Does anybody know what time it is?

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TehipiteTom
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by TehipiteTom » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:25 pm

I own a (cheap) watch, and backpacking is pretty much the only time I wear it. I started wearing it when I was leading Sierra Club trips, for things like timing breaks and lunch stops (as well as knowing how much time til dark), and since then I've found it much more useful than intrusive.

One thing it's handy for: my girlfriend and I have a longstanding tradition in which we arrange to both have cocktails at exactly 5 pm on a given day (I in the backcountry, she at home). Couldn't do that without a watch.








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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by quentinc » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:51 pm

This is funny. I never carry a compass or GPS but I'd go crazy without a watch. A personal OCD, I guess. As for the "hand to the sun" method...probably depends on how big you hands are. :)

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LMBSGV
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by LMBSGV » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:20 pm

I carry a watch but mainly use it for timing while cooking. When hiking, I leave it in the pack. When I get to a campsite, I'll get it out to see what time it is. When I wake up at dawn, I'll put it on just so I don't lose it and keep a lackadaisical eye on the time while I'm traipsing around taking photos - when I didn't wear the watch, I found myself wandering around way too long so not getting around to breakfast and packing up until it was too late to get to the day's destination at a reasonable time.

In one respect, carrying a watch is my one anchor/connection to the outside world. There are days when I don't bother with it and completely sever that connection and live entirely by the natural cycle of the rising and setting of the sun. It's a matter of the particular trip I'm doing and what responsibilities I have to anyone else (mainly my wife and son).

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cvr
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by cvr » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:26 pm

I own a multi-function watch with an altimeter, thermometer, barometer and a few other functions. It even has a small level, although if you need that to find a suitably flat tent spot or stove platform, you should probably not be in the mountains. I have the model on a caribener, which I prefer vs the standard wrist model. I don't usually wear a watch so I don't like the feeling of something on my wrist. I doubt I would have paid the pretty hefty price for it. It was a gift. Although it is WAY overkill, I have found it to be really useful and fun.

I rarely if ever look at the barometer as I can usually tell the trending weather by simple sight. The functions I do use continuously are:

Altimeter - Like balzaccom, I leave the display on this function throughout the hiking day. I find it fun to track how long it takes to gain certain ridges and I like the running elevation total it tracks for the trip. By recalibrating it maybe once a day at known points using a topo, I have found it to be very accurate. Is this function necessary? No. But, it is entertaining.

Thermometer - When my water is frozen in the morning, I know its cold. Again not necccessary, but its still neat to know exactly how cold.

Clock - Like some others, I like to know how much time I have left to fish and/or how much time I have before I will get to fish. It is also nice for tracking how long it will take to return from a dayhike, etc. I too find the clock helpful when timing rehydration on the occasions I take those meals. "8-10 minutes" my arse; 20 minutes at least!

Alarm - This may be the most useful function for me. I am very surprised no one has mentioned it thus far. I set the alarm for pretty much every morning. Without it, I (and all my hiking partners) would find ourselves sleeping in way too late. I certainly go into the mounatins to relax, enjoy myself and to shed the rigors of the regular workday lifestyle, but at the same time, I often want or need to get up earlier than I could on my own to summit a peak(s) or to fish the miracle sunrise hours. To me, enjoying some early morning tail-walking with some bows is worth setting an alarm.

Just my experience. I totally get the being on mother nature's time idea. The once or twice in my life when I forgot what day it was stand out as some of my finest moments. However, for me this overkill device allows me to enjoy my trips more than I would without it.

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sparky
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by sparky » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:04 pm

I have always got up at first light while in the mountains....one of the reasons I prefer solo. Everyone else sleeps in...after a few hours ill start throwing pine cones at tents heh

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cvr
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by cvr » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:11 pm

Funny...throwing pine cones at tents is my preferred wake up call as well!

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ChasingRainbows
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by ChasingRainbows » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:30 am

I almost never bring a watch backpacking, unless i think i will need it to aid in navigation (how long until i reach this point, etc.). I recently went on a 4 day trip, got back to my car, and before turning the key I guessed that it was 3:57pm... the clock said 4:02. I guess that a sense of time is kind of like a sense of direction, some people have it and some don't.

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ManOfTooManySports
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by ManOfTooManySports » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:29 am

Interesting discussion. I wear a simple watch on the trail, but I rarely look at it. The main purpose of a watch for me is to get my lazy butt out of bed on mornings we have to move early. If am not nor ever will be a morning person!

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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by Jimr » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:54 pm

I used to have a watch strapped around a loop on my pack. Never looked at it, so I don't bring it anymore.
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Re: Does anybody know what time it is?

Post by freestone » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:13 pm

I bring a watch because I want to know how much longer I have to stay in my sleeping bag after I wake up at 0230 hours to wait for the dawn. Of course, I don't have to be backpacking to do this, that's is just the way I sleep (or not!!)
Fram...

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