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Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 14:10
I have this theory that in recent years, a lot of A.T. hikers have adopted what can only be called a sense of profound entitlement.......by this I mean, they all too often have come to expect certain things from people they meet and encounter, and they expect treatment this BECAUSE they are thru-hiking, period. In short, they've decided they're somehow very special and should be treated as such.

This sense of entitlement can take all sorts of forms:

*They expect discounts at motels, outfitters, and other places
*They expect discounts or free stays at hostels
*They expect discounts or free rides from shuttlers and other folks with cars
*They expect free or discount lodging both on the Trail (campsites, privately
operated huts/facilities/cabins, etc.
*They expect that certain facilities, campsites, shelters, etc. exist primarily
or ONLY for them, and resent these things being used by others
*They expect and anticipate Trail Magic (especially free food) and will loudly
complain in registers and elsewhere if they don't get it, or if it isn't up to
their standards
*They will take great umbrage when they discover that certain goods,
services, and food is either not discounted for them or free
*They will, on occasion, claim that certain rights, privileges, or services
are either free for thru-hikers, or exist ONLY for thru-hikers, and this
claim is frequently false
*They'll be rude or demanding to people in retail stores, businesses,
Post Offices, and elsewhere and expect "special" treatment or services
*They bully and berate (even blackmail) gear manufacturers and Trailside
outfitters into giving themfree replacement gear that they don't merit
*They can be outrageously demanding when guests in private homes as to
their needs, wants, expectations
*They often think they're entitled to "special" rights or privileges that other
folks (i.e. non thru-hikers) are not entitled to
*They are frequently rude or inconsiderate to the needs or desires of non
thru-hikers; this can most frequently be observed in Trail towns, businesses,
motels, restaurants, etc.

And this goes on.

I'm not saying the above behavior is by any means true of ALL thru-hikers, but it seems to me that it's true of many of them. This year alone (in fact this week alone!) I've witnessed some pretty outrageous things, and unfortunately, I'm not sure the behavior I witnessed constituted isolated incidents.

Any thoughts on this?

I'd particularly like to hear from people who shuttle, run or work in Trail-related businesses, do Trail Magic, put up hikers in their homes, etc. But bottom line, is that in recent years I'm starting to see hikers with real attitudes. And maybe this was always there, but I've only recently started to see it.

Your comments are welcome.

Gray Blazer
09-14-2009, 14:14
I think there are more (not all) young people in society like that and so naturally it is reflected in the trail people. Fortunately, I haven't run into many like that and the one I did couldn't really hike anyways so it was easy to get away from him.

Chaco Taco
09-14-2009, 14:15
I ran into this alot last year as a thru. I know I probably did some of these things as well although i made a conscious effort to not be such an ass. I really feel like the group I was in was very respectful, minus a couple of baddies!

A-Train
09-14-2009, 14:17
In a few days you've proclaimed that many more hikers lie about completing the trail and now that they are more greedy and demanding.

Maybe your just getting old? :)

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 14:18
Or maybe I'm finally talking about stuff that was always there but that I didn't feel like acknowledging or mentioning. :-?

But yeah, getting older probably has a bit to do with it, too.

Gray Blazer
09-14-2009, 14:21
Going philosophical on us, hunh?

jersey joe
09-14-2009, 14:21
It seems unlikely that the hikers this year were much different than 10 years ago in terms of being more demanding. Possible you are just more aware of it now when it does happen.

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 14:26
Joe:

It is also entirely likely that years ago I was also probably guilty of some of the behavior I find so troublesome now.

Time changes everything.

Also, one's perspective is probably different when one is actually thru-hiking, which I haven't done for awhile. When you're working in an Outfitter, or helping to run a hostel, or taking in hikers at your home, believe me, the perspective and viewpoint is very different. What appears as "needy behavior" to me now would probably be considered perfectly OK if I was actually out there every day.

The world looks different when you're not wearing boots every day.

Bankrobber
09-14-2009, 14:30
I saw a bit of this from a few folks in '03. Seems like the AT community needs to adopt a comprehensive attitude of gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more things come your way.

Captain Blue
09-14-2009, 14:31
Well said Jack. I think your observations can be applied to the whole generational group and not just those who hike the AT. No Instant Gratification = No Satisfaction.

Lone Wolf
09-14-2009, 14:32
i live in a trail town. i usually have nothing to do with hikers. ain't my kinda people

A-Train
09-14-2009, 14:32
Joe:

It is also entirely likely that years ago I was also probably guilty of some of the behavior I find so troublesome now.

Time changes everything.

Also, one's perspective is probably different when one is actually thru-hiking, which I haven't done for awhile. When you're working in an Outfitter, or helping to run a hostel, or taking in hikers at your home, believe me, the perspective and viewpoint is very different. What appears as "needy behavior" to me now would probably be considered perfectly OK if I was actually out there every day.

The world looks different when you're not wearing boots every day.


+1
I was just gonna make this point, and I believe you said it well.

But just the way video games and the electronic age have started to change kids (more sitting inside and getting lazy) the same phenomenom is happening at the start of the trail.

Consider that if a hiker is in no rush they can literally walk/thumb from a cookout at Neels Gap to a party in Franklin to a party in Standing Bear to a weekend event in Hot Springs to a week of partying at Trail Days to Duncannon, with a variety of other unannounced trail magic events scattered in between.

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that by the time this hiker gets to NY or Massachusetts their mouth is watering and they are a little irritable. What happened to all the attention??

I'm not castigating anyone who likes to provide magic and I like to give it on occasion, but there seems to be a very clear correlation.

Red Hat
09-14-2009, 14:40
A perfect example I read in a hiker's journal. He called Phat Chap Fat A** and complained because he (Phat Chap) wouldn't wait to give him (the hiker) a shuttle at his (the hiker) demanded time. The hiker also said that Phat Chap was griping about the behavior of some of the hikers staying and the Hikers Welcome wasn't very welcoming. I totally disagree with this hiker. Hostels like the Hikers Welcome always welcome well behaved hikers!

jersey joe
09-14-2009, 14:40
Joe:

It is also entirely likely that years ago I was also probably guilty of some of the behavior I find so troublesome now.

Time changes everything.

Also, one's perspective is probably different when one is actually thru-hiking, which I haven't done for awhile. When you're working in an Outfitter, or helping to run a hostel, or taking in hikers at your home, believe me, the perspective and viewpoint is very different. What appears as "needy behavior" to me now would probably be considered perfectly OK if I was actually out there every day.

The world looks different when you're not wearing boots every day.
Abosolutely, times do change everything. The fact that you are aware that your perception has changed changes the tone of the thread a bit. I think it is productive to point out how some hikers are ungrateful and to acknowlege that the trail community is hurt by this attitude.

Jester2000
09-14-2009, 14:55
I haven't noticed that this is more true of young people than old folks. But I will say that at our store in Harpers Ferry we haven't had many problems with thru-hikers being overly demanding or rude.

What I do hear are a lot of complaints about Harpers Ferry itself. The accomodations aren't cheap enough, the food is too expensive, the Post Office is too far away, blah, blah, blah.

I suspect that most of this is based on the expectation that because the ATC is located here this would be more of a "trail town." Unfortunately, though, while there is a National Park here, it's a National Historic Park.

This fact leads to some unexpected things.
The town's economy is more based on tourism having to do with history rather than the outdoors; the businesses in town (and their prices) reflect that. The Park Service is more difficult to work with than you would think in regards to trail related matters. And because most of the lower town (through which the trail passes) is part of the park, things like the PO and grocery stores aren't there and can't be there.

I've heard hikers badmouth Harpers Ferry not because of what it is, but because of what they think it should be (which is a place that caters to them). Perhaps because our store is pretty much the only place in the lower town that's hikercentric, hikers seem to appreciate us.

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 14:59
Red Hat:

Your post is right on. I have visited the hostel in Glencliff several times in recent weeks, and they are EXTREMELY liberal in regards to shuttling hikers to the store when the hikers express an interest in going. Pretty much all you have to do is ask.

On the other hand, they'd rather make several trips with a carload of folks as opposed to having to make six trips one at a time (each trip takes about 45 minutes), so I have seen hostel folks say something to the effect of "We'll be going in a few minutes, some folks are cleaning up and showering and won't be ready for a little bit". And on one recent occasion, I witnessed several folks being told that the store shuttle was leaving momentarily but they said they didn't want to go just then as they wanted to finish their movie instead. Then, when the shuttle got back, they IMMEDIATELY asked when the next one was gonna be, and got kinda pissy when they were told that it wouldn't be for awhile.

This is the sort of thing that doesn't endear hostel operators to some of their guests, so when we hear complaints about service at hostels from hikers, it's wise to remember that there's more than one side to a story.

And that being said, anyone that thinks the hostel in Glencliff isn't friendly or welcoming to hikers is nuts. It's one of the best facilities on the Trail.

(And finally, it doesn't happen too often, but if you ever hear a hostel or motel owner griping about a particular guest, there is invariably a good reason!!)

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 15:03
Jester's too modest:

Hikers appreciate the Outfitter in Harpers Ferry not merely because it is "hikercentric" but because it is one of the friendliest, best stocked, and best staffed stores on the Trail, and has been for many years.

