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View Full Version : How do thru-hikers REALLY feel about section hikers?



Noggin
01-21-2004, 19:20
For those of you who have successfully completed a nonstop thru-hike, how do you really feel about section hikers? After all, section hikers do not have the same experience of thru-hikers of being out on the trail for many months at a time, and may take many years to complete the whole trail. Some may only be on the trail for a few days or week at a time.

Do you think your experience is different in some significant way from the section hikers, maybe even special (not necessarily superior) in a way that the section hikers is not?

Be honest here, no holding back to be polite!

Jack Tarlin
01-21-2004, 19:42
A section-hiker is in no way, shape, or form inferior to a longer-distance hiker or thru-hiker, and the section's hiker's journey is in no way less meaningful or significant.

Every thru-hiker was a section hiker, weekender, or day-tripper once upon a time, and after their thru-hike is completed, every thru-hiker is fated to become a sectioner, weekender, or day-tripper again. Attempts to make one's own journey more "significant" somehow, whether because of how long one is out there, or how little one carries, or how quickly one hikes......all of this is foolish. Everyone goes out there for different reasons, and not everyone has the ability, time, money, and most of all, the interest in hiking the entire Trail all at once. Being a thru-hiker doesn't mean you're "special" when compared to someone who's only out for two weeks----it doesn't mean you're a more sincere or devoted hiker; it doesn't mean you have a greater appreciation for nature; it doesn't grant you any special rights or privileges when it comes to the Trail or to Trail facilities-----all it means is that you're out there for a longer period of time, and while there are some thru-hikers every year who cop attitudes and look down on section-hikers, and in some cases, are actually rude to them, well happily, these folks are in the minority. Everyone out there is special, whether they're out there for six months, six days, or even less.

Lugnut
01-21-2004, 19:54
I'll vouch for the fact that Jack does" practice what he preaches". When I first met him at Kincora and introduced myself as just a section hiker he set me straight on using the word 'just'! Coming from him, I appreciated that.

Brushy Sage
01-21-2004, 20:25
I appreciate Jack's statement above. One evening as the hikers were gathering at Standing Indian shelter, a doctor and his two sons pitched tents in order to leave space in the shelter for those of us who fancied ourselves thru hikers. That night a heavy rain came through, and the doc got wet. The next night, a little farther up the trail, he and his sons rolled out their sleeping bags in a shelter, and I enjoyed getting to know them in that more intimate space; they were good folks, and we all had an equal right to be there and to utilize all the "accomodations."

Noggin
01-21-2004, 20:31
Just to clarify, what I'm asking primarily is whether thru hikers feel section hikers are really part of the club. But related to that, whether thru hikers experience something special or rewarding from being on the trail for an extended period of time, that section hikers do not.

Bankrobber
01-21-2004, 20:41
I still don't know if I like the way that this question is worded. Thru-hiking is different from section hiking in that you are out for the whole 5-7 months and you have to confront feelings that section hikers do not. In the that respect, a thru-hike is "special." That does not mean that thru-hiking is any better than section hiking. In fact, I think that thru-hikers often lack some of the excitement that section hikers have. Both are unique experiences, and neither are inherently better than the other.

smokymtnsteve
01-21-2004, 21:07
Maybe the question should be worded

"how do section hikers feel about thru's?"

:dance

A-Train
01-21-2004, 23:29
I've got more respect for someone who hikes the entire AT over 10 or 20 or 40 years, compared to the thru-hiker who does it over 5-6 months. Section hikers must get into "trail" shape each and every time they start again. A thru-hiker will maintain his/her shape and endurance for the long run. After a few weeks they keep it until they finish.
Sure its hard to keep hiking and not give up for 150 straight days or more. But I think it is even impressive to devote ones week or two of yearly vacation to an AT hike, and continue to do so over and over. Section hiking takes way more money to do, considering the shuttle cost, lodging and transportation to trail each and every time. One thing sectioners have on thru's is that they can pick a section to do at an ideal time of year, as a thru-hiker must roll with the seasons and time.
I am sad to say however that many thru-hikers gain the mentality that they are better and more deserving than the weekend warrior. Everyones out there for their own reasons.
And think about how many more people a sectioner will meet over years of hiking.

Lone Wolf
01-21-2004, 23:38
I enjoy hanging out with section hikers much more than thru-hikers.

Blue Jay
01-22-2004, 09:04
I have done both and I vastly prefer long section hikes (month or more). For me on a thru, there were and would be again, some days I simply do NOT want to be doing it. On a long section you just hike until you are satisfied, no pressure, no deadlines, no even remote pressure to mileslave. As for hiking with sectioners vs. thrus, it is like the difference between red and white wine. Sectioners are more fun, they laugh more and if you can catch them near the end of their section you get fantastic food. Thrus have an attitude that is intoxicating, like a battlefield mentality without the battle. I love to watch them interacting, it brings back powerful memories.

Peaks
01-22-2004, 09:26
Isn't it really about hike your own hike?

Jack: Another great post. Thanks. Couldn't of said it better.

Bankrobber
01-22-2004, 10:47
I began my hike with the intention of hiking from Springer as far as I could get in the fall of 2002. I got off the trail in Bland, went back to Charlottesville for a while, and jumped back on and finished it by August. When I had no intention of hiking to Katahdin, I felt much more laid back and at ease. There was no huge pressure for miles. I had a deadline when I hiked with the intention of finishing. I was constantly worried that I wouldn't finish, and I forced myself to hiker more miles than I was comfortable with (I average 19 miles a day on the second go around, including two zeroes and a few neroes). Until I slowed down in Maine, I really did not enjoy it as much as I should have. My body was run down, and I longed to be one of those section hikers who could afford 10 mile days. This is not to say that there were not amazing moments, but a section hike is generally more relaxed.

chris
01-22-2004, 11:01
In May of 2002 I hiked from Springer to Damascus and had a wonderful time. Over the summer of 2003, I hiked the entire PCT, and had an even better time. For me, the time out was the important thing, so my thruhike is much more special to me than my section hike. If I had hiked from Mexico to, say, Oregon, rather than Canada, it still would have been more special to me than the shorter AT section hike. Finishing the PCT gave the summer a nice finale, but wasn't really all that important of a goal for me. Even if I eventually hike the rest of the AT in sections, it won't match up to the experience I had last summer. There is a huge mental and spiritual difference between being for a week at a time, spread out over the course of many, many years, and hiking for 4 months more or less continuously. That there is a difference does not imply that one is somehow better than the other. This depends on the individual involved. My preference is mine, and having doesn't mean others should as well. But, I think that there is a fundamental difference that is foolish to ignore.

Flash Hand
01-24-2004, 17:52
I enjoy hanging out with section hikers much more than thru-hikers.


Why? is there something that section hikers have what thru-hikers is missing? Is thru-hikers too focus on time and money, can't afford to spend extra money in towns? or complains too much about blisters? am being just a curiousity cat.


Happy Hiking!

Flash Hand :jump

Kerosene
01-24-2004, 18:26
I enjoy hanging out with section hikers much more than thru-hikers. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that section hikers haven't completed the fermentation process yet? :rolleyes:

Skyline
02-03-2004, 23:03
Without commenting on who is "better" than someone else, I'd like to say that both thru-hiking and section-hiking are fantastic experiences and those who attempt or complete either (or both) should have our utmost respect.

Having said that, I'd like to offer the following:

I think it's much tougher physically and logistically for the section hiker. He or she usually doesn't start a section in "trail shape," and (if lucky) may just start to get into "shape" when it's time to go home once again. Also, the section hiker has to be concerned with getting to the Trail and back home each and every time--and that can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. The thru-hiker needs to get to Springer and then home from Katahdin or vice versa, and maybe go someplace due to personal commitment or injury once or twice during the journey.

But long distance hiking, for most, usually becomes more of a mental and emotional struggle after a couple months or less. And when you look at it that way the thru-hiker has it a LOT tougher.

screwysquirrel
02-06-2004, 01:31
I think most of the section hikers I've met in the last few years have already done their thur-hike and are out to enjoy the trail as it really should be enjoyed. Not having to do a certain amount of miles, not worrying about money and really being able to appreciate what we have really got here. You can take the time to smell the roses and meet the people that make the AT such a special place while you're doing a section hike. Not to take anything away from the thur-hiker.

SkunkleberryFinn
02-07-2004, 01:05
Though I agree that both section hikers and thru-hikers deserve the same great deal of respect I think there can be a happy medium..

Long distance section hiking ( 1-3 months) I think would incorporate some of the feelings you get when you thru-hike such has getting in shape and pumping out the long miles along with the thrill of picking up maildrops or hiking with a group of people for weeks or more. All of these experiences are great that unfortunately small section hikers of a week or less dont get to enjoy..

On the other hand.. Section hikers get to come and go as they please. They get to do how ever many miles they feel like doing and are in no time crunch to go too far too fast. They also like many have mentioned get to pick the best weather for the best sectioned. Also a plus.

I think that doing a long section hike would incorporate both of these awesome ways to hike the AT. Both the section hiker and thru-hiker are all get men and woman who are awesome and there is no way that is a wrong way to hike the AT ( except maybe yellow-blazin a long way ;) )

Keep on hiking! Thank you Benton.


Skunkleberry Finn

loonyhiker
02-07-2004, 07:58
I'm one of the people who won't get to thru hike for another 5 years when I retire from teaching but I do section hike every chance I can (when hubby can take off from work). Every year we go to Damascus for trail days so I can enjoy the excitement and camaraderie that exists from all the thru hikers. We love to listen to the stories and share in the experience because it keeps my dream alive. I think both types are special hikes and after listening to thru hikers, I know that I will have a totally different experience when I thru hike then when I section hike. Thru hikers I have met have always been so encouraging towards me and treated me as if I was something special too for just section hiking. Hooray for thru hikers!

