Dealing with an Annoying Hiking Partner

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by rolltde65, Mar 4, 2013.

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  1. rolltde65

    rolltde65 Tracker

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    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.
     
  2. VinoNoir

    VinoNoir Guide

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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..
     
  3. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    If you break his nose, all you will have to hear is squeaking and nasal whistling.
     
  4. VinoNoir

    VinoNoir Guide

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    And probably some crying..
     
  5. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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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
     
  6. rolltde65

    rolltde65 Tracker

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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.
     
  7. central joe

    central joe Scout

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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
     
  8. racetrack

    racetrack Scout

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    Bear bait?
     
  9. Hiwa

    Hiwa Guide

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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.
     
  10. AdamDavidson

    AdamDavidson Tracker

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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. :58:
     
  11. NGshooter17

    NGshooter17 Scout

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    haha ya. Make him sleep with all the food stored open.
     
  12. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    I'm sorry, but man up. We've got a whole tribe ( 50 or so) of Type A personalities. If you don't assert yourself they'll tell you how to do everything better. And I love everyone of them...

    or just bail on going out with him and find some mellower people.
     
  13. jereman

    jereman Scout

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    this guy sounds ALOT like my older brother, bossy snappy and a jerk. i grew up with him and it was a real pain. the best way i have found is to let him do it his way, and stand clear in case he hurts himself. if he wants to use a tool of yours, and you dont want him to jsut say no, if he ask why remind him of the saw. if it comes down to where you have to let him use it, only let him use it and i mean ONLY if he follows your direction. if he is misusing it take it back. if he gets all pissy, let him rant off and if he is in your face just walk away and let him blow up by himself. my brother did that crap all the time and i finally had enough and kicked his butt in a very violent but one sided fight several years ago. he is still a big jerk and pissy, but he wont yell at my face any more.

    for example, about 3 weeks ago... i was teaching my little brother(13) how to throw a tomahawk, and my older brother(25) wanted to throw it. i tried to explain the form and distance to him, but he was too smart for that and snapped at me when i tried to remind him about proper distance and so on, and he just threw it as hard as he could, while i took about 5 steps back and pulled my little brother back, and we chuckled at him because, well it was quite the show and rather funny to watch him throw it. after about 3 minutes he stormed off all pissed off and i said, "thats how you dont throw it" then stuck it my 1st throw. it is great to expose my little brother to my older brother, because it shows a real life example on how ridiculous you look when you get all upset and flip out over people trying to help you. this helps my little brother do good in school, which helps everyone. ps, sorry for any rant and good luck

    .. another method would just go ultralight and you cant loan what you don't have... or just deny caring anything he needed.

    in the time it took me to type this, there were like 15 responses lol.
     
  14. wooly bugger

    wooly bugger Scout

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    Get a dog. It will always go hiking with you and it will not ask to borrow your stuff. Seriously, life is too short and the trails are too long to deal with this. I go in to the woods to get away from folks like that. Just my $0.02. Good luck.
     
  15. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Scout

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    Don't take any tools, and state with his skill level he should know how to do everything. Me personally, I wouldn't put up with it. I'm not one to let people treat me like that. Sometimes you can't ignore conflict.
     
  16. Aurelius

    Aurelius Scout

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    We've all got people like that in our lives. I think God places them in our lives to keep us humble! :)

    I remember when I lived in Japan I went on a "picnic" with several other students. After my buddy and I got the fire going, some of our other friends stomped it out and said it wasn't done "the Japanese way". They then proceeded to rebuild the wood and set it on fire with gasoline they siphoned from the car. I was about 20 feet away when they lit it.

    Seriously, for your friend, I think you need to be honest. Tell him why you are leery of lending your tools, and that you would prefer to build the fire yourself. Then, if you're unsuccessful, he can feel free to step in.

    Good luck, and I hope he comes back with all of his fingers.
     
  17. Jason

    Jason Founder Staff Member Administrator Bushclass I

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    Is his name Terry Barney? That guy sounds familiar to me.
     
  18. mouse

    mouse Tracker

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    Life is short. You may have to tolerate fools in the workplace but not in the woods. Go alone, get a dog, etc.
     
  19. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    If I go out in a group it's among friends.

    Friends don't act like this.

    Don't go hiking with this person.
     
  20. beacon

    beacon Guide Bushclass I

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    Aint Nobody Got Time for That

    My time out in the bush is too limited to put up with that nonsense. I would rather go alone. Like Sweet Brown says, "aint nobody got time for that"...

    [video=youtube_share;8cT_Ulmcrys]http://youtu.be/8cT_Ulmcrys[/video]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  21. Gumbi

    Gumbi Scout Bushclass I

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    Make your camp far from him. Spend a lot of time out in the woods by yourself. Go for a hike to get away from him.

    Learn to say no.

    Or say yes and practice sharpening your tools again.

    Bring a set of crappy loaner tools to lend him.

    Skip this trip if it really bothers you all that much.
     
