Moving back to the UK

DuneElliot

Section Hiker
New to the site but not new to backpacking forums or backpacking and hiking in general.

Born and raised in the UK. Moved to the US when I was 18 and now, twenty years later it is time to move back.

Most of my backpacking has been done in Wyoming and South Dakota solo and will be sectioning parts of the Pacific Crest Trail this summer, as well as a last couple of trips in Wyoming.

I have hiked short sections of both the North and South Downs and would like to do them end to end. I am also looking forward to more chances to hike Europe.

I am frequent member of White Blaze but since this is more of a UK forum and I am not going to be in the US much I figured I'd better join and say hi.
 

Chiseller

Thru Hiker
Welcome home fella, be interesting to hear an Englishman spin on US hiking trends from a UK point.of view....
 

edh

Thru Hiker
Evening
Which PCT sections are you looking at this summer?
Also...Wyoming, the Wind Rivers? Or elsewhere. I thought the Winds were very fine.
 
Not a fella and I won't be back until October, and I'm not sure I can do much of the latter since I am more American than Brit at this point!

One thing you might have to adapt to is the overarching presumption of your maleness, on sites such as this...:angelic:

Until that is, you can give solid, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Howdy! By the way.. :shamefullyembarrased:

You're wise to avoid the UK right now, the weather is terrible at the moment , even in the usually balmy South West

BTW, I too identify as 'not a fella' :)
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
Welcome :)
I for one would be interested in your take on al sorts of subjects from a US prospective.
Watched Wind River recently so suspect your idea of 'cold' may differ.
 

Balagan

Thru Hiker
Not a fella and I won't be back until October, and I'm not sure I can do much of the latter since I am more American than Brit at this point!
Welcome. Don't mind our resident Viking, he's exhausted after a long snowy trip. ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: edh

DuneElliot

Section Hiker
Evening
Which PCT sections are you looking at this summer?
Also...Wyoming, the Wind Rivers? Or elsewhere. I thought the Winds were very fine.

Yes, I will be doing a northern Wind River loop this year to add to the southern loop I did last September. It will be at the end of August but still waiting on commitments from people on White Blaze to join me. I keep a journal of my hikes and travels on my blog, including last year's trip:
https://nomadicpawprints.wordpress.com/

I'm doing short sections because of my dogs...especially the older one...and the need for resupply with them. Focusing on northern Oregon and southern and central Washington.

One thing you might have to adapt to is the overarching presumption of your maleness, on sites such as this...:angelic:

Until that is, you can give solid, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Howdy! By the way.. :shamefullyembarrased:

You're wise to avoid the UK right now, the weather is terrible at the moment , even in the usually balmy South West

BTW, I too identify as 'not a fella' :)

I thought my picture was enough to show I wasn't a guy...but you never know which men might like to wear those kinds of pants these days!

Welcome :)
I for one would be interested in your take on al sorts of subjects from a US prospective.
Watched Wind River recently so suspect your idea of 'cold' may differ.

As mentioned above, feel free to check out my hiking journals on my blog. Cold is definitely different...and it isn't damp there which always makes things feel much colder IMO.

Welcome. Don't mind our resident Viking, he's exhausted after a long snowy trip. ;)

I do the ren faire thing...my character dress is based on Viking Shield maiden wear. Ironically, despite your comment, Vikings had one of the most equal societies between men and women
 
[QUOTE="DuneElliot, post: 85796, member
I do the ren faire thing...my character dress is based on Viking Shield maiden wear. Ironically, despite your comment, Vikings had one of the most equal societies between men and women[/QUOTE]

One of my alter-egos has a bronze leather breastplate too.. :)

I wonder if the old Norse traditions have fed into the current, more egalitarian tendencies in the Scandilands?

The seafaring chaps going off for months, or even years at a time must have led to the wimminn folk becoming more self sufficient, respected for their abilities, and autonomous perhaps?

Thankfully - the guys on here are all pretty liberal, and open minded.. All sorts really, with all sorts of tastes in pants... :geek:

Although orange does, inexplicably, seem to be a recurrent theme :o o:
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
Tramplite shared a tweet last week from a woman who runs a magazine aimed at outdoorswomen, bit of a controversial piece in which she was of the opinion that suffrage being extended to some women had more to do with 'the patriarchy' and the women themselves seeing that they were capable of filling the men's traditional rolls during the first world war, than the actual suffragetts. She was arguing for more women to get out, and that the barriers were of their own making. I guess those who get out are a self selecting bunch and don't feel the barriers whatever demographic we are?
 
Tramplite shared a tweet last week from a woman who runs a magazine aimed at outdoorswomen, bit of a controversial piece in which she was of the opinion that suffrage being extended to some women had more to do with 'the patriarchy' and the women themselves seeing that they were capable of filling the men's traditional rolls during the first world war, than the actual suffragetts. She was arguing for more women to get out, and that the barriers were of their own making. I guess those who get out are a self selecting bunch and don't feel the barriers whatever demographic we are?

