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View Full Version : Overthinking it - there comes a time to just "be"



foodbag
06-12-2019, 09:23
As I grow older, and (in my opinion) wiser, I have come to the conclusion that our modern society provides us with too much information and too many options, not only for backpacking/long-distance hiking, but in just about every area. One only has to visit Amazon or REI to see evidence of too many choices, and Google? Fugedaboutit! I just Googled "too many choices" and came up with 1,210,000 results in .64 seconds.

Maybe I'm just tired, but I am done with studying everything to the Nth degree; I am done with surfing 10,000 different choices for water bottles; I am tired of the "noise" of my possessions (downsizing furiously for the last couple of years); and I am just about done with our noisy Western way of life.

I've decided to just live my life, and play it as it comes to me: More leaping, less overplanning, more risk taking, and less angst....

Going hiking on the AT in 18 months, following my retirement from the work force. Gonna throw a few things in my pack and jump the back fence....

Old Hiker
06-12-2019, 09:33
All due respect:

Planning IMO should be an integral part of an experience as this. It will help ease the more difficult parts and will allow some peace of mind as to what you are going to do.

I found myself REALLY OCD about planning when I got about 1/2 way up the Trail and re-supply points got further apart and I was slowing down.

By all means, try not to over plan, but still, plans come in helpful.

Planning should also take into consideration what your level of experience may be with WHATEVER you want to try.

fastfoxengineering
06-12-2019, 09:41
Less is more.

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Gambit McCrae
06-12-2019, 09:54
As I read this I can relate. Its exhausting. This choice or that, "am I going to make the wrong choice?".

I learned in southern PA something very important.
IF you have plan A and B to pick from? I was always rewarded with B, the "unknown" option. Example: I can either stay at this shelter OR push on another 7 miles into town. Choice? Plan B go to town. Reward? Meeting some new people and experiencing some new places. I know what Option A would have brought, setting my tent up and scrolling on the iphone.

That southern PA trip I chose 3 option B's and didnt regret a single one.

Furthermore,
When taking a 2 week trip no days I choose to do zero planning other than airplane tickets and a general ending point based on what I can do in daily miles and 1 zero per week. All the rest will fall into place as the weeks go on. I use to create excel sheets and color codes and daily miles and it all turned to Bull**** the first day on the trail.

Good for you for stepping out for the box, I hope I can further do so before I become wiser.

illabelle
06-12-2019, 10:01
Planning is good.
When I plan a section hike, especially one far away from home, I need to know in detail how we're getting from airport to trail, how we're getting fuel/food, and approximately where we need to be each night in order to finish the section and catch our flight home. Screwing up the planning sets a person up for frustration and unexpected costs.

Over-planning can be bad, particularly if it results in fatigue and paralysis.
I need to know how many meals to pack. I don't need a spreadsheet with nutritional analysis of each item.
I need to know whether water will be abundant or scarce. I need to know if the terrain is steep or flat, and what the camping restrictions are, if any.

But mostly I just need to see the trees, breathe the air, and feel the dirt under my feet.

We become servants to our possessions. Good for you, foodbag, for recognizing that and seeking your freedom.

Red Sky
06-12-2019, 10:12
Hey, I hear you, especially the part about our western culture and a life over-filled with distractions. I will say that I enjoy the planning part of a section hike. I'm working full time managing a business, and I have relatively short windows of opportunity to actually get out there and walk. But when I can't walk, I can think about it and make plans, which helps satisfy the urge to hike, at least for a while. I plan the meals, what equipment I'm carrying, check the weather. I will say that whatever my plan is the moment I step onto the trail, it has usually changed after the first few hours. But, I totally understand your desire to just head out and see what happens.

foodbag
06-12-2019, 10:43
Good comments from everyone so far. As far as AT planning goes, on my first thru-hike attempt I went minimalist on the planning, deliberately, and it worked out pretty well, and this was in the infancy of the cell phone era. I wanted a bit of uncertainty built in. I used Wingfoot's guidebook and did not do mail drops. Come 18 months from now I think I may go about it the same way.

Beyond making sure of my water sources and resupply duration, the rest will be smelling the roses. I'm endeavoring to do the same in the other aspects of living as well.