TD55
09-14-2009, 15:03
It ain't just the AT and hikers and it ain't got nothin to do with young people. The attitude of "entitlement" has been a major topic of conversation amoungst business folks and folks who work with the public here in the tourist town where I live. It's different than rudeness and bad manners. Most of us have fun with it because there is a steady influx of new tourist and we could care less if if these pain in the a$$'s ever call us or do business with us again. It's just funny as heck when you get one of these entitled impolite jerks and get to set them straight. I like it when they threaten to call my boss and have me fired. I fire myself all the time.

Skyline
09-14-2009, 15:17
I've noticed a significant difference in the attitudes of a certain brand of thru-hiker, and 98% of the section-hikers I encounter both as a hiker and as the partner of an AT service provider. The gulf between these two subsets is getting wider IMHO.

Still, there are plenty of thru-hikers who don't deserve to be berated as they indeed understand no one owes them anything special because they chose to hike the Trail in a single year.

dreamsoftrails
09-14-2009, 15:38
Most of the hikers who behave as if they feel entitled to service merely because they are thru-hiking aren't really thinking that way, its mainly a misperception.

A lot of what tarlin lists are actually services offerred up and down the trail, many of which are provided by businesses whose primary clientel and whose primary target market are thru hikers.

a lot of what happens is thru hikers happily pay for these services, but are disappointed when they encounter a town or stretch of the trail that does not have them. They grow to love the services of the beginning part of the trail, they come to mentally rely on them.

they don't neccessarily believe that they are owed these things on the sole merit that they are hiking the AT and thus deserve them, its more of a ' i paid the same price back at place X and got this, this, and this, but here i am being offered far less' and usually they are just grumbling about this, not actually demanding it from the hostel providers or anything else like that.

A lot of it also has to do with the insecurity of being far from home, and thus 'needy' of certain things, a lot also has to do with stress from financial concerns. simply put, they, like any other traveler in the world, like to think they are getting a good return for their dollar, and they are aware that folks far from home are typically preyed upon. i will admit this is rarely the case on trail, but many of the hostels on trail openly admit they are in it for the money. that being said, many offer generous services and hospitality for a small amount of money and their minds are in different places. this confuses many of the hikers, who are young, inexperienced with the various types of people and businesses that can be encountered.

in conclusion, "thru hiker entitlement" is a myth, or at least a severe simplification of a variety of issues that are rather understandable. nobody's perfect, and that is a two way street.

sherrill
09-14-2009, 15:57
I remember a few hikers in 1983 being a bit demanding (imo) in places, but I usually hiked alone for large sections so I couldn't tell if it was bad behavior or bad service to be honest. However, I didn't keep a journal, I can't really remember!

What I can remember is that to me, trail magic was an unexpected ride into town or something cold to drink in the middle of a hot day. I'm not sure what to make of all of the "feeds" that seem to be so popular nowadays.

Jester2000
09-14-2009, 15:58
. . . i will admit this is rarely the case on trail, but many of the hostels on trail openly admit they are in it for the money. that being said, many offer generous services and hospitality for a small amount of money and their minds are in different places. . .

(emphasis added)

Can you name a few of the many hostels that "openly admit" this?

Jeff
09-14-2009, 16:06
I had the opportunity to have 456 hikers as guests this season. Most were thruhikers and most were very courteous and pleasant. Too often we form opinions based on the actions of a few misguided soles. And, yes we had a few of those as well.

Hikers would often warn me in advance of who the troublemakers were and I really appreciated the heads up.

The only action I found rude was when a group would decide when a morning shuttle back to the trail was needed, then one or two hikers would ask for for more time letting the other folks cool their heels. I plan to change that policy next season.....be ready to go at the agreed time or be ready to hitch back to the trail.

Jester2000
09-14-2009, 16:10
I had the opportunity to have 456 hikers as guests this season. Most were thruhikers and most were very courteous and pleasant. Too often we form opinions based on the actions of a few misguided soles. And, yes we had a few of those as well.

Hikers would often warn me in advance of who the troublemakers were and I really appreciated the heads up.

The only action I found rude was when a group would decide when a morning shuttle back to the trail was needed, then one or two hikers would ask for for more time letting the other folks cool their heels. I plan to change that policy next season.....be ready to go at the agreed time or be ready to hitch back to the trail.

That strikes me as a good policy, as long as everyone knows about it in advance. The one big difference I HAVE noticed over the past few years is something you allude to (although it may have happened in the past, it seems like it happens more often now) -- hikers (and hostel owners farther South) warning hostel owners North on the trail about troublemakers. There seems to be much better communication about this sort of thing nowadays.

vonfrick
09-14-2009, 16:17
I have this theory that in recent years, a lot of A.T. hikers have adopted what can only be called a sense of profound entitlement.......by this I mean, they all too often have come to expect certain things from people they meet and encounter, and they expect treatment this BECAUSE they are thru-hiking, period. In short, they've decided they're somehow very special and should be treated as such.

This sense of entitlement can take all sorts of forms:

*They expect discounts at motels, outfitters, and other places
*They expect discounts or free stays at hostels
*They expect discounts or free rides from shuttlers and other folks with cars
*They expect free or discount lodging both on the Trail (campsites, privately
operated huts/facilities/cabins, etc.
*They expect that certain facilities, campsites, shelters, etc. exist primarily
or ONLY for them, and resent these things being used by others
*They expect and anticipate Trail Magic (especially free food) and will loudly
complain in registers and elsewhere if they don't get it, or if it isn't up to
their standards
*They will take great umbrage when they discover that certain goods,
services, and food is either not discounted for them or free
*They will, on occasion, claim that certain rights, privileges, or services
are either free for thru-hikers, or exist ONLY for thru-hikers, and this
claim is frequently false
*They'll be rude or demanding to people in retail stores, businesses,
Post Offices, and elsewhere and expect "special" treatment or services
*They bully and berate (even blackmail) gear manufacturers and Trailside
outfitters into giving themfree replacement gear that they don't merit
*They can be outrageously demanding when guests in private homes as to
their needs, wants, expectations
*They often think they're entitled to "special" rights or privileges that other
folks (i.e. non thru-hikers) are not entitled to
*They are frequently rude or inconsiderate to the needs or desires of non
thru-hikers; this can most frequently be observed in Trail towns, businesses,
motels, restaurants, etc.

And this goes on.

I'm not saying the above behavior is by any means true of ALL thru-hikers, but it seems to me that it's true of many of them. This year alone (in fact this week alone!) I've witnessed some pretty outrageous things, and unfortunately, I'm not sure the behavior I witnessed constituted isolated incidents.

Any thoughts on this?

I'd particularly like to hear from people who shuttle, run or work in Trail-related businesses, do Trail Magic, put up hikers in their homes, etc. But bottom line, is that in recent years I'm starting to see hikers with real attitudes. And maybe this was always there, but I've only recently started to see it.

Your comments are welcome.


It ain't just the AT and hikers and it ain't got nothin to do with young people. The attitude of "entitlement" has been a major topic of conversation amoungst business folks and folks who work with the public here in the tourist town where I live. It's different than rudeness and bad manners. Most of us have fun with it because there is a steady influx of new tourist and we could care less if if these pain in the a$$'s ever call us or do business with us again. It's just funny as heck when you get one of these entitled impolite jerks and get to set them straight. I like it when they threaten to call my boss and have me fired. I fire myself all the time.

i have to agree with td55. this culture of entitlement is pervasive. i'm sure each of us, in the parlance of his or her own vocation, could simply change the nouns around in jack's list.

whitelightning
09-14-2009, 16:32
I think thruhikers have become spoiled by the amount services and trail magic they encounter nowadays. I noticed this as NOBO last year. I didn't just find it to be the younger hikers that were demanding and complaining about the lack of whatever they were expecting. I did find that the majority of hikers that I was with were not like this. I also know every hiker can have a rough day even when it's a town day. I happened to have one of the few bad days on the trail going into Harpers Ferry. I still appreciate the service of the folks at the Outfitter there for their help.

I was honestly surprised at how often I encountered trail magic during my thruhike. I also noticed how prices seemed to get higher for goods and services as I traveled north. There were so many people willing to help you with what you needed that by the time I was thru PA I started to notice how few hikers would get crabby when they weren't getting the same treatment. By the time I was in Hanover it was worse. There it was "I want my free piece 'o pizza or ice cream cone". So I can see where Jack has a point. Then again, every time I offered someone gas money for a ride into town or the like, I was ALWAYS turned down. I probably stopped doing this by the time I was thru VA. So I see how bad habits of thruhikers can form over time.

dreamsoftrails
09-14-2009, 16:42
(emphasis added)

Can you name a few of the many hostels that "openly admit" this?
uncle jonny's, standing bear farm, are two that told me face to face it was about the cash. nothing wrong with that, IMO.

that's just hostels. there are many hotels which i would imagine receive a great boost from hikers. rendevouz in pearisburg comes to mind. once again, nothing wrong with that, it just demonstrates that hikers are not out of line for having expectations from a place of business. aint a person on this board that doesn't expect a certain standard of service in any type of business transaction, hell that is what trade is.

are some hikers unreasonable in their expectations? sure, but its nothing unique to thru hikers nor does it come close to characterizing thru hikers in general.

neighbor dave
09-14-2009, 16:46
i wonder if it's a direct result of "too many services,trail magic,hiker feeds and the like"
the more you give the more they expect.
is there a similar problem on the C.D.T.?? i'd venture to guess no.

dreamsoftrails
09-14-2009, 16:49
i wonder if it's a direct result of "too many services,trail magic,hiker feeds and the like"
the more you give the more they expect.
is there a similar problem on the C.D.T.?? i'd venture to guess no.
i think you are on target here.