Kozmic Zian
02-07-2004, 12:43
Hi Jack....I agree in principal with what you said, however, I'll say this... The major 'difference' between Thru and Section hiking is time spent traversing the Mother Earth. It's a spiritural thing.....related to proximity and well, time, spent in proximity with The Earth. Usually the short time Sectional hiker isn't out there long enough to 'get connected'. I don't think I've ever met a Thru-Hiker who did't 'get it'. That is, why we'er out there. The Earth is a Spiritual Entity much greater than any of us, and when you're out there traversing her in a natural way (not on a bike, in a car, bus or plane) for the accepted amount of time (this varies from individual to individual), you become Spritually Connected To The Earth. When this occurs, any disrespect (trashing, unethical practices related to ecology or hurting The Earth) go out of the window, and one becomes Connected. With this Connectedness comes Stewarship and Other Forms of Trail & Earth related Individual Care Proccesses.
Granted, an individual may already possess this Connectedness without ever having hiked a foot, or maybe a Sectional Hiker....I'm just trying to say that some folks never get it. If we all were Connected to The Earth, their would be no pollution or disrespect anywhere. Proximity to The Earth is the Key, and Thru-Hiking supports this supposition to the utmost. The Light....The Love....The Peace....The Trail.....Kozmic Zian Ga-Me, 1996

Lone Wolf
02-07-2004, 12:48
We human beings are a cancer on mama earth so hypocrites all, let's enjoy it cuz mama has a cure. It won't be long. :cool:

Kozmic Zian
02-07-2004, 17:53
Duh....waz dat mean....???

steve hiker
02-07-2004, 21:06
Duh....waz dat mean....???It means the Earth is about to "swat some flies." Though we may give Mamma Earth an assist with all the bioweapon bugs we're creating and so hot to use.

On the other hand with the extinction rate the way it is, we may not have to do anything, just wait for nature to take its course. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3358&page=1&pp=5&highlight=extinction

Lone Wolf
02-07-2004, 21:08
heh heh heh. Thanks Steve.

Smooth03
02-07-2004, 23:05
When ever I would hear a thru-hiker bashing section or weekend hikers I would simply remind them at once they made it to Springer(or Katadhin) they would be a weekender just like "them". I hate thru-hiker arrogance.

Kozmic Zian
02-18-2004, 01:37
Read the Post.

steve hiker
02-29-2004, 18:15
This past week I did a short section hike from Newfound Gap to Fontana, and ran into several early NOBOs. Without exception each one of them was very friendly, enthusiastic, and polite. If anything, I felt rude because I wasn't as conversant or upbeat as most of them. Not one of them ever gave any hint of even taking notice about the fact that I was a section hiker vs. being a thru hiker, if I happened to mention it.

So I really don't think there's anything to it. Maybe in retrospect you can say a thru hike is more rewarding than section hiking or vice versa, but on the trail, a hiker is a hiker and a hiker is a friend.

Hammock Hanger
02-29-2004, 18:33
... , but on the trail, a hiker is a hiker and a hiker is a friend.
this I like!! :clap Sue/Hammock Hanger

Colter
02-29-2004, 20:12
Of course the poll question has no correct answer, or perhaps, more accurately, it has nearly as many correct answers as there are hikers.

All of you are "special" in a way or ways that I am not, and it is also true the other way around.

I consider myself "special" for having completed a thru-hike. I consider people that have thru-hiked more than once special in a way that I'm not. I consider folks that have bicycled from Patagonia to Alaska more special than I am in adventurous bicycling experience. Even though I'm a cross-country skier I consider world-class skiers "special." I consider an expert auto mechanic out section hiking for the weekend special for his mechanical skills. It's also possible he's hiked a lot more than I have in his lifetime, making him more special than I in hiking savvy.

I like to keep in mind that the old coot giving me a ride into town may SEEM like just an old coot to me, but he may also have hit the beach on D-Day, or wrote a brilliant short story or spent 40 years as a brain surgeon.

There's nothing wrong with elitism as long as you aren't unnecessarily angering, alienating or looking down upon others.

Personally, my opinion is that most folks who thru-hike are thru-hiking because a thru-hike IS more than the sum of it's parts, making it a truly special experience. A thru-hike is in many ways a stunt when it comes right down to it, and I think most folks would admit that there's a lot of ego wrapped up in it.

It's OK to feel your own accomplishments are special, or to admire other people for being special in one way or another. Just remember to respect others for the strengths that all of us DO have. One way to respect them is to treat them like THEY are special, because you can bet they are in many ways.

pjohnson
06-27-2004, 00:01
I am a section hiker. I have not tried a thru-hike, nor do I have the time at this point in my life. Hell, I may never have the time as I have a lot of interests and goals that I want to accomplish. I do, however, enjoy the trail tremendously, and look forward each year for my little one week excursion. This year I hiked from the Lyme Dorchester Road in NH to Rt. 4 in Killington, VT in five days. Being 47 years old, out of shape, arthritic, and having a bad habit of carrying too much weight (I eat good!), I still managed a 17 mile day (day 2) and a couple of 15 mile days. Believe it or not...I gained weight on this trip. I eat good!!! Anyhow, I admire thru-hikers ability to stay focused, and their fortitude to continue on even during trying times. It really is an amazing feat. The biggest difference I see between myself and thru-hikers is that those that are trying to "go all the way" are more consumed by mileage, and reaching certain destinations, while I'm more concerned with taking in the views, snaping a lot of photographs. My hike this year was filled with just fabulous views. It was phenomenal. So, It took me close to 12 hours to hike 15 miles. I met a young thru-hiker who told me about the views from the lookout, and that he wished he could go back and watch the sunset that evening, but he had to get more miles in. I watched the sunset, got up at 5:00 AM and saw it rise from behind the Presidentials. I will never forget it, and he will never see it. I'm not criticizing him, it's just my priorities are different from his. And I have the time to take it slow, and he needs to add miles.

Another point, of all the thru-hikers I've met, including A-Train last year in Vermont, all of them have been great and treated me with respect. Not one has ever said, "Oh, your just a section hiker." The bottom line is, we're all just out there to enjoy ourselves, and in a pinch, to lend a hand when needed. As a section hiker though, I feel strongly that if I am in a shelter and a group of thru-hikers come in after me and there's no space available, I'd just as soon pitch my tent, and let them have my place. After all, I'm just out there for the short term, and in a few days I'll be back in my own bed, and checking out the maps for next year's adventure.

You're all a bunch great folks!

Patrick Johnson

Tin Man
06-27-2004, 07:54
It is encouraging to read how thru hikers feel about us mere section hikers. I have been section hiking the last 3 years for 5 days at a time and have run across some really cool SOBO's. There was only one SOBO who treated me a little cold, but then he told me he sleeps in the woods well away from the shelter. While I admire and respect all thru hikers, I felt this one was missing a big part of the trail experience by avoiding fellow hikers, but then maybe he had a bad experience, who is to say. His only comment was that it works for him. I have thought about that comment a lot - the trail experience is what works for you. Last year a thru hiker, doing the International Trail, the AT, and then planning to continue to Key West, paid me the biggest compliment, also echoed here, that he admired section hikers because they have to leave the trail just when they get their legs.

I do plan to thru hike some day, but in the meantime the sections keep me going. When it is time to do my thru hike, I am not sure if I will repeat the same ground that I have section hiked, but I have a feeling that I will. The trail has some mystical draw for me that I cannot put a finger on. I think it stems from the fact that when I first stepped on it, I looked south and knew GA was that way and turned around and knew ME was that way, all with no interruption. WOW!

Hammock Hanger
06-27-2004, 08:06
I remember when I use to do "vacation sections", which meant every one week vacation my husband and I would make the long drive up to GA-NC-TN and went hiking. -- It is such a logistical nightmare, where is it safe to park the car, who can we get to shuttle us...? Then there were the "physical elments", having come straight from the office and usually being way out of shape the first few days were killers. Just when you are getting into the groove or getting into it, it's over and you have to go home. Sometimes we were so tired from out vacation we could barely get up to go to work. -- However, we did eat good... I always gained weight on these hikes.

I find that long distance hiking is so much easier then the short hikes.

I worked very very hard at being a "thru-hiker" but illness and injury just wouldn't let it happen. SO I glad to see my friends here at WB still like me as a section-hiker.

I still like what Steve Hiker said in post #27: ... a hiker is a hiker and a hiker is a friend.

BTW: This section hiker is out of here on July 13th, heading back to the WHites to put my AT hike to bed. I'll finish this year. :) Sue/HH

Tin Man
06-27-2004, 11:51
Wow! The famous Hammock Hanger replied to my post. :) I am touched. I have read your journals and wish you the best of luck in finishing up this year.

Hammock Hanger
06-27-2004, 12:03
Wow! The famous Hammock Hanger replied to my post. :) I am touched. I have read your journals and wish you the best of luck in finishing up this year.

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/4/4_6_5.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001) Sir you make me blush!! Hope you will be traveling along with me as I head out on the last leg of my journey. Sue/HH

Footslogger
06-27-2004, 13:01
Hey ...we're all out there and that's what counts in my book. I felt (and still feel) extremely fortunate to have been able to stop the world and get off for 6 months. Until 2 - 3 years before my thru I was begining to believe that if I was ever going to get to Maine on the AT it would have to be in weekly or montly chunks of time.

When I think about hiking the AT in sections it startles me to ponder having to get ready for a hike over and over and over again. Shoot ...getting ready once for my thru last year was hard enough.

If a person's life goal (or at least one of them) is to hike the AT from end to end and,due to life's circumstances, they can only manage that section by section then their ultimate accomplishment is no different than that of a one-shot thru. Their experience may be somewhat different but the end result is the same and no less earned or deserved.