Well as with all these things, cause and effect are not always so easy to determine.. Social change is usually hard won, and not achieved in a consistently linear fashion. .Its a case of pushing against the establishment, or the norms, who would generally prefer to see the status quo maintained, for their own benefit.

I wouldn't claim to speak for all women who 'get out' by themselves.. We are all individuals, with motivations as unique to ourselves, as anyone possesses.. I would however, suggest that it is very much easier to be it, if you see it - regularly, and as a normal happenstance.. If you have to justify your 'unusual' actions to others (or to your own inner conditioned, not good enough, not safe, or not really entitled, voices that may be trying to stymie you too) then that is an extra burden of 'mental energy' on top of all that is needed to undertake trips, or what have you...
I was lucky enough to be brought up by parents who had very little truck with gendered roles, or restrictions 'just because that was expected' ... Plus having worked, played (and largely succeeded) in traditionally male dominated spheres for the past thirty years, I'm fairly well inured to such prejudices.. But it doesn't stop me noticing, and being annoyed by them, when encountered...

Not for me, so much.. Although there is still that creeping suspicion, that "We women still have to perform twice as well as men, to be thought of as half as good * - but in general for other females, it's just another tiring, swimming against the tide of expectation, which may, for some, mean the difference, between choosing to go out, or not.... I'm proud (if that's the correct word) to say that I know of quite a few women who have chosen to go and do something outside of their comfort zone, based on my example.. That is a nice thing to know.. But very sorry 'hubbies' if you had to do some extra childcare, or what have you, as a result.. :angelic:

*can't remember who quoth this - possibly the first female Prime minister of Canada.?
But the denouement was something like.... "But thankfully this isn't usually too difficult ;)"
 

Clare

Thru Hiker
Well, welcome Dune! before I hijack your thread.

I agree with the thrust of the travelling lines article. I am struck, in the same way that I'm struck by a soggy weetabix, by the numerous articles I read in the Guardian by women doing something that they say society has conditioned them not to do. 500 words are then spent on how they none the less did the thing, against the odds, rather than just getting on with the writing interestingly about the thing they like. The subject becomes the struggle to reject conditioning rather than the thing itself. There was one this week on weightlifting, with the often repeated complaint about prejudicial looks and comments from muscle guys in the weight room, which is something I have never seen. Perhaps I've been lucky or perhaps it's a question of perception. Or projection. While I am the first to argue that society is patriarchal in work, politics and family, I just don't see this bar in leisure activities. I have never thought twice about lifting in the weights room or walking on my own except for the consideration that I might get lonely or twist an ankle, which all walkers consider. Unlike the writer of the article I most definitely consider myself a feminist but these articles' about leisure seem to me to be misconceived as well as trivial when there is a stonking great gender pay gap to consider. However, as we now know, a woman working at HSBC will on average have 60% less funds than a man at the same bank with which to buy her crampons.
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
Shocking figures for HSBC, daylight is the best disinfectant though. I used to maintain Helena Morrissey's country house garden, only met her husband, he was great.
 
Sorry Dune.. Maybe Shewie will move this to a separate roped off area at some point...

But hey! Better than being ignored eh? :)

@Clare I'd broadly agree with you, much of it is inside people's heads, but that is where many people spend their lives, fretting away about 'what people might think of them'

(usually very little - and rarely anything relating to us - and if it is, that is their issue )
.
It's arisen from centuries of conditioning perhaps, but needs to be tackled imo...

We're only going for a walk, and putting up a dinky tent after all, (in the instance of hiking)
I've very rarely felt threatened out there in any case, certainly not by other people - and the domestic violence figures show where most of the getting hurt happens.

And globally I suspect far more females spend just as much, if not more of their lives porting heavy loads long distances - water, kids, food etc - than do their male counterparts..

Doing lots of body confidence giving stuff such as physical work, weightlifting and tonnes of yoga, helps.
Although of course, with all this scrummy lightweight gear it's not as if we even need to be that strong :whistling:

So it is curious in a way, that there are fewer women on here, given that on average we are less physically strong as a gender..

Maybe that filthy pay gap, and thereby access to, and control of, funds for purchases. In addition to the fact that in a lot of households the bulk of unpaid domestic, and caring duties still fall on women, meaning they have less free time, to persue their own interests. These are the real issues that need addressing.

But sure everyone on here, has all that totally sorted - despite the occasional jokey 1950's 'beleaguered husband' club house atmos' that crops up, from time to time :rolleyeses:.

And yes I too get annoyed at the whole 'woman overcomes her inner demons by going on a transformative journey' trope being endlessly trotted out, unless it's done convincingly, with purpose.
Nearly everyone both male and female, has self doubting moments - chaps are just generally taught to conceal all that with bluff and bluster, ime.

It all perpetuates the same old myth of us women needing protecting, or being helpless out by ourselves.

I get the impression @DuneElliot that there are something like half as many women doing trails in the States, as guys? - still a way to go, but possibly better than here in UK - I don't know for sure - anyone got any solid stats?

