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Grandscale
12-30-2015, 10:37
What's your biggest fear on the trail? Twisting an ankle, bears, snakes, ticks, hypothermia, etc...

Mine are spraining an ankle (especially living and hiking in PA), and tick born illnesses (especially living and hiking in PA).

Ktaadn
12-30-2015, 11:10
Blisters. I have had a handful of hikes ruined by them. If I had been chased by a bear or bitten by a snake, those fears might be more real for me, but they just aren't right now. I'm more concerned about mentally ill humans than any of the natural threats. Again though, blisters are the bigger fear for me.

RangerZ
12-30-2015, 11:15
The possibility of stepping in a rocky hole and breaking a leg/wrenching a knee really started to bother me in my section hike on the Tuscarora Trail this year.

johnnybgood
12-30-2015, 11:21
Falling is my fear because I often hike alone .

Becoming incapacitated due to injury or illness (which has happened ), ie. kidney stone episode is number one.

Dehydration -- loss of electrolytes during hot days causing confusion , dizziness, and general lethargy is a close #2
Also has occurred once me .

Traillium
12-30-2015, 11:21
I don't know what it's like to be alone with myself for a long time. I'm invigorated by the thought, but I wonder
I'm thruhiking the Bruce Trail here in Ontario, inviting friends to join me for day(s), and flopping with friends and family various times along the way. I'll be taking about five days doing a semi-circle around home mid-hike and will be slack-packing that part thanks to my wonderful supportive wife of 43 years, so that will blunt my fear.
I'm thinking / hoping that the other gains from this bucket-list venture will temper my trepidation of relative solitude.


Bruce Traillium

4eyedbuzzard
12-30-2015, 11:30
Hands down, ticks and Lyme disease. Even given being able to mitigate the risk somewhat using permethrin treated clothing and DEET, contracting a disease that often lasts for years and can be very debilitating freaks me out a bit. I figure that if I fall or get ill, and unless I die from it, I will be found and recover pretty much fully. Same goes for most common ailments like Giardia and Noro, etc. - I'll live to hike again. Bears, moose, hypothermia I have much more control over. I've heard horror stories regarding Lyme. Some 50% of people who get it don't even recall getting bit by a tick. And some don't respond to the antibiotic treatments. I HATE TICKS!

jdavis7590
12-30-2015, 11:44
Scooting along with my earbuds in a stepping on a rattler.

Jake2c
12-30-2015, 12:23
Hands down, ticks and Lyme disease. Even given being able to mitigate the risk somewhat using permethrin treated clothing and DEET, contracting a disease that often lasts for years and can be very debilitating freaks me out a bit. I figure that if I fall or get ill, and unless I die from it, I will be found and recover pretty much fully. Same goes for most common ailments like Giardia and Noro, etc. - I'll live to hike again. Bears, moose, hypothermia I have much more control over. I've heard horror stories regarding Lyme. Some 50% of people who get it don't even recall getting bit by a tick. And some don't respond to the antibiotic treatments. I HATE TICKS!

X2 on this. By far my biggest concern.

capehiker
12-30-2015, 12:35
Ticks. Period.

damskipi
12-30-2015, 12:48
Cold and ticks. I know cold is easily mitigated but I'm cold sitting in a warm dry house with the thermostat set to 75, so carrying enough clothing to keep me warm gets heavy. Ticks for all the reasons described above.

1234
12-30-2015, 12:49
No sleep, I just do not sleep for days, then I wipe out. Long nights of not sleeping are my biggest fear. I also agree with the ticks fear, my close 2nd

Tipi Walter
12-30-2015, 13:13
Scooting along with my earbuds in a stepping on a rattler.

https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/20-Days-on-Medicare/i-pSV7K7P/0/L/TRIP%20166%20448-L.jpg

Rattlesnakes always sober me up fast. I get out of my usual hiking hippie bubble and exhibit a sort of Dick Cheney frown---not good and not fun. This friend above caught me coming down the Big Fat Gap trail in a terrible heatwave on a backpacking trip and I stopped to clip a briar out of my face with my pruners and heard a cicada-like buzz.