At least that's the way I feel about it.

'Slogger

smokymtnsteve
06-27-2004, 15:00
I section hike alot ...every spring now for 2-3 months since 1999 and a month or two every fall. along with 2-3 weeks every winter..a traditional thru hike chasing the spring NOBO and then start dealing with bugs and heat just doesn't appeal to me...I'm in no hurry ...take my time

you get to where you can pack and do your mail drops in a day or two so the packing and knowing what gear you want to take gets very simple...and you know to where you want to send what food...

kinda like walking around just visiting in the neighborhood.

Tin Man
06-27-2004, 22:05
I got so charged up reading everyone's posts today that I headed out and did 3.8 AT miles from the CT/NY border, Hoyt Rd. to Bulls Bridge in Kent, CT. I thought I would have to reverse the hike, but a couple of trail angels out for a short walk gave me a lift from Bulls Bridge back to my car. :) I left my house at 12:45 and was home by 3:30! How neat is that?! :D :-? Actually, I think I would have prefered to camp.

52.2 more or less miles and I can add CT to my collection of MA and part of VT. I will try to day hike as much of CT as time, work, and family allow this year. Then, I am doing Stratton to VT 11 in the Fall. Can't wait!

At this pace, I think I will finish the trail before I turn 90! :banana

Teatime
08-05-2004, 10:23
As a section-hiker, I have had great encouters with just about every thru-hiker I've met. They didn't treat me like less of a person because I wasn't thru-hiking and were actually supportive of what I was doing as a section-hiker. Us section-hikers usually admire the thru-hikers for their commitment to a 4-6 month trek on the A.T. but I've been told by thru-hikers that they also admire section-hikers for sticking with it over periods of many years.

fatmatt
08-10-2004, 11:05
I am a section hiker, and am undecided on this subject. Next summer I am going to go for a month long hike to get some of the feeling of a thru hike. (mail drops, etc) My thoughts are that a thru hiker probably feels more satisfaction when done, for the simple reason that they have been at it for 6 months straight. I know that I am only a section hiker because I can't take 6 months off of my life for the trail, and also I think that if I did do the whole thing at once I may lose some of the joy of hiking (fearing it would become "just routine") But thats just me! Any way it is an awesome trail.

Jack Tarlin
08-10-2004, 12:31
Matt--

I don't know if you've read all of this thread, but something you wrote stuck out:

Please don't feel you ever have to say, or even think "I'm only a section hiker."

Being a section hiker is great. Not everyone can thru-hike. Not everyone can do the trip all at once. And not everyone wants to! There's nothing wrong with doing it over any number of years, and in doing so, you're by no means doing anything "less" or "beneath" what a thru-hiker does. There's no need to ever use the word "only" when talking about your hikes.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Every thru-hiker was once a section hiker, a day-tripper, a weekender, a shortimer.... and when their journey is over, every thru-hiker will rejoin these ranks, and become a section hiker once again.

A hike doesn't necessarily become more important, meaningful, or heartfelt solely because of its duration. We are all "only" section hikers; the difference being, and it's not that significant a thing---some of our sections are longer than others. That's the "only" difference.

SGT Rock
08-10-2004, 12:47
Isn't their a quote that says: "No one can make you feel inferior unless you allow them too"

sherrill
08-10-2004, 14:19
One of the biggest mental reasons I had for completing my hike was to break it into sections. Standing on Springer, I just wanted to make it to Neel's, and so on and so on. . .

DEADRECKON'UN
08-10-2004, 16:35
As a section hiker I agree with most of the posts. For me, there is a huge difference in a short trip of 7-10 days and a more extended trip. I recently completed a 30 day (26 hiking days) section from Pearisburg to Harpers Ferry, which finally completes Springer to Harpers Ferry for me. My longest trip prior to this was 8 days. The longer section enabled me to actually get the feel of a thru hike and I met many thru's who were great people and I felt a strong degree of acceptance and enjoyed their company at campsites, shelters & towns. In my shorter hikes, although I met some nice Thru's, I always felt like I was somehow a second class hiker. Most section hikers I know go out of their way to be deferrential to the thru's because we realize what a challenge they have undertaken. Physically, serious sectioners have it tough. A couple of years ago, I found a program in "Outside Magazine" called "The shape of your life" and it may still be on their website if anyone is interested. I follow it religously & also take a suppliment glucosomie/ chondroiton. I was able to hammer out 18 - 20 mile days without a lot of difficulty & it really helped me to enjoy my hike.However, the price I pay is getting up at 5:00A.M. 5 days a week to stay in shape. Don't understand the comments about sectioners not being on a fixed schedule. I've always had to be a the end point by a date certain to catch a plane back home and this requires doing the planned miles each day regardless of the trail conditions or weather.

fatmatt
08-10-2004, 16:57
Matt--

I don't know if you've read all of this thread, but something you wrote stuck out:

Please don't feel you ever have to say, or even think "I'm only a section hiker."

Being a section hiker is great. Not everyone can thru-hike. Not everyone can do the trip all at once. And not everyone wants to! There's nothing wrong with doing it over any number of years, and in doing so, you're by no means doing anything "less" or "beneath" what a thru-hiker does. There's no need to ever use the word "only" when talking about your hikes.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Every thru-hiker was once a section hiker, a day-tripper, a weekender, a shortimer.... and when their journey is over, every thru-hiker will rejoin these ranks, and become a section hiker once again.

A hike doesn't necessarily become more important, meaningful, or heartfelt solely because of its duration. We are all "only" section hikers; the difference being, and it's not that significant a thing---some of our sections are longer than others. That's the "only" difference.
I agree...being a section hiker is great! I put "only" meaning that the only reason I am a section hiker is because of time. I would love to thru hike. Anyways, sorry for the misunderstanding, its hard to tell how some things are said on here, since you can't hear my voice. :banana

Cookerhiker
01-04-2006, 13:35
As a section-hiker, I have had great encouters with just about every thru-hiker I've met. They didn't treat me like less of a person because I wasn't thru-hiking and were actually supportive of what I was doing as a section-hiker. Us section-hikers usually admire the thru-hikers for their commitment to a 4-6 month trek on the A.T. but I've been told by thru-hikers that they also admire section-hikers for sticking with it over periods of many years.

Exactly my experience and sentiments also.

longshank
01-04-2006, 13:44
I enjoy hanging out with section hikers much more than thru-hikers.
I guess it's easier for you to relate to people who cut their efforts down to a bare minimum, wolf.

MOWGLI
01-04-2006, 14:03
I guess it's easier for you to relate to people who cut their efforts down to a bare minimum, wolf.

Section hiking is clearly more difficult than thru-hiking - in many different ways (logistically, financially, physically - just to name a few). Anyone who has walked the walk knows this to be true.

weary
01-04-2006, 14:06
Most hikers begin and end as section hikers. A thru hike for most is just a one-time interlude in a life of walking the woods and mountains.

scothiker
01-04-2006, 14:26
As a newbie and not-even-a-section-hiker-yet, I'm not qualified to respond. But hopefully soon, a section hiker with the goal of sectioning the entire Trail, and maybe even in a few years, a thru.

However, what happened to "hike your own hike" - and the corollary to that principle, which must be, "respect the right of another to hike his/her own hike"? Thru-hikers have reasons to do a thru, and section hikers have reasons which may prevent them from doing a thru, no matter how much they might wish to (supporting a family, other obligations they cannot just leave). Yes, they may be different experiences - they must be - but one is not more "special" than another. The first time I went from Springer to Stover Creek Shelter and back to the parking lot - a very short dayhike to introduce my son and me to the Trail - was more special to me than I can express.

The questions of which is more "special", though interesting (and I'm not meaning to slam the originator of the poll in any way) is not even worthy of the fine folks whose posts I've read and learned from over the last few months. And in fact, in this thread I'm hearing their overwhelming support for either a thru or section hike. Like a previous poster, I am very encouraged by the positive responses of the thru-hikers on this board - for whom I have immense respect - and will feel much less intimidated when I get out there. I have equal respect for the experienced section-hikers.

I hope when I get out there, finally, I will respect others' reasons to hike their hike, and they will respect mine.

RockyTrail
01-04-2006, 15:04
......all of this is foolish. Everyone goes out there for different reasons

Very well said, Mr JAck.

Everyone has their own reasons for going out and should be respected as such.:sun
The amazing thing we should appreciate is that, apparently, in spite of all the different reasons, we all have a common interest!

scothiker
01-04-2006, 15:34
Well put, both of you.

Lone Wolf
01-04-2006, 15:38
I guess it's easier for you to relate to people who cut their efforts down to a bare minimum, wolf.
*** does that mean?

Almost There
01-04-2006, 15:58
I guess it's easier for you to relate to people who cut their efforts down to a bare minimum, wolf.

LW I think he's saying you're a bum!!!, but then again so am I...wait a second.

Jim Lemire
01-04-2006, 16:32
I think everyone covered the subject. I sectioned hiked over 17 years from 1985-2002. It was very noticeable that thru hikers voiced a geat deal more respect for section hikers over the later part of those years. We're are wiser hikers these days. To some the goal is everything and they must keep their eyes on the prize. To others it is the journey, not the destination. I wish I could have done both a section hike and a thru hike.
When I finished, I felt strange. I could not imagine not planning another hike. I would like to section hike a trail all my life and finish on the last day of my life.