Tipi Walter
06-12-2019, 10:48
In the old days (1970s) we used a road map and hitched to the AT---and continued to use the road map as a rough guide to town hitches for food. Few worried about staying on the actual trail cuz it had . . . uh . . . white blazes every couple hundred feet. Overly anal types bought those old AT trail guide books published for each section of the trail---with pertinent foldable maps. Like this---

45298

Or this---
https://www.atmuseum.org/uploads/5/5/8/1/55813761/1975_mileagefacts.pdf

Nowadays with a library of information at our fingertips on the Interwad there's a tendency to overthink and over analyze everything. I can see the need for places like the Bob Marshall wilderness or the Cohutta wilderness but for the AT???

rickb
06-12-2019, 11:22
Something to be said for not knowing too much in advance,

Some years ago I landed in Egypt without a clue that they had so many huge pyramids, all within a taxi ride of Cairo. The three everyone learns about in grade school were great, but “discovering” others while there was beyond cool. Felt like Howard Carter (sort of). My ignorance actually made for a better experience, I think.

That said, I do wish I had learned more about the history and natural history along the Trail before I hiked. I think my hike would have been richer if I spent some time on that.

There is just so much you walk through and by that isn’t touched upon on YouTube or Journals, that can be completely missed without doing some reading in advance. With so much time to ponder and appreciate things as you walk, that could be a real loss.

Slo-go'en
06-12-2019, 11:34
Just going to the supermarket presents you with too many choices.

But I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Having too many choices is a bit better then having no choice.

When presented with a lot of choices, the problem is making the correct choice. Making the correct choice comes from experience and research.

Making random gear decisions rarely works out well. Mostly it boils down to "what kind of weather will I expect?", "What do I need to deal with that weather?" and finally "How much weight am I willing to carry?".

lonehiker
06-12-2019, 13:59
What confuses most is that there isn't really a correct choice. There is practically an infinite combinations of gear that will work for any particular hike. Pack your crap and get out there. The OP has it figured out.

illabelle
06-12-2019, 14:11
In the old days (1970s) we used a road map and hitched to the AT---and continued to use the road map as a rough guide to town hitches for food. Few worried about staying on the actual trail cuz it had . . . uh . . . white blazes every couple hundred feet. Overly anal types bought those old AT trail guide books published for each section of the trail---with pertinent foldable maps. Like this---

45298

Or this---
https://www.atmuseum.org/uploads/5/5/8/1/55813761/1975_mileagefacts.pdf

Nowadays with a library of information at our fingertips on the Interwad there's a tendency to overthink and over analyze everything. I can see the need for places like the Bob Marshall wilderness or the Cohutta wilderness but for the AT???
Somebody gave me one of those old AT guides. Kinda interesting. Not sure I have much use for it. Anybody wants it, give me a shout.

slowdive
06-12-2019, 15:54
I remember being presented with too many choices in Frankfurt, Germany one evening. I have to agree with the OP's post. Sums up how I feel at times. A little planning sure, you do have to throw something in the pack. I wonder what Muir carried in his?

PatmanTN
06-12-2019, 16:24
Heck yeah, add-in quantum mechanics and you can choose A, B, or A+B, it's just too much. and if that darn Higgs field hadn't frozen we wouldn't even be here. I wonder if a Higgs particle is ultra-light?

fiddlehead
06-12-2019, 20:00
"It's a typical situation in these typical times Too many choices" DMB

Dogwood
06-12-2019, 20:18
https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice One of my favorite Ted talks.


https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&p=ted+talk+heather+anderson#id=1&vid=b31aed3b16cf8548a807a2c4e57876f2&action=click
This Ted talk I could relate to. I almost cried soft spoken pig tailed Heather relating the courage to choose her own destiny, over coming a multitude of real life and personal challenges, thought out and executed fairly well IMHO. Maybe you will too. Consider it for your AT hike. Consider where Heather came from and what can be experienced when one applies themselves.

https://www.businessinsider.com/too-many-choices-are-bad-for-business-2012-12

FreeGoldRush
06-12-2019, 21:01
When you get to feeling that way it is because you are trying to make choices without sufficient experience. For example, you can read all day long about different sleeping bags, but you wonít know what YOU need until you try sleeping in the weather conditions you need the bag for.