"Hmm . . . ." I said and wondered about the buzz. Looked down at my feet on the trail and ZAPPO! There he is. I saw two on the same day.

jimmyjam
12-30-2015, 13:14
In order: yellow jackets, ticks, running out of toilet paper.

GoldenBear
12-30-2015, 13:28
A leg injury that would take so long to heal that I, presently at age 61, would not be able to finish The Trail. I've already had one torn MCL that cost me half a year in hiking, and I know there are even worse injuries that could take me off back-packing for a longer time. I'm thus SUPER sensitive to knee & joint pains, and never take risks that might result in a long-term damage.

Dogwood
12-30-2015, 14:15
GOD...always, everywhere.

Elder
12-30-2015, 14:15
Blisters. I have had a handful of hikes ruined by them. If I had been chased by a bear or bitten by a snake, those fears might be more real for me, but they just aren't right now. I'm more concerned about mentally ill humans than any of the natural threats. Again though, blisters are the bigger fear for me.
Try Wrightsocks. Guaranteed blister free, And they actually work. REI's best sellers and the best trail stores have them too.
www.wrightsocks.com (http://www.wrightsocks.com)

archie
12-30-2015, 14:24
Ants. I hate them.

BirdBrain
12-30-2015, 14:39
GOD...always, everywhere.

I like it. I "fear" (healthy respect) Him as well.

My biggest general trail "fear" is having a foot issue far from any bail out point.

My biggest specific "fear" was trying to climb the North Slide on North Tripyrimad in the fog. I will never climb that mess when it is damp out again. About 3/4's the way up, I realized I could not go any further. I could not go down for fear of acceleration due to gravity. I was using the skin on my legs for traction. After resting and thinking for about 20 minutes, I decided to make a lateral dive into the stunted growth trees adjacent to the slide. I knew if I did not get a good grip, I would be in for a long bumpy ride. However, it was my only option. Obviously I survived. :D

Uncle Joe
12-30-2015, 14:43
Ticks and bears. Though I'm getting better about bears.

Skyline
12-30-2015, 14:51
Two "fears":

1) Challenging Stream Fords. I have had balance issues for many years due to multiple health problems and events. Also, I never learned to swim because I almost drowned as a young kid so being in water became a phobia. Combine these and I have a hard time fording streams that have much water in them--especially rapidly running water. The solution, on the AT especially in Maine, was to find sturdy logs I could "shimmy" across. It worked, but I'm glad no one got video of it because I might wind up on YouTube. I'm sure it looks ridiculous.

2) Lyme Disease. I've had lyme disease symptoms twice, and undoubtedly have it in me. I try to do the right things so I don't get hit again.

Tractor
12-30-2015, 14:54
Lightning .

Lnj
12-30-2015, 15:22
The thought of them crawling on my face and eating on my body inside my bag while I sleep is enough to make me act a fool about prevention steps.

Then Lyme, then any illness that gives you stomach problems (would not be fun to deal with on the trail)

rocketsocks
12-30-2015, 16:35
High winds in the woods unerve me to the core.

rocketsocks
12-30-2015, 16:37
High winds in the woods unerve me to the core.
...at night!

Woodturner
12-30-2015, 17:09
Injury, first and foremost.
Ticks to a degree, although in my part of the country they don't seem to cause as much trouble as they do in the east. I can't remember the last time a tick actually attached to me.
ANYTHING that stings or bites. The last few yellow jacket stings have affected me much worse than they used to. The one in the ankle swelled almost as bad as you might expect from a copperhead bite. Benadryl is a must have in the first aid kit.

Deadeye
12-30-2015, 17:44
High winds in the woods unerve me to the core.