Just a few random thoughts,
Jim

saimyoji
01-04-2006, 18:52
..........

weary
01-04-2006, 22:07
Why? is there something that section hikers have what thru-hikers is missing? Is thru-hikers too focus on time and money, can't afford to spend extra money in towns? or complains too much about blisters? am being just a curiousity cat. Happy Hiking! Flash Hand :jump
Well, who knows, precisely, what LW means. But I found section hikers more interested in the trail and the contrasts with previous hikes, and with life in general. Thrus tended to talk most about gear -- which wasn't something I knew much about, since almost all of mine was two decades old.

bogey
01-04-2006, 22:50
Of course the poll question has no correct answer, or perhaps, more accurately, it has nearly as many correct answers as there are hikers.

All of you are "special" in a way or ways that I am not, and it is also true the other way around.

I consider myself "special" for having completed a thru-hike. I consider people that have thru-hiked more than once special in a way that I'm not. I consider folks that have bicycled from Patagonia to Alaska more special than I am in adventurous bicycling experience. Even though I'm a cross-country skier I consider world-class skiers "special." I consider an expert auto mechanic out section hiking for the weekend special for his mechanical skills. It's also possible he's hiked a lot more than I have in his lifetime, making him more special than I in hiking savvy.

I like to keep in mind that the old coot giving me a ride into town may SEEM like just an old coot to me, but he may also have hit the beach on D-Day, or wrote a brilliant short story or spent 40 years as a brain surgeon.

There's nothing wrong with elitism as long as you aren't unnecessarily angering, alienating or looking down upon others.

Personally, my opinion is that most folks who thru-hike are thru-hiking because a thru-hike IS more than the sum of it's parts, making it a truly special experience. A thru-hike is in many ways a stunt when it comes right down to it, and I think most folks would admit that there's a lot of ego wrapped up in it.

It's OK to feel your own accomplishments are special, or to admire other people for being special in one way or another. Just remember to respect others for the strengths that all of us DO have. One way to respect them is to treat them like THEY are special, because you can bet they are in many ways.

profound! yeah, I was trying another word here, but this one does it.

:)

kyhipo
01-04-2006, 23:27
which part of I aint thru-hiking do you !not understand :bse not done untell the legs are gone besides If you really think about it who cares,ky section, thru hikers,whatever happend to the "I am a hiker" ky seeya :D I get bored after 2-3months of hiking anymore find a side trail to some wilderness and just camp out thats the icing on the cake.

SGT Rock
01-04-2006, 23:33
Hike for the fun of it. If someone has a problem with how you hike in the first place they really don't get it anyway. Their problem not yours.

I have only once ever felt like I was getting put down by some thrus for being a section hiker, but screw 'em. Turns out at least a couple of them weren't the kind of people I would give less than a crap about anyway since they had done their best to drink at and trash the Holy Family Hostel in Pearisburg and then stiff the hostel for money. The thing is, they could have just as easily been section hikers acting like jack-asses to thrus - it was more of a narcassistic thing than a thru-hiker vs section hiker thing.

Jerks are just jerks, and that is all there is to it.

Spiritual Pillgrim
06-25-2006, 14:19
Both thru and section hiking takes passion and committment. Who wants to leave home for so long and endure all the hardships daily for a thru hike? Who wants to tackle the mountains without trail legs? I respect both.

Crazy Larry #1
06-25-2006, 14:38
it's not the length of the trail that you hike, it's the hike........

Crazy Larry #1
06-25-2006, 14:39
Both thru and section hiking takes passion and committment. Who wants to leave home for so long and endure all the hardships daily for a thru hike? Who wants to tackle the mountains without trail legs? I respect both.good stufff...........

Granola Mamma
07-01-2006, 22:55
Ok, I'll weigh in. I don't want to get all "earthy crunchy" about this, but isn't it all rather like life.....do it at your own pace, the best way you can that you get the most out of it that benefits your own growth and widening of your own horizons? I can't go hike through Sarg's life and say he's doing it any more right or wrong than what I'm doing. Just like Frolicking Dino can't come spend a year in my skin and say that I'm living my life wrong because it's not what she would do and that her way of living is any better.

We are hiking the way we live, the best way that suites who we are at the individual places we are in our lives at this point. I'm starting as what I call a "bit-by-bit" or BBB hiker, because I can't even classify as a "section hiker" with 2 weeks at a time. I can take my little guy and my husband and hike on a Saturday afternoon for as long as my feet, hips, back and heart will let me. Perhaps as little guy gets older and can go farther and is ready to sleep in a hammock or tent on the trail, then we will do more (especially since this is the start of a planned homeschool project from K-12, or as long as he wants to). Does this mean we have any less a goal that I/we need to fulfill than a t/h? No, I don't think so. Does it mean we are any less committed? No, actually, we are probably at least AS committed if not more so because, like in our case, we are committing to a 12-year, at least, project-not just 8 or so months. It's something that we want to inspire little guy to love as an adult, so we are going to take it BBB as he's ready. But wow, what an incredible experience he will have when he's graduated! What a wonderful scrap book to look back on, that he got his education partially on the AT! Not too many children can say that! But most importantly to us, we think of how many folks we can meet to live our Faith before over all that time-not "preach at", but simply live what we believe consistently. Nuf said from my little hole in the ground here! Ya'all have a great night!

kap
07-25-2007, 00:40
Ive been a section hiker since... well since I could hike. I was very fortunate to meet many thru-hikers who were not only very nice to me, they also ingrained in me a desire to thru hike one day. I once met a thru hiker at a lodge in NH (Lake of the Clouds I think) and we were in touch for quite a while following that. I was about nine or ten and remeber feeling quite special that I had a friend who was a thru hiker!

I have been lucky enough to have met may thru hikers that have been nothing but nice and encouraging to me. Once I make my attempt I know I will be as nice to them as the thru hikers of the past were to me.

Tennessee Viking
07-25-2007, 02:35
I am a day/section hiker. I do have to admit that the thru-hiker experience is pretty intense. Travelling the trail in one trip...thats intimidating.

My question for thru-hikers is: How do you tell your employeer or family that you will see them in a few months. I am going to take a nice long hike from Georgia to Maine? Do you just tell them you are going on a sabbatical?

From a few of the thru-hikers I talk to, they are in between jobs, retired, or just fresh out of high school/college.

But for most section hikers, they can't just escape to the wilderness like some thru-hikers. I know a few section hikers that have family, jobs, and responsibilities. That just makes a thru adventure almost impossible. So every couple months they travel a section. Might not be as gung ho, but its a good way to take a rest in between sections.

Pokey2006
07-25-2007, 06:35
Oh, telling the bosses that I was quitting my job to go for a nice, long walk was sooooo much fun! The looks on their faces was PRICELESS! Try it sometime, you'll like it.

I'm lucky in that I've had a taste of both -- had the thru-hiking experience, but now relegated to the weekend warrior category, and hopefully next year will become a long-distance section hiker to finish this baby off. And it's all good. Each way has its disadvantages, and its advantages. Enjoy whatever way you choose to do it.

NICKTHEGREEK
07-25-2007, 07:38
For those of you who have successfully completed a nonstop thru-hike, how do you really feel about section hikers? After all, section hikers do not have the same experience of thru-hikers of being out on the trail for many months at a time, and may take many years to complete the whole trail. Some may only be on the trail for a few days or week at a time.

Do you think your experience is different in some significant way from the section hikers, maybe even special (not necessarily superior) in a way that the section hikers is not?

Be honest here, no holding back to be polite!

Anybody answer this who was a NONSTOP thruhiker as the questions asks? What does nonstop mean to you?

Jaybird
07-25-2007, 07:43
A section-hiker is in no way, shape, or form inferior to a longer-distance hiker or thru-hiker, and the section's hiker's journey is in no way less meaningful or significant.....ETC,ETC,ETC,........
Every thru-hiker was a section hiker, weekender, or day-tripper once upon a time, and after their thru-hike is completed, every thru-hiker is fated to become a sectioner, weekender, or day-tripper again.




THANKS Jack for the kind words:D

warraghiyagey
07-25-2007, 08:47
Surprise, surprise at another thread whose soul purpose is to categorize one type of person against another. What is the point. Do we so desperately need people to dislike. When I'm hiking The Trail or any trail I see other hikers.
On the AT other hikers are just that, sisters and brothers who on that particular day are called to the trail as I am whether it be for an hour or in the middle of a five month journey.
What is this vestigal allure to continue to pick out the differences - as skin color or faith or gender or personal proclivities have been in the past.
A hiker on the trail is more likely to be a kindred spirit than anyone you may meet on the street regardless of which direction they're walking or how long they've hiked.
There is a more common reference for section, thru or day hikers. It is just simply. . . hikers. By far the highest percentage of people that are good to meet in any walk of life.:)

Monkeyboy
07-25-2007, 09:03
Ok, here's my humble opinion.

Thru-hikers can experience more of a Zen-like accomplishment. They have stuck through it from beginning to end. Something that section hikers would like to be able to do, but usually can not afford the time off to do so.

Section hikers, however, can get more benefit from actually remembering all of the minute details, because it is done over a short period of time and the hiker does not enter the state of "Just pick 'em up and put 'em down" attitude. Section hikers would also get more of an understanding of the surrounding area, because they would have to know entrances and exits and local townships in the area of each stretch they do, where to a Thru-hiker, it's just another town to pass through.

So, in short, both have their ups and downs.

Time To Fly 97
07-25-2007, 09:18
I am a day/section hiker. I do have to admit that the thru-hiker experience is pretty intense. Travelling the trail in one trip...thats intimidating.

My question for thru-hikers is: How do you tell your employeer or family that you will see them in a few months. I am going to take a nice long hike from Georgia to Maine? Do you just tell them you are going on a sabbatical?

From a few of the thru-hikers I talk to, they are in between jobs, retired, or just fresh out of high school/college.

But for most section hikers, they can't just escape to the wilderness like some thru-hikers. I know a few section hikers that have family, jobs, and responsibilities. That just makes a thru adventure almost impossible. So every couple months they travel a section. Might not be as gung ho, but its a good way to take a rest in between sections.