Peaks
09-14-2009, 16:56
Well, when we talk about thru-hikers, I'm sure that we generalize. And depending on which side of the fence you are on, it might seem that many may feel entitled.

However, I just spend the better part of two weekends up on the Franconia Ridge, and talked with many thru-hikers passing by. None of them gave me the sense of entitlement. But then again, I wasn't there to offer a service or benefit to them either.

Speer Carrier
09-14-2009, 17:05
I have this theory that in recent years, a lot of A.T. hikers have adopted what can only be called a sense of profound entitlement.......by this I mean, they all too often have come to expect certain things from people they meet and encounter, and they expect treatment this BECAUSE they are thru-hiking, period. In short, they've decided they're somehow very special and should be treated as such.

This sense of entitlement can take all sorts of forms:

*They expect discounts at motels, outfitters, and other places
*They expect discounts or free stays at hostels
*They expect discounts or free rides from shuttlers and other folks with cars
*They expect free or discount lodging both on the Trail (campsites, privately
operated huts/facilities/cabins, etc.
*They expect that certain facilities, campsites, shelters, etc. exist primarily
or ONLY for them, and resent these things being used by others
*They expect and anticipate Trail Magic (especially free food) and will loudly
complain in registers and elsewhere if they don't get it, or if it isn't up to
their standards
*They will take great umbrage when they discover that certain goods,
services, and food is either not discounted for them or free
*They will, on occasion, claim that certain rights, privileges, or services
are either free for thru-hikers, or exist ONLY for thru-hikers, and this
claim is frequently false
*They'll be rude or demanding to people in retail stores, businesses,
Post Offices, and elsewhere and expect "special" treatment or services
*They bully and berate (even blackmail) gear manufacturers and Trailside
outfitters into giving themfree replacement gear that they don't merit
*They can be outrageously demanding when guests in private homes as to
their needs, wants, expectations
*They often think they're entitled to "special" rights or privileges that other
folks (i.e. non thru-hikers) are not entitled to
*They are frequently rude or inconsiderate to the needs or desires of non
thru-hikers; this can most frequently be observed in Trail towns, businesses,
motels, restaurants, etc.

And this goes on.

I'm not saying the above behavior is by any means true of ALL thru-hikers, but it seems to me that it's true of many of them. This year alone (in fact this week alone!) I've witnessed some pretty outrageous things, and unfortunately, I'm not sure the behavior I witnessed constituted isolated incidents.

Any thoughts on this?

I'd particularly like to hear from people who shuttle, run or work in Trail-related businesses, do Trail Magic, put up hikers in their homes, etc. But bottom line, is that in recent years I'm starting to see hikers with real attitudes. And maybe this was always there, but I've only recently started to see it.

Your comments are welcome.

I ran into perhaps 25-30 thru hikers in northern Virginia between May 12th, and June 1st of this year. I can't honestly say any of them exhibited the traits of which you speak. The age range was mostly 19-29 on the people encountered.

Jester2000
09-14-2009, 17:10
uncle jonny's, standing bear farm, are two that told me face to face it was about the cash. nothing wrong with that, IMO.

that's just hostels. there are many hotels which i would imagine receive a great boost from hikers. rendevouz in pearisburg comes to mind. once again, nothing wrong with that, it just demonstrates that hikers are not out of line for having expectations from a place of business. aint a person on this board that doesn't expect a certain standard of service in any type of business transaction, hell that is what trade is.

are some hikers unreasonable in their expectations? sure, but its nothing unique to thru hikers nor does it come close to characterizing thru hikers in general.

Those two would be the two I had in mind, although I don't know if that constitutes "many." The majority of hostels I've stayed at are not actually run at a profit and aren't intended to be -- but I can see how even this can cause confusion.

I definitely agree with you concerning having expectations in regards to a business owner offering services, but it does seem that there are hikers out there who expect from a hotel/motel/B&B owner MORE than a non-thru-hiker would reasonably expect.

As for Neighbor Dave's comment, I suspect there's something to it, which is a shame. I didn't really see too many PCT hikers copping an attitude out there, where there are few towns that have a lot of services geared towards hikers.

On the other hand, we really are talking about a pretty thin slice of the hikers out there -- the bad ones just get more attention. So why throw out the filthy hiker with the bathwater?

For all the talk of bad hiker behavior being the sort of thing that's responsible for hostels closing, I haven't really noticed a lot of hostels closing over the last five years or so -- in fact, I've seen more open than close, and the ones that have closed haven't tied their closing to hiker behavior.

While it's certainly something to be vigilant about, it's also possible that the problem is being overstated.

Colter
09-14-2009, 17:35
i live in a trail town. i usually have nothing to do with hikers. ain't my kinda people

22,000 posts on Whiteblaze and hikers aren't your kind of people?

TD55
09-14-2009, 17:44
Please don't feed the bears

Pedaling Fool
09-14-2009, 18:14
Please don't feed the bears
It's too late. We need a law passed...

modiyooch
09-14-2009, 18:27
I encountered alot of thru hikers NOBO & SOBO this summer on the trail, huts, hostel, trailheads, ice cream stop and my observation was that they were very well mannered , grateful, and respectful.

WalkingStick75
09-14-2009, 18:33
I think people are people. Think about it if a child is allowed to be rude they will grow up to be a rude adult. Trail magic and the generosity of a lot of people from GA-ME causes part of this problem. I too am guilty of going out of my way for another hiker, at trail days this year I opened up my kitchen making breakfast every morning and a couple dinners primarily for the other volunteers but never turned anyone away. If I had food they got fed.

I think those that choose to assist hikers should do so on their terms not of the terms of the person you are trying to help. Personally I will continue but will not be taken advantage of either.

cowboy nichols
09-14-2009, 18:39
Well said Jack. I think your observations can be applied to the whole generational group and not just those who hike the AT. No Instant Gratification = No Satisfaction.
I agree with this statment,it is not just in the hiking group.

modiyooch
09-14-2009, 18:39
I think people are people. Think about it if a child is allowed to be rude they will grow up to be a rude adult. Trail magic and the generosity of a lot of people from GA-ME causes part of this problem. I too am guilty of going out of my way for another hiker, at trail days this year I opened up my kitchen making breakfast every morning and a couple dinners primarily for the other volunteers but never turned anyone away. If I had food they got fed.

I think those that choose to assist hikers should do so on their terms not of the terms of the person you are trying to help. Personally I will continue but will not be taken advantage of either.
Was anyone demanding and rude at the breakfast?

WalkingStick75
09-14-2009, 18:43
Was anyone demanding and rude at the breakfast?

NO, every single person was very polite, appreciative and most even asked if they could help clean up after.

I plan on going back again next year.

WalkinHome
09-14-2009, 18:44
Have been doing magic in Maine for ten years and in my experience, the bad apples are an extreme minority. That minority also crosses all age groups and gender. Now if you want to discuss the "odd" hiker here and there........LOL

Lone Wolf
09-14-2009, 19:27
I encountered alot of thru hikers NOBO & SOBO this summer on the trail, huts, hostel, trailheads, ice cream stop and my observation was that they were very well mannered , grateful, and respectful.

cuz the majority of aholes left the trail before you met them. here in Dtown we get tons of them

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 19:32
Jester:

Actually, I can think of all sorts of places that have closed in recent years, have threatened to close, or have changed some of their policies because of problems with hiker "guests".

Off the top of my head, from South to North:

*The Holiday Inn in Hiawassee no longer gives a hiker discount
*The Place in Damascus is about one serious incident away from closing
*Four Pines Hostel in Catawba is gone
*Several motels in Troutville aren't as welcoming (or as discounted) as
they used to be
*The church hostel in Waynesboro is threatened
*So is the pavillion in Port Clinton
*So is the jailhouse hostel in Palmerton
*And the church hostel in Vernon
*Also the "secret hostel" near Unionville
*The park in Pawling is reconsidering its services to hikers
*They now crackdown on tenters in Kent
*Cheshire church hostel is threatened
*Park Rangers on Mt. Greylock are now much stricted with tenters
*Williamstown outfitter has had problems with tenters
*Bennington has now started to crackdown on tenters
*Several people who have helped out hikers in the past in Manchester Center
now no longer do so
*The "soccer field tenstsite" in Hanover has had some problems and might
be closed next year
*Dartmouth Safety & Security Department is now openly unfriendly to hikers;
for many years this was not the case
*The Dartmouth dorms/frats (and in some years there were as many as five
of them) that took in hikers now have stopped doing so

And this doesn't include the several places that are still "open" but have scaled down their operations and in some cases are only taking in people they
personally know. I can also think of any number of private individuals who either no longer actively seek out hiker guests, or who have severely cut back their hospitality, partly becasue of "burn-out" issues and partly because of problems.

So the belief that there are very few places that have altered their policies or have actually closed due to recurrent problems with bad hiker behavior is simply not true.

Blissful
09-14-2009, 19:43
I realized this when we went out in '07 of the threatened hiker services because some have acted like idiots had given these places bad names. We did our best to try and help restore what had been tramped on my others by being courteous and grateful. As should everyone. But let's get real. People are selfish. It's the entitlement attitude we are facing as a nation right now. And also the trail and towns makes hikers feel they are entitled to live free and party it on up with the alcohol and drugs without any adherence to the rules and regs. I'll bet most of these services listed are threatened because of drug and alcohol use. Until hikers wake up and realize these service are not there so they can have a place to party, the services are going to continued to be threatened.