I don't mind the howling of the night wind... it drowns out the horrible screams of the people being bitten by spiders or eaten by bears.:)

Some of my best memories are of windy nights on the long trail with my Dad. One night, camped at Bloodroot Gap, you could hear the wind rolling up one side of the mountain, blasting over the tent, and fading away down the other side. Another, sleeping in the Tram station atop Jay Peak, the wind made the cables swing and "twang" all night, sounded like a cross between giant guitar and a whale song.

hayeskw
12-30-2015, 18:17
Bees. I'm allergic. Even carrying epipen and benadryl, I don't want to be a day away from help.

A somewhat distant second is people. Specifically those who harrass and or assault other people.

Sent from my XT1019 using Tapatalk

Tipi Walter
12-30-2015, 18:24
I don't mind the howling of the night wind... it drowns out the horrible screams of the people being bitten by spiders or eaten by bears.:)


Exactly, I like the way your mind thinks.

Rmcpeak
12-30-2015, 18:25
Diaper rash/swamp ass.

Traillium
12-30-2015, 18:25
I wrote earlier about not knowing what it's going to be like to be alone for the 40 or so days it will take me to thruhike the Bruce Trail.
I need to add that I'm also concerned about my wife being alone for that length of time. I'm not concerned about her personal safety.
But we've travelled together through life for over 47 years (43 years formally hitched). I'm anticipating she'll find solitude at least as challenging as I will.
I will be actively pursuing my own hike. Despite she being the one who encouraged me to do the hike, she's maybe not going to as actively involved in her own activity. Her life will continue in the comfort of our home, our town, our community. But I will be growing I hope.


Bruce Traillium

grandpa denny
12-30-2015, 19:56
Panic; The fifth day of just-add-water food, pressure shift of rotten weather above tree-line without the next cairn, the stinging sleet, knocked down by the wind, stunned, before I can word what grips me......that's what I fear.

Best Wishes,
Grandpa Denny

kayak karl
12-30-2015, 20:06
i have no fears on the trail. if i had a worry it would be something would happen at home and i would need to leave the trail.

George
12-30-2015, 20:07
GOD...always, everywhere.

must have a guilty conscience

Cadenza
12-30-2015, 21:27
High winds in the woods unerve me to the core.


Concur!

Protracted wind storms, lasting for hours with 60 mph winds snapping big limbs and blowing down big trees all around, .....IN THE NIGHT,... is terrifying.

I have a friend who spent a year camping in the Cherokee National Forest. He started in August using a hammock and tarp. When it started getting cold in December I took him a canvas wall tent complete with wood stove to use through the winter. His first introduction to big wind storms knocked down a BIG tree that landed 30 feet away, in the exact spot his hammock had been hanging a week earlier.

Imagine the sound of a cracked baseball bat. Now, imagine that sound on a 2 foot diameter poplar tree. Now, imagine it within spitting distance,....in the dark.

Sir Setsalot
12-30-2015, 21:40
The breakdown between hiking partners.

Scrum
12-30-2015, 22:26
Lightning .

I also have a health respect for the danger of lightning.

My biggest fear is that one of my hiking companions get injured, or coming across an injured hiker on the trail, and not being able to remember enough of my wilderness first aid to actually help him/her.

Hangfire
12-30-2015, 23:01
Ticks!!!!!

Kaptainkriz
12-30-2015, 23:02
Beware of the Yeti!

BonBon
12-30-2015, 23:45
I was scared of everything at the beginning and nothing at the end. It was a very cool transformation.

Sarcasm the elf
12-30-2015, 23:55
Invisible monsters.

No that's not sarcastic.

I almost always hike with someone else, on the rare occasion that I hike solo it's the irrational and imaginary unknown that keeps me up at night.

