoor lens for landscape with both having practically the same field of view as a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera.

    The second problem is how to pack the camera, lens, film, etc. With a Gregory Reality backpack I pack the camera at the top of the pack where I can reach it by simply opening the pack's pull over cover which is where I carry the cleaning kit, eye glasses, head lamp, and water purification tabs. MF roll film is packed in waterproof Outer cases and packed inside the pack's front loader pocket along with 4x5 sheet film. I long ago abandoned ready-loads in favor of sheets because of the former's bulk and weight and instead carry 4 or 5 film holders in an F64 case which attaches to the outside of the pack and a Harrison pup film changing tent which I carry attached the outside of the pack next to the tent or air mattress. That way you can carry a 100 sheets of film without any problem.

    Outside of the obvious logistical problems of what and how you are going to carry it you should seriously consider, in advance, your escape routes in case anything (health, weather, accidents, etc) should go wrong. Once, when crossing Seldon Pass in the Sierra Nevada, my right foot slipped out from under me on the small pebbles the park service placed on a narrow footpath lined with granite boulders to confine foot traffic across the meadow at the top of the pass and fractured a rib. I continued on but the rib knotted up and got sore so I decided to bail out over Paiute Pass. At a minimum you should carry a good compass and detailed map so that you can get out as expeditiously as possible should the need arise. It's also a good idea to carry a satellite phone such as Spot with you for emergencies. When heading out on a multi-week trip we heard on the news about a nighttime evacuation of a hiker at the 10,000 foot elevation that was suffering from what was later determined to be a ruptured appendix. A hospital spokesman said just a few hours of delay would have resulted in his death. We later ran into the ranger who had hiked out with his radio and medical kit and called in the helicopter.

    Finally, except for the one time that I found a marmot gnawing on the cork end of my hiking pole, I never experienced any problems with animals or humans. Back in my teens I would never go on any back country trip without carrying a firearm for protection but it was never needed. Firearms are bulky and weighty and carrying one, in my experience, is unnecessary unless, of course, you are entering country where the wildlife can be dangerous, - like grizzly country. All of the fellow humans I ran into in the back country were nice people – the kind you would hope to run into. And many of them started out solo but came to know one another on the trail.

    Thomas

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Single Travel

    It's a matter of common sense. I'd be more concerned about anyone suspicious-looking at a roadside rest stop or hanging around some scruffy gas station or motel somewhere. Some national parks get crowded in certain spots; but I avoid crowded areas anyway. I grew up right beside three national parks, have spent an entire lifetime in them, the past forty years with large format equipment, mostly traveling alone, without incident. Hundreds of trips. I did have a friend who had his car keys stolen a few years ago by a chipmunk; and he couldn't identify the correct chipmunk in the police lineup afterwards, so I suppose it's still a thief of shiny objects. And tubby-looking bears can sometimes be a nuisance, so food shouldn't be left laying around to tempt them. I tend to gravitate my photo activities well away from parking lots or popular turnouts where traffic itself or its road dust is the more frequent hazard, or just rude gawkers who stand in front of the camera. It's generally easy to find solitude if you hike a bit. Understanding the terrain in terms of falling or lightning or snowstorm or thirst or other natural hazards is a somewhat different topic. One obviously needs the right gear and preparation. The weather at high elevations can change remarkably quickly, and every year a number of people die due to not having a waterproof coat with them, or insufficient footwear, or by naively attempting to cross dangerously swollen streams. Keeping physically fit is also important if you're going to hike much.

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