Go to do some short trips. Youíll find out rapidly what works and what needs adjusting.

Tipi Walter
06-12-2019, 21:20
When you get to feeling that way it is because you are trying to make choices without sufficient experience. For example, you can read all day long about different sleeping bags, but you won’t know what YOU need until you try sleeping in the weather conditions you need the bag for.
Go to do some short trips. You’ll find out rapidly what works and what needs adjusting.

Or start sleeping in the backyard or on the porch/deck tonight.

SCEd
06-12-2019, 21:35
I suppose imho all of the above are right on. I tend to be a planner but not because I am uptight about anything, simply because I love staring at maps for hours, optimizing my equipment, etc.... I have friends that start packing and planning the evening before we start a hike. If your enjoying your hiking your doing it right I guess.

Traveler
06-13-2019, 06:54
Chance favors the prepared mind.

Puddlefish
06-13-2019, 08:16
I like to plan, to research options, to just generally prepare in advance... and then I use that plan as a backup plan and just do things more spontaneously, confident that I have a fallback plan. I've been in the position in life where I had no choices/minimal choices, and a greatly prefer the alternative of too many choices. It's not always a linear solution, where more of something is better, but having access to the finances, the knowledge, learning the applicable skills is greatly preferable to the alternative of being poor and ignorant. Consider yourself fortunate that you have the choices, and you can just choose not to avail yourself of every single one. Just decide for yourself where you want to draw the line.

Hikingjim
06-13-2019, 08:17
Some people tweak their gear all the time and spend 100 hours on that and only hike 4 days a year. Not what I'm into, but maybe gear is more their hobby than hiking.
At one point when I had little experience and terrible gear, I spent a lot of time reading about hikes and gear. It was actually useful and I found it interesting at the time.
Now that my gear does the trick and I've experienced enough different climates and trails, I don't bother with much of that or care about little gear choices unless something needs replacement. But it matters to the person carrying the 52 lb pack with 6 liters of water (with water available every half mile...)

garlic08
06-13-2019, 08:22
See my signature line.

One of my favorite people I met on my AT hike was named "Wing it," and she really did.

Leo L.
06-13-2019, 10:33
I'm having a hard time seeing people overthinking gear instead of beeing out hiking.

Thats one of the biggest benefits of the Middle East desert hikes we are doing: To see the locals using extremely simple stuff to get the task at hand done.

rickb
06-13-2019, 12:56
I see two major components to over planning:

1) Putting too much effort into researching gear.

2) Spending too much time researching the experience by checking out countless YouTubes, Trail journals, and memoirs of those who have gone before.

I didnít understand this thread is just about the first one, but kind of make sense.

OCDave
06-13-2019, 13:32
As I grow older, and (in my opinion) wiser, I have come to the conclusion that our modern society provides us with too much information and too many options, not only for backpacking/long-distance hiking, but in just about every area. One only has to visit Amazon or REI to see evidence of too many choices, and Google? Fugedaboutit! I just Googled "too many choices" and came up with 1,210,000 results in .64 seconds.

Maybe I'm just tired, but I am done with studying everything to the Nth degree; I am done with surfing 10,000 different choices for water bottles; I am tired of the "noise" of my possessions (downsizing furiously for the last couple of years); and I am just about done with our noisy Western way of life.

I've decided to just live my life, and play it as it comes to me: More leaping, less overplanning, more risk taking, and less angst....

Going hiking on the AT in 18 months, following my retirement from the work force. Gonna throw a few things in my pack and jump the back fence....

When you have a passion, it fills your days with joy.
Passionate about hammock camping? When you can't be in the woods it is enjoyable to drool over new hammocks, accesories knots and techniques.
Can't go paddling for a second time today? What new tripping destination can one ponder? What advantage might an Otter tail paddle offer? What paddling technique might I improve from a Youtube video?
Wanna hike 2000+ miles along a single continous trail in one summer? What shoe, what water filter, what stove offers the greatest chance of success? What meal plan? What are the most likely resons you'll fail and how can you avoid them?

You can "throw a few things in (your) pack and jump the back fence" but, are you passonate about that aspiration? Dreaming every day for the 18 months about jumping that fence should bring you joy until the day you actually do it.