Goatgas
12-31-2015, 00:35
Hands down, ticks and Lyme disease. Even given being able to mitigate the risk somewhat using permethrin treated clothing and DEET, contracting a disease that often lasts for years and can be very debilitating freaks me out a bit. I figure that if I fall or get ill, and unless I die from it, I will be found and recover pretty much fully. Same goes for most common ailments like Giardia and Noro, etc. - I'll live to hike again. Bears, moose, hypothermia I have much more control over. I've heard horror stories regarding Lyme. Some 50% of people who get it don't even recall getting bit by a tick. And some don't respond to the antibiotic treatments. I HATE TICKS!

Agree. Its almost a toss of the dice when it comes to ticks, everything else there is some sort of control

Another Kevin
12-31-2015, 02:22
Falls, drowning, and getting seized by some sort of sudden medical issue.

I've had near misses with all three.

Oh yeah, and car accidents on the way to and from the trail and at road crossings and trailheads. Cars are dangerous things.

I know, too mundane.

somers515
12-31-2015, 02:46
I was scared of everything at the beginning and nothing at the end. It was a very cool transformation.

Bears, snakes, bad people, anything making noise right outside my tent at night that's probably a chipmunk but in my mind will be a bear or a bad person. Knee injury, injury from falling, ticks, poison ivy, blisters, any sudden medical emergency in the middle of no where. Lightning, crashing tree limb or tree in a wind storm.

When does the cool transformation happen?

Googan
12-31-2015, 03:38
good health. ideally i hope to complete the at and that depends on good health.

the financial aspect of it. i cant afford to get sucked into the desire to head into town to much

Dogwood
12-31-2015, 03:45
For some it's not having TP and Wet Wipes. :p

Traveler
12-31-2015, 07:45
High winds in the woods unerve me to the core.

Most things that concern me can be mitigated (hanging food, wearing DEET, etc.), but this tends to spook me a bit, sometimes irrationally, when the tree tops are whipsawing and bits of trees are falling around me that I cannot see in time to dodge. I have only been hit by acorns and an occasional pine cone on the head, which hurt like hell and let me know a 10 lb branch could be the end of things.

daddytwosticks
12-31-2015, 08:12
One reason I hike is because of the freedom from life's constraints it affords. One of my worst fears is having an individual like Mary Ellen (from A Walk in The Woods) latch on to me while hiking. Ugg. :)

BonBon
12-31-2015, 08:42
Bears, snakes, bad people, anything making noise right outside my tent at night that's probably a chipmunk but in my mind will be a bear or a bad person. Knee injury, injury from falling, ticks, poison ivy, blisters, any sudden medical emergency in the middle of no where. Lightning, crashing tree limb or tree in a wind storm.

When does the cool transformation happen?

I don't know when it happened-but I journaled about it when I realized it, in Maine. http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=514575

I did get a secondary lightning strike in VT, coming down Killington. The lighting hit (or came up) directly in front of me, threw my poles from my hands and resulted in blistering burns on my body and mild capilary flowering. I felt the current in my body. I have suffered some slight hearing loss from that and my ears are still ringing months later.
If I were to hike again-I would definitely be more careful in lightning storms on ridge lines. After that, my heart beat a little faster when I heard those storms rolling in, and I did seek some sort of shelter immediately. You think..what are the odds...but after that happened I felt like the odds were pretty good. Your best weapon against all sorts of situations is your gut. Go against it and you almost always regret it.

johnnybgood
12-31-2015, 09:58
:)
One reason I hike is because of the freedom from life's constraints it affords. One of my worst fears is having an individual like Mary Ellen (from A Walk in The Woods) latch on to me while hiking. Ugg. :)

Lol ! You're way too nice . Share stories of your twisted tormented mind...problem solved.