Jack Tarlin
09-14-2009, 19:50
Drugs and alcohol are certainly a factor here, but not the only one. I know a guy who doesn't put up hikers anymore because he's tired of picking up cigarette butts and dog mess. I know a house full of Dartmouth students who don't take in hikers anymore because someone broke their washing machine thru carelessness. I know a church that stopped taking in hikers becaause hikers were caught screwing in the pastor's office. And I know another one that almost closed when hikers were caught looking at porn on the computer. I know a hotel that stopped giving a discount because hikers were stealing all the breakfast food and sneaking people into their rooms. I know a guy who doesn't crash out hikers anymore because he was tired of hikers crapping in his yard. I know restaurants that are no longer hiker friendly because hikers repeatedly ignored polite requests that they clean up before patronizing the place.

And so on.

Not all poor behavior or attitude problems are due to drugs and alcohol.

garlic08
09-14-2009, 20:13
For the benefit of readers who have not yet hiked the trail and this is scaring you a little, don't fret too much. I hiked the trail last year and never even heard of 90% of the institutions on Jack's list above. You don't have to go to these places and put up with the entitlement behavior of a few idiots. I didn't camp at or near shelters or stay in any hostels, so I never saw any of what is being discussed here. I saw a few people at shelters during meal stops that I sure didn't want to camp near, so I just continued on to my habitual quiet place in the woods. Easily avoided.

dreamsoftrails
09-14-2009, 20:16
Drugs and alcohol are certainly a factor here, but not the only one. I know a guy who doesn't put up hikers anymore because he's tired of picking up cigarette butts and dog mess. I know a house full of Dartmouth students who don't take in hikers anymore because someone broke their washing machine thru carelessness. I know a church that stopped taking in hikers becaause hikers were caught screwing in the pastor's office. And I know another one that almost closed when hikers were caught looking at porn on the computer. I know a hotel that stopped giving a discount because hikers were stealing all the breakfast food and sneaking people into their rooms. I know a guy who doesn't crash out hikers anymore because he was tired of hikers crapping in his yard. I know restaurants that are no longer hiker friendly because hikers repeatedly ignored polite requests that they clean up before patronizing the place.

And so on.

Not all poor behavior or attitude problems are due to drugs and alcohol.
so some hikers are stupid, incompetent, dirty, and debaucherous. hmmm, how is this anyway discontinuous with the broader modern society, outside of hygeine?

and what exactly do these incidents have to do with entitlement?

do you really think they behaved this way because they felt 'entitled' to, or because they simply could care less? let me guess, they could care less because they feel entitled to do so. lol.

sounds like you are just complaining about human nature in general, which is to behave selfishly. i really don't see what this has to do with any notion of thru hiker entitlement.

Tin Man
09-14-2009, 20:26
For the benefit of readers who have not yet hiked the trail and this is scaring you a little, don't fret too much. I hiked the trail last year and never even heard of 90% of the institutions on Jack's list above. You don't have to go to these places and put up with the entitlement behavior of a few idiots. I didn't camp at or near shelters or stay in any hostels, so I never saw any of what is being discussed here. I saw a few people at shelters during meal stops that I sure didn't want to camp near, so I just continued on to my habitual quiet place in the woods. Easily avoided.

this is my preferred method of section hiking. i have found thru-hikers to be a mixed bag to talk to and i tend to avoid them now.

the only hostel i visited is the hiker's welcome hostel (mainly because it is very close to the trail and we were in need of a shuttle - very cheap) i found them to be very friendly and helpful. they do have a huge movie (and music) collection, so i can see why someone would want to make the shuttle wait for the movie to end :rolleyes:

brian039
09-14-2009, 20:34
Start calling people out. Post their name on WB, leave a message about them in registers, or warn hostel owners about them. If somebody acts like this and you don't say anything then in my opinion you are enabling them to act this way.

saimyoji
09-14-2009, 20:39
I know a church that stopped taking in hikers becaause hikers were caught screwing in the pastor's office.

that is one way to get to hell quickly.

A-Train
09-14-2009, 20:49
Drugs and alcohol are certainly a factor here, but not the only one. I know a guy who doesn't put up hikers anymore because he's tired of picking up cigarette butts and dog mess. I know a house full of Dartmouth students who don't take in hikers anymore because someone broke their washing machine thru carelessness. I know a church that stopped taking in hikers becaause hikers were caught screwing in the pastor's office. And I know another one that almost closed when hikers were caught looking at porn on the computer. I know a hotel that stopped giving a discount because hikers were stealing all the breakfast food and sneaking people into their rooms. I know a guy who doesn't crash out hikers anymore because he was tired of hikers crapping in his yard. I know restaurants that are no longer hiker friendly because hikers repeatedly ignored polite requests that they clean up before patronizing the place.

And so on.

Not all poor behavior or attitude problems are due to drugs and alcohol.

Didn't the porn incident in Vernon happen like more than nine years ago?? If so how does that strengthen your argument that hikers have more recently become ungrateful and unruly?

Also almost every place you mentioned is threatening to close, not close. I suspect every owner has that moment after a particularly crappy group comes thru when he asks himself why he is wasting his time. And most probably this person then calms down and realizes he isn't gonna let a few bad apples spoil the bunch and all is forgotten until next year. What establishments have closed their doors to hikers in the last 1-2 years?

modiyooch
09-14-2009, 20:59
I suspect every owner has that moment after a particularly crappy group comes thru when he asks himself why he is wasting his time. And most probably this person then calms down and realizes he isn't gonna let a few bad apples spoil the bunch and all is forgotten until next year.
kind of sounds like WB environment at times

Tin Man
09-14-2009, 21:20
kind of sounds like WB environment at times

don't let the wb spoilers get you down... the underground always wins, even if it is hard to tell the two apart at times. mums the word. :)

max patch
09-14-2009, 21:37
If so how does that strengthen your argument that hikers have more recently become ungrateful and unruly?



There is a problem. Does it matter how "recent" it is?

Mango
09-14-2009, 21:43
You asked, so here's my response. I thru'ed nobo in '06. In the fall of '06 and each spring since I have done TM at Iron Mtn Gap (north of Erwin) and have put up several hikers at a cabin and at our house in Johnson City. All have been extremely polite and grateful. Age, gender, econ status have varied widely. Some I still keep up with and see at TD and even borrow their gear (thanks, Marta). I guess the bad apples don't turn till they get to Hanover.

Just a Hiker
09-14-2009, 22:26
Good Topic.........."Hiker Entitlement" always makes for good conversation! I have personally seen some pretty blatant cases of hikers behaving as though the world owes them something because their hiking the AT. I have also seen a real attitude change among town's people along the AT, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.....it's as though their just tired of dealing with hikers. However, it's not all bad news.....some establishments seem to make it work every year, and they make it work because they have rules and their not afraid to enforce them. In no small way, I miss hostel owners like Keith Shaw; when you showed up at Keith Shaw's, he put your name in his book, and the next morning you darn well had better have the money to pay.

Tinker
09-14-2009, 22:32
In a few days you've proclaimed that many more hikers lie about completing the trail and now that they are more greedy and demanding.

Maybe your just getting old? :)

It's spelled you're (short for you are. The apostrophe takes place of the a).
Your is used to denote something that belongs to someone (hike your own hike, for instance).
Spelling (and grammer) for most folks doesn't seem to be very important until they try to use a misspelled word in an internet search. :)
The talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the term "Entitlement mentality" a number of years ago.
I don't listen to the windbag any more, but he had THAT right.
Age doesn't matter.
Financial standing doesn't matter.
Intelligence doesn't matter.
Some folks just grow up (or not) wrong.

Hikerhead
09-14-2009, 22:45
I met a guy a few years back in SNP going the opposite direction as me, I was dayhiking. I told him if we wanted to, hike to the next rd crossing and I would take him to the wayside to eat and bring him back. I arrived at the parking lot before he did so I parked at the end of the lot and went down the trail a little ways to meet him. He showed up and then a little thunder storm came thru. He threw a fit that he had to hike in the rain across the lot to my car. Besides that he was ok and paid for my lunch. Days latter I found out he was the one that threw a big fit at the Pearisburg PO or Hotel, seems it was about a missing bounce box or something. I think he must have been bipolar.

A-Train
09-14-2009, 22:46
It's spelled you're (short for you are. The apostrophe takes place of the a).
Your is used to denote something that belongs to someone (hike your own hike, for instance).
Spelling (and grammer) for most folks doesn't seem to be very important until they try to use a misspelled word in an internet search. :)
The talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the term "Entitlement mentality" a number of years ago.
I don't listen to the windbag any more, but he had THAT right.
Age doesn't matter.
Financial standing doesn't matter.
Intelligence doesn't matter.
Some folks just grow up (or not) wrong.

Thanks Tinker for the english lesson. Somehow they never covered that one while I was getting my B.A. in college.

Nor did they teach us anything about "grammer".

Sheesh. Maybe you should do an internet search or two before hitting the send button

Rockhound
09-14-2009, 22:48
Didn't read through all the posts. Didn't think I had to. (Does this make me entitled?). Anyway this is not a new phenomenon. It's simply self absorption. The old "the world revolves around me" complex. Also, to play devils advocate, certain service providers are only in it for the money. They have no love for hikers, (only their cash) and will attempt to extract every penny they can from every hiker they can. Too often it seems hikers are tagged "entitled" for any negative comment they might have about a service provider.

