View Full Version : Post Hike Biggest Regrets?

Gambit McCrae
12-23-2015, 15:55
Thru hikers, Section, Lash or day hikers;

At the end of a trip, looking back on the day or on the plane ride home from Maine, have any regrets? I'm still on my quest for Big K but have started before its too late trying to get more out of my adventure, trying to say "I wish I would have..." less, and find out what makes the trips more fun then just getting the miles in. Here is my shortened list...
Wish I had...

Taken that blue blaze
Exchanged contact info with that person/ Thru hiker
Taken more pictures/ Taken one of that person
Pushed thru the suck factor
Be less serious
Been more generous

Great thing is that I have learned these things early on and have already started correcting them and man is there an improvement!

Tipi Walter
12-23-2015, 18:44
That the girlfriend I started out with ended up leaving the trail because we both agreed to dump each other. Actually, this would be the opposite of Regret. Best thing ever to happen to me on the trail.

12-23-2015, 18:56
No big regrets. Wish I took the "bushwhack" to Redington from South Crocker when I passed by it. I make a habit to grab every vista, peak, or attraction as I hike by them. Was having serious quad issues that day. Was ready to puke when I got to the cirque. Wish I pushed through it anyways that day. Now I have to go back and get that peak. The regret will be gone when I do. Can't think of another regret off hand. Take the Blue Blaze to the view. You won't regret it. I'll take a view over a patch any day.

Sir Setsalot
12-23-2015, 19:22
My biggest regret is agreeing to go with someone that I didn't know anymore. My second biggest is that I didn't just walk off and leave him.

12-23-2015, 19:46
I regretted ever having opened the door to a justifying mentality why it was OK to intentionally skip miles of the AT rather than making an honest effort to hike the entire trail. I regretted missing almost 170 miles of the AT. Being harshly honest with myself and to be honest to others in claiming I hiked the entire AT and had made an honest effort to hike the entire trail I knew I had to immediately hike those missed miles after summitting Mt K on a NOBO AT thru-hike. Took an additional 3+ weeks to get all those disjointed miles after MT K going into late fall but if I hadn't it would have been a lasting regret I wouldn't want as it would have likely led to further deception.

Whew! Free, Free at last, Free at last.

12-23-2015, 19:52
Regretted that I went too fast on many occasions. Time off work was limited and I had a tight schedule.
But I should have taken more time off work and slowed down.
On your deathbed you won't be saying "gee I wish that I had worked more days than I did.".

12-23-2015, 21:05
can't help you. absolutely no regrets.the activity shouldn't lend itself to that.

wait i minute...I regret that I don't get to spend more time on some trail with nothing but me and my pack.

Emerson Bigills
12-23-2015, 21:05
I have no greater respect for a person than when they admit they made a mistake and were wrong. I love your honesty and openness to share with others, so they can learn. Happy Holidays.

12-23-2015, 21:19
Only regrets are the times I've gotten caught up in the high mileage goals. I'm getting much better at just enjoying every 1/4 mile and not rushing. Always something to see and appreciate if the goal is being there, not getting there.

Spirit Walker
12-23-2015, 23:27
My only real regret was that I didn't have the money to yoyo. That was my feeling on both AT and CDT hikes. The PCT was the only trail I was happy to be finished. But then, I pushed harder on the PCT than I did on the other trails.

12-24-2015, 11:29
I regretted that I flip flopped. During the NOBO part of my hike I met many new friends. After reaching Duncannon, I took a week off, went to Maine and continued as a SOBO. There just wasn't that many SOBO hikers and it was difficult to make a lot of new hiker friends. I did cross paths with many of the friends that continued NOBO, but these meetings were brief. I also missed having to finish my hike on the top of Katahdin.

12-24-2015, 11:54
No regrets here. I had a wonderful hike, even though I didn't complete the trail. But I'll be back better than ever and ready to go end to end. I might slow down a bit and enjoy the little things a bit more but that's about all I would change.

12-24-2015, 12:29
At times I wonder if I regret doing my they so fast. Then I keep coming back to it was that or nothing AND if I were hiking it again I likely would do a similiar style hike. So, in the end, no regrets because normally things are trade offs, you give and take based on info at the time.

12-24-2015, 12:32
Not having my phone charged between Stratton and Monson to get notice that my Mother died. She wanted me to finish my journey I was told.
She always told me "GO TAKE A HIKE" and I loved her for that.