If not, I'm willing to go out and collect some - for an immodest fee :geek:
 
Last edited:

Enzo

Thru Hiker
From 2016 pct survey

Ethnicity is the standout for me, African American wasn't even a category, 13 percent of the population.
If you take education as representing class, overwhelmingly middle classed.
DEMOGRAPHICS

To start, let's take a look at some information that won't help anyone prepare for their PCT thru-hike, but that is nonetheless interesting: HIKER DEMOGRAPHICS.

  • SEX | 67% Male, 33% Female
  • AGE | 2% <20, 18% 20-24, 27% 25-29, 18% 30-35, 10% 35-39, 11% 40-49, 10% 50-59, 5% 60-69
  • AVERAGE AGE | 34 (σ = 11.8)



  • RACE | 89% Caucasian, 3% Multi-Racial, 2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% Hispanic, 1% Native American/Alaska Native, 5% Decline to answer
  • EDUCATION | 2% <12th grade, 6% High School Diploma, 15% Some College, 7% Associate Degree, 51% Bachelor's Degree, 19% Graduate Degree

 

Clare

Thru Hiker
There is a thread somewhere on women and walking..

Sorry Dune.. Maybe Shewie will move this to a separate roped off area at some point...

But hey! Better than being ignored eh? :)

@Clare I'd broadly agree with you, much of it is inside people's heads, but that is where many people spend their lives, fretting away about 'what people might think of them'

Well I agree with this. If it's in your head, then it is. I think the lady who wrote the travelling lines blog put this point better than me: the question is whether the best way to address those inhibitions is articles discussing the problem of the conditioning or visible women doing and enjoying. I used to follow the blog of an amazing woman who rode her Yahama XT all the way to Cape Town and it never once, as I remember, explicitly addressed the question of being a woman alone. Although you couldn't help but wonder at it when she was alone on a flatbed truck of Congolese troops off their head on something or other. She inspired me to do a much smaller solo trip around the backroads of the Eastern Cape.


Maybe that filthy pay gap, and thereby access to, and control of, funds for purchases. In addition to the fact that in a lot of households the bulk of unpaid domestic, and caring duties still fall on women, meaning they have less free time, to persue their own interests. These are the real issues that need addressing.

I agree with this too. It's all very well looking at women like Freya Stark who travelled through the middle east in the 1930s and '40s and wrote Arabian Gates and the Lycian Way, as she was an exception, without family. Or modern equivalents but I've always liked the image of Stark travelling into areas of Iran where no one had ever been.

It all perpetuates the same old myth of us women needing protecting, or being helpless out by ourselves.
:angelic: Well, sometimes we are, but then so are guys. We all need protection and support some of the time.
 
Last edited:
From 2016 pct survey

Ethnicity is the standout for me, African American wasn't even a category, 13 percent of the population.
If you take education as representing class, overwhelmingly middle classed.
DEMOGRAPHICS

To start, let's take a look at some information that won't help anyone prepare for their PCT thru-hike, but that is nonetheless interesting: HIKER DEMOGRAPHICS.

  • SEX | 67% Male, 33% Female
  • AGE | 2% <20, 18% 20-24, 27% 25-29, 18% 30-35, 10% 35-39, 11% 40-49, 10% 50-59, 5% 60-69
  • AVERAGE AGE | 34 (σ = 11.8)



  • RACE | 89% Caucasian, 3% Multi-Racial, 2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% Hispanic, 1% Native American/Alaska Native, 5% Decline to answer
  • EDUCATION | 2% <12th grade, 6% High School Diploma, 15% Some College, 7% Associate Degree, 51% Bachelor's Degree, 19% Graduate Degree


Totally there on the 'ethnicity' thang - I was struck walking in The Peak last Autumn, by just how few non white faces there were to be seen.

Especially given that, that area is surrounded by conurbations with a very diverse population.
I understand it's possibly cultural thing, a feeling of not being so welcome perhaps, or 'not for the likes of us' alongside the usual 'visibility' issues.

i did notice more racial diversity in the Pyrenees last year, over previous years - but the fact that it is even remarkable, perhaps tells us something too..


Oh lorks! And i don't have even a degree either - plus am very well (!) over 40 - totally unqualified for this activity..

Solidly middle class in background though - so perhaps that compensates? :)


In terms of being a woman out alone - I think that often helps - people are almost invariably friendly - if you bother to be so to them :angelic:

That may be due, in part at least, to women not generally having such an historical record of violence, and general unpleasantness towards others - thanks sisters - credit where it's due :thumbsup:

in terms of getting lonely, or bored in my own solo company? Very rarely - If that should arise it can easily be addressed by making sure to put something interesting in there to think about, if the outer world should pall.... I believe that's what books, and suchlike are for...:angelic: And, of course solo travel allows you to have those in-depth conversations with yourself, to find out 'where you're at' ... Maybe the idea of having to undertake such an investigation is what scares a lot of people... :bag:
 
Top