"Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.
I think it is already generous enough that there was a warning about bears in the area. Last year I hiked GA to PA. I camped at Lance Creek and did the 7.3 miles to Neels Gap. I was also only hiking about 6-7 miles a day average at that time. Most of the other hikers I had become aquatinted with stayed at Woods Hole shelter. When we got to Neels Gap that evening I found out 3 of my friends had lost their bear bags in the night. Hikers need to remember that the AT is not a tourist park and you are responsible for yourself. There are many great people that help along the way but you should never expect it. The Awol A.T. Guide has all the information you would have needed regarding campsites and water in that area. Pushing yourself an extra mile in a "more difficult" section is important in building up endurance. Those doing a thru-hike will encounter much more trying areas. Section and weekend hikers with low mile averages should perhaps avoid this area of the trail until the bears move on.
Plan accordingly. This ain't the PCT with mandated bear canisters for a LOOOONG stretch of trail.
Umm. Many of those "thrus" struggling with this have perhaps 2 or 3 days of experience behind them. I see no reason to call them out separately from section and weekend hikers.
If someone cant do 6-8 miles per day, even fresh off the sofa, there is a real problem. Most likely 1) significantly overweight and in poor shape (thats only describes 70% of adult americans) 2) carrying 50 lbs 3) not hiking enough hrs per day. 4) simply dont possess necessary mental fortitude, they have never exerted themselves.
I snicker to myself when I read trail journals from some of the new hikers. Blisters on day 2 or 3, low mileage, etc.
What they lack is intelligence. Intelligence to know that they DONT know what they need too. The knowledge is out there, its even free and readily available, but the glaring truth is they are just to STUPID to look for it, they dont think they need to know any more than they already do.
Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 04-13-2012 at 20:32.
Interesting thread. Note to the powers that be, i.e Federal, State, County, Local, regional Trail Club, ATC, Ridgrerunner, volunteer, etc: I just went out on a short night hike on Blood Mountain. It involved crossing the highway at Neel Gap and heading south on the A.T. There are several signs (evidently several years old) telling people about various campfire rules and regulations. As to anything telling people about potential bear problems, warning them of possible dangers or risks, or anything telling them about restricted areas, areas that require cannisters, etc......um, no, nothing whatsoever. So a quick comment to folks setting he new rules and planning to enforce these regulations: Um, you might wanna think about letting people know about these things BEFORE they set foot on the Trail, i.e. before they enter the affected area. Cuz in all truth, when it comes to informing the general public about these new rules and regualtions (never mind telling them about possible risk), the powers that be are doing a pretty piss-poor job. This is an across the board failure. I mean, get real, folks.....you set these new rules and threaten people with tickets, fines, etc.......but it doesn't occur to any of you to post signs/information at major trailheads informing people about these new stipulations? If the Forest Service is in charge of this information campaign, they're obviously asleep at the wheel. If it's ATC's job, the local Trail club's job, or the ridgerunner's job to keep people up on current info regarding this section of the Trail, where they're all asleep, too. In short, this is ridiculous. Anyone who does get ticketed or cited over this nonsense would be entirely in their rights to say "I had no idea these new rules and regulations were in effect." In short, this whole thing, and the people alledgedly in charge of supervising this circus.....well, it's pretty much a joke. Tomorrow, several dozen people will start up Blood Mt. completely unaware of these new rules and regualations......yet they'll be expected to conform to them. Ridiculous.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your own situation, ignorance of laws, regulations, etc is not a legal defense.
Every liquor store does not need to post that armed robbery is illegal.
Every lake does not need to post that fishing requires a current license.
Every road does not need to post that you must use turn signals, and cannot exceed the speed limit.
Streets do not need to post that illegal to spit on the sidewalk (it is almost everywhere) , or to jaywalk, or park against-the-grain.
Forest lands do not need to post hunting seasons at trailheads, etc.
Most displays of rules and regulations are courtesy.
It is up to every individual to know all the laws and regulations and rules pertaining to what they are undertaking, and that is universally applied.
Mudy Waters: With all due respect, I have to disagree with you. These are brand new rules and regualtions that grossly change the way things have been done for years.....even generations. The Blood Mt. area has been a weekend getaway for Atlantans and North Georgians for countless years. If they suddenly (and radically) change the way that users are supposed to act when visiting here, then they need to let people know. And they're not doing it. To say that this sort of knowledge is "universally applied"......well, no, it isn't. You say people are expected to know "all the laws and regulations pertaining to what they are undertaking". Um.....quick question. How on earth are people expected to know these laws and regulations, especially brand new oines, if the powers that be don't place these new rulings and edicts where people are lkikely to see them? It's all well and good to say it's the individual's responsibility to know about these things......but pray tell.....when the authorities don't tell individuals about these changes, then how and why should they be expected to know about them?
Maybe a few folks forgot the original post did say "Signs are everywhere" - doesn't matter suddenly I have whip those glasses out or I can't read.
The simple truth, of course, is that the signs AREN'T everywhere, which, needless to say, makes it kinda hard for a lot of folks to conform to new rules and regulations that they never knew existed. I don't have any sort of per se problem with rules, restrictions, special rules for specific places, etc......but the powers that be need to let people know about these rules, especially when it involves new and different regulations covering places where folks have essentially camped, rule-free, for years. If you expect people to know about and obey new rules, gee whiz, you might wanna actually inform them about this before you fine/ticket them. Just sayin'.......
Just found out about this too late to warn my son Loner (Jeff) who was hiking in the very same area right around the same time. Hikers need to be warned in lots of ways, especially if there is no outfitter on the trail beforehand where someone can buy a canister. Thanks for the info - I saw a much briefer note about it earlier this morning with hardly no info. By the way, did you happen to meet Loner? Just trying to keep up with him.