Tipi Walter
06-13-2019, 14:05
When you have a passion, it fills your days with joy.
Passionate about hammock camping? When you can't be in the woods it is enjoyable to drool over new hammocks, accesories knots and techniques.
Can't go paddling for a second time today? What new tripping destination can one ponder? What advantage might an Otter tail paddle offer? What paddling technique might I improve from a Youtube video?
Wanna hike 2000+ miles along a single continous trail in one summer? What shoe, what water filter, what stove offers the greatest chance of success? What meal plan? What are the most likely resons you'll fail and how can you avoid them?

You can "throw a few things in (your) pack and jump the back fence" but, are you passonate about that aspiration? Dreaming every day for the 18 months about jumping that fence should bring you joy until the day you actually do it.

You can also throw out a bedroll and sleep in the backyard every night and try to "live outdoors" as much possible even though you're not out on a trip. It's called "Getting Your Bad Nights", a definite Passion for some of us.

It's something I do every night when I'm not out backpacking---and I resigned myself long ago to be outside sleeping on a thermarest if at all possible. Why? Because there's something special about sleeping outside every night. We should never take Nature for granted because it could all be wiped out by human sprawl and development and then we'll be lucky to have a bush next to the county courthouse to sleep underneath.

Here's my back porch "camp"---

45314

stephanD
06-13-2019, 14:28
The ancients spoke of the "Golden Mean", and part of becoming wise is to strive for the "Golden Mean". This is true for all aspects of life and hiking is no different.

foodbag
06-13-2019, 14:54
You can "throw a few things in (your) pack and jump the back fence" but, are you passionate about that aspiration? Dreaming every day for the 18 months about jumping that fence should bring you joy until the day you actually do it.

I guess you could say I'm passionate about it. I quit two full-time jobs with benefits in the past to hike the AT - first attempt in 1999 at age 42, and then an attempt to finish what I started, in 2005, at age 47. I'm going to attempt a thru-hike once more (at age 64 this time around), and if I come up short, well then I'll have the rest of my life to go section hiking, with no contraints on my time. Woohoo!

Slo-go'en
06-13-2019, 15:47
So foodbag, you got about 3 more years to obsess over gear choices :)

BTW the water bottle one is easy. Do you like Coke or Pepsi?

fastfoxengineering
06-13-2019, 16:29
Honestly.. in 2019 i think its easier to decide on what gear to bring.

There are so many successful thru hikers who have displayed their gear for the public to see.

Now not everything works for everybody but its pretty easy to put together a kit nowadays.

Water bottles? Really...

99% of thru hikers use smartwater bottles.

Go buy 2 smartwater bottles and move on.

I know gear is very frustrating. Its due to inexperience. You dont trust any of your choices.

But theres alot of experienced people out there who make it much easier to start off on the right foot.



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iceaxe56
06-13-2019, 18:32
The real question you need to ask is can I go this long without seeing my wife and children and grandchildren.I did and said ďHeíll noĒ.So I just do my small section hikes and enjoy my family.

KnightErrant
06-13-2019, 21:24
This thread reminds me of the perennial "people who use technology don't enjoy hiking properly" conversations on this site. If someone else likes to devote countless hours to research and plan every shelter stop from Springer to Katahdin, how does that affect me? Maybe they're not enjoying John Muir's idea of "the true experience," but they're enjoying their experience, and surely that's what matters. It certainly doesn't bother me.

I dislike obnoxious gear heads giving me an unsolicited shakedown at the shelter as much as the next hiker, but I also dislike obnoxious purists giving me an unsolicited lecture at a shelter about how I'm cheating myself of the "true" AT experience if I watched a few of Dixie's videos and read some AT books instead of letting every switchback of the trail be a brand new adventure. In both cases, I think HYOH applies. The obnoxious part is neither the overplanning nor the purism, just the belief in either case that he or she doing it "right." (to be clear, I completed my thru hike as a "purist" in the sense of hiking past every white blaze, but not as a "purist" who believes that the only real hikers are those who hike exactly the same way as in the good ole days)