12-24-2015, 13:10
* Undue worry about snow in the Smokies cutting my trip short (as a SOBO)
* Not appreciating all the magical moments-- I took too much in stride
* Should have kept a more personal (for my eyes only) journal rather than dates and places
* Should have taken the (then) blue blaze into Harper's Ferry

and most of all

* Should have introduced myself to Charles Bronson and offered to buy him a beer or at least ask him if you can really crack walnuts by throwing the against a window. He was sitting on a bench by himself on the road running through Hanover -- I had seen virtually all his movies during the prior year, including one in French where did the walnut thing. But I just did the double take, and walked on by. Argh.

12-24-2015, 13:16
Practically zero regrets, other than that it's over! I guess maybe I regret that a few times I skipped some just-off-trail extra-credit things, just because I didn't feel like it at the time, and I missed a couple/few cool little town stops that folks rave about.

Sure was a great experience, better than I was led to believe by some friends (out here in CO) that had done the trail. I personally cannot justify doing it again though, just because there are too many other trails. I'll definitely return to re-do a few highlights, like the Smokies, the White's and the entire state of Maine.

12-24-2015, 14:03
biggest regret on several AT hikes is obsessing too much over making big miles each day...and leaving some hikers behind that I had become good friends with....after the hike I wished I had stuck with them, cuz pushing ahead put me in a completely different group/bubble of hikers. In future I will be happy to just hike a more moderate pace and not worry about daily miles

The Flatlander
03-28-2016, 21:36
There are so many positives it is very difficult to dwell on any form of regret as a result of my thru-hike. Not taking the steps to receive my patch maybe a regret.

03-28-2016, 23:35
I bailed an attempted thru hike, and that's a big regret.

03-28-2016, 23:56
I took my time and tried to explore as many trail towns as possible. While the WhiteBlaze will offer plenty of intense memories, meeting the amazing supportive people in these special towns is a unique reward reserved for the AT traveler.

Go to town. Meet the people. They will be there for you when you're done. You will understand why that's so important later :-)

03-29-2016, 07:27
awesome thread!
My regret was also rushing through toward the end and not embracing the suck of cold and rain.

03-29-2016, 16:14
I regret only getting to spend 2 weeks/year on the trail!!! Stupid job.

03-29-2016, 16:23
Never had a regret about hiking.
Maybe something I said to someone already but not important
Maybe that's why I like to hike alone or with people I'm very comfortable with.

04-01-2016, 19:23
I wsh I had gotten a photo and DNA swab of that hooker at the entrance to Harriman State Park. The swab would be too important for 23andme -- it would have to go directly to Scheck.


04-01-2016, 19:37
Going into the emergency room in Rutland VT to be tested for Lyme disease instead of going to the local medical clinic. That mistake ended up costing me $1100...:-(

Also regret blue blazing around the Zoo in New York which turned out to be my only skip on the trail.

04-01-2016, 21:16
I regret not being financially prepared to go all the way in 2010, despite being single and having a "middle class" job at the time. My new, forcefully frugal self would like to buy a time machine and explain what can be done with a little discipline and much more ability to shut the **** up and take it with a smile, politics and all.

In general, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is my m.o. I regret pushing myself to injury on several occasions, most recently last fall when I got ITBS while training for my first trail marathon, which of course didn't happen. And also on my last AT attempt in 2013, when I got peroneal tendonitis. I regret starting then at all, in fact.

I regret never contacting one person I met in 2010. I hope he made it all the way.

Last but definitely not least, there's an excellent chance I'll regret doing what I did on Saturday to increase my chances of making it this year. If so, I'll try to remember to necro this thread in September so I can shame myself in public. But of course, that will never happen because this time, I'll make it. ;)

04-04-2016, 12:10
Probably my only regret thus far is not keeping a good attitude many a time whilst pushing through what you called the "suck factor". It's funny how later on down the road those trips with the highest suck factor become the things of legends that get rehashed over and over in conversation, and the low key trips get forgotten.

04-06-2016, 17:05
Regretted not being more careful about ticks...Lyme Disease took a hold and took me off the trail around Pennsylvania ....tried to do more two years later but was still very weak....now another four years later and I am going to return when I left off, Greenwood Lake, NY state, this July.
Am I going to make it to Katahdin? Oh Yeah, see you on top of Katahdin in late September/ early October !