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marisajane
01-28-2016, 03:56
2016 hikers! For no deep or meaningful reason, I'm wondering what sort of weird / significant / strange / superstitious /or slightly out there thing you're doing as you prepare for your thru, or will be doing on your thru. I know we're all obsessing over gear & weight & shakedowns & [insert your general anxiety] but this is not what i am asking!

It could be anything out of the ordinary! Do you have a ritual? Are your developing a ritual? Do you have a lucky charm? Or something like- just throwing things out- wearing your lucky socks from that big game that time, having a ring blessed by a religious professional, trying all the pop tart flavors before you leave home so you know which to buy in towns, setting up your tent blindfolded, visiting a psychic, calling a specific loved one, wearing something gifted by a loved one, overly concerned about the numerology of the date you're leaving, sleeping in your sleeping bag indoors, practicing sailing knots because you never know, overly obsessive orienteering..

Whatever it is, you wonderful weirdo, let's hear it!

hubcap
01-28-2016, 07:54
daydream I'm hiking the trail as I walk from place to place at work. Pick out foods in the market that I would buy if I were resupplying on the trail instead of the fridge at home. Pick up my backpack, frequently, and think "home sweet home"

Sethern
01-28-2016, 16:30
When no one is home I load up my pack, put the rubber tips on my trekking poles, put on my puffy jacket and toss on my pack. I then hike around the house until someone comes home. I then run downstairs and take it all off before anyone can see what I am doing. I think I have done this about 60 or so times now. I did get seen once. Still have not heard the last joke from that I am sure.

Sethern
01-28-2016, 16:39
Oh and I do have a lucky charm. Its a Littlefoot patch that I put on the back of my pack. Not going to go in to how I got that trail name but I am sure I will tell the story a few times on the trail.

Traillium
01-28-2016, 19:05
I'll be carrying a yellow rubber ducky salvaged off a surfing beach. I was given this by students when I taught outdoor education in England 25 years ago. I used to carry its head sticking out of the brain of my pack. When asked back then why I was carrying a yellow ducky, I soon learned to say the I cuddled it when I was sad. After that, students would often sidle up to me and quietly ask if they could cuddle it 'cause they too were sad. (It always worked!)
I've carried it sticking out of my first aid kit since. It continued to work.
And I'll be carrying it sticking out of my pack as I thruhike the Bruce Trail this Spring.
will I use it?


Bruce Traillium

MinnesotaRambler
01-28-2016, 20:28
My ritual I've developed is to ride my bike to work year round in the sun, rain, cold, snow, and whatever mother nature throws at me. It's only about a 30 minute ride round trip to and from my job give or take 5 minutes depending on the season. Remind you I live in Minnesota, the coldest day i've rode so far -20 degrees below zero with a -40 degree windchill. I have many reasons why I ride my bike to work everyday, the one that pertains most to the AT is the fact that no matter what the weather is outside I'm getting on my bike. I feel this will be an asset in the mental game of the trail. Having the mental drive to bike year round in Minnesota should help my determination to tackle the trail. I also had the luck of doing a couple of shakedown hikes in the last couple of years where the weather was 30 degrees and raining. As far as testing my gear for what I will encounter on the AT this I believe was one of the best tests I could have put it thru.

RumpusParable
01-29-2016, 12:25
Putting aside all of my anxious prep habits, and I'm not sure if this counts but I'll be carrying a few items my Delta Family and a friend got me for the trip.

A Grumpy Cat tag for on my bag for sillies
A small Grumpy Cat stuff animal slightly larger than my hand and squishes down easy as a mascot/cuddly
A homemade cloth circular headband (can't think of name for things, you know what I mean)
A knife

So, I guess Grumpy Cat doll as my mascot counts.

RangerZ
01-29-2016, 12:55
I discussed it with my faithful walking staff companion, Stick, and we agree that we are neither weird nor quirky. We agree on most things, he laughs at my jokes and doesn't complain much except when his foot gets real cold and wet.