Personally, I like to be laid back and spontaneous once I'm actually hiking, or traveling in new cities and countries. I take a lot of spur trails to views or waterfalls, and I just walk until I'm tired. In new cities, I wander the streets with just one or two landmarks in mind, and I see what else I stumble across. I prefer not to adhere to a schedule.
That said, ahead of time, I devour books, videos, and maps of my destination. I sketch out mileage of hikes, I meticulously weigh my gear, and I read every memoir I can get my hands on. I read travel blogs and hostel reviews. I might not adhere to any of it, but the anticipation of the upcoming adventure reminds me that the daily grind is finite, and new experiences are coming soon. The idea that this "overthinking" is somehow robbing me of the real experience is the opposite of what I've observed, which is that I appreciate an experience more when I can place it in context.

shelb
06-13-2019, 21:48
Sad to say - I often overthink things... as I suddenly worry about how others interpret what I said... PLEASE, EVERYONE - know when you hear something, if makes your upset or uncomfortable, perhaps, the person who said it didn't mean that to happen.

GaryM
06-13-2019, 22:08
First couple of times I was way overpacked. I eventually figured out what I needed and what was a waste of space/weight. All I check on now is how far to a shelter/camp site and water source. Give it time, you will figure out what you really want/need vs. what is frivolous and can plan accordingly.

Dogwood
06-13-2019, 22:33
When you have a passion, it fills your days with joy.


Amen. Like Tim McGraw sang Live Like You Were Dying.

Dogwood
06-13-2019, 22:34
Sad to say - I often overthink things... as I suddenly worry about how others interpret what I said... PLEASE, EVERYONE - know when you hear something, if makes your upset or uncomfortable, perhaps, the person who said it didn't mean that to happen.

Thank you.

Dogwood
06-13-2019, 22:53
This thread reminds me of the perennial "people who use technology don't enjoy hiking properly" conversations on this site. If someone else likes to devote countless hours to research and plan every shelter stop from Springer to Katahdin, how does that affect me? Maybe they're not enjoying John Muir's idea of "the true experience," but they're enjoying their experience, and surely that's what matters. It certainly doesn't bother me.

I dislike obnoxious gear heads giving me an unsolicited shakedown at the shelter as much as the next hiker, but I also dislike obnoxious purists giving me an unsolicited lecture at a shelter about how I'm cheating myself of the "true" AT experience if I watched a few of Dixie's videos and read some AT books instead of letting every switchback of the trail be a brand new adventure. In both cases, I think HYOH applies. The obnoxious part is neither the overplanning nor the purism, just the belief in either case that he or she doing it "right." (to be clear, I completed my thru hike as a "purist" in the sense of hiking past every white blaze, but not as a "purist" who believes that the only real hikers are those who hike exactly the same way as in the good ole days)

Every one reaches a threshold when what someone interprets as enjoying themselves is nor perceived by yourself as enjoyable. HYOH is most often used to justify one's behavior no matter how that behavior imposes on others. It's mostly an acronym to defend a "responsibility only to self" mentality. There's another side of HYOH which rarely is discussed. That is the side of being responsible for one's hike as one who never hikes alone in an isolated bubble. The AT experience never has been an experienced of isolation. The AT itself does not exist as an isolated entity that spontaneously miraculously fell out of the sky for any one person. There are countless that support the AT making the "AT experience" possible. When we hit the trail with a "responsibility only to self" "if it feels good to oneself do it" attitude of ingratitude we demean the very intent and goodwill of the AT and all those who support the AT effort.

rdljr
06-13-2019, 23:21
Just wondering what year it was , I collect the old ones and am always interested.
RDL

TwoSpirits
06-14-2019, 08:41
I see a difference between planning and over-thinking or obsessing about gear choices. Two completely different topics.

In regards to the topic of planning, I guess I'd have to describe myself as a planner. Sure, I understand the perspective of people who say "just grab your pack and go", and I myself have done this taking road trips -- when a day trip or even an errand have turned into long weekends (or even more) when I decided "let's see where this road goes...." These have been definitely some of the best adventures in my life!*

On the other hand, I like to research and plan the majority of my trips and adventures because I want to be sure that I see or experience certain things, and that I know as much as I can about what I'm getting myself into. For me, the research & planning is half the fun of the whole thing -- this is when I can learn so much about so many things, be it the history or geography or the flora and fauna, or certain beneficial skills, and yes even different types of useful gear choices.*

But....