This is a great question. I'm in corporate sales and what is cool about sales is that pretty much every company out there needs sales people to grow their business. Once I decided I wanted to thru-hike and would need 6 months+ to do it, I embarked on a very cool logistical exercise to basically shut down my life and plan to restart it up agaihn once I returned:

Get in shape - hike with weight around neighborhood and on trails
Save money for the trip and for re-entry (apartment security deposit, few months looking for a job, moving back in, etc.)
Plan the trip - itinerary (LOL), gear list, food list, resupply box lists, lists, list...
Buy gear, maps, food, that I needed
Prepare the gear (seamseal seams, test everything, etc.)
Quit my job (feels weird because I have always worked)
Sent resupply boxes
End my apartment agreement
Had a going on long walk party
move/Put my furniture, car, etc. in storage
Got on a plane and checked my backpack (in a box)

After I finished,

I stayed with my parents for a couple weeks (like living on a submarine)while I:

Got my car back
rented an apartment
Moved in
Set up utiliies
Ended up finding a better job than I had in a week
Rationalized my depression of not hiking and remembering what work stress was by telling myself that I was hiking on different terrain and would adapt

Went on a second long hike 3 years later...


BUT...I couldn't begin to do that now. I'm happily married, have a 1 yr. old angel, a job I like and want to hang on to, mortgage, etc.

TO answer your question: I think being at the right place in your life, a little luck, and mostly the determination to make it happen.

2 cents: If you have the time, a thru-hike is worth every second and every penny.

Happy hiking!

TTF

mrc237
07-25-2007, 09:48
I've both section hiked the AT and thru hiked (2000) and I am currently doing a third hike in sections. Although I enjoyed my thru-hike my section hikes have been more enjoyable for me. Thats for me though, my trailname is EZ and thats the way I like to keep it. Nice n' ez! :D

Mags
07-25-2007, 10:16
So, in short, both have their ups and downs.


I thought it was the trail that had (many) ups and downs? ;)

gold bond
07-25-2007, 10:50
I have had a question for along time now and never really knew how to approach asking it. Maybe this is the right thread to do that.

What is the definition of a "true" thru hike? After reading quite a few trail journals this season I have to question what's going on as far as a "true thru hike".

My definition of a "true thru hike" is starting at the beginning, north or south, and continuing on the "true" trail only to stop and resupply when needed. Let me give you some examples and maybe it will clarify why I am asking this. I do not want to offend anyone or anybody thats not the reason for asking these questions.

Wonder if...

1. You start and have to get off trail and go home for six weeks due to an injury and start off where you left off?

2. You start at one end or the other and due to whatever reason the time has slipped up on you and you have to go to the other end and start, AKA the flip flop?

3. You have someone meet you at pre arranged places and drive you ahead and you "slack pack" back to the original starting point with a day pack not your backpack? It seems alot of hikers are doiung this...alot!

4. You stay in a town or in a motel and eat at resteraunts one to two days a week...or more? alot of hikers are doing this to "save weight"...I guess.

5. You blue blaze...alot? Taking roads instead of the trail?

I know that everyone has to "hike your own hike" but it seems as though alot of hikers are, for a lack of a better word, "cheating". I just believe that the only way to have truely "thru-hiked" any trail is to stay as true to the trail as possible. This going into towns every night, eating at resteraunts every night, and drinking all night...well I just don't believe thats the way it was "intended" to be.

Trail magic is one thing but it seems as though every year it gets, well, easier to do.

I know I will probably get "blasted" for all this but I just want to know.Again, I do not want to offend anyone or take away from what anyone has done or will do. Maybe I just hike alot differant from others. I won't even take trail magic as a section hiker. I make it very clear to anyone that asks that I am section hiking. If I ever get a chance to thru...I will start at Springer and stop at Kahtadin!

Mags
07-25-2007, 11:17
What is the definition of a "true" thru hike?


It is just walking. Why make it more complicated with definitions?

The hike is its own reward. If someone is caught up on defiitions and what other people think, then the walking is not all that enjoyable.

Life is too short for what I call "thru-hiking angels on the heads of a pin" arguements often found on trail e-lists.

To quote MacKaye (on the purpose of the AT)
"To walk. To see. To see what you see"

Everything else are merely extraneous details.

(This e-mail is meant in general and not directed at anyone in particular)

emerald
07-25-2007, 11:51
"true" thru-hike?

gold bond:-? , you think too much.:rolleyes: :D

ATC uses the term thru-hike. Hint: check out ATC's 2000 miler statistics.

Thru-hike in some cases has specific legal meanings. You might want to refer to WB's Rausch Gap Shelter thread. See my post where PA Code is linked to see what the term means in Pennsylvania to LEOs.

Beyond those meanings just mentioned, it's all opinions and there are plenty of them. I doubt it's worth trying to sort out.

While one of the 1st things someone new to a discipline, trade or hobby must learn is the language used by those who practice it, I gave up long ago on trying to get WhiteBlazers to agree on how the term thru-hike should be used and settled upon encouraging the use of adjectives to modify it and thereby clarify it's meaning.

I think each thru-hiker needs to decide what the term means to his or herself and not judge others based upon one's own definition. I've decided to me it's all hiking. Unless I need to use the term thru-hike and its meaning is clear in the context I use it, I'd prefer not to use it at all.

I did enjoy your BS (Boy Scout) rant elsewhere today.:cool:

DavidNH
07-25-2007, 12:41
I think that in some ways section hiking can be harder than thru hiking, especially if one is out for say just 2-3 weeks a year. Reason is, you barely get the chance to conditioned and you have already to go home! To complete the entire AT via section hiking takes a lot of commitment (would be so much easier to go somewhere else like the beach next year) as you have to keep coming back year after year.

On a thru hike you will eventually have good weather no matter how wet the year. On a section hike, yould have your whole vacation a soggy mess.


So, finally, let's just conisder section and thru hiking as different experiences, each valuable and challenging in their own way.

David

sly dog
07-25-2007, 12:41
Its not hiking, its' napsacking.:p

gold bond
07-25-2007, 12:47
There again guy's I'm not really looking for a "book type" definition or any "definition" per say. As I said "everyone has to hike their own hike" but with that being said if we are trying to determine the differance between "section hiker" and "thru-hiker" then those were some questions that I had. The original question was..."How do thru hikers rate section hikers" if that is so, by a collective unabridged opinion...what constitutes a "thru-hiker" there for it being considered a "thru-hike"?

To me a hiker is a hiker. We are all differant in our own sometimes unusual or uniqe ways but we are all hikers true to the heart. We have a bond that no other people have. There is a song by the Tabasco Donkeys about hiking and one of the quotes in the song is, "We will have a small victory over those desk bound zombies with their eyes affixed on their calculators...we will out live the b@#$*#ds" I fully believe whether you section or thru....you will!!

emerald
07-25-2007, 12:51
Its not hiking, it's napsacking.:p

Just yesterday, I posted it pleases me to see WhiteBlazers from the middle states posting!:rolleyes: I may need to take that back.;)

sly dog, you strike me as someone who just might be a rapscallion.:D

emerald
07-25-2007, 13:03
"How do thru hikers rate section hikers"

As you may guess, I didn't vote. According to some people, I may be or may have been both at one time, perhaps even both at the same time at one time, although I'm now mostly a day-hiker. I do hope that doesn't make me a has-been.:eek: :D


To me a hiker is a hiker.

I'm so glad we can agree with one another. You seem a most reasonable person.;)

Lyle
07-25-2007, 14:56
GoldBond, in answer to your post number 74:

I may not speak for some, but to me a very general definition of a thru-hiker is someone who hikes the entire trail in a 12-month period (others will argue it should be in a calander year.

A section hiker is someone who hikes the entire trail over a number of years. Or is in the process of doing so.

Simple definitions which work for my purposes. In my opinion any further distictions are unecessary and unimportant.

Having done long-distance (not a thru) and currently considering myself as section hiking they are both challanging and rewarding. Hope to continue doing both types.

As far as a thru-hiker cheating, who would they be cheating? The only possibility would be themselves if they did not finish their hike in a way that satisfied their own standards - no one elses' really matter do they? Kinda the essence of HYOH.

gold bond
07-25-2007, 15:58
I couldn't agree more Mr. Lyle! I guess that brings up an intresting question....why was this thread even brought up then?

Mother's Finest
07-25-2007, 16:07
We human beings are a cancer on mama earth so hypocrites all, let's enjoy it cuz mama has a cure. It won't be long. :cool:


Lwolf telling it like it is. years old but more truth to it everyday, I don't think we can do it any other way.

peace
mf

Cookerhiker
07-25-2007, 16:57
I completed the Trail via section hiking over 28 years and for me personally, felt and still feel that thru-hiking is more challenging. Most of the reasons & factors have already been discussed. Personally, the biggest advantage to section hiking is picking your season.

I briefly considered a thruhike in '08 to mark my turning the big 6-oh but decided otherwise. I very much dislike hiking in hot humid weather which is nearly impossible to avoid as a thruhiker unless you're uber fast or - like someone I met at the ATC conference - plan a SOBO beginning October 1.

WalkingStick75
07-25-2007, 21:14
thru HIKER or section HIKER the common thread is HIKER both have pros and cons. There is a mental portion to the thru hiker but the trail has become such a social event (good thing) from when I first started hiking it the trail was a solo event everyone hiked their own hikes, period.

Section hikers have the trail leg problems, you just get them and it's time to leave because you have to get back to reality. I as a section hiker have not had the ability to choose my weather; I take time off work, hike and hope the weather gods will be good to me. In 1992 I got to hike in Hurricane Bob :) that was a treat!

Everyone should just enjoy their hike and be thankful they can do it.