colorado_rob
12-31-2015, 10:42
I have only two fears on the trail in general: Avalanches (obviously no deal on the AT, but huge out here in CO, even in May and June when doing snow climbs) and hypothermia. I've been hypothermic twice, both times in the late spring (on the AT) and summer (in Colorado). Scary and no fun. Both times I've been there have been because I was drenched from constant, all-day raining that no equipment I had would guard against, other than just pitching camp when the rain started. Who wants to do that?
..
Lightning on the AT? Zero worries. Try hiking in Colorado in the summer. Ticks? Just inspect yourself, zero worries. Bears? Only in Grizzly country. Bees, definitely the most dangerous animal out there? Not allergic. Snakes? A little concern in the lowlands (AT), zero concern in the CO high country. Cougars? A tad, especially here in the foothills, or in some of the bars around town....

stir crazy
12-31-2015, 11:44
I'll go with hypothermia. It usually can be controlled by proper hydration, but trail conditions are not controllable. Continuous cold rain is the worst.

TexasBob
12-31-2015, 12:08
Snakes and a rip roaring long duration case of explosive projectile diarrhea.

Jake2c
12-31-2015, 12:22
Beware of the Yeti!

I just bought one of those from WB. I love it so far. :)

damskipi
12-31-2015, 12:36
Snakes? A little concern in the lowlands (AT), zero concern in the CO high country.

I just laughed out loud at this. Last year I was hiking with a couple guys in the mountains around CSpgs. I'd never hiked with them before and they'd spent the whole time treating me like a delicate little flower...am I okay, do I need to rest, can I get over that rock, etc. We were walking back to the car and were maybe 300 feet away from it on the road when I saw a tiny little garter snake about 30 feet ahead of us. I didn't think anything of it. Well, one of the guys didn't notice it and when we got about 2 feet away he jumped two feet into the air and squealed...LOUDLY. The third guy and I laughed at him all the way to the car.

Seatbelt
12-31-2015, 13:35
I'll go with hypothermia. It usually can be controlled by proper hydration, but trail conditions are not controllable. Continuous cold rain is the worst.
Same here, the rest of the items mention worry me very little or not at all.

somers515
12-31-2015, 13:57
I don't know when it happened-but I journaled about it when I realized it, in Maine. http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=514575


Ok so all I have to do is hike from Georgia to Maine. : )

jefals
12-31-2015, 14:51
Did my first backpacking adventure last month (November) - section 1 of PCT. Left my car in Warner Springs and rode a bus to Campo, 109 miles away. Got off the bus alone, just me and my 50+ pound backpack. The wind was blowing. It was off season, so no other hikers around... Did I mention I was alone, and 100 miles from my car? I was excited, but nervous, I guess, in general, about all the things that could go wrong. It turned out to be a great adventure, tho!

Tipi Walter
12-31-2015, 15:16
Did my first backpacking adventure last month (November) - section 1 of PCT. Left my car in Warner Springs and rode a bus to Campo, 109 miles away. Got off the bus alone, just me and my 50+ pound backpack. The wind was blowing. It was off season, so no other hikers around... Did I mention I was alone, and 100 miles from my car? I was excited, but nervous, I guess, in general, about all the things that could go wrong. It turned out to be a great adventure, tho!

Good trip report and happy for you, sincerely. I usually always start a 2 to 3 week backpacking trip by getting shuttled up to a trailhead and stepping out of a car. It's the best feeling of the whole trip---that first step---with everything I need for 20+ days.

jefals
12-31-2015, 22:54
Good trip report and happy for you, sincerely. I usually always start a 2 to 3 week backpacking trip by getting shuttled up to a trailhead and stepping out of a car. It's the best feeling of the whole trip---that first step---with everything I need for 20+ days.

Thanks, TW. Well, for me being a first timer and knowing my age, it was the worst feeling. It was real good when I ran into another solo hiker out there, and we hiked the rest of the way together.

wornoutboots
12-31-2015, 23:57
I don't know when it happened-but I journaled about it when I realized it, in Maine. http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=514575



Love the journal entry! So true!!

wornoutboots
12-31-2015, 23:58
Good trip report and happy for you, sincerely. I usually always start a 2 to 3 week backpacking trip by getting shuttled up to a trailhead and stepping out of a car. It's the best feeling of the whole trip---that first step---with everything I need for 20+ days.
+1..........

scrabbler
01-01-2016, 00:15
Concur!

