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Thread: Dealing with an Annoying Hiking Partner

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    Default Dealing with an Annoying Hiking Partner

    Hey guys,
    Got a trip coming up with a couple of guys and one that takes over a trip and has to have things his way. He was an assistant scout master (a position that anyone who volunteers can obtain) and believes that makes him the leader and ever source of knowledge. The problem is he routinely does things wrong and doesnt really know what hes doing. He often doesnt have a tool for the job he wants to do and wants to borrow mine. I wouldnt mind him using my tools but he has no clue what hes doing with them and damages them. I tried to show him the proper way to use an axe and he snapped back at me "i taught the merit badge on using an axe; I know how to use it". The last trip he broke my laplander saw and I know he's going to want to borrow my things again. Im not going to let him, but if I say its cause you dont know how to use them he blows up, and if its something I dont want to do he wont leave me alone til I give him the tool. He brings a bottle of diesel fuel for fires and I tried to show him how to make a proper fire at which point he comes over to the fire as Ive prepared everything and just gotten it started and pours the diesel fuel all over it and says "I know how to make a fire, your way takes too long im too impatient". He doesnt get subtle hints and when youre blunt with him he gets highly offended. Any advice? Sorry for the rant. On a lighter note, Im going to take a book so that I can get away if I need to at night so any suggestions on a light read would be appreciated.


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    Guide Supporter VinoNoir's Avatar
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    Easy. Don't go hiking with him.

    If I had a hiking buddy like that, he wouldn't be my hiking buddy very long. I'm out there to relax and enjoy my time away from other people and the trappings of modern life. His affect would effectively defeat the whole purpose of getting away. Not to mention that this type of low self esteem, bulldozing, unwillingness to listen behavior is annoying and would likely get someone punched in the face...

    Just my two cents..
    "..honest to the point of recklessness,
    self centered to the extreme.."


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    If you break his nose, all you will have to hear is squeaking and nasal whistling.
    My charity ride donation site.
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    Guide Supporter VinoNoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Legged Josh View Post
    If you break his nose, all you will have to hear is squeaking and nasal whistling.
    And probably some crying..
    "..honest to the point of recklessness,
    self centered to the extreme.."


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    Tell him to get in line, STFU, or don't come along. Also, tell him you have decided to never lend out ANY tool as it has not worked out in the past.

    Have fun!

    Ezra


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    well I like the other two going and hes friends with everyone in the group so if Im gonna be hiking with them hes goin to be coming. Also hes about the only person that will go out often. Most everyone else is busy or uninterested in going so Im kinda stuck with him. And hes not a bad person, hes a good guy, just annoying to hike with. Like a less loveable barney fife is the best way I can describe him.

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    i just ignore them. i don't loan my tools (unless i am sure of your skills) and mostly just sit back and laugh. when they fail i probally will step up. thankfully i don't encounter people like this very often, most are far better than me. joe

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    Bear bait?

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    I've dropped a couple old camping " buddies " in my past.
    No regrets. My trips are a lot more pleasant and hassle-free now. Almost every trip with them started and ended with dissapointment.

    I'd rather go alone than with someone who is going to cause problems and argue.


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    There's a teachable moment in everything you've mentioned...including him taking over. With someone like that, I'd express my unease with him using my tools because of my concern for his safety. Then, I'd explain how I use my tools, and why. That way, you're not saying he's wrong, but rather, you're sharing how you prefer to do things. You could even offer it as an opportunity for him get "even better" by knowing how to do things using several methods. Most of the people I've encountered who behave like that usually have an insecure glint to their eyes; I notice that they'll often glance around when they're discussing their expertise or performing a task. Mostly, those people are looking for affirmation and are probably deeply unappreciated somewhere else in their lives. It's not your responsibility to nurture or even humor them, but being responsive to his behavior rather than reactive may help to develop a peer relationship with someone who is probably pretty lonely because of poor social skills. That being said, there are some people who are simply tiresome and are more than difficult to find common, agreeable ground with. In that case, the book's a good escape route.

    On a tangential note, I've taught rock climbing safety for years, and the most common demographic of both unsafe and stubbornly ill-informed climbers was participation in scouting. The merit badge system is great for developing a breadth of knowledge, but I think the term merit in the awards is troublesome. That is, it implies to some people that their autonomy in that skill is merited by the badge...which just isn't so.


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