  22. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    say no, gently but firmly - ahead of time: "look here, joe, i've got some issues we need to go over. because you broke my saw last time by using it incorrectly, i will not loan you my new saw or any other tools, unless you use them MY way, not yours. and i will not go on this hike if you carry diesel fuel or other petro fire helpers. i get enough pollution at home. i want to get away from it, not be reminded of it. if another issue comes up, let's talk it out calmly. you know your boy scout ways; i know my ways learned from hard experience. they sometimes differ. is that cool?"

    if he gets all huffy, then don't go. a guy like that could be dangerous ...
     
  23. justin_baker

    justin_baker Bushmaster

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    Tell him to get his own tools and pack them in. He already broke your saw, that is reason to never lend him your tools ever again.
     
  24. Gumbi

    Gumbi Scout Bushclass I

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    Just tell him that you have a new policy of not lending out tools due to concerns about lawsuits if someone gets injured by your tools. :dblthumb:
     
  25. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I like all the advice that has been given; very reasonable and helpful. I gave my rather abrupt advice because I just don't have the patience to tutor people that by their experience, just should know better. No animosity, just don't have the time or patience. Hiking should not become stressful or a time for babysitting ( unless you are with true beginners; that is totally different). When a person shows up with diesel fuel to start a camp fire, you will see me taking a different trail.
    Just saying...

    Ezra
     
  26. Reeper

    Reeper Tracker

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    Sounds like a need for a good ipod and very small ear buds....lol
     
  27. bass man

    bass man Scout Bushclass I

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    Sounds like a yuppie
     
  28. redrooster1700

    redrooster1700 Scout

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    Ask the other guys about him and tell them how you feel! Maybe they feel the same. Do they lend him tools? And just because he's a ( good guy) and that he's friends with everyone dosnt mean he needs to go with you out in the woods. Or just tell him No, because you break my shit so ask someone else or buy your own and he has a problem with it tell him to just hike the f@&k outta here and go home. Some people do respond well to that
     
  29. rolltde65

    rolltde65 Tracker

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    Thanks for the advice y'all. I cant beat him up, but I no longer go on trips with just the two of us. The party of four allows him to talk with other people and me to get a good head start on him up the trail, but at camp it just runs your nerves down. Its not one thing but a build up of things that chip away at your patience. I dont want to make him blow up cause that will sour the trip for the lot, so I thought Id come here and learn from more seasoned guys who have more experience than I.
     
  30. Ned

    Ned Scout

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    If he broke your Laplander saw last time (which should not be easy to do!), that's reason enough to flatly deny him next time he asks to borrow another tool. That should be easily understood... you broke my tools last time you borrowed them, so you can't borrow them again.
     
  31. DirtNap

    DirtNap Scout

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    Hey, if I'm out with a super-keener with no self-awareness, then I let them do the mundane camp chores they insist on doing. Dont lend your tools, bring or make a camp chair, open a wobbly-pop, and enjoy the ensuing hilarity. If he wants to hump some diesel, then hats off to him :1:

    That also frees me up for some other activities like carving, fishing, more pops, etc.

    Dont let anyone spoil your dirt time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  32. stormpriest

    stormpriest Scout

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    shovel. shovels are a wonderful tool...

    no, seriously? Just don'y go if he's on the que. If he get's enough complaints from all of the other troop leaders, he will be forced to at least knock it off. The guy is a forest fire waiting to happen in so amny ways.
    Take yer leave and hope for the best.
     
  33. BigDon

    BigDon Tracker

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    Don't go with him. I know several others have said this and you'll be surprised at how fast they get the message. Even if they don't, who cares? I'll stay home or more than likely go it alone. Really. The older I get the more I realize that the old saying "Life is too short to..." is true.

    This is the way I approach any of my hobbies that I enjoy. I only have one or two hunting and fishing buddies because I'm pretty serious about it. I don't make a party out of going deer hunting. I turn in early and I get up early and I hunt hard, especially for an old fat man! I can't tell you the countless times I've been asked to join a camping/hunting/fishing group and turned them down because I knew there were people there like you described.

    If you must go with him, wait until you're the furthest from the trailhead and late at night when he's asleep, sneak off and leave him by himself. If he asks, why, just tell him you got tired of hiking/camping with a jerk.
     
  34. Code Red

    Code Red Supporter Supporter

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    It sounds to me like your buddy's problem is not his skills, but his attitude. Skills can be learned once the attitude is corrected. If the attitude can't be fixed, then no amount of instruction will fix the skills. I don't really care about broken tools. Tools are made to be used, and sometimes when you use them they get broken. I don't do everything correctly and don't expect anybody else to either. But everyone involved need to be able to participate in the give and take, or there is no point to the social aspect and you need to leave him behind.

    When I am out hiking, it is usually just me, but hunting camp is a group activity.