Tinker
09-14-2009, 22:50
Thanks Tinker for the english lesson. Somehow they never covered that one while I was getting my B.A. in college.

Nor did they teach us anything about "grammer".

Sheesh. Maybe you should do an internet search or two before hitting the send button

Oops. :rolleyes:

Grammar. :o

Congrats on your B.A. My math was so bad I didn't make it past my sophomore year.
Oh, well.

A-Train
09-14-2009, 22:53
Oops. :rolleyes:

Grammar. :o

Congrats on your B.A. My math was so bad I didn't make it past my sophomore year.
Oh, well.

One should always practice a new word in a sentence.

You're an ass.

Did I master it yet? :)

Tinker
09-14-2009, 23:08
One should always practice a new word in a sentence.

You're an ass.

Did I master it yet? :)

Yes, and you're right. I was being an ass.

TD55
09-14-2009, 23:13
Well I for one appreciate the educational benifits of assery. Nothin wrong with a little learning now and again.

Tinker
09-14-2009, 23:22
Well I for one appreciate the educational benifits of assery. Nothin wrong with a little learning now and again.

Well I was wrong for using one person as an example. I wasn't thinking of the person, just about the grammatical mistake. I am just as capable of making mistakes as the next person (see above), and when I forget that fact, I indeed become an ass.:o

modiyooch
09-15-2009, 07:40
On the way back from one of my hikes, I decided to drop two hikers off at their car in Harpers Ferry. It was 2 hours out of my way and I still had 500 miles left to travel to get home. I think the one guy was actually "yanking my chain" and was obnoxious whereas the other guy was sure I was going to pull over and deposit the guy on the side of the road. Oddly enough, these two gentlemen and their wives have become very good friends of mine.

Dances with Mice
09-15-2009, 08:50
Why would anyone be surpised by thru hikers' selfishness?

Is thru hiking anything besides a selfish activity?

jersey joe
09-15-2009, 10:29
Didn't the porn incident in Vernon happen like more than nine years ago?? If so how does that strengthen your argument that hikers have more recently become ungrateful and unruly?

Also almost every place you mentioned is threatening to close, not close. I suspect every owner has that moment after a particularly crappy group comes thru when he asks himself why he is wasting his time. And most probably this person then calms down and realizes he isn't gonna let a few bad apples spoil the bunch and all is forgotten until next year. What establishments have closed their doors to hikers in the last 1-2 years?
I have to agree with A-Train here. I feel like in 2002 when I thru hiked, there were just as many problem hikers and it seemed like a lot of these hostels and other places were threatening to close back then too.

sylvia_claire
09-15-2009, 11:18
Start calling people out. Post their name on WB, leave a message about them in registers, or warn hostel owners about them. If somebody acts like this and you don't say anything then in my opinion you are enabling them to act this way.

on some issues it would be iffy to do this though. I remember a while back there was a thread about people stiffing hostels, mostly about those using the donation system. Now I have never stayed in a hostel because I have never been out that long, but I can tell you that if I did I would do my best to make sure no on saw me donate and if that was impossible I'd do something like donate a ten wraped in a one. that is my own personal pahtholgy about money, but the point is if people start reporting things they better be 100% sure of what really happened.

Also most of the things jack put in his original post are attitude problems, should we really report people to hostel they may be staying at in a week or so because we did not like their atitidude? I would hope that if people do this it would happen after they see and overall trend in a person overtime and not an idividual event or day. How would you even pose this warning or complaint it seems like it would be a variation of Hiker X was so _____(adjective of your choice) adjective not action.

kanga
09-15-2009, 11:26
i spent the weekend at shaws. every single thru hiker there was, without fail, completely awesome. not one of them was an ass, i loved talking with them, and most of them helped out around the house. they were respectful and quiet and well-behaved. maybe by the time they get to maine, the ******** are weeded out? the ones at troll's hiker feed were just as cool.

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 11:28
I have this theory that in recent years, a lot of A.T. hikers have adopted what can only be called a sense of profound entitlement.......Any thoughts on this?

These folk are as transparent as they are easy to ignore and move on.

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 11:31
i spent the weekend at shaws. every single thru hiker there was, without fail, completely awesome. not one of them was an ass, i loved talking with them, and most of them helped out around the house. they were respectful and quiet and well-behaved. maybe by the time they get to maine, the ********
That's been my experience with most hikers as well. With that said the front end of the NOBO's seem very goal oriented and not enjoying the trail and overly anxious to relate this to SOBO's who are just starting to hike one of their dreams. . . .

Jester2000
09-15-2009, 11:36
Jester:

Actually, I can think of all sorts of places that have closed in recent years, have threatened to close, or have changed some of their policies because of problems with hiker "guests".

Off the top of my head, from South to North:

*The Holiday Inn in Hiawassee no longer gives a hiker discount
*The Place in Damascus is about one serious incident away from closing
*Four Pines Hostel in Catawba is gone
*Several motels in Troutville aren't as welcoming (or as discounted) as
they used to be
*The church hostel in Waynesboro is threatened
*So is the pavillion in Port Clinton
*So is the jailhouse hostel in Palmerton
*And the church hostel in Vernon
*Also the "secret hostel" near Unionville
*The park in Pawling is reconsidering its services to hikers
*They now crackdown on tenters in Kent
*Cheshire church hostel is threatened
*Park Rangers on Mt. Greylock are now much stricted with tenters
*Williamstown outfitter has had problems with tenters
*Bennington has now started to crackdown on tenters
*Several people who have helped out hikers in the past in Manchester Center
now no longer do so
*The "soccer field tenstsite" in Hanover has had some problems and might
be closed next year
*Dartmouth Safety & Security Department is now openly unfriendly to hikers;
for many years this was not the case
*The Dartmouth dorms/frats (and in some years there were as many as five
of them) that took in hikers now have stopped doing so

And this doesn't include the several places that are still "open" but have scaled down their operations and in some cases are only taking in people they
personally know. I can also think of any number of private individuals who either no longer actively seek out hiker guests, or who have severely cut back their hospitality, partly becasue of "burn-out" issues and partly because of problems.

So the belief that there are very few places that have altered their policies or have actually closed due to recurrent problems with bad hiker behavior is simply not true.


For all the talk of bad hiker behavior being the sort of thing that's responsible for hostels closing, I haven't really noticed a lot of hostels closing over the last five years or so -- in fact, I've seen more open than close, and the ones that have closed haven't tied their closing to hiker behavior.

While it's certainly something to be vigilant about, it's also possible that the problem is being overstated.

As I stated, it's something to be vigilant about, but overblown in my opinion. My statement was in regards to hostels closing because of hiker behavior, and your list goes far to proving my point. The only hostel on it that has closed recently is The Four Pines, which did not close due to hiker behavior, as you were made aware by Joe's son in a recent thread:



He still has the place in Catawba, VA but its not been opened to Hikers for a while now. hes re-married to a lady who is a complete B*%$# and that is the only reason he no longer does it. . .


Little Joe:

How great to hear from you! Been awhile since I enjoyed your family's hospitality, but would sure look forward to seeing you guys again, or cooking dinner again, for that matter. . .

A-Train is correct about the porn incident in Vernon happening a while ago -- 2000 -- and this is also the case with the frats in Hanover (unless they recently started taking people in again) because in 2000 there were no frats taking in hikers due to incidents in 1999.

The "secret shelter" is not the "secret hostel," though it would be a shame if the owner decided to stop allowing hikers there. I can't speak to hotels no longer offering discounts to hikers; I know of plenty of non-hiker businesses that have tightened up their policies in the current economic scene. But as I haven't actually talked to any of them personally about their reasons I'm not going to assume anything one way or another about them.

That there are many hostels and towns that are reconsidering their policies vis a vis hikers is the reason for my statement that hiker behavior is something worth being vigilant about. That my statement remains true:

"I haven't really noticed a lot of hostels closing over the last five years or so -- in fact, I've seen more open than close, and the ones that have closed haven't tied their closing to hiker behavior."

. . .doesn't mean that it can't change, and I think communication is key. Not just concerning calling out bad hikers online, but letting hikers know what the expectations of them are while in town. I've seen Jack do a very good job of dressing down hikers who are acting like morons. Better, more defined rules in hostels are also a help. And it would also help if 10% of the American population would radically alter their personalities and stop being tools.

sheepdog
09-15-2009, 11:45
Yes, and you're right. I was being an ass.
An excellent display of character.:sun

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 11:48
Jester:

Actually, I can think of all sorts of places that have closed in recent years, have threatened to close, or have changed some of their policies because of problems with hiker "guests".

There is a reverse side to that. . . places like hiker's paradise and the barn in Gorham are likely to close because they are SO not friendly to hikers and there are alternatives like the White Birches, just outside Gorham. . . . places that are unfriendly to hikers are weeding themselves out too. . . .

Rockhound
09-15-2009, 11:48
It would also be great if 10% of the population on the other extreme would radically alter their personalities and stop thinking that everyone who does not behave just like they do, is a tool.

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 11:50
It would also be great if 10% of the population on the other extreme would radically alter their personalities and stop thinking that everyone who does not behave just like they do, is a tool.
You're a tool. . . .

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 11:51
Well I was wrong for using one person as an example. I wasn't thinking of the person, just about the grammatical mistake. I am just as capable of making mistakes as the next person (see above), and when I forget that fact, I indeed become an ass.:o
Become?? . . .