"Man plans, and God laughs."
(a Yiddish proverb)

...and...

"Plans are worthless, but planning is essential."*
(attributed to Eisenhower)

After "the battle has been joined", so to speak, when the plan falls apart, that is the time when I learn most about *myself* -- how I respond and react and adapt and cope. The lessons to be learned from screwed-up plans are invaluable.*

In regards to the topic of gear, I agree that it is easy to "overthink" it because today we have so many different options for so many different things (and forums like this, with so many people who have so much experience and advice to offer); it can definitely turn into a real rabbit hole. I have "obsessed" over gear choices because for me, that can be a fun part of the passion project...but it can also become overwhelming and burdensome, and I agree we all reach our own threshold at one point or another.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had a million years ago with a college housemate who spent a semester in Poland, back when Poland was under Soviet-style communist rule. She described how it was a blunt-force shock at first, seeing how little the people had, how few choices they had. If you went to the market for bread, you either got that one type of bread or no bread at all. She said it was like living in the stone age...but when she came home a few months later, she went to the store and was confronted with dozens and dozens of choices -- all for a simple loaf of bread. She felt completely overwhelmed. How many times do you go to the store and simply stare at shelf after shelf of what is essentially the same item, trying to decide on the "best" one? She simplified the matter for herself and learned to make her own bread.*

I think there's something deep and thoughtful in there somewhere, but I guess this has turned into a bit of a ramble.* Sorry. :)



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Traffic Jam
06-14-2019, 09:40
As I grow older, and (in my opinion) wiser, I have come to the conclusion that our modern society provides us with too much information and too many options, not only for backpacking/long-distance hiking, but in just about every area. One only has to visit Amazon or REI to see evidence of too many choices, and Google? Fugedaboutit! I just Googled "too many choices" and came up with 1,210,000 results in .64 seconds.

Maybe I'm just tired, but I am done with studying everything to the Nth degree; I am done with surfing 10,000 different choices for water bottles; I am tired of the "noise" of my possessions (downsizing furiously for the last couple of years); and I am just about done with our noisy Western way of life.

I've decided to just live my life, and play it as it comes to me: More leaping, less overplanning, more risk taking, and less angst....

Going hiking on the AT in 18 months, following my retirement from the work force. Gonna throw a few things in my pack and jump the back fence....


Iím with you...youíre not simply talking about gear choices and trip planning but a way of living modestly, with less detritus, freedom from junk, and more spontaneous living.

Being able to reinvent oneself is one of the biggest advantages in aging, IMO. Iím workiní on it now...have sold and rid myself of tons of household crap, getting the house ready to sell, decreased my work hours, bowed out of some of my time-consuming group activities...

Itís hard work and I recently had to cancel two hiking trips for house-related stuff but the end result is going to be fabulous.

(And dang...if you canít figure out how to turn on the TV cuz thereís so many effin remotes, who needs Ďem?)

OCDave
06-14-2019, 14:23
You can also throw out a bedroll and sleep in the backyard every night and try to "live outdoors" as much possible even though you're not out on a trip. It's called "Getting Your Bad Nights", a definite Passion for some of us.

It's something I do every night when I'm not out backpacking---and I resigned myself long ago to be outside sleeping on a thermarest if at all possible. Why? Because there's something special about sleeping outside every night. We should never take Nature for granted because it could all be wiped out by human sprawl and development and then we'll be lucky to have a bush next to the county courthouse to sleep underneath.

Here's my back porch "camp"---

45314

Mine own is a back yard hammock stand I use a couple nights a week when the evenings are crisp. I came in this AM at 5:30 as the sun was coming up and it was easy to leave the hammock than deploy the tarp for shade.

KnightErrant
06-14-2019, 18:04
Every one reaches a threshold when what someone interprets as enjoying themselves is nor perceived by yourself as enjoyable. HYOH is most often used to justify one's behavior no matter how that behavior imposes on others. It's mostly an acronym to defend a "responsibility only to self" mentality. There's another side of HYOH which rarely is discussed. That is the side of being responsible for one's hike as one who never hikes alone in an isolated bubble. The AT experience never has been an experienced of isolation. The AT itself does not exist as an isolated entity that spontaneously miraculously fell out of the sky for any one person. There are countless that support the AT making the "AT experience" possible. When we hit the trail with a "responsibility only to self" "if it feels good to oneself do it" attitude of ingratitude we demean the very intent and goodwill of the AT and all those who support the AT effort.
I'm not defending rude, ungrateful hikers who use HYOH to mean "Don't tell me what to do, I'll [disruptive/destructive behavior] if I want to, it's my hike!"