    Half of the fun when I am at hunting camp is the banter and kidding around and giving each other #%it. And that all happens when you do everything right. If you screw something up, you will be ridiculed mercilessly. If you do it right, you will also be ridiculed mercilessly. If you just sit around and let someone else do it, you will be ridiculed mercilessly. If you can't take the merciless ridicule, and quit coming on the trips...... then you will be ridiculed mercilessly. If you are no good at merciless ridicule, then you will be ridiculed mercilessly. If you are a small child, dog, cat, spouse, or squirrel . . . .. you will be ridiculed mercilessly. We once spent three hours making fun of a sqirrel. He finnally figured it out and started making fun of us. A good time was had by all. (in all honesty, the squirrel did turn out to be a mean drunk).

    We talk trash about everything and everyone under the sun. Anybody who couldn't take it quit coming long ago.
    The ones that are left are pretty laid back and can keep up their end of the conversation. We laugh a lot.

    Send Barney Fife down to me for a spell. We'll toughen him up for you. He may still light fires with gasoline, and hanging around me won't cure him from breaking tools, but he will at least be able to talk trash about it and keep you entertained on the way to the hospital.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  35. 2stoves

    2stoves Scout Bushclass I

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    I am kind of a "meet the storm head on" type person.

    Personally before the hike I would have a 1:1 conversation with him and tell him exactly what my issues are. If his behavior did not improve or continued after that, I would call him out on it each and every time until he stopped or at least STFU.

    Another thing, it's your tools. If you don't want to loan them up, speak up and say no. You paid for them so you have the right to determine who uses them and who does not. If you don't stand up/speak up for yourself, you can be assured his overbearing will continue.
     
  36. stronghorse

    stronghorse Guide

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    Maybe it's time for all leaders to lead by example. Have him only use what he brings out into the bush. This can be a great lesson for him to learn to "Always Be Prepared!", right? Train him to just depend on only what he has with him because isn't that the way that we do it anyway.

    Just a thought...:33:
     
  37. BigFootSurvival

    BigFootSurvival Guide

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    Me and my hiking buddies have agreed that whenever one of us starts acting like a d-bag after a long day on the trail, the others will starting looking for that perfect, steep talus slope. :) :) :57:
     
  38. Gumbi

    Gumbi Scout Bushclass I

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    As You WIIIIIIISSSSSSHHHHH!!!!! :)
     
  39. Lamewolf

    Lamewolf Guide

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    Sounds within reason to me !
     
  40. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sounds like a d-bag, why hang out with him?? If I had to spend a weekend with him I would punch him the throat.
     
  41. Lamewolf

    Lamewolf Guide

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    I think I would at least have a good stern talk with him before hand and make it plain that if he needs tools, he needs to supply his own and he does not know everything contrary to his popular belief. Yes, your ways of making a fire might take longer, but using fuel to get one started doesn't teach scouts how to make a fire when they don't have fuel on hand. Plus, let him know you don't like your food tasting like deisel fuel and your air smelling like it, not to mention the polution he is putting into the ground water by using it - sounds like an uncaring slob to me !
     
  42. Amish

    Amish Scout

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    Being a biker (NOT a motorcycle enthusiast), I would tell him to STFU and if he did not like that, tough S#@T. If he still persisted, he may need help limping back to the vehicles. This is what I would do, but, it may not be applicable in your situation. You can also leave him behind next time you go out.
     
  43. renter6

    renter6 Scout

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    For what its worth, you aren't doing your friend any favors letting him get by without consequences. If you remember that, it might make it easier to say your piece.

    I can't get over the diesel fuel thing (is there a boy sprout troop somewhere that only ever starts fires with diesel??). It seems like maybe you as a group could set a few some ground rules, agree about a few things that you will or will not do on a particular trip. It doesn't sound like you can talk to this guy out in the woods, in the middle of things, maybe it will be easier to talk over beers while you plan the trip.
     
  44. leatherstocking

    leatherstocking Scout

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    Study your wild mushrooms and make dinner for him, just don't feed anyone else the same shrooms. Cull him from the herd. Throwing diesel on your fire, that dude could get someone hurt or killed in the bush. I have had run ins with people like that, it only takes one time for me and never again would I go into the woods with someone like that, period!
     
  45. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    I'm not sure advising someone to kill a bad hiking partner is the best course of action for a host of legal as well as ethical reasons, perhaps he should just avoid hiking with him instead.
     
  46. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    I think he is joking.
     
  47. dwightp

    dwightp Guide Bushclass I

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    Recent North Florida transplant from Northwest Geo
    Please tell us that you're joking with this comment......
     
  48. leatherstocking

    leatherstocking Scout

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    Of course I was, couldn't find a good emoticon to go with it. But in the old days undesirables were culled from the herd.:4:
     
  49. VtBlackDog

    VtBlackDog Guide

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    Are you more fit than he is? a fast climb up a steep mountain might discourage him.

    Borrow some of his stuff!

    Have your wife call his wife (in a sexy voice) and ask if his rash is better, :16:

    Fall and "hurt" your back so he has to carry your gear.

    Poison ivy in his undies.

    .....sort of reminds me of when I was a kid working in a gas station; the wrecker driver was a PITA who was always hanging around bugging us; one of the other guys made "special" coffee for him; nearly died laughing as he guzzled it.
     
  50. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Nope I'm not. I really don't think it a good idea to put such things into print.
     
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