Jester2000
09-15-2009, 12:03
It would also be great if 10% of the population on the other extreme would radically alter their personalities and stop thinking that everyone who does not behave just like they do, is a tool.

What "other extreme?" Considerate people?

kanga
09-15-2009, 12:04
You're a tool. . . .
you're a dirty pee pants...

kanga
09-15-2009, 12:05
What "other extreme?" Considerate people?
i think he means the 10% that think whatever they say is god's honest truth and everybody should take their word as gospel.

Lugnut
09-15-2009, 12:10
I know people like that! :eek:

kanga
09-15-2009, 12:11
no you don't. you just think you do, but i'm here to tell you otherwise...

Lugnut
09-15-2009, 12:20
Okay. I don't argue with redheads!

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 12:21
Okay. I don't argue with redheads!
It'd be like trying to herd cats. . . . .

Tin Man
09-15-2009, 12:30
I herd this cat once. He was talking about needy hikers, but I think he meant he was needing to be herd.

Jester2000
09-15-2009, 12:37
i think he means the 10% that think whatever they say is god's honest truth and everybody should take their word as gospel.

Gotcha. I certainly don't expect anyone to behave just like I do. While that might provide a refreshing level of crazy for everyone else, it would make my life kind of boring.

On the other hand, there's bahavior that I'd like to believe we all kind of consider beyond the pale (say, peeing on the floor in a hostel, or downloading porn in a church). I'm probably not going to give these folks a moral relativism pass because I'm worried about being viewed as overly critical, priggish, or self-righteous.

Sometimes bad behavior is just that.

SassyWindsor
09-15-2009, 12:53
AYCE's and other hikers have been a problem for me in the past. By the time little ole me can get to the buffet the hikers before me have taken ALL the food. I find myself standing there waiting, and waiting, to grab any morsel of food that comes from the kitchen, if any is left to bring.

I have on occasion seen some hikers trying to break in line, not tipping good service, etc. As with some people, some hikers really suck.

Rockhound
09-15-2009, 14:19
Gotcha. I certainly don't expect anyone to behave just like I do. While that might provide a refreshing level of crazy for everyone else, it would make my life kind of boring.

On the other hand, there's bahavior that I'd like to believe we all kind of consider beyond the pale (say, peeing on the floor in a hostel, or downloading porn in a church). I'm probably not going to give these folks a moral relativism pass because I'm worried about being viewed as overly critical, priggish, or self-righteous.

Sometimes bad behavior is just that.

It was not a personal dig on you. I was just pointing out that there are 2 extremes. 1/2 the people are snot nosed punks offending everyone they meet, 1/2 are prudish snobs judging and condemning everyone they meet and the other 1/2 of us just want to live and let live and have a good time. And no, I was not a math major.

Jester2000
09-15-2009, 14:21
It was not a personal dig on you. I was just pointing out that there are 2 extremes. 1/2 the people are snot nosed punks offending everyone they meet, 1/2 are prudish snobs judging and condemning everyone they meet and the other 1/2 of us just want to live and let live and have a good time. And no, I was not a math major.

Agreed. And I'm no good at math, so your numbers look pretty spot on to me.

Jack Tarlin
09-15-2009, 15:20
Jester's last post was pretty good. The incidents are indeed caused by a small percentage of people, and here have not been that many hostels that have closed their doors due to hikers being moosecocks, but there have certainly been plenty of cases where places altered their policies, prices, attitudes, etc., as I pointed out in my comments. And there are plenty of non-hostel places that have stopped or sharply curtailed their hospitality towards hikers, especially when we're talking about individuals who have taken hikers home in the past. I can think of all sorts of people who no longer do this. And in re. to Hanover, no, the frats didn't stop taking in hikers in 2000. As recently as 2003 there were several that did, and several have done so on a small-term/selective basis since then (including on several occasions, this year), but it's not like it was, and no, when we talk of these incidents, we're not necessarily talking about stuff that took place nine or ten
years ago. I've witnessed stuff in the past nione or ten DAYS that was unacceptable, so anyone who thinks this issue is "ancient history" is wrong.

Laslty, I think that Jester's suggestion that places do a better job posting rules and regulations is probably a good idea, tho most people guilty of public jackassery don't typically resprect or even read these things, and in any case, don't feel that these rules apply to them. I think it's more important that hikers keep an eye on each other, that they take care of their friends when necessary, and that they actually say something and intervene when they see a trail friend, partner, or other hiker behaving inappropriately.

In my experience, when a hiker is being a total jerk out there, there are usually other hikers present, and almost without exception, nobody ever says
or does anything. There's an old Latin saying----Qui tacet consentit-----which basically says "Silence Implies Consent", i.e. if one witnesses something that's wrong and says or does nothing, then one is essentially as guilty as the wrongdoer, or at the very least, one is essentially saying that the bad behavior they have just witnessed is not remotely important to them.

Until this attitude about not getting involved in regards to witnessing poor hiker behavior (whether it's "entitlement" behavior or something else), nothing else will change either. If hikers won't police themselves, then other folks have to step up and do it.

dreamsoftrails
09-15-2009, 15:36
i guess i must have been in some anomaly type hiking group. i never had to scold anyone, never had to see someone scolded, never had to endure someone who needed to be scolded. i distinctly remember hiking with folks who reminded me of the everyday people i have met throughout my life. i never encountered any out of line behavoir that was not so mundane as to preclude me remembering it. i never reached the conclusion that i was hiking with elitists, entitle-ists, or jerks. just seemed like a bunch of college kids and older men to me.

i guess i should really have been thankful for this?

Pony
09-15-2009, 15:53
Has anyone encountered this?

I don't have any fancy gear and after awhile on the trail probably look like a bum walking in to town with my 50 cent goodwill shirt and ten dollar hiking poles from Walmart. On at least two different occasions I did not feel particularly welcome at first when I got to the hostel. At one hostel I was reluctantly invited to dinner with the other hiker who was staying there and in the car ride there and back and all through dinner all I heard was how crappy all the previous thru hikers had been. When the proprietor found out that I had less than 1/4 of a bottle of whisky in my pack I then heard all about all the drunks that they had to kick out. All of this made me feel like they assumed that I didn't know how to behave. They were very surprised when I was well behaved and their attitude toward me changed significantly when I gave them five dollars more than the nightly rate.

On the other hand the other hiker there was rather well off and had all expensive and fancy gear. They spent the afternoon taking him kayaking and fishing.

To be fair it was at the end of thru hiker season and I'm sure they were burned out, and I don't really blame them, but what ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt?

As far as the origional question, I think this is a societal problem and includes all age groups. I bartend for a living and put up with jerks on a daily basis.

Petr
09-15-2009, 16:58
There's an old Latin saying----Qui tacet consentit...

As opposed to all of the hip new Latin aphorisms? These come to mind:

"Faeces occuro."
"Balatro est ridiculum, etiamnunc mereo mereor futurus laus."
"Qua est caro?"
"Suffragium vel intereo."

The second one is my favorite. And, all of you Latin scholars out there, please refrain from criticizing me too vociferously: I faked my way through a minor in it in college and mostly relied upon crappy internet-translating for the above.

On an unrelated note: It seems that one of the prevailing theories is that hikers get spoiled in the South and bitch and moan in the North. Would anybody in the position of knowing like to comment on the difference between SOBO'ers and NOBO'ers? That seems like a decent test for the validity of that theory (though it may be confounded by the difference in personality-type/experience of those two groups).

Petr

mrhughes1982
09-15-2009, 17:55
Anyone want to donate for my 2010 thru-hike I accept paypal and American Express. Raman noodles and peanut butter works too. ;)

Peaks
09-15-2009, 18:01
Does anyone remember ALDHA's Endangered Hiker Services campaign?

We all need to better educate and police our fellow hikers. The actions of a small minority can and do have a big impact on the rest of us.

rickb
09-15-2009, 18:25
While we are on the topic, thru hikers would do well to learn something about the history of the AMC, its good work and the great services that it provides before knocking the organization and its people in public.

That has been something of a sport among too many, including a few participants in this thread.

Jack Tarlin
09-15-2009, 19:40
Hmmmm. Speaking of "While we're on the topic.....', Rick, I can't recall anyone on this thread saying anything bad about the AMC, its employees, policies, facilities, etc. So if you think there are folks here that make "sport" of the organization unfairly, well you're entitled to your opinion, Rick, but this is hardly the time or place to talk about it.

Intentional thread drift is rude, and this thread has absolutely nothing to do with the AMC. If Rick has a beef with "certain participants on this thread" he should probably take those complaints elsewhere, or perhaps start his own thread......as I did.

Blissful
09-15-2009, 20:09
Wow - surprised hostels and places threated to close because of looking at porn on a computer, breaking a washing machine, sneaking food. I'd have to close up my house to my son... (oops) :)

It's called the sinful, prideful, selfish nature of man. And it's in towns, cities, rural areas and on the trail. And we ALL have it. No one is exempt. I have taken TP out of motel room I stayed at (I felt guilty about it and don't do it anymore). Someone here on WB was just asking aobut getting around the regs for the SMokies by lying about their hiking status. Others camp illegally. The point is, what to do? First, find out what YOU are doing wrong and correct it. Then do what you can to help, like be courteous, respectful, clean up, thank the providers and those who offer services. If you see someone in error, help correct it. But if the providers close, there's not much you can do.

