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Tripps
2004-08-09, 04:05
When do you usually start the day on the trail? Before dawn, shortly after dawn, when ever I wake up, definitely before noon, other?

Mutinousdoug
2004-08-09, 14:07
Definitely after dawn, but as soon as the sun hits my tent or fly, I have to get up: 6:30-7:00am

ridgerunner
2004-08-11, 09:12
If I'm in an area where I can build a fire, I really enjoy getting up before sunup and making some coffee. Something about the smell of coffee mixed with hickory smoke. I love it. But if I'm just using my alchohol stove, I'll stay in my hammock a little longer. Depends on how hot it is too. If it's already 80 degrees in the morning, I have no use for a fire or coffee at all. Then its just get up, pee, drink water, eat granola bar, pack up, clear area of sign, and head out.

SGT Rock
2004-08-11, 10:05
I like to start early, soon after daybreak. the air is still cool and crisp, the coffee tastes better, and the dew is still on the spider webs. You see more wildlife at these times and the free A/C is always a plus.

smokymtnsteve
2004-08-11, 11:23
definitely before noon.. :turtle:

Tripps
2004-08-11, 21:25
I like to start after dawn, but I take a little while to adjust to the early hours. I work late evenings and study after work. But two or three days in, I'm set in my routine.

maryphyl
2004-08-12, 19:33
I like to wake up early--that does not necessarily mean I do much other than start the coffee. When I hike with others I try to get moving if they want to and not if they don't unless we have heat or distance to face and then I want to go.

j.johnson
2004-12-13, 09:39
I am the one that gets the fire started for all the family campouts and the military has allowed me to get up and work well before dawn so I don't have a problem with getting up early. I am also the one to fix the breakfast for the gang, I do bacon, eggs and biscuts in the dutch oven. :biggrin:

GuffAbbott
2005-01-02, 09:56
Except for a brief stint during my teen years (which are now long gone), I've always been an early riser. I simply can't sleep much past 5:00 a.m. Of course, that means I can't stay awake much past 9:00 p.m., either -- especially after a long day's hike.

The pre-dawn morning is silent and cool. I love sipping hot coffee while my mind comes alive with the forest. Once dawn arrives, the birds have started singing, and the outdoors is a much noisier place.

Sgt.Krohn
2005-01-02, 14:29
I'm a photographer and there are two times of the day that have "magic light" the 30 minutes before the sun comes over the horizon and the 30 minutes after the sun goes over the horizon. The reason is the reduced contrast of light, which gives the subtle colors more richness.
Morning magic light is the best because of the dew/moisture on everything. It is great for macro because of the dew.
When I'm hiking or camping I try to pick a place that gives me good access to the spot where I want to take pictures in the morning light. I'll get up, make a cup of coffee, get out the camera and tripod and get to work. As soon as the sun breaks the horizon I go back, pack up and get on the trail. I'll hike for a few hours and find a place to stop along the way and eat a light meal and lay out any gear that needs a little more dry time. Then I'll hike until mid to late afternoon where I'll stop for the afternoon meal. Then I hike until about an hour before sunset. Hopefully I've found a spot that will give me some good afternoon "magic light" shots and be close to a place that will also be good for some morning shots.
I don't build fires or sit around the ole campfire. I usually hike/camp alone and read until I get sleepy (9ish) and then wake up around 5-5:30 for the morning shoot.

bird dog
2005-01-03, 20:53
I work rotating shifts, so it depends on what part of the week Im hiking. Usually the first day or so is spent just trying to get back into a "routine schedule" on the trail, but after that, I get up with the sun or soon after. After coffee and a map check, I'm back on the trail. Depending on who my partner for the trip happens to be, I hike until early evening and find a good spot to set up camp.

Sgathak
2005-01-13, 14:40
Shortly after dawn is prefered.... though being in Colorado most hikes arent distance so much as height (peak bagging) so if I dont reach summit in one day, Im up as soon as I feel Ive had enough sleep to get going again. I hope to hit 14K by sun up.

Lone Wolf
2005-01-13, 21:15
around 0600

Iceman
2005-01-14, 02:15
Shortly after dawn is prefered.... though being in Colorado most hikes arent distance so much as height (peak bagging) so if I dont reach summit in one day, Im up as soon as I feel Ive had enough sleep to get going again. I hope to hit 14K by sun up.
__________________
Sgathak, 14K by sun up? That makes me want to go back to bed. When I am soloing, I am up with the dawn, if with family, kids or friends, its whenever....

Sgathak
2005-01-14, 08:36
Sgathak, 14K by sun up? That makes me want to go back to bed. When I am soloing, I am up with the dawn, if with family, kids or friends, its whenever....

I like to hit the summit as early as possible. If I can make the peak by dawn... well... the view is pretty indescribable. The clouds are often lower than the peak that early, so its a crytal clear sky, with the mist below, and if your real lucky... the sun will cast your shadow down onto the clouds.

Its worth it.

Major Slacker
2005-02-18, 09:17
I admit the pre-dawn hour has magic.

My wife and I did a guided, pre-dawn hike in the Peten rainforest in Guatemala. We greeted the dawn from the top of a Mayan pyramid ruin (which, BTW, you can see in one of the Star Wars movies). We did not actually see the sun rise but experienced a gradual lightening of mist and shadows over the jungle canopy, accompanied by wakening bird calls and growls of howler monkeys (which my wife thought were jaguars).