Littering, hiking with speakers blasting music, letting a badly-behaved dog roam off leash, illegal fire circles... I've certainly heard self-centered hikers use HYOH to defend behaviors that I certainly did not find enjoyable because they were negatively affecting my experience or endangering the trail. In that case, I agree that the initialism has been twisted from "live and let live" to a justification of rudeness or outright law-breaking.

But I fail to see how planning out details and watching too many gear reviews could somehow infringe on someone else's enjoyment. (Unless they're being obnoxious about it to others, which I would consider a separate behavior.) To me, my "threshold" is when a behavior actually affects me or the trail in some negative way. I guess that's a subjective threshold, because some would argue that even witnessing someone else at a campsite checking a phone screen just *ruins* their escape to nature, while it would never occur to me to feel bothered by someone else's decision to meticulously plan out their hiking schedule or text their friends at the picnic table. So there's room for debate about what constitutes "affecting" someone. I just think that the idea that there's a "right" amount of planning to do or not do before a hike is definitely a situation that falls under the original meaning of HYOH.

rickb
06-14-2019, 19:32
To my way of thinking the most satisfying part of HYOH is not insisting/wanting others to affirm oneís own choices (and to shut the hell up if you hold a contrarian opinion) but rather not giving flying **** what strangers think, and then walking the the beat of your own drummer.

Especially since everyone has 100% control over the latter.

Being force to listen to anotherís drivel over the sound of a cracking fire or music of spring peepers is another story, of course.

That does not happen on the internet, thankfully. And even on the AT its mostly self inflicted harm.

Dogwood
06-14-2019, 21:20
When we de-clutter and reduce our material possessions in LIFE and expectation of needing to know it all to hike it opens the door to greater clarity and time for living LIFE. Shop shop, buy buy buy accumulate accumulate possessions maintain maintain organize organize fret fret fret


Less can be more. It occurs when we question and sober up from our culture's norms.


Wish you the best in your journey.


Live in the moment appreciating embracing rather then how most live, always wanting to be somewhere else doing something else.

Puddlefish
06-15-2019, 08:10
When we de-clutter and reduce our material possessions in LIFE and expectation of needing to know it all to hike it opens the door to greater clarity and time for living LIFE. Shop shop, buy buy buy accumulate accumulate possessions maintain maintain organize organize fret fret fret


Less can be more. It occurs when we question and sober up from our culture's norms.


Wish you the best in your journey.


Live in the moment appreciating embracing rather then how most live, always wanting to be somewhere else doing something else.


You sound rich.

clay pot
06-15-2019, 08:23
"fewer the artifacts
less the words
slowly the life of it
a knack for non-attachment"

TexasBob
06-15-2019, 08:49
"Plans are worthless, but planning is essential."*
(attributed to Eisenhower)

"A failure to plan is a plan for failure" - a favorite of an old boss

"Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance" or "the 5 P's" - A favorite of my Father.

I think the OP is just frustrated by the fact he is ready to go hiking but has to wait 18 months to go. He can't help but think about his future hike and so his mind is occupied by it but at the same time he is frustrated because he wants to get on with it but has to wait 18 months to go. I know that when I am thinking and planning for a trip or a hike in the future, I reach the "I am sick of thinking about it I just want to go" attitude at some point and it is frustrating.

TwoSpirits
06-15-2019, 13:15
I know that when I am thinking and planning for a trip or a hike in the future, I reach the "I am sick of thinking about it I just want to go" attitude at some point and it is frustrating.

I have sometimes felt almost the exact opposite -- when planning a trip several months away, I've found myself falling into a mood where I'm asking myself "do I really want to do this?" I start doubting that I will enjoy day after day of walking, or camping in cold rain, etc...which is of course pretty ironic, because those are precisely the things that I start out so excitedly planning for (and yes, analyzing and comparing and buying gear for.)

