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How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby speth » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:10 pm

Sounds like you need to make a pros and cons list if you still want to hike with him.

Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby MonGoose » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:20 pm

I think the bottom line is that you can't change people. Your friend knows he doesn't need to put in any effort because you'll take care of him. If you stopped putting in the effort, he probably wouldn't bother going camping. I would recommend meeting some people through Climbing Connection on this site and attending a 14ers Fall/Winter/Spring Gathering or even a Happy Hour. Through these events you'll meet cool people who have their act together (at least some of them) and you won't be dependent on your friend to spend time outdoors.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby steelfrog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:23 pm

Clearly hiking with this person is not a ton of fun. What is your motivation for hiking with him?

Anyway, I wouldn't do it. My most cherished times are in the outdoors and I won't spoil it by hiking with someone I don't enjoy being around and who isn't self sufficient. Or, even better, brings something to the table like better skill or experience than me, or mad photography skills or something. This applies even to family.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby mike_kadow » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:37 pm

MonGoose wrote:I think the bottom line is that you can't change people. Your friend knows he doesn't need to put in any effort because you'll take care of him. If you stopped putting in the effort, he probably wouldn't bother going camping. I would recommend meeting some people through Climbing Connection on this site and attending a 14ers Fall/Winter/Spring Gathering or even a Happy Hour. Through these events you'll meet cool people who have their act together (at least some of them) and you won't be dependent on your friend to spend time outdoors.


Good points, and to add on to this: I was (and still am) poor. I "managed" and still do, but it sounds like a major difference between your friend and I, is cognizants (or conscientiousness?). That's hard to teach, if it all possible. If your friend would take it more serious, he would. But it sounds like, and Mongoose resonates it well, he is not nor is making the effort.

Guess it comes down to you and your tolerance.

I have a friend that makes hiking plans with never checking the weather. Too many times I've had to reject those plans and end up shaking my head. Though not quite as serious as your "complications", it's frustrating and I understand where you're coming from.

Agreed - check out get togethers.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby Vids » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:42 pm

I've had to deal with similar situations with some of the guys I hunt with. I've always been frustrated by having to babysit them, making sure they are prepared, buy the right license, show up at right place at right time, etc. As life has gotten busier for me (married and two kids now) I've adopted the attitude of "I'm going hunting/camping/fishing/hiking/etc at xyz location on xyz date and you are welcome to join me" and then not worry about whether or not they will be prepared or even show up.

Over time it is working itself out. Some of my old friends I don't hang out with much anymore, and the ones I can depend on are still my close friends. It was sort of a hump I had to get over, I didn't want to lose those friendships so I kept taking care of them. But at some point it's not worth it because there are other people out there, just as fun, that are as mature and reliable as you. What I found is either people will step up and be responsible because they want to hang on to the friendship too, or if they don't the friendship fades and it creates the opportunity to make some new friends. Don't get me wrong, I still like these old friends and would buy them a beer anytime, I just don't make plans with them anymore because I have more reliable options.

Colorado is a great place for finding new hiking/camping partners since so many of us are transplants. I would suggest focusing on making some new connections so you have options, and then you will get a better perspective on whether or not to continue camping with your friend.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby sgladbach » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:45 pm

I'm assuming he was never a Boy Scout. Though the motto is "be prepared", that lesson comes in stages.

Most adolescent boys got wet and cold, heated a can of beans in the coals and then had to figure a way to hold the hot can and eat w/o silverware, etc. We wore jeans and that cotton-waffle long underwear stuff. We sat by the fire all night because it was way too cold to sleep. Etc. etc. etc.

evaunitross wrote:I'm tempted to bring him camping with me again in April and let him see first hand just why he needs to invest in some gear, or at least bring appropriate clothing.


Great idea. He somehow missed out on the preliminary lessons and its time he learned the hard way. Think of it as tough love.
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby gdthomas » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:07 pm

The "old school" reply is he's not worth investing any more time with, he's a liability, and sooner or later something very bad will happen. The "politically correct" reply is you are enabling him by always taking care of his needs; discuss the problem with him and see if you can't work it out. My guess is this guy will not change so I'm in the "old school" camp. Find others to hike with who share your hiking philosophy.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby gearhunter » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:08 pm

Stop enabling him.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby timf » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:23 pm

I agree with everything everyone else has posted. Here's what I would do to illustrate a point. There needs to be some tough love especially if you're such good friends, you should be able to "have it out" to express your concerns.

Make plans to hit a bar for a few drinks, 8pm Sat night.
When he doesn't show up, call/text him and ask where he is as you were expecting him to pick you up.

Then when you get there and they charge you a cover or simply ID you at the bar, ask him it he has your wallet because you forgot it.
When he looks at you puzzled, just say, "Ahh it'll be alright!" and let him determine what should be done.

If you then go back home to grab your wallet with your license, conveniently leave your debit/credit card out of the wallet.
then he'll have to buy the drinks and if he doesn't there's your segway for talking about your concern.

I have a brother-in-law that I used to go on hut trips and he was all willy nilly, plan nothing. So I asked everyone, he let's get a menu down and each person buy a meal or 2 for everyone. "What do you like?" "I'm down with whatever", he kept saying. So I purposely got something that I like and that he didn't.

Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:28 pm

Tell him to quit being a dumbass fuckhole and buy some gear if he wants to keep camping with you.

/thread

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby B-Dog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:28 pm

So, I'm not alone then :lol:

I've done exactly this with a few people:
Vids wrote:"I'm going hunting/camping/fishing/hiking/etc at xyz location on xyz date and you are welcome to join me"


One friend, I refuse to make plans around because he'll inevitably bail at the very last second. Of course he's always welcome to join in anything that I do, I enjoy his company. However, going out of my way to accommodate someone, make all the plans, etc. then have them bail gets old.

I have made new friends in the last year or 2 through meetup and CMC and it's great. I'd highly recommend either one for someone looking for new outdoorsie friends. I'm sure the climbing connection on here would have similar results. The CMC is full of great people with TONS of experience but the average age is about 100, just throwing that out there if you're looking for 20-somethings.

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Re: How to deal with an unprepared friend...?

Postby crossfitter » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Better be tough if you're gonna be dumb.

Do what his parents haven't and cut the umbilical cord. Either he learns some personal responsibility (helping society out in the long run) and starts taking care of himself or he will decide that it's all too much work and can go mooch off someone else. Either way, your problem is solved. Next time he wants to go camping, don't spoon feed him any details beyond "I'm going camping". Don't volunteer where you're going, when or where to meet, how long you'll be gone, or what to bring unless he asks. Let him figure the rest out by asking appropriate questions. If and when he shows up unprepared, don't have enough stuff to bail him out so that he's forced to face consequences for his irresponsibility*.

* Don't do this where he might actually die or get hurt. Spending a dry summer night below treeline with a T-shirt will be miserable, but overall harmless. Doing this 15 miles from the trailhead in April with snow might end up in serious trouble.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


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