BTW I leave Sunday for Maine, my last 175 miles and I canít wait.

sly dog
07-25-2007, 22:11
Just yesterday, I posted it pleases me to see WhiteBlazers from the middle states posting!:rolleyes: I may need to take that back.;)

sly dog, you strike me as someone who just might be a rapscallion.:D


hey !

emerald
07-25-2007, 23:14
hey !

Just read all of your posts. Didn't recall seeing your screen name before. Hope to see it more often!:)

warraghiyagey
07-26-2007, 00:34
I couldn't agree more Mr. Lyle! I guess that brings up an intresting question....why was this thread even brought up then?


Surprise, surprise at another thread whose soul purpose is to categorize one type of person against another. What is the point. Do we so desperately need people to dislike. When I'm hiking The Trail or any trail I see other hikers.
On the AT other hikers are just that, sisters and brothers who on that particular day are called to the trail as I am whether it be for an hour or in the middle of a five month journey.
What is this vestigal allure to continue to pick out the differences - as skin color or faith or gender or personal proclivities have been in the past.
A hiker on the trail is more likely to be a kindred spirit than anyone you may meet on the street regardless of which direction they're walking or how long they've hiked.
There is a more common reference for section, thru or day hikers. It is just simply. . . hikers. By far the highest percentage of people that are good to meet in any walk of life.:)

That's why. Even here on WB where one might think they'll find a refuge much like that on the trail, it's still the Jerry Springer/Cruelty TV mindset that thrives and hopes to pit a side against another. So Sad. I thought when I came to this site that I had found an oasis from that energy, a Shangri-la. What I found is feuds over direction hiked, or how to hike the right way, or which group is better. This thread like so many others here isn't of the spirit of the trail or walking in the wilderness. It's how can one feel better about themselves by focusing on who to dislike (hate). It's typed up tabloid TV.
God how I wish the fingers and souls that typed here were fed by the wonder of the trail, of being amongst the wonders brought by creation.
Peace:)

superman
07-26-2007, 07:03
Section hikers are funny looking and know even less than the people who hike the wrong way on the trail. LMAO (humor)

Seriously though...I've section hiked many trails including the AT but I've only done one thru hike. It is the thru hike that stands out as a special time for me. There was a distinctly greater satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when I finished it. I still communicate with many of the people I hiked with on my thru. I would encourage anyone who can to thru hike when they retire. It's a good way to reorient yourself mentally and physically for a big change in your life.

warraghiyagey
07-26-2007, 15:09
Section hikers are funny looking and know even less than the people who hike the wrong way on the trail. LMAO (humor)

Seriously though...I've section hiked many trails including the AT but I've only done one thru hike. It is the thru hike that stands out as a special time for me. There was a distinctly greater satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when I finished it. I still communicate with many of the people I hiked with on my thru. I would encourage anyone who can to thru hike when they retire. It's a good way to reorient yourself mentally and physically for a big change in your life.

Well said and thanks for the humor. How one feels about their own differences in how they have hiked and what those experiences meant to them is so much different than judging others for those same differences.
Does one conceive of their hike for their own meaning or what they think their hike will mean to others?
So why are opinions so easy to come by on how other people hike their trail? The people that work up opinions so easily on others might spend a little more time looking in the mirror - to see what's right within rather than what's wrong with others. Oh how it gets so ugly - those unsolicited pot-shot opinions.:confused:

whitefoot_hp
07-27-2007, 15:44
I have had a question for along time now and never really knew how to approach asking it. Maybe this is the right thread to do that.

What is the definition of a "true" thru hike? After reading quite a few trail journals this season I have to question what's going on as far as a "true thru hike".

My definition of a "true thru hike" is starting at the beginning, north or south, and continuing on the "true" trail only to stop and resupply when needed. Let me give you some examples and maybe it will clarify why I am asking this. I do not want to offend anyone or anybody thats not the reason for asking these questions.

Wonder if...

1. You start and have to get off trail and go home for six weeks due to an injury and start off where you left off?

2. You start at one end or the other and due to whatever reason the time has slipped up on you and you have to go to the other end and start, AKA the flip flop?

3. You have someone meet you at pre arranged places and drive you ahead and you "slack pack" back to the original starting point with a day pack not your backpack? It seems alot of hikers are doiung this...alot!

4. You stay in a town or in a motel and eat at resteraunts one to two days a week...or more? alot of hikers are doing this to "save weight"...I guess.

5. You blue blaze...alot? Taking roads instead of the trail?

I know that everyone has to "hike your own hike" but it seems as though alot of hikers are, for a lack of a better word, "cheating". I just believe that the only way to have truely "thru-hiked" any trail is to stay as true to the trail as possible. This going into towns every night, eating at resteraunts every night, and drinking all night...well I just don't believe thats the way it was "intended" to be.

Trail magic is one thing but it seems as though every year it gets, well, easier to do.

I know I will probably get "blasted" for all this but I just want to know.Again, I do not want to offend anyone or take away from what anyone has done or will do. Maybe I just hike alot differant from others. I won't even take trail magic as a section hiker. I make it very clear to anyone that asks that I am section hiking. If I ever get a chance to thru...I will start at Springer and stop at Kahtadin!

you referred to those things not being "the way it was intened to be."

For one, i never got the memo on how things were intended to be on the trail, lol. i only go by what i 'intend' to do out there.

why are you so concerned about how others are choosing to spend their time on a trail? does no one invite you into town? poor guy.

what if you hike from georgia to maine, and take extra time to go to restaurants, and binge drink, (only making your hike more physically difficult, in most cases) doesnt that make you more than a thru hiker? going above and beyond? thats extra steps man!

gold bond
07-27-2007, 22:03
hey Whitefoot HP as we say here in SC, " hit dog hollers!" Good Lord son take it down a thousand!

If you really read my reply carefully you'll seee that It is questions that I am asking, just as the person that started the thread, not making statements or trying to get people to vote.

As the way It is intended to be...well that is and read here carefully, as each person intends it to be. My way of thinking when it comes to hiking is well...hiking! I didn't say that going into towns, drinking and partying was wrong I just don't know what it has to do with hiking. You are right though I did not get any invitation into town...guess I'm not in the popular crowd!

As far as being concerned how people spend thier time in towns there again I'll type slow here (go bulldawgs!) See the thread about the scumbags or rather what alot of hikers are percieving to be scumbags.Guess they got their invites huh?

As far as the extra steps I would rather spend not all but most of nights sleeping after a long day of good hiking. If you got that much energy after a good day of hiking I suggest you find the local trail maint. crew and put all that energy to good use...help out!

The real thing here is if you are enjoying your hike than I am happy for you. I don't get cheated on having a good time when I'm and I surely wouldn't expect you or anyone else to. As long as your being true to yourself and your hike it's all good!!

whitefoot_hp
08-03-2007, 15:41
hey Whitefoot HP as we say here in SC, " hit dog hollers!" Good Lord son take it down a thousand!

If you really read my reply carefully you'll seee that It is questions that I am asking, just as the person that started the thread, not making statements or trying to get people to vote.

As the way It is intended to be...well that is and read here carefully, as each person intends it to be. My way of thinking when it comes to hiking is well...hiking! I didn't say that going into towns, drinking and partying was wrong I just don't know what it has to do with hiking. You are right though I did not get any invitation into town...guess I'm not in the popular crowd!

As far as being concerned how people spend thier time in towns there again I'll type slow here (go bulldawgs!) See the thread about the scumbags or rather what alot of hikers are percieving to be scumbags.Guess they got their invites huh?

As far as the extra steps I would rather spend not all but most of nights sleeping after a long day of good hiking. If you got that much energy after a good day of hiking I suggest you find the local trail maint. crew and put all that energy to good use...help out!

The real thing here is if you are enjoying your hike than I am happy for you. I don't get cheated on having a good time when I'm and I surely wouldn't expect you or anyone else to. As long as your being true to yourself and your hike it's all good!!
so you do or dont think that going to a restaurant is 'cheating'?

You do or don't think that there is an intended way to hike the trial that some are required to conform to to be outside the realm of 'cheat'?

boarstone
08-03-2007, 18:31
Oh and like there is suppose to be a difference? I see the word " hiking" didin't get omitted. Hmm...

Jim Adams
08-03-2007, 20:44
Neither is better...just different. I think that the thru hiker at completion, gets a different feeling about his trip than the section hiker, but he or she is no better than a section hiker. I have thru'd twice but have GREAT respect for section hikers because I certainly don't want to go thru that beginning hiker /getting in shape thing only to begin to feel good when the hike is ending.
geek

emerald
08-03-2007, 20:57
As long as you're being true to yourself and your hike it's all good!!

Unless you happen to be acting like a complete idiot, of course.;)

Jimmers
08-03-2007, 21:07
Idiots are fine, just as long as they're not hurting themselves or other hikers. Consider them mobile entertainment.:D

Jim Adams
08-03-2007, 21:16
Idiots are fine, just as long as they're not hurting themselves or other hikers. Consider them mobile entertainment.:D
:banana LOL! Reminds me of a camping buddy with the trail name Genius:rolleyes: , yes he is pure entertainment...no he is not genius.
geek

sn0wm8n
08-03-2007, 21:43
Long time lurker, first time poster. The renewal of this thread is very timely for me.
In '05, Sparkplug and I set out to hike from Springer to Katahdin. We quit our jobs and sold our house. I injured my back in MA, and that was the end of our hike. I was completely devastated. We're back at it every chance we get finishing the remaining miles.
How I/you/anyone feels about a thru or a section hiker is irrelevant because here's what I've learned: The Trail doesn't care. Whether you're out for a day, a weekend, a week, a month or 6 months, the Trail doesn't care. Whatever you're doing, the Trail is going to go right on being wet, cold, hot, steep, rugged, slippery, beautiful, amazing, overgrown, stunning, challenging, fun, and all those other adjectives that are fitting. Most importantly, the Trail is truly special. We're lucky to be able to enjoy it any way we can for as long or as short as we can.
So, stop reading this a go hiking.
Oh yeah, we have about 400 miles to go. See you on top of Katahdin in '08.

emerald
08-03-2007, 21:58
Long time lurker, first time poster.