:banana

Dugout
01-29-2016, 13:59
Does turning off the heat in the basement (its 44 down there right now) and "camping" down there count as weird? Seems pretty normal to me :D
As far as lucky charms...
I never hike without my Dad's old dog tag clipped inside my pack, gotta have a trail angel at all times!
I also have a cairn pendent from Tarma Designs I never take off so I never lose my way.
33458

DuneElliot
01-29-2016, 14:47
This doesn't go for just hiking but I almost never remove my celtic pendant...I feel lost without it. As for taking on a thru or long hike...trying to decide which Lord of the Rings souvenir to take with me since I am pretty much obsessed with every aspect of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Puddlefish
01-29-2016, 15:05
This doesn't go for just hiking but I almost never remove my celtic pendant...I feel lost without it. As for taking on a thru or long hike...trying to decide which Lord of the Rings souvenir to take with me since I am pretty much obsessed with every aspect of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

I've gone through at least four complete paperback sets. It doesn't seem right to read it on the Kindle.

DuneElliot
01-29-2016, 17:05
I've gone through at least four complete paperback sets. It doesn't seem right to read it on the Kindle.

I will be taking them along as audio books on my PCT hike...something about hiking through areas like the Sierra Nevada mountains, or the Cascades and Tolkien's Middle Earth that resonate so deeply so I have to take him along with me

Carbo
01-29-2016, 17:49
Just the idea that I'm attempting a 2016 thru is quirky. At night when I get in a nice, warm, soft bed I think I must be an idiot to give this up for a shelter floor or sleeping on the ground in a tent. This is my 2nd attempt after failing last year, and I have to say some of the best memories are of looking out from the tent and seeing the stars, the silhouette of the trees and feeling the fresh cool air. Maybe it's not so quirky after all.

Casey & Gina
01-29-2016, 17:52
Last time I was out, I was reading the Hobbit on my Kindle. ;)

rafe
01-29-2016, 21:17
My ritual I've developed is to ride my bike to work year round in the sun, rain, cold, snow, and whatever mother nature throws at me. It's only about a 30 minute ride round trip to and from my job give or take 5 minutes depending on the season. Remind you I live in Minnesota, the coldest day i've rode so far -20 degrees below zero with a -40 degree windchill. I have many reasons why I ride my bike to work everyday, the one that pertains most to the AT is the fact that no matter what the weather is outside I'm getting on my bike. I feel this will be an asset in the mental game of the trail. Having the mental drive to bike year round in Minnesota should help my determination to tackle the trail. I also had the luck of doing a couple of shakedown hikes in the last couple of years where the weather was 30 degrees and raining. As far as testing my gear for what I will encounter on the AT this I believe was one of the best tests I could have put it thru.

I'm guessing that routine will serve you well. I love riding my bike but am a fair-weather rider.

zeppo
01-29-2016, 21:32
Hey Carbo, What happened last year? I wish you all the luck this time around. I've never done any long distance hiking, but I'm thru-hiking the Long Trail this summer and the AT next spring - at least that's the plan!

Carbo
01-30-2016, 00:38
Hey Carbo, What happened last year? I wish you all the luck this time around. I've never done any long distance hiking, but I'm thru-hiking the Long Trail this summer and the AT next spring - at least that's the plan!

I got sick and had to quit near the 501 shelter in PA. I went home to recover and just got lazy. The mental part is the biggest challenge and this time around I'm better prepared. Good luck on your Long Trail adventure. It will be a good test of your determination for the AT.

Tahoeturner
01-30-2016, 13:35
Just the idea that I'm attempting a 2016 thru is quirky. At night when I get in a nice, warm, soft bed I think I must be an idiot to give this up for a shelter floor or sleeping on the ground in a tent. This is my 2nd attempt after failing last year, and I have to say some of the best memories are of looking out from the tent and seeing the stars, the silhouette of the trees and feeling the fresh cool air. Maybe it's not so quirky after all.

Carbo, we're about the same age and I've been having those same thoughts as my departure date nears, but there's no way I can talk myself out of this adventure.

Carbo
01-30-2016, 20:35
Carbo, we're about the same age and I've been having those same thoughts as my departure date nears, but there's no way I can talk myself out of this adventure.