Rockhound
09-15-2009, 20:12
Wow - surprised hostels and places threated to close because of looking at porn on a computer, breaking a washing machine, sneaking food. I'd have to close up my house to my son... (oops) :)

It's called the sinful, prideful, selfish nature of man. And it's in towns, cities, rural areas and on the trail. And we ALL have it. No one is exempt. I have taken TP out of motel room I stayed at (I felt guilty about it and don't do it anymore). Someone here on WB was just asking aobut getting around the regs for the SMokies by lying about their hiking status. Others camp illegally. The point is, what to do? First, find out what YOU are doing wrong and correct it. Do what you can to help, like be courteous, respectful, clean up, thank the providers and those who offer services. If you see someone in error, help correct it. But if the providers close, there's not much you can do.

I used to just live by the age old wisdom, "Don't get caught" but you may be on to something there

Jack Tarlin
09-15-2009, 20:26
Blissfull:

I'm glad you seem to think this is so funny.

I happen to know the folks in question, they live down the street opposite the Food Co-Op.

They've taken in hikers at least the last three summers and had lots of fun doing so. They also had a BIG sign on their washing machine saying "Machine is Tricky. Ask before using!"

You can guess the rest. A hiker ignored the sign, ruined the machine. Cost them $350.00 to replace it. And they no longer crash out hikers. They simply don't wanna deal with problems.

But I'm glad you think this is a funny subject. I assure you, some of the folks hiking next year who come to Hanover and can't find a place to crash might not be so amused. :rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
09-15-2009, 20:37
Hey Blissful, sorry if the tone of the last post was a bit strong, but this is a serious subject, especially here in Hanover. The attrition rate of places to stay in Hanover has been fierce the past few years, and it's all due to attitude problems.

This includes my place, too. We're now a helluva lot more selective on who we invite home, and unfortunately, with good reason. The jerk quotient was mighty high this year.

Rockhound
09-15-2009, 20:47
why can't they all just crash at your place? And don't be to harsh with blissful. She was just making a humorous comparison between problem hikers and freeloading offspring. Ah the folly of youth. And yes this can be a serious issue. Of course it can also be a humorous issue. You gotta admit, a caretaker macing a drunk hiker, a hiker getting busted for leaving his stash out, a hiker using his poles to hold boots in place in the dryer, (and having his plan fail miserably), hikers getting busted for skinny dipping in a pool only to be held at bay by a wiffle ball bat yielding property owner until the authorities arrive, and of course the numerous hiker pee stories are very funny especially if you were not there at the time.

warraghiyagey
09-15-2009, 20:58
They're even funnier if you were there at the time. . .

Egads
09-15-2009, 21:00
i think he means the 10% that think whatever they say is god's honest truth and everybody should take their word as gospel.
Does even 10% of the population think?:rolleyes:

TD55
09-15-2009, 21:03
Does even 10% of the population think?:rolleyes:

Think of what?

birdog
09-15-2009, 21:18
Regrettably, the trail is starting to mirror society in many ways. The violence issue has been observed as has the sense of entitlement that saturates every part of life. Run a company in the ground-get $100 mil as severance. Hoist a pack-think the world owes you a debt. Quit complaining and start hiking. A long day a-trail does wonders for the soul and the attitude.

sheepdog
09-15-2009, 21:21
Regrettably, the trail is starting to mirror society in many ways. The violence issue has been observed as has the sense of entitlement that saturates every part of life. Run a company in the ground-get $100 mil as severance. Hoist a pack-think the world owes you a debt. Quit complaining and start hiking. A long day a-trail does wonders for the soul and the attitude.
I just want what I deserve!!!!




well maybe




not


one dog to another

yaduck9
09-15-2009, 21:33
Wow - surprised hostels and places threated to close because of looking at porn on a computer, breaking a washing machine, sneaking food. I'd have to close up my house to my son... (oops) :)

It's called the sinful, prideful, selfish nature of man. And it's in towns, cities, rural areas and on the trail. And we ALL have it. No one is exempt. I have taken TP out of motel room I stayed at (I felt guilty about it and don't do it anymore). Someone here on WB was just asking aobut getting around the regs for the SMokies by lying about their hiking status. Others camp illegally. The point is, what to do? First, find out what YOU are doing wrong and correct it. Then do what you can to help, like be courteous, respectful, clean up, thank the providers and those who offer services. If you see someone in error, help correct it. But if the providers close, there's not much you can do.


Ohhhh Blissful....I agree, one should take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can do to improve their own behavior. If everyone did that the world would be so much saner.

But, we all know its sooo much more fun to stand up on the soap box and point fingers. :eek:

modiyooch
09-15-2009, 22:08
as with anything, bad apples tend to ruin a good thing.

People tend to get burned out.

BUT, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for the numerous hospitalities that were extended to me from CT to ME this summer and last summer. Even in Hanover/Norwich!!!

dreamsoftrails
09-15-2009, 23:17
!"

You can guess the rest. A hiker ignored the sign, ruined the machine. Cost them $350.00 to replace it. And they no longer crash out hikers. They simply don't wanna deal with problems.

But I'm glad you think this is a funny subject. I assure you, some of the folks hiking next year who come to Hanover and can't find a place to crash might not be so amused. :rolleyes:
find a place to crash? aint it called the AT????

Lone Wolf
09-15-2009, 23:21
find a place to crash? aint it called the AT????

it's all about the towns and feeds and slackpackin' anymore

dreamsoftrails
09-15-2009, 23:25
it's all about the towns and feeds and slackpackin' anymore
oh, so there are walking tourists and hikers that use the trail?

i think i get it now. some folks are mistaking thru hikers for thru tourists. big difference...

yaduck9
09-15-2009, 23:35
it's all about the towns and feeds and slackpackin' anymore


Are we talking about the bubble?:rolleyes:

rickb
09-16-2009, 06:41
Hmmmm. Speaking of "While we're on the topic.....', Rick, I can't recall anyone on this thread saying anything bad about the AMC, its employees, policies, facilities, etc. So if you think there are folks here that make "sport" of the organization unfairly, well you're entitled to your opinion, Rick, but this is hardly the time or place to talk about it.

Intentional thread drift is rude, and this thread has absolutely nothing to do with the AMC. If Rick has a beef with "certain participants on this thread" he should probably take those complaints elsewhere, or perhaps start his own thread......as I did.

The AMC provides special services to AT thru hikers. The work for stay option is afforded to no other group of people.

In this day and age where everything needs to be "by the book" with regard to work rules and legalities, the future of this long-standing tradition is by no means guaranteed. It is important that thru hikers not lose the good will built up over years. But I am afraid that is happening.

This is not a drift from the thread, Jack.

Thru hikers would do well to recognize that work for stay is not a right, or something that should be expected on any given evening. They would do well to be gracious when given the opportunity, and understanding when this is not always possible. They should understand why there is a small charge for shelters with caretakers and capacity limits; and if they can't appreciate the benefits to the area, then at least tone down their public statements of disapproval.

And they would do well not to foster unchecked antagonism towards their hosts among the thu hiking community-- antagonism that is founded more in emotion that fact. Have you never heard the diatribes against the club? From people who have little or no understanding of what its all about? How do you think this impacts that all important good will?

Or have you never encountered thru hikers who simply show up at Lakes of the Cloud hut late in the day with no "Plan B", should there not be a spot for them? Hikers that arrive with a sense of entitlement that they be given a roof over their heads? Who will then bitch about their hosts for hundreds of miles to all who will listen?

No Jack, my comment is fitting in this thread.

Because some participants in this thread will hardly think of the AMC as a service provider. Much less one which has done so much good for the mountains. But they are.

Respect. Its something that should be afforded the Croos at the huts, and those behind the scenes and the organization. Can you really say that thru hikers have not fallen short on this many time in the past?

Not drift, Jack. And certainly not rude of me to bring up in the context of this thread.

Gray Blazer
09-16-2009, 07:12
Blissfull:

They also had a BIG sign on their washing machine saying "Machine is Tricky. Ask before using!"

You can guess the rest. A hiker ignored the sign, ruined the machine. Cost them $350.00 to replace it. . :rolleyes:

I hate tricky washing machines!

kanga
09-16-2009, 07:18
Ohhhh Blissful....I agree, one should take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can do to improve their own behavior. If everyone did that the world would be so much saner.

But, we all know its sooo much more fun to stand up on the soap box and point fingers. :eek:
best....

post....

ever!...

kanga
09-16-2009, 08:04
The AMC provides special services to AT thru hikers. The work for stay option is afforded to no other group of people.

In this day and age where everything needs to be "by the book" with regard to work rules and legalities, the future of this long-standing tradition is by no means guaranteed. It is important that thru hikers not lose the good will built up over years. But I am afraid that is happening.

This is not a drift from the thread, Jack.

Thru hikers would do well to recognize that work for stay is not a right, or something that should be expected on any given evening. They would do well to be gracious when given the opportunity, and understanding when this is not always possible. They should understand why there is a small charge for shelters with caretakers and capacity limits; and if they can't appreciate the benefits to the area, then at least tone down their public statements of disapproval.

And they would do well not to foster unchecked antagonism towards their hosts among the thu hiking community-- antagonism that is founded more in emotion that fact. Have you never heard the diatribes against the club? From people who have little or no understanding of what its all about? How do you think this impacts that all important good will?

