View Full Version : Trail Magic Question

07-16-2014, 11:40
Friday my wife and I hiked a short section in CT from the road just before the mini lemon squeeze to the bridge at Route 7 and back. I carried a cooler to the top of the hill filled with ice and frozen juice pops, a nice summer day treat I once enjoyed.
When we got back to the cooler, there were only four left out of twenty four which was great! The one thing that was a little irritating was that someone left their trash bag. Should I have left a bag for garbage? Was this just someone being lazy? I have hiked long distances and know the drag of carrying trash, but there are plenty of options to dispose of your own garbage in CT.
Ofcourse I carried out the garbage, with other garbage picked up during the day. More of a minor rant than anything...

07-16-2014, 11:50
Personally as a thru hiker I would not empty trash unless there is a trash bag with the cooler. I don't think the particular hiker was being lazy. I believe they probably were just used to being able to off load trash when they got trail magic. Don't feel obligated to leave a trash bag at all. Although it is convenient for us to offload trash we also know "leave no trace" and most try to follow it. Also thanks for providing trail magic. My wife and I (ATConquered on YouTube) are currently hiking the AT and appreciate all the amazing trail angels we have seen and received magic from.

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Pedaling Fool
07-16-2014, 13:12
Just an example of hiker entitlement and so-called trail magic only creates an environment to foster this feeling of entitlement.

Lone Wolf
07-16-2014, 14:26
never leave food unattended anywhere on the AT or at road crossings

07-16-2014, 14:36
If you gonna do the trail magic leave cooler on trail type thing to me this is probably the worst thing a person can do is leave food, drinks etc unattended, also leave a trash bag and be prepared to carry out said trash and don't complain when their's trash in the cooler.

07-16-2014, 15:43
If you leave trail magic it will make trash. Therefore you should supply a trash bag. If someone has to dig through their pack to find their trash bag to dispose of your trail magic trash, then it would be very tempting to leave said bag for others to use.

If you left a trash bag, then most people would simply put what trash your magic generated in the bag and move on, as digging their trash bag out of their pack is too much trouble.

07-16-2014, 16:01
Just an example of hiker entitlement and so-called trail magic only creates an environment to foster this feeling of entitlement.

Wow dude I would say a lot of the hikers thar I have met on the trail are very kind and not as entitled as you think. Maybe you should hike more and open your mind to thru hikers before you judge so quickly. Trail magic doesn't foster a feeling of entitlement. If anything it shows the kindness of people within the hiking community and for me has been a enormous uplift during extremely hard times.

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Pedaling Fool
07-16-2014, 16:11
I've seen my fair share of trail feeds. First comes the hopes and wishes, then the expectations, then the demands...

The Kisco Kid
07-16-2014, 16:52
I did a section hike from Buchanan to Bland in June. There was a big hiker feed on the BRP, then another the next day at the James River. Later that day on the summit of Bluff Mountain, a thru hiker mistook the cement remains of a fire tower foundation for a cooler.

Now that's a sure sign of too much trail magic..

07-16-2014, 17:22
I've seen my fair share of trail feeds. First comes the hopes and wishes, then the expectations, then the demands...

Well you and I have very different experiences. I am a current thru hiker about to enter maine and the field this year seems like a wonderful crowd. Sorry that your experience has been so sour but I hope that you can look through the couple of negative experiences you've had and realize trail magic is exactly that....magic

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2015 Lady Thru-Hiker
07-16-2014, 18:53
What I meant to say was:

Ran into a thru-hiker while hiking up to Pinwheel Vista outside Vernon NJ. Stopped him on the trail long enough to give him all my Clif bars and trail mix. You would have thought I handed him 100 bucks he was so grateful.

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Teacher & Snacktime
07-16-2014, 20:47
Snacktime and I do lots of little things for hikers when we get the chance and call it trail magic. Mostly this involves the distribution of the trail magic bags that we make. They're no big deal really, just some useful items and some candy, but handed out with the hope it could brighten someone's day.

Now and then however, we'll come across a situation that allows for real assistance, and it's then that we feel like there's some "magic" at work, putting us in the right place at the right time. An example of this was as we were driving from Roan State Park toward Mountain Harbor Hostel on the advice of Johnny from Nolichucky in Elmer. About 15 miles out of Hampton we saw a hiker walking along the road in the opposite direction. He was hell-and-gone from the trail, and looked completely worn. We about-faced, and pulled over to offer him a ride. All the way back to Hampton we went, where he was planning on staying at the Hiker Haven (?) hostel. We charged his phone in the lighter and talked about his trip (and his obvious exhaustion) along the way. He told us how he'd run out of food the day before, and was planning to restock the next morning at Brown's. I told him that when we stopped, we'd have a little magic for him.

When we pulled over and unloaded his pack, Snacktime got out our various food bins (sorted by meal type) and set him up with 4 days of food along with lots of snacks. Browns was to be closed the next day and he wouldn't be able to resupply). We were both (Snacktime and I) excited about what we could do. Then I saw the tears in this young man's eyes. Of course my own welled-up, and I was completely humbled and overwhelmingly thankful that we were there for him just when he needed someone to be.

At that precise moment, this wasn't a "fun little thing" anymore. To someone in need it was important, and for us all it was "magic".

(by the way, we were well-rewarded by "karma" after this. Upon leaving him, I recognized the name Dennis Cove Rd as the location of Kinkora Hostel. I hooked a left and Snacktime and I got to spend the night at the famous hostel, and met legends Bob Peoples, Baltimore Jack, Honey and Bear from Maine, and Lumpy!)

Lone Wolf
07-16-2014, 20:52
they're just folks on the trail

Teacher & Snacktime
07-16-2014, 20:55
absolutely true, LW