Usually the magic happens without me.

Hog On Ice
2005-02-18, 12:53
generally I get up as soon as I can see color but I have no idea if that is before or after official dawn

wacocelt
2005-02-24, 18:45
I usually wake up at false dawn whether hiking or not. When hiking by myself I pack and hit the trail before the sun fully rises. I'm going to have to change my habits now that i'm hiking with my wife, but I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy my new scheduke considering the fine company she makes. :love:

Yes, I'm whupped and damn happy to be so!

SGT Rock
2005-02-24, 18:48
Enjoy it while you can. :D

(Must be a newlywed) Shhh....;)

wacocelt
2005-02-24, 18:55
Enjoy it I shall Top, that's an order I can easily carry out.

When does one stop being a newlywed by the way?

SGT Rock
2005-02-24, 19:07
It is hard to put a finger on exactly when it happens,maybe when you stop having sex on the kitchen table? :confused:

wacocelt
2005-02-24, 19:11
Hrm, I guess I'll be a newlywed for quite awhile longer then, don't got no kitchen table! :biggrin:

Turk
2005-03-01, 17:06
I would like to offer a canoist perspective on the matter of when to wake up.
First I had better provide some basic criteria.

1) I always try and make camp either at the beginning or the end of a major portage (1km or longer). This way I can either start my day, or end my day with some hard slugging of my bomb-proof canoe.

2) I detest perscribed campsites. I like to pick and choose my own. Why is it that in any given provincial park, the mapped and marked campsites are always located in the worst location for tents. ( NO LONGER A PROBLEM FOR ME! - as a new advocate of the Hennessey Hammock). But in general these campsite are poorly planned and never where you plan to stop for any given night.

3) Portaging canoes and gear is not something you want to be doing under extreme fatigue. You have a teetering centre of gravity, a heavy load and treacherous footing ... you dont want add fatigue to this dangerous concoction. I certainly won't carry you out of the bush, nor will I ease the load of any crap you might be carrying. Foolishness bears its own punishment. And learning the 'hard way' has always been a proven means of education.

That said, I like to start my day well after sun up.
Pre-dawn here in northern canada is when the really thick fog rolls off the water. On an average day, you can have as little as 10ft visibility. Rivers tend to be narrow and very technical. If you get onto the water during this time of day, you might as well blindfold yourself while you are at it. It is just not a smart situation. Especially as I like to do extended trips with 'shootable' whitewater conditions ranging from class 2 to class 4.

Secondly, the pre-dawn and early hours of the morning are often below 32 deg F even in the middle of july and august. When you combine low temperatures with heavy condensation from fog, you are doing no favors to your body. Add a grueling physical extertion like a long portage for instance, and you can quite easily damage muscles. Starting the day, soaking wet with cramping muscles is not the way to go.

Lastly, like your mother always told you ... breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I like to get up before anyone else I am camping with. Get a little breakfast fire going and sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch the mists roll off the water. It is a beautiful time of day. Enjoy it! Don't be stuck with your head under a canoe as you trudge across an endless and overgrown portage, or be making a wake behind you as you paddle like the devil is on your behind as you try to put 10k in before breakfast.
Morning is a peaceful time!
Wake-up ... relax... enjoy it.
Why rush?
In three weeks you'll be back at your bleak office job wishing you were back
in the bush again.

GregH
2005-03-05, 22:11
I would like to offer a canoist perspective on the matter of when to wake up...I like to get up before anyone else I am camping with. Get a little breakfast fire going and sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch the mists roll off the water. It is a beautiful time of day. Enjoy it!
Morning is a peaceful time!
Wake-up ... relax... enjoy it.
Why rush?
In three weeks you'll be back at your bleak office job wishing you were back
in the bush again.

Amen! We canoe the Quetico in July/August and I truly enjoy sipping a hot cup of coffee and watching the world come alive.

CanoeCamper
2005-07-13, 12:35
I'm usually on the river with friends or family. With family I'm usually the first one up (shortley after dawn) to stoke the fire and get breakfast on. When I'm with friends it's usually a "floating party" and everyone crashes at different times, some one is always awake, and the fire is always going. Either way we usually hang around camp for a while and finally get back on the river before noon.

dropkick
2005-07-16, 18:25
If it's just a place to sleep on my way to somewhere else, I'll get up at, or just before dawn (whenever I can see well enough to pack up without using a flashlight) drink some Tang and then eat a granola bar as I go down the trail. - I like to take a longer break later on and make a nice lunch - usually my biggest meal of the day.
If I like the area though, I might sleep in till 7 or even 8, only have Tang for breakfast, and leave after lunch.

Harneyhiker
2005-07-19, 17:17
When you go camping with Boy Scouts, your day starts when the sun barely lightens the sky no matter the time of year. I like to sleep in but these guys have a light activated alarm clock! Nobody sleeps in.

Husko
2005-11-08, 22:36
I've never hiked in a place where I had "somewhere" to go. That's the great thing about the island I hike on. Most every day I would wake up, fall back to sleep, wake up, fall back to sleep, wake up turn over, go back to sleep. :biggrin:

Sooner or later I wake up with a big ol' smile on my face, looking forward to enjoying the conversation with myself over a cup of coffee. heh.

The AT is going to challenge both my sleeping and social habits hehe.