It can be pretty depressing; I literally feel like a failure, as if I'm some sort of "bad hiker". I've found that only way to snap out of it is to get myself out there -- even if it's only a day hike or an overnight at a state park. It doesn't take long to feel rejuvenated, re-energized, and excited again.



Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Dogwood
06-15-2019, 22:09
I'm not defending rude, ungrateful hikers who use HYOH to mean "Don't tell me what to do, I'll [disruptive/destructive behavior] if I want to, it's my hike!"

Littering, hiking with speakers blasting music, letting a badly-behaved dog roam off leash, illegal fire circles... I've certainly heard self-centered hikers use HYOH to defend behaviors that I certainly did not find enjoyable because they were negatively affecting my experience or endangering the trail. In that case, I agree that the initialism has been twisted from "live and let live" to a justification of rudeness or outright law-breaking.

But I fail to see how planning out details and watching too many gear reviews could somehow infringe on someone else's enjoyment. (Unless they're being obnoxious about it to others, which I would consider a separate behavior.) To me, my "threshold" is when a behavior actually affects me or the trail in some negative way. I guess that's a subjective threshold, because some would argue that even witnessing someone else at a campsite checking a phone screen just *ruins* their escape to nature, while it would never occur to me to feel bothered by someone else's decision to meticulously plan out their hiking schedule or text their friends at the picnic table. So there's room for debate about what constitutes "affecting" someone. I just think that the idea that there's a "right" amount of planning to do or not do before a hike is definitely a situation that falls under the original meaning of HYOH.

There you go. You communicating defined details makes the difference. That's why I tend to read every word you post. I know where you stand. I like how you express yourself clearly. It demonstrates maturity, tolerance, and agreeableness born out of and enhanced by your world travels. I figured you would save me some finger tapping at a keyboard. ;)

Leo L.
06-16-2019, 03:39
Being lucky living in a place thats quiet and close to nature, I usually spend more nights out on the balcony, up in the open loft or on the terrace, than in the bed.
Our grandkids (3 and 5yrs) love this so much, they insist on sleeping on the terrace when staying overnight here.

A nice side effect is the gained experience about sleep systems.

As to the core topic here, I belive having to much money but to little time to actually go out hiking easily leads to the claimed overthinking and overequipping.

Dogwood
06-16-2019, 18:39
I’m with you...you’re not simply talking about gear choices and trip planning but a way of living modestly, with less detritus, freedom from junk, and more spontaneous living.

Being able to reinvent oneself is one of the biggest advantages in aging, IMO. I’m workin’ on it now...have sold and rid myself of tons of household crap, getting the house ready to sell, decreased my work hours, bowed out of some of my time-consuming group activities...

It’s hard work and I recently had to cancel two hiking trips for house-related stuff but the end result is going to be fabulous.

(And dang...if you can’t figure out how to turn on the TV cuz there’s so many effin remotes, who needs ‘em?)
LOL Horray. I'm not the only one.

Nothing wrong per say with having stuff including mega money as long as they don't have you. That's the root of the Tiny House and downsizing and looking globally rather than only locally/nationally movements. To do it it may take questioning U.S. cultural norms.

Some of my most memorable and ultimately rewarding times were when I was struggling or living materialistically minimally. Now, when I'm in HI living in a Tiny House I spend less time maintaining a larger home, less time working to pay for a larger home, which incidentally I never needed, other than to satisfy ego, no longer have a life constantly enamored with money or working for someone else, and now spend more time having globally diverse experiences and contributing to a larger whole than it being all about me.

Dogwood
06-16-2019, 18:42
"A failure to plan is a plan for failure" - a favorite of an old boss

"Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance" or "the 5 P's" - A favorite of my Father.

I think the OP is just frustrated by the fact he is ready to go hiking but has to wait 18 months to go. He can't help but think about his future hike and so his mind is occupied by it but at the same time he is frustrated because he wants to get on with it but has to wait 18 months to go. I know that when I am thinking and planning for a trip or a hike in the future, I reach the "I am sick of thinking about it I just want to go" attitude at some point and it is frustrating.
Depends on who or what you're performing for. Often it's for someone else's greater economic or system benefit.