Why have you been waiting? Jump in, the water's just right! Looks like you have plenty to contribute.:welcome

I'll probably make 2175 posts by October 15 of 2008 and will move on to other trails. Someone will need to take my place.;)

7Sisters
08-09-2007, 00:18
Having section hiked the entire trial over 5 years, I will say there are definitely differences between the two. I've never really felt oustide the trail community, but I often have reminded myself that most at a shelter have more in common than not.

I describe backpacking to my coworkers as a great social equalizer. At the end of a long day, everyone usually smells bad, has some type of soreness and has carried their pack a long way. It becomes very easy to talk to people because most of us at the shelter have experienced the same events - some may have walked more that day, but we all came up that hard hill or had to endure a dried spring.

You rarely hear people talking and saying what do you do for a living, where do you live and how much $ do you make. On the trail it really just doesn't matter.

I find this thread not to be in that spirit of joining and community that I have come to know on the AT.

So in summary of course there are a lot of differences, but there are more things in common and the spititual similarities are greater than any differences.

gold bond
08-09-2007, 15:22
o crap it's back.....like a wound that won't heal! How do thru hikers really feel about section hikers....who cares!
All I know is if the tax man comes looking for me I'm at ten thousand feet cooking up some oatmeal or some rice and beans,
I don't worship a spirit that just looks down, he looks up and thru and all around,
up from the roots and the rocks and tree's!
The Tabasco Donkeys

ofelas
09-15-2007, 14:20
For those of you who have successfully completed a nonstop thru-hike, how do you really feel about section hikers?

I liked Jack Tarlin's response (second post in this thread).
No sense in elitism; otherwise, some of us could legitimately ask "how do off trail backpackers feel about trail hikers, through, section or otherwise"...:-?

Freeleo
09-15-2007, 14:25
a hike is a hike is a hike no matter the distance or time spent

Sly
09-15-2007, 14:35
Even thru-hikers are sections hikers until they finish the trail. Then they're former thru-hikers.

Tin Man
09-15-2007, 14:39
It has been said that most potential thru-hikers are really blue-blazers.

rickb
09-15-2007, 15:41
Be honest here, no holding back to be polite!I think there was a time when had two thru hikers met off Trail, they would have felt an immediate and different kind of kinship than had one of them hiked only a few sections.

In otherwords, the Thru hiker would have felt differently about meeting a section hiker.

I think that has changed, however. In large measure because there are so many thru hikers out there, and because there are now so many different kinds thru hiking experiences.

Bottom line. I think that Jack's sentiments sum up not only the regard in which section hikers should be held, but his word also reflect what most thru hikers really feel in there hearts. Which is a good thing.

Tin Man
09-15-2007, 17:58
A thru-hiker once told me that he thought section hiking was tougher because the section hiker stops just when gets his trail legs. It changed my whole perception on things.

the goat
09-15-2007, 19:55
A thru-hiker once told me that he thought section hiking was tougher because the section hiker stops just when gets his trail legs. It changed my whole perception on things.

i'd say there's alot of truth in that, i've always felt that way as far as the physical aspects are concerned.

however, there's no comparison wrt the psychological aspects of thru vs. section hiking. i think most who quit a thru, do so b/c of these.

BigDaddy99
01-29-2008, 10:18
I enjoy hanging out with section hikers much more than thru-hikers.

can i be your friend?

rafe
01-29-2008, 10:33
Consider also that there's not a whole lotta difference between a long section and a thru, in terms of the day-to-day experience. Except for the crowds at the start. ;)

jhick
01-29-2008, 10:55
How do thru-hikers REALLY feel about section hikers?Who cares, have fun. I'm sure thru hiking will give one much more of the long distance hiking experience, but sectioning will give one a more intimate experience of the trail itself. Instead off basically racing against time... a section hiker will see more of the surrounding area, blue blazes and more importantly stopping to smell the roses.
I meet some thru hikers at the George Outerbridge shelter. I told them about the cool views on the blue blazed north trail about a mile away... and none had the energy or interest. That to me is why I'd rather section hike.
If a thru hiker feels superior... good for him/her. I'm sure there are jerks in both groups. EVERY hike I take, I seem to meet someone 'interesting'. Sometimes, it's a good thing... sometimes it's not. I will say, one of the most interesting people I've ever meet was a thru hiker.

dessertrat
01-29-2008, 11:02
I hear too many folks talking about "when I do my thru-hike" as though it is an obligation to be met before they die, sort of like a pilgrimage to Mecca. I think that's a bit delusional. It's walking from one point to another. If I were to walk from New Hampshire to Key West, mostly through the woods, would that in some way make me less of a hiker than someone who did "every White Blaze". Of course not. And yet the thru-hiker many times wants to participate in something defined and conscribed. Almost nobody keeps walking when they reach the end of the AT. This in itself makes it a different sort of act than people who hike for enjoyment and go home when they feel done with it. It does become, in some ways, a spiritual quest, though some benefit from that quest and others do not, or are even made worse by it.

rafe
01-29-2008, 11:37
The allegory of the pilgrimage has been stated many times over... and it's a good one, IMO. It's something about sharing a major experience with kindred souls. Something bigger than "real life." If you think about how fragmented our daily lives are, there's something to be said for the sheer continuity of a long narrow path in the woods.

HIKER7s
01-29-2008, 12:22
I voted "other"

I have done both and wish however many more times I hike it, I could do it as a thru.
Not to have the belt-notch so to speak "another thru hike" but more-so to be able to stay out there longer and experience the highs and the lows. Basically the challenge that the trail gives you.

earlyriser26
01-29-2008, 13:02
The only difference between a Thru hike and a section hike is that on a Thru hike you are at least eventually in shape. Unless you are unemployed or retired most people don't have the time and many, like me, would prefer to do it in small sections anyway.

JAK
01-29-2008, 13:17
A flute without holes, is still a flute.
A hermit without zero days is a thru-hiker.

dessertrat
01-29-2008, 13:56
The allegory of the pilgrimage has been stated many times over... and it's a good one, IMO. It's something about sharing a major experience with kindred souls. Something bigger than "real life." If you think about how fragmented our daily lives are, there's something to be said for the sheer continuity of a long narrow path in the woods.

It may be apt for some, but again, I would say that the starting point and ending point only mean as much as they mean to the participant, and are otherwise meaningless. If the Appalachian Trail went from Harper's Ferry to Katahdin, we would have people who today we say "section hiked" feeling like thru-hikers, whatever that is worth. The worth of it is internal to the person.

DawnTreader
01-29-2008, 14:01
Love em.. absolutely love those section hikers.. Never met a sour section rat.. Met a lot of great sectioners...A good number of awsome SOBO thrus, and maybe 2 or 3 pleasent NOBO's... hehe they seem to lose their pleasantness (for the most part) as they get further north...

warraghiyagey
01-30-2008, 13:28
and maybe 2 or 3 pleasent NOBO's... hehe they seem to lose their pleasantness (for the most part) as they get further north...
I can attest to that - two years running now.;)

HIKER7s
01-30-2008, 14:06
1. You start and have to get off trail and go home for six weeks due to an injury and start off where you left off?

2. You start at one end or the other and due to whatever reason the time has slipped up on you and you have to go to the other end and start, AKA the flip flop?

3. You have someone meet you at pre arranged places and drive you ahead and you "slack pack" back to the original starting point with a day pack not your backpack? It seems alot of hikers are doiung this...alot!

4. You stay in a town or in a motel and eat at resteraunts one to two days a week...or more? alot of hikers are doing this to "save weight"...I guess.

5. You blue blaze...alot? Taking roads instead of the trail?

I know that everyone has to "hike your own hike" but it seems as though alot of hikers are, for a lack of a better word, "cheating". I just believe that the only way to have truely "thru-hiked" any trail is to stay as true to the trail as possible. This going into towns every night, eating at resteraunts every night, and drinking all night...well I just don't believe thats the way it was "intended" to be.

Trail magic is one thing but it seems as though every year it gets, well, easier to do.

I know I will probably get "blasted" for all this but I just want to know.Again, I do not want to offend anyone or take away from what anyone has done or will do. Maybe I just hike alot differant from others. I won't even take trail magic as a section hiker. I make it very clear to anyone that asks that I am section hiking. If I ever get a chance to thru...I will start at Springer and stop at Kahtadin!


:eek:
I am not going to blast you, your just bringing up all the variables I guess.
In the end, I guess its all about doing it to your satisfaction- meaning you can truthfully say you have done it all. Now if you have walked every step and still did the town and resturant tour then if you consider that in the deal so be it.


Everyone's Thru hike is different.

My definition is having to do the approach trail, everystep, no slackpack and only re-supply stops w/exception of Traildays, and health stops.

but thats me.:banana

rafe
01-30-2008, 14:17
Love em.. absolutely love those section hikers.. Never met a sour section rat.. Met a lot of great sectioners...A good number of awsome SOBO thrus, and maybe 2 or 3 pleasent NOBO's... hehe they seem to lose their pleasantness (for the most part) as they get further north...

I've been sour (at times) on many or most of my sections -- regardless of the expected time or distance. Someone else noted this effect, to wit: if the time allocated to the section is T, then sourness often kicks in at approximately 0.9 * T. I've never quite understood this. There have only been a few sections where the end arrived and I wanted to just keep on going... But maybe that's just me.

longwe tru
01-30-2008, 14:21
"How do I REALLY" feel about section hikers?" :-?

