View Full Version : AT-L List

01-24-2004, 12:26
Anybody know what's up with the AT List? I went hiking for three weeks, came home and didn't have one day's worth of posts from the list.

Annie Cole
01-24-2004, 16:49
Yeah the ATL (appalachian trail list) is the number one place to find AT info, its been around the longest and if you search the archives every question has been answered, in MHO its the best place on the net for at info, I feel the e-mail format by far surpasses a forum format, the problem lately is to many folk gravitated to the harder to read forums. If folks go and post positve material on ATL things will change. Go the http://www.backcountry.net to check it out. I think forums are good for people travelin' , but if you have a e-mail client ATL is the best. Again theres nothing covered here that can't be found in the archives of over 5 years on ATL.

Redundance sucks!


01-24-2004, 22:26
And so do you!

Jack Tarlin
01-25-2004, 20:05
I've got to disagree with A. Cole re. the AT-L mailing list, for several reasons:

I used to be a regular reader and contributor there, but no longer. First of all, while there were (and probably still are) lots of former and recent thru-hikers there, there were also a very large number or wannabees who were esentially armchair experts; in short, some of the most strident advice on how to plan, prepare, and execute one's thru hike came from folks who never had, and in all likelihood, never will do a thru-hike themselves.

Another recurrent problem on AT-L was its recurrent chattines; most of the list's regulars were esentially Internet pen pals, swapping stories, recipes, gossip etc; with very little of each day's posts actually having anything to do with the A.T. The list would very frequently (actually daily) go off-topic, and these topics (whether on politics, the environment, the administration of other A.T. web sites----whatever, it always seemed that the List spent too muvh of its time dealing with insignificant or irrelevant topics.

Lastly, the post has been dominated for several years be a handful of rather crusty older gentleman who engage, on a seemingly daily basis, to bicker and bark at each other at any and every opportunity, and their incessant arguments and personal attacks make for very unpleasant reading. This has actually turned off quite a few folks; seems to me that the List has much less ttraffic than it used to.

In short, I think that for folks seeking info on the A.T., (and especially info on planning and preparing a thru-hike,) that a comprehensive interactive Forum site, where people can follow the threads they wish, avoid the ones they want, and generally avoid off-topic or irrelevant chatter, is probably a better way to go.

The Forums and discussions here dwarf those on other sites; membership here is growing by the day, and I think most folks that check out this site like what they find, like the way its run, and find it very useful. In a very short period of time, the people who run Whiteblaze have put together the best informational site on the web, and they are to be commended.

01-26-2004, 08:27
hi jack, I'm 100% on you there. I used to be subbed for a long time, but there was far far too much 'off-topic' stuff. I didnt want daily chatter. I get that on every OTHER list i'm on. AT-L can be fairly high volumn, and it takes a lot to filter out the crap to get the good info.

I liked the AT-L, but it wasnt for me in the end..

01-26-2004, 10:33
One thing that is nice about the AT-L is that you can go to the archives and see for youself, rather than rely on someone else's interpretation. If you do sign up to get messages in e-mail, its probably best to set up a dedicated hotmail account for them, so you dont get burried.

The instant archives are at http://mailman.backcountry.net/pipermail/at-l/

You may want to sort on "subject" and follow only those topics that are of interest. Just be sure to do that for a couple differnt months, since the list has its own unique ebb and flow.

IMHO, some of the negative aspects spoken of have to do more with how you elect to receive messages than thier content. A lot of people seem to feel that they are thrust in the middle of converations they have no interest in. I understand that. But with the archives, you have a choice and can look at what you want to on your own terms.

If Baltimore Jack still posted there, I would go to the archive and sort by author and click on his name, to be sure.

That said, I still think prospective thru hikers can get way too much info on the net, and making a few mistakes, and dealing with a few unknowns is part of the game. On the otherhand, I can think of nothing better for a prospective thru hiker than meeting with a bunch of hikers who have been there and done that. Seems like the AT-L folks do a wonderful job in setting up a couple informal get togethers (Rucks) to do just that. Being a hermit, I have never attended one, though.

At the parent web site to AT-L www.backcountry.net, you can find some other long distance hiking lists, and some wonderful photo albums. Papa Bear's look especially good, but I have not checked out any others.

The At-L is a good thing. Just different.

Rick B

Papa Bear
01-26-2004, 17:26
Thanks for the reccomendation rick. There are plenty of photo good albums there.

For those who don't like a deluge of mail, or who would like to see messages in threads, besides reading the archives, there is also a newsreader interface. Instructions for setting it up are on backcountry.net. This is nice if you are familiar with the old usenet groups. But it's read only. To post you need to use mail, not your newsreader.

TJ aka Teej
01-26-2004, 21:02
The at-l has evolved. The content was once simple "what boots are good?" and "what does AYCE mean?" questions and answers. But over the past seven or so years many of us became friends in real life, hiking together, inventing the Ruck, raising thousands of dollars for the Place and the Trail, organizing work trips, gathering at Gatherings. We've seen members go from newbies to 2000 milers, to PCTers, LTers, even ECTers. And over that time we've come to know each other well, so when someone's Mom passes, or someone's daughter joins the marines, or a divorce on marriage happens we know, and we talk about it. Sometimes we even talk about countertops and Global Warming. But the underlying theme has always been the Trail. Newbies always have their questions answered, eventually are let in on the inside jokes, and will always find out there's seldom a simple answer to simple questions about the Trail. Who is on the at-l? ALDHA big wigs and small fry. ATC and AMC board members. Trail maintainers. Baxter Park and Smoky Mountain Rangers. Thruhikers, 2000 milers, authors, blueblazers, sectioneers, volunteers, ECTers, IATers, LTers, PCTers, CDTers, and even a triplecrowner or three. And plenty of Trail Angels, trip planners, family members, 50 year vets of A.T. hiking and folks who haven't walked 50 feet of it. We like to picture the list as us sitting around a campfire chatting, listening, learning, teaching. You'll see that some tend it, some fan the flames, and it will no doubt warm or burn you depending on your own actions. Is it worth your time? Maybe. Like this forum, it all depends on how much you're willing to put into it.

01-26-2004, 21:42
Well, I agree 100 percent with Baltimore Jack and TJ. :o