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Thread: Trail Moochers

  1. #21
    Registered User mirabela's Avatar
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    I don't think it's anything new. When I hiked in 1991, there was a small contingent of people who seemed mostly to show up in the towns and present themselves as thru hikers so as to claim some of the kindnesses, food donations, cheap or free beds, etc. that thru hikers benefit from. They never seemed to hike much. There were also some folks who I think were basically shelter squatters -- guys who would set up in a shelter for weeks at a time, sort of claiming to be a thru-hiker as a part of their act to cadge food handouts and so forth.

    There's a certain quotient of sleaziness in the world, and the AT is not immune.

  2. #22
    BARN OWLS (UK) Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Mouching has been a national epidemic now for at least a generation. You will only recognize a moucher if you are around them for some time. I find it is often the same people who need bailing out all the time. Not to say I haven't forgotten salt, or toothpaste, or whatever myself. For that reason, everyone gets the benefit of my doubts on the trail, once.
    Its nothing new... folks mooch-get over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    I don't think it's anything new. When I hiked in 1991, there was a small contingent of people who seemed mostly to show up in the towns and present themselves as thru hikers so as to claim some of the kindnesses, food donations, cheap or free beds, etc. that thru hikers benefit from. They never seemed to hike much. There were also some folks who I think were basically shelter squatters -- guys who would set up in a shelter for weeks at a time, sort of claiming to be a thru-hiker as a part of their act to cadge food handouts and so forth.

    There's a certain quotient of sleaziness in the world, and the AT is not immune.
    Well if I have half a sandwich (in general for everyone) - your welcome to it... not much to post about huh?
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr Seuss
    Woo

  3. #23
    Registered User Capt Nat's Avatar
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    You folks are really great people and I admire and respect that. I'm a piece of crap though. I will help anyone I can to quite an extent. For me though, helping them means that they are trying. If I see that they are doing their best then I will carry as much of thier load or share what I have with them. But, if it appears to me that they are just mooching/begging, they get a quick "no" from me. I'm not going to support or enable a lazy, sorry individual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Nat View Post
    You folks are really great people and I admire and respect that. I'm a piece of crap though. I will help anyone I can to quite an extent. For me though, helping them means that they are trying. If I see that they are doing their best then I will carry as much of thier load or share what I have with them. But, if it appears to me that they are just mooching/begging, they get a quick "no" from me. I'm not going to support or enable a lazy, sorry individual.
    +1 could not have said it any better.
    I hike for hikin'

  5. #25

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    Probably the most common form of mooching occurs in trail towns where hikers take advantage of hostels, shuttles, hotels and other service providers. Somebody who would feel weird begging for food or supplies, or would never even think about stealing for some reason has no problem using a service and not putting anything in the donation box or letting 4 of their buddies take a shower in their hotel room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Probably the most common form of mooching occurs in trail towns where hikers take advantage of hostels, shuttles, hotels and other service providers. Somebody who would feel weird begging for food or supplies, or would never even think about stealing for some reason has no problem using a service and not putting anything in the donation box or letting 4 of their buddies take a shower in their hotel room.
    I think "Dirt Bagging" has been glorified to the point of "one ups-manship",problem is theft of service isn't dirt bagging......it's stealing period.True "Dirt Baggin requires finesse,and style,not elbows from the top of the key to the boards.It's more like a three pointer,or a Granny shot for the win,and I don't even like basketball,cept the finals.
    I hike for hikin'

  7. #27
    Registered User BigRing's Avatar
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    IMHO there is a difference between someone in need and a hiker too cheap or selfish to have the necessary gear. The later can take a hike!

  8. #28
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    How much mooching is the result of hikers underestimating the real cost of a thru? Or somebody who thinks they can do it as cheaply as possible skipping beers at the bar and pizza in town, but when the time comes and the fellas are off to town, the shelter seems lonely, the knorr bland. Can I go with? can you spot me a fiver? can you bring me back a doggie bag?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneP View Post
    How much mooching is the result of hikers underestimating the real cost of a thru? Or somebody who thinks they can do it as cheaply as possible skipping beers at the bar and pizza in town, but when the time comes and the fellas are off to town, the shelter seems lonely, the knorr bland. Can I go with? can you spot me a fiver? can you bring me back a doggie bag?
    Can I feel for someone who realizes that he is actually going to need more money on the trail in order to have a good time? Yes. But I also know that except for maybe the real young ones, most of us have been saving for years or have sacrificed a lot to do this. Few are independently wealthy.

    There is a real difference between helping a fellow hiker who has misjudged water/fuel and is truly in need vs. financially funding his beers or nights out on the trail. If his buddies want to pick up the tab = great. But I'm not his mama and I think that this could get old real fast.