Protracted wind storms, lasting for hours with 60 mph winds snapping big limbs and blowing down big trees all around, .....IN THE NIGHT,... is terrifying.

I have a friend who spent a year camping in the Cherokee National Forest. He started in August using a hammock and tarp. When it started getting cold in December I took him a canvas wall tent complete with wood stove to use through the winter. His first introduction to big wind storms knocked down a BIG tree that landed 30 feet away, in the exact spot his hammock had been hanging a week earlier.

Imagine the sound of a cracked baseball bat. Now, imagine that sound on a 2 foot diameter poplar tree. Now, imagine it within spitting distance,....in the dark.

And you're not even doing it justice. It literally sounds like a bomb exploding. Terrible in the total darkness - even worse in a hammock. There was a guy in his 70's about 50 yards away during the night this happened. I mentioned it to him, and he thanked me for reminding him, telling me it scared the crap out of him, haha.

daveiniowa
01-01-2016, 11:51
Money, available to leave for a week or more to go hiking, with no money coming in while I am hiking, since I am self employed. Then some sort of health issue either on the trail or off that would prevent me from ever hiking again. Then it would be other people. As far as nature goes.. the bears, weather, bees, ticks, etc. common sense, plan for it and think ahead, be prepared if something does go wrong! It can. If you spend enough time in the woods or mountains you will encounter most of these mentioned "fears" eventually, I have. So take enough stuff with you to be prepared!

shelb
01-01-2016, 13:54
Falling... This fear began after I fell 3-4 feet in Yosemite NP and broke several ribs...

Tipi Walter
01-01-2016, 14:02
Falling... This fear began after I fell 3-4 feet in Yosemite NP and broke several ribs...

Falling always sucks. I have to be extra careful due to two main factors: Advancing age of this body and a pack weight always around 75-85 lbs. Pack weight changes everything. A simple creek crossing with a daypack is nothing like the same crossing with a big pack.

Funny thing is, and I probably already mentioned it, is that I don't fall nearly as much as I used to fall. When I was younger I could take a fall and fell often. Now I cannot afford to fall so I go slower with much more careful boot placement. This simple technique has reduced my backpacking falls by 80%.

JumpMaster Blaster
01-01-2016, 16:32
A leg injury that would take so long to heal that I, presently at age 61, would not be able to finish The Trail. I've already had one torn MCL that cost me half a year in hiking, and I know there are even worse injuries that could take me off back-packing for a longer time. I'm thus SUPER sensitive to knee & joint pains, and never take risks that might result in a long-term damage.

Me too. I'm currently rehabilitating a chronic hamstring condition that's been getting worse the last year. I used to be able to knock out 12-15 mile days. Right now I can't do more than 4-5 without being in excruciating pain the next day. Doc says I need 2 more series of injections before I can really go back out. :mad:

So for me:
1- chronic injury that'll keep me from hiking like I used to
2- getting hurt (twisting an ankle/knee, or bashing my head open on a rock- I hike solo)
3- ticks. Ticks. TICKS. I'm dark-skinned, so I'd have a harder time noticing one on me. *shudder*
4- non-hikers who wish to cause trouble/harm others

Tipi Walter
01-01-2016, 17:36
Me too. I'm currently rehabilitating a chronic hamstring condition that's been getting worse the last year. I used to be able to knock out 12-15 mile days. Right now I can't do more than 4-5 without being in excruciating pain the next day. Doc says I need 2 more series of injections before I can really go back out. :mad:

So for me:
1- chronic injury that'll keep me from hiking like I used to
2- getting hurt (twisting an ankle/knee, or bashing my head open on a rock- I hike solo)
3- ticks. Ticks. TICKS. I'm dark-skinned, so I'd have a harder time noticing one on me. *shudder*
4- non-hikers who wish to cause trouble/harm others

So do a 20 day trip at 4 miles a day and punch out 80 good miles and with some fantastic loops.