I really, really like them. :D

Every section hiker I have ever met has been the nicest person and very helpful to me as a prospective thru hiker.:sun

Rockhound
01-30-2008, 14:38
I've seen/heard of thru hikers who litter constantly, deface shelters, act like idiots in trail towns etc...(although I'm sure they are in the minority). I've seen/heard of section hikers who have a deep respect for the trail & would never dream of doing anything that might diminish the trail experience for others. conversely there are section hikers just out for a party who litter, deface shelters, & act like idiots with no respect for themselves or others & there are thru hikers (& i feel they're in the majority) who have a deep respect for the trail & their fellow hikers (section or thru).true character comes from within & isn't based on weather or not someone has hiked 2,174 miles, 217.4 miles or 21.74 miles. hike your own hike. with that said, hiking the whole AT in a year is one hell of an accomplishment

Chaco Taco
01-30-2008, 14:45
For me, being a sectioner is a way of getting ready for me thruhike. But that's just me.

Pootz
01-30-2008, 15:21
As a successful thru-hiker, former(435 AT Miles) and future section hiker I would have to say that I like having section hikers out on the trail. More than once a section hiker helped me out of a jam on my thru-hike. On one occashion my fuel bottle fell out of my pack and a section hiker gave me fuel to cook my dinner. Many other section hikers shared food with us thru-hikers in 2007. What seperates thru-hikers and section hikers from other is not how far they are hiking but how they treat the trail and other hikers. I have not found a difference between thru-hiker and section hikers in this area.

atpaul
01-30-2008, 15:42
I section twice a year. I would love to thru hike, but time and my career prevent me at this time and probably till I retire. I think we all enjoy the trail and each other. Us sectioners have the luxury to carry more food and gear and we like to help the thrus with what we can on the trail to make the experiance better and help them with their goal and our eventual dream to thru hike. I think when we finish our section we get almost as must satisfaction as the trus do at Katahdin. Its all the same we just have different goals.

DawnTreader
01-30-2008, 16:48
I've been sour (at times) on many or most of my sections -- regardless of the expected time or distance. Someone else noted this effect, to wit: if the time allocated to the section is T, then sourness often kicks in at approximately 0.9 * T. I've never quite understood this. There have only been a few sections where the end arrived and I wanted to just keep on going... But maybe that's just me.

I see your point. My general experience has been that I've not met a sour section hiker, even at the end of their long journey.. I have met many sour NOBO's far north.
Sour is as Sour does. I think everyone has moments when they want to leave the trail, begining, middle or end. If you don't want to hike, go home.. It dosn't make sense to trudge through something you are obviously hating with every step of your existence, especially when you start conveying negativity to everyone you meet along the way.

rafe
01-30-2008, 16:56
DawnTreader, I mostly agree. Continuous, prolonged misery probably means you oughta give it up and find something else to do. On my trek this year, the adrenaline rush gave out at mile 400, with about 200 left to go. The last 200 miles weren't quite as fun as the first 400, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

People talk about the diffs between section and thru hiking, and here's one advantage to section hiking: you get a fresh shot of adrenaline at the start of each new section.

woodsy
01-30-2008, 16:57
DawnTreader: It dosn't make sense to trudge through something you are obviously hating with every step of your existence, especially when you start conveying negativity to everyone you meet along the way.

But, but....I told everyone back home I was gonna do it and I don't care if everyone around me is miserable because of my negativity, I said I was gonna do it damn it all!

dessertrat
01-30-2008, 17:01
I see your point. My general experience has been that I've not met a sour section hiker, even at the end of their long journey.. I have met many sour NOBO's far north.
Sour is as Sour does. I think everyone has moments when they want to leave the trail, begining, middle or end. If you don't want to hike, go home.. It dosn't make sense to trudge through something you are obviously hating with every step of your existence, especially when you start conveying negativity to everyone you meet along the way.

Last year, I met two really sour NOBOs near Monson, but I also met three really cool and seemingly happy NOBOs. The one's who were "happy" seemed like clean cut non-drugging people who, but for the trail, would probably be groomed and have a job. The two miserable SOB's came across as trustafarians.FWIW.

JAK
01-30-2008, 17:10
To me, hiking is just plain living, something I don't do nearly enough of.
I'm just a pack-sniffing weekend hiker. I envy thru-hikers and section hikers both.

gold bond
01-30-2008, 17:28
To me, hiking is just plain living, something I don't do nearly enough of.
I'm just a pack-sniffing weekend hiker. I envy thru-hikers and section hikers both.

Well said and I agree one hundred percent!!

Mike Bowman
01-30-2008, 18:20
There's a book out there (A season on the AT, I think) that is written by an author who interviews thru-hikers, not an actual hiker. I read it 5 or 6 years ago and, as a section hiker with 60% of the trail completed, it really turned me off on thru-hikers. Mainly because of the attitude the author portrays thru-hikers have toward section hikers. I've got 60% of the trail complete and, as someone has already mentioned, I thought "hike your own hike" meant just that.

Then my attitude changed. The very first 2 week hike I was on after reading that book, I had a minor trail emergency that could have been major (I "lost" my 75 year old dad for a couple of hours). The thru-hikers at the shelter where we were staying mobilized and put forth a great effort to find him. The next day I was walking and kicking myself for letting something I read in a book negate years of positive experiences with thru-hikers.

There's a saying that you get out of a relationship what you put into it, and giving every hiker you meet the benefit of the doubt will usually result in a good experience.

journalist
01-30-2008, 18:38
Most so-called thru-hikers aren't really any different than section hikers because they take so many zeros and leave the trail for weeks at a time. Of course, that doesn't stop these "thru-hikers" from feeling all entitled to special treatment

JAK
01-30-2008, 18:58
That's a great post Mike.

Lilred
01-30-2008, 19:11
I section hike because I can't thru-hike. I would love to try to do a thru hike. I would love to have the opportunity to at least try. I wonder if I can. And if I did, I would have done something very few people do. I'm not a daredevil, I have no artistic value whatsoever, in any genre, there is nothing in my life that I can look back on and say 'look at that! look what i did" But I can walk. This I can do. I guess you'd say I want to hike for bragging rights. OK, I'm that shallow. I love the trail and being in the woods. I always feel like I've come home when I get out there. I guess I must love it or I wouldn't keep going back.

Hiking it in sections, and doing one long shot just isn't the same.

CrumbSnatcher
01-30-2008, 19:35
i do not like section hiking, but with that said. i have met many great section hikers over the years. to me the section hikers seem to be more involved with the trail, more passionate. most of the section hikers i met also do trail maintanance. i also have met many great thruhikers and some not so great. alot of the thruhikers are young college kids. out on a one time thing. alot of them have crappy atitudes.what does the trail have for me attitudes.(alot of them will never come back to the trail,so they don't go that extra mile to protect/serve the trail properly.) section hikers/older hikers act like what can i do for the trail attitudes. not to mention section hikers have so much more logistics,planning,shuttle plans,etc... thats my opionion,opionions are like a**holes,everyone has one. and most of them stink

Jack Tarlin
01-30-2008, 20:10
Wow, another old thread resurrected.

I just re-read what I had to say about this subject almost four years ago; it's the 2nd post on this thread, by the way.

I still stand by every word.

Section hikers are just fine by me, and I thought that way even BEFORE I became one again! :D

bfitz
01-30-2008, 20:23
I love section hikers! Especially the ones with extra fancy food, flasks of booze, cars at the trailhead, a fresh supply of tobacco and what-not from home...

FeO2
01-30-2008, 23:57
I am a section hiker. I am a "wanna-be" thru-hiker.
I have a good time on the AT sections, but I am not apart of the "thru-hiker" club.
Because of family obligations (wife, kids, mortgage, etc...) I cannot even consider the adventure until retirement. That means I'll be an old man:eek:. I pray my health holds out. If not I will have missed out on what I consider one of the greatest adventures that I have dreamed about for a long time.

-Rush-
11-01-2016, 13:54
A section-hiker is in no way, shape, or form inferior to a longer-distance hiker or thru-hiker, and the section's hiker's journey is in no way less meaningful or significant.

Every thru-hiker was a section hiker, weekender, or day-tripper once upon a time, and after their thru-hike is completed, every thru-hiker is fated to become a sectioner, weekender, or day-tripper again. Attempts to make one's own journey more "significant" somehow, whether because of how long one is out there, or how little one carries, or how quickly one hikes......all of this is foolish. Everyone goes out there for different reasons, and not everyone has the ability, time, money, and most of all, the interest in hiking the entire Trail all at once. Being a thru-hiker doesn't mean you're "special" when compared to someone who's only out for two weeks----it doesn't mean you're a more sincere or devoted hiker; it doesn't mean you have a greater appreciation for nature; it doesn't grant you any special rights or privileges when it comes to the Trail or to Trail facilities-----all it means is that you're out there for a longer period of time, and while there are some thru-hikers every year who cop attitudes and look down on section-hikers, and in some cases, are actually rude to them, well happily, these folks are in the minority. Everyone out there is special, whether they're out there for six months, six days, or even less.

Jack had some interesting and intelligent posts tempered with wisdom. It's too damn bad he's not around anymore to share more of it with us.

trailmercury
11-01-2016, 14:08
Jack had some interesting and intelligent posts tempered with wisdom. It's too damn bad he's not around anymore to share more of it with us.

True Dat!!!
RIP Baltimore Jack!

SouthMark
11-01-2016, 14:55
I was doing a Georgia section this past week (3rd time for the same section) because the weather was so nice. Met a SOBO couple and I introduce myself as "just" a section hiker. They told me that they thought that it was much much harder section hiking than through hiking.