  10. #30

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    What goes around comes around, you never know it might be you with your ass in the breeze one day, maybe not on the trail, but life will continue even after you kick your boots off. I'll help anyone (without completly depleting my supply) and not expect anything in return Why? because my parents raised me right!!! If you follow your heart, upbringing, and personal God you will arrive at the right decision and besides if you only think of yourself you'll wind up by yourself.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by GritsNgreens View Post
    What goes around comes around, you never know it might be you with your ass in the breeze one day, maybe not on the trail, but life will continue even after you kick your boots off. I'll help anyone (without completly depleting my supply) and not expect anything in return Why? because my parents raised me right!!! If you follow your heart, upbringing, and personal God you will arrive at the right decision and besides if you only think of yourself you'll wind up by yourself.
    Well, I can tell you that my personal God does not expect me to supply the beers + pizza. Thanks for the discussion. It has helped me arrive at my own code. I refuse to be someone's personal ATM though.

  12. #32

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    .....again if you cannot, or will not help just politely refuse and move on the rest will fall into place, too easy

  13. #33

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    Christian charity is one thing, and I'm all in favor of it. But the number of folks who somehow manage to leave town without cigarettes, candy bars, even food, is astounding, yet somehow, one has vivid memories of these same folks staying at hotels, hanging out in Trail saloons, etc. Yet amazingly, enough, two days, later, in the middle of the woods, they are suddenly bereft of all the necessaries. Until, of course, the next town, hostel, or beer store comes into view, and magically, the burger and beer money makes a grand re-appearance. The simple answer to the question put forth by the original poster: By all means help out your fellow hiker down on his luck, who has mis-judged his re-supply, or may need a brief helping hand. But people who do this habitually and regularly? They need to get a job or get home.

  14. #34
    Is it raining yet?
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    Absolutely not.
    Be Prepared

  15. #35
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    There are moochers & those in need. Onmy AT thru one young hiker was doing it on a very limited budget but became part of the quazie group I was hiking with. He cooked his mac & cheese over a fire every night till fire ban hit in some areas. I never had a problem lending him my stove for him to cook in those areas. While on PCT in Sierras I was running low on fuel. I ran into another solo hike (first person in days) & after a long talk just because it had been several days since seeing a person for both of us I asked if he had extra, which he did. That few oz saved my ass, well at least I didn't have to make a fire.
    As for the party crowd that live for town stops. They are like feeding wild animals. They get used to it and can't survive on their own.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Absolutely not.
    could you elaborate?
    I hike for hikin'

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRing View Post
    IMHO there is a difference between someone in need and a hiker too cheap or selfish to have the necessary gear. The later can take a hike!
    I will always stop to help in an emergency but as BigRing states that is not always the case.

    I ran into a thru hiker on the PCT that had been critical and belittled other hikes for 3 days because he had a 14lb. pack and the reason that everyone else was too heavy and over packed was because they simply didn't know how to "correctly" backpack. The third night he asked me if he could use my cell phone to call home and have a re-stock sent to him. I let him use my phone and after he had talked for almost an hour, I asked him if his cell phone was dead. He stated that he doesn't carry a cell phone because it is useless to carry something that heavy and only use it every few days. I grabbed my phone from him, mid call, and walked away. He then made the statement that he can't believe that there were so many rude hikers out there....then asked if he could borrow my stove!....he ate cold food that night. I never saw him again...as he bragged..."he had no problem doing 40 mile days with his light pack".

    geek

  18. #38
    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adams View Post
    I will always stop to help in an emergency but as BigRing states that is not always the case.

    I ran into a thru hiker on the PCT that had been critical and belittled other hikes for 3 days because he had a 14lb. pack and the reason that everyone else was too heavy and over packed was because they simply didn't know how to "correctly" backpack. The third night he asked me if he could use my cell phone to call home and have a re-stock sent to him. I let him use my phone and after he had talked for almost an hour, I asked him if his cell phone was dead. He stated that he doesn't carry a cell phone because it is useless to carry something that heavy and only use it every few days. I grabbed my phone from him, mid call, and walked away. He then made the statement that he can't believe that there were so many rude hikers out there....then asked if he could borrow my stove!....he ate cold food that night. I never saw him again...as he bragged..."he had no problem doing 40 mile days with his light pack".

    geek
    I meet egocentric people like that all the time. On the highway, in stores, and even on trails as your story illustrates so well. They literally can't carry their own weight.
    "You're a nearsighted, bitter old fool."

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by vamelungeon View Post
    They literally can't carry their own weight.

    LOL....great way to put it!

    geek

  20. #40
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    Well, if you underestimate the cost of "enjoying" your thru-hike, maybe it's time to get off the trail, save a little money, and come back next year. I'm definitely giving stuff to a guy in Virginia who I know was just in down knocking back brewskys. I am very inclined to help the following, however. People running out of water, people suffering from hypothermia, people who had supplies stolen, etc. etc.

    It's hard for me to feel much sympathy for the kid who got $1500 in graduation presents and thought he could "enjoy" his AT hike adventure on that, is not going to mooch off of me. Heck I've been planning and saving and getting my own kids through college so I can do this as an old man.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

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