JumpMaster Blaster
01-01-2016, 18:19
So do a 20 day trip at 4 miles a day and punch out 80 good miles and with some fantastic loops.

I'm saving my vacation time for the next 4 months until I punch out of the Army and retire.

After 4 April 2016 (when I take all my extra vacation)? Game on.

JumpMaster Blaster
01-01-2016, 18:23
I don't know when it happened-but I journaled about it when I realized it, in Maine. http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=514575

I did get a secondary lightning strike in VT, coming down Killington. The lighting hit (or came up) directly in front of me, threw my poles from my hands and resulted in blistering burns on my body and mild capilary flowering. I felt the current in my body. I have suffered some slight hearing loss from that and my ears are still ringing months later.
If I were to hike again-I would definitely be more careful in lightning storms on ridge lines. After that, my heart beat a little faster when I heard those storms rolling in, and I did seek some sort of shelter immediately. You think..what are the odds...but after that happened I felt like the odds were pretty good. Your best weapon against all sorts of situations is your gut. Go against it and you almost always regret it.

At the VERY first flash of lightning (the 3 or 4 times I got caught out in a thunderstorm), my pack comes OFF and my poles go in the other direction. Something about carrying two lightning rods in my hands unnerves me.

Weather-man
01-01-2016, 21:55
I'm not a fearful person. My most significant concern would be humans that are evil.

shelb
01-01-2016, 22:52
I'm not a fearful person. My most significant concern would be humans that are evil.

That was my original fear.... I only stayed in a tent to avoid the people in shelters..

However, I quickly learned that the socialization of the trail was just as valuable to me as the actual hiking!

Lachlan
01-01-2016, 23:15
Day hikers, infinite questions right when I've settled into a wonderful state of hiker hypnosis, thats the worst. Giardia is a close second...

Tipi Walter
01-01-2016, 23:22
Day hikers, infinite questions right when I've settled into a wonderful state of hiker hypnosis, thats the worst. Giardia is a close second...

Dayhikers, yes.

RockDoc
01-02-2016, 00:03
The locals sometimes creep me out.
I can deal with everything else on the trail; the hills, weather, bugs, you name it.
But to pull up to a shelter late at night and find it full of local hillbillies who are unhappy to see a hiker. Bleh. Happened repeatedly in NC/TN last year.

Tipi Walter
01-02-2016, 00:11
The locals sometimes creep me out.
I can deal with everything else on the trail; the hills, weather, bugs, you name it.
But to pull up to a shelter late at night and find it full of local hillbillies who are unhappy to see a hiker. Bleh. Happened repeatedly in NC/TN last year.

Why in Odin's name would you make a shelter your day's destination?? It's a bonfire rat-box for the nature-impaired.

MuddyWaters
01-02-2016, 00:38
Im not too worried about myself, what happens to me , just happens.
I do worry that family will have a prooblem and cannot reach me.
A few times Ive been out of touch for a week or so.
I cross my fingers.

Scrum
01-02-2016, 11:48
Lightning .

See the photo of the results of an AT lightning strike on this thread. Lightning is definitely something to fear in my book.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/115990-Lightning-strike-at-George-Washington-Memorial-June-18-2015

jefals
01-02-2016, 13:47
Yes to falling. I think that's how I got this rotator cuff injury a few years ago - which I've been getting shots for, but seeing the doc on 1/11, and will probably now have surgery; and they tell me the recovery from this ain't gonna be easy...

LittleRock
01-04-2016, 12:07
Injury. I'm terrified of suffering a sprained ankle or broken leg in a remote area. Remember that guy who was crawling along at less than 1 mph and carefully planting every step whenever the trail got a little rough? Yep, that was me.

squeezebox
01-04-2016, 14:29
My biggest fear? Banjo playing perverts!!! Accordions rule!!