Tahoeturner, no don't talk yourself out of the adventure. Just be prepared because the thoughts get more intense as the departure date nears. I found it was the most difficult thing I ever did, but it was also the best thing outside of marrying my wife and having kids. Although I didn't finish my thru last year, I was determined to comeback this year and continue. No time for those annoying thoughts!

denimlabels
01-31-2016, 12:42
I do this weird thing when Im alone in the woods and got nothing in particular going on in my mind which is the way I like it. I start talking back to the birds. You know....making human bird sounds back to birds that are communicating with one another. Its become a habit now for quite a while now. It may sound crazy, but some birds will answer you back, or at least TRY to communicate with you. I find it highly amusing.

It all started when I spent some time in Dutch Harbor Alaska. The first thing you will notice about that rock in the Pacific if you ever get there is that the Island has a huge population of large Ravens. I would be walking down the road to get somewhere and these Ravens would be sitting on the hills in the grass just squawking and squawking, barking at humans like dogs! Loudly! So I started squawking back just to block them out. Eventually this led me to understand that these Ravens really were trying to interact somehow. I thought Ravens, (Crows) were just as dumb as any other bird. They certainly are not!

Uncle Joe
01-31-2016, 13:28
I tap nearly every over-hanging weed or long grass blade that juts out into the trail. Knowing ticks like to sit out on the ends of these things and latch onto you makes me want to knock off any that might be there. It's probably the one OCD compulsion I allow myself on the trail.

DuneElliot
02-01-2016, 10:55
I do this weird thing when Im alone in the woods and got nothing in particular going on in my mind which is the way I like it. I start talking back to the birds. You know....making human bird sounds back to birds that are communicating with one another. Its become a habit now for quite a while now. It may sound crazy, but some birds will answer you back, or at least TRY to communicate with you. I find it highly amusing.

It all started when I spent some time in Dutch Harbor Alaska. The first thing you will notice about that rock in the Pacific if you ever get there is that the Island has a huge population of large Ravens. I would be walking down the road to get somewhere and these Ravens would be sitting on the hills in the grass just squawking and squawking, barking at humans like dogs! Loudly! So I started squawking back just to block them out. Eventually this led me to understand that these Ravens really were trying to interact somehow. I thought Ravens, (Crows) were just as dumb as any other bird. They certainly are not!

I do the same thing...the owls always seem to hoot back.

And ravens and crows are classes as some of the smartest birds, rivaling dogs in how they learn.

jcfjr
02-02-2016, 00:59
I do this weird thing when Im alone in the woods and got nothing in particular going on in my mind which is the way I like it. I start talking back to the birds. You know....making human bird sounds back to birds that are communicating with one another. Its become a habit now for quite a while now. It may sound crazy, but some birds will answer you back, or at least TRY to communicate with you. I find it highly amusing.

It all started when I spent some time in Dutch Harbor Alaska. The first thing you will notice about that rock in the Pacific if you ever get there is that the Island has a huge population of large Ravens. I would be walking down the road to get somewhere and these Ravens would be sitting on the hills in the grass just squawking and squawking, barking at humans like dogs! Loudly! So I started squawking back just to block them out. Eventually this led me to understand that these Ravens really were trying to interact somehow. I thought Ravens, (Crows) were just as dumb as any other bird. They certainly are not!


I whistle all the time, especially in periods of mindlessness. Often times I'll be whistling specific bird calls that I've heard, and I'll whistle back to the birds when I hear them.

marisajane
02-05-2016, 17:30
You're all weirdos and I love it.
In addition to everything in my OP, including the blindfolded tent setup (IT'S SO HARD) i do this thing when i'm hiking or in any difficult situation really where i interview myself in the style of a late night tv host. We talk about how awesome i'm doing.
Or sometimes I give Oscar acceptance speeches.
You know, as one does.

rocketsocks
02-05-2016, 18:02
Use to work with a guy that talked to dust bunny's in a real low monotone Bill Murray voice from caddy shack and then suck em up in a vacuum while cleaning our work space, use to get a real kick outta some of his dialog.

damskipi
02-05-2016, 19:14
Use to work with a guy that talked to dust bunny's in a real low monotone Bill Murray voice from caddy shack and then suck em up in a vacuum while cleaning our work space, use to get a real kick outta some of his dialog.

Just stopping by to say that mental image is hilarious!