Pedaling Fool
01-04-2016, 14:45
My biggest fear? Banjo playing perverts!!! Accordions rule!!So I guess that means that all other perverts (including accordion-playing perverts) are fine by you. What's your thoughts on non-pervert banjo players? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j8sC6a7GuA

illabelle
01-04-2016, 15:19
I'm scared of falling, for sure! I like rumbling thunder and lightning storms - but only when I'm safely sheltered. I don't dwell on the threat of tick diseases, but if I find one embedded (and I have), I'll seek treatment right away. I'm scared of hypothermia.

What surprises me is that no one mentioned what's possibly the most primal fear: getting lost. Yeah, I know those blazes are on every other tree and the path is well-worn, and the AT Guide shows every little bitty up and down. Tell that to Inchworm. During the discussion of her remains being found, somebody posted an article about the psychology of people who get lost, how they handle it, how their mind deteriorates. Here it is:
http://www.smcmsar.org/downloads/Lost%20Person%20Behavior.pdf

Excerpt:
Since the body loses heat about 200 times faster wet than dry, hypothermia is the leading cause
of death in survival situations. There is no national system of reporting such incidents, but the
numbers that are available are sobering. According to a study of SAR operations endorsed by the
National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), nearly everyone who'd been exposed to
hypothermia for 24 to 48 hours was found dead. It's possible to die in just a few hours. And there
have been cases of people dying when the temperature was 70. Syrotuck reported that half of all
persons who died while lost in the wilderness were dead within the first 24 hours, 74 percent were
dead the second day, and 92 percent had died by the end of the third day.

gpburdelljr
01-04-2016, 15:42
I prepare for things that could happen (hypothermia, etc.), but I don't particularly fear those things.

squeezebox
01-04-2016, 16:33
So I guess that means that all other perverts (including accordion-playing perverts) are fine by you. What's your thoughts on non-pervert banjo players? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j8sC6a7GuA

It's great to see young folks doing Old Tyme music.

ChuckT
01-04-2016, 19:17
Naugas, viscious naugas. They were nearly hunted to extermination in the 50s (how did we miss?) but now they're back and they're madder'n 'ell and ain't gonna take it no more!
Watch where you sit.😁

ChuckT
01-04-2016, 19:24
For a serious reply - I never really thought about this subject. Members of my family worried about me being out solo and I just kept on trucking. But were I pressed for what was constantly on my mind it would be going thirsty. Kind of out in left field in the east I know but there it is.

iAmKrzys
01-04-2016, 21:44
At the VERY first flash of lightning (the 3 or 4 times I got caught out in a thunderstorm), my pack comes OFF and my poles go in the other direction. Something about carrying two lightning rods in my hands unnerves me.
That's why I replaced my aluminium hiking sticks with carbon fiber ones. Still lightning is pretty scary and there is not that much that I feel I can do about it if it comes fast and unexpected.

Turk6177
01-04-2016, 22:27
My biggest fear is that by the time I get to attempt a thru hike (2025), irresponsible hikers and overpopulation on the trail will cause government involvement with permits, etc. and that Katahdin will no longer be the northern terminus. It would be hard thing to swallow the finish line I have dreamt about for years to not be accessible due to irresponsible hikers. My on trail fear is a wear and tear injury that does not heal easily, like knee problems or tendonitis, etc. An injury that requires a lot of rest would be the worst.

August W.
01-04-2016, 22:31
Crowds.
Being near loud hikers that spook all wildlife.
Excessive levels of sediment in trout streams.
Too many deer, turkeys, airplanes, and satellites.

RockDoc
01-04-2016, 22:37
Agreed, Walter. I use them less than most.
But in some cases in real bad weather in the off-season (mid Oct) one hopes to use a shelter without getting too creeped out.


Why in Odin's name would you make a shelter your day's destination?? It's a bonfire rat-box for the nature-impaired.

kibs
01-05-2016, 21:09
Coming face to face with the Boogie man...at night