Or have you never encountered thru hikers who simply show up at Lakes of the Cloud hut late in the day with no "Plan B", should there not be a spot for them? Hikers that arrive with a sense of entitlement that they be given a roof over their heads? Who will then bitch about their hosts for hundreds of miles to all who will listen?

No Jack, my comment is fitting in this thread.

Because some participants in this thread will hardly think of the AMC as a service provider. Much less one which has done so much good for the mountains. But they are.

Respect. Its something that should be afforded the Croos at the huts, and those behind the scenes and the organization. Can you really say that thru hikers have not fallen short on this many time in the past?

Not drift, Jack. And certainly not rude of me to bring up in the context of this thread.


so... about the amc? seriously, jack, since you started the thread, now you own it?

Lone Wolf
09-16-2009, 08:12
so... about the amc? seriously, jack, since you started the thread, now you own it?

he's one of the biggest AMC bashers

Peaks
09-16-2009, 08:17
Rick,

We are frequent volunteers at the huts. Generally speaking, hut crews are always more than lenient with thru-hikers seeking work-for-stay. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general, they accomodate many more than they are obligated for, and the work requested is usually very minimal.

warraghiyagey
09-16-2009, 08:26
Rick,

We are frequent volunteers at the huts. Generally speaking, hut crews are always more than lenient with thru-hikers seeking work-for-stay. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general, they accomodate many more than they are obligated for, and the work requested is usually very minimal.
Agreed, I've found this to be true everytime I've been through - although there have been exceptions - usually a hutmaster that doesn't like through hikers means none of the crew will either. . .

David@whiteblaze
09-16-2009, 08:51
title is wrong... i thought: little hikers=babies and kids ( according 2 claims, its the same thing)

warraghiyagey
09-16-2009, 10:07
title is wrong... i thought: little hikers=babies and kids ( according 2 claims, its the same thing)
If you have blinders on 'little' could mean just your version of the definition. . . but it's obvious to most that the definition is more expansive than that. . .

Jester2000
09-16-2009, 10:24
. . . Have you never heard the diatribes against the club? From people who have little or no understanding of what its all about? How do you think this impacts that all important good will?

Or have you never encountered thru hikers who simply show up at Lakes of the Cloud hut late in the day with no "Plan B", should there not be a spot for them? Hikers that arrive with a sense of entitlement that they be given a roof over their heads? Who will then bitch about their hosts for hundreds of miles to all who will listen?

No Jack, my comment is fitting in this thread.

Because some participants in this thread will hardly think of the AMC as a service provider. Much less one which has done so much good for the mountains. But they are. . .


I think it's important to take note of your comments, but I do think it was strange that they popped up in this particular thread. When I read your first post I thought I had missed something in previous ones and went back to look for bashing of the AMC and didn't find any. I think if you had framed your first post in the context you put it in in the second (rather than as what seemed to me to be an antagonistic post about online bitching) it might have been better received.

ShelterLeopard
09-16-2009, 12:52
I have this theory that in recent years, a lot of A.T. hikers have adopted what can only be called a sense of profound entitlement.......by this I mean, they all too often have come to expect certain things from people they meet and encounter, and they expect treatment this BECAUSE they are thru-hiking, period. In short, they've decided they're somehow very special and should be treated as such.


I have bumped into a couple really demanding people, but on the whole, a lot of the thru hikers I bumped into were very nice and considerate, especially when they were in towns.

(I met a couple guys who were really complaining about the jail hostel in Palmerton, saying that it wasn't up to scratch and that the people weren't accommodating enough. Well, it is free, and for hikers only, and run by the town police and municipal building- what did they expect, room service? I was glad I got a bunk and a shower!)

Jester2000
09-16-2009, 13:53
I have bumped into a couple really demanding people, but on the whole, a lot of the thru hikers I bumped into were very nice and considerate, especially when they were in towns.

(I met a couple guys who were really complaining about the jail hostel in Palmerton, saying that it wasn't up to scratch and that the people weren't accommodating enough. Well, it is free, and for hikers only, and run by the town police and municipal building- what did they expect, room service? I was glad I got a bunk and a shower!)

People used to rave about that shower so much that you would think bacon shot out of it.

A-Train
09-16-2009, 15:15
People used to rave about that shower so much that you would think bacon shot out of it.

Bacon did shoot out of it, before hikers became terrible people and starting ruining everything good about the trail for everyone else. During this time, instead of the little toiletry bag and postcard, a scantaly clad woman would hand you a $50 gift certificate to Mugshots and would force you to spend the evening entertaining her with your heroic tales from the woods.

Thanks recent hikers for screwing up this AT tradition! :)

neighbor dave
09-16-2009, 15:26
this thread is getting pretty funny!!:D

clodhopper
09-16-2009, 16:52
Bacon did shoot out of it, before hikers became terrible people and starting ruining everything good about the trail for everyone else. During this time, instead of the little toiletry bag and postcard, a scantaly clad woman would hand you a $50 gift certificate to Mugshots and would force you to spend the evening entertaining her with your heroic tales from the woods.

Thanks recent hikers for screwing up this AT tradition! :)

Funny:clap

rcli4
09-16-2009, 19:31
All them modern day hikers have been leaving footprints all over the trail.

We've had >5% true hikers, bad behavior and what will be next? cell phone or umbrella's.

Clyde

ShelterLeopard
09-16-2009, 22:11
People used to rave about that shower so much that you would think bacon shot out of it.

Hey, that was a damn good shower!!! It was like a fire hydrant, really powerful jet. If you are hot and tired and sweaty and really dirty (and your legs are stinging because of the nettles right before the descent into Lehigh Gap), you might even choose that shower over bacon. MIGHT. Damn good shower.

Sleepy the Arab
09-16-2009, 22:50
People used to rave about that shower so much that you would think bacon shot out of it.

Heh. Bacon shower.

Tinker
09-17-2009, 00:01
Become?? . . .

Well ya got me there! I'm a recovering ass. I just fall off the wagon once in a while. When it runs over me sometimes I come to my senses. Unfortunately, it's usually only temporarily:o.

Crazy Larry #1
09-17-2009, 08:02
Your comments are welcome.I guess when you are in the services buisiness like you have been, and are as well as a few others here you are going to observe some behaviors.

Myself I offer a phone with unlimitied long distance, not only to hikers but to anyone that needs it. I have a donation jar sitting next to the phone because whoever decides that they want to give something will leave it whether I tell them to keep it or not. But on the most part no one leaves a dime and this does not only apply to hikers but others who are passing thru as well.

I've only had a few instances where I thought hikers were expecting but the whole have been good non demanding folk.

Gray Blazer
09-17-2009, 11:45
I guess when you are in the services buisiness like you have been, and are as well as a few others here you are going to observe some behaviors.

Myself I offer a phone with unlimitied long distance, not only to hikers but to anyone that needs it. I have a donation jar sitting next to the phone because whoever decides that they want to give something will leave it whether I tell them to keep it or not. But on the most part no one leaves a dime and this does not only apply to hikers but others who are passing thru as well.

I've only had a few instances where I thought hikers were expecting but the whole have been good non demanding folk.

You shoulda made it more obvious because I did not see a jar. I am old though and may have just missed it. Thanks for your hospitality, Larry TOW!

sbhikes
09-17-2009, 16:29
People like to blame ultralighters for being unprepared, but to me, a sense of entitlement is a kind of unpreparedness. Just like you don't rely on water caches in the desert on the PCT you shouldn't rely on other people's generosity to see you through.

There was a lady last year on the PCT who was unhappy with a place on the trail. The caretaker needed to go to town and had to lock her out. She was angry because she was being forced to hit the trail without having a chance to read the guide book yet! So angry she took a photo of herself giving the place the finger. She couldn't read the guide book sitting on the trail?

Sometimes entitlement comes from stupidity, too.

As for me, if I didn't like the prices, I didn't patronize the establishments. Did you know you can camp for free in the forest? Better night's sleep, too, without that funny hotel smell.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 16:35
Hey, Kanga, since you asked.....

No, the person who starts a thread doesn't "own" it.

But they sure in hell have a right to ask people to stay on topic, and Rick's first post about the AMC did NOT have anything to do the original subject. His LATER post, about hikers having realistic expections about facilities when they get to the White Mountains had some merit, but his original post, i.e. "Stop being mean to the AMC, and you know exactly who I'm talking about!!" was a little strident and didn't really add to the discussion.

But since you asked, Kanga.....yeah, it's perfectly OK to ask folks to stay reasonably on topic, and if they don't want to do this, then like I suggested, they can start their own thread/discussion.

In fact I suggest Rick does so. I think a thread called "Thru-Hikers and The Appalachian Mountain Club" would make for interesting reading.

rickb
09-17-2009, 17:37
Actually, Jack mentioned huts in this thread's very first post.

On the AT, huts are almost always associated with the AMC.

Suggesting that thru hikers educate themselves before bashing this service provider was very much in keeping with the topic of this thread.

Thru hikers not only tolerate misconceptions about the club, but perpetuate them. Listening to a bunch of spoiled little brats get righteously indignant about spending $8 for a campsite, or having their freedom to camp anywhere they please restricted along certain stretches of the Whites (restrictions not put in place by the AMC, BTW) is, quite frankly, embarrassing. Its not good sport. Its boorish, ill-informed and wrong.

It funny how so many people believe in rules and high standards-- but only apply them selectively.

Respect. Its deserved of all service providers along the AT. I find it rather sad that so many need to be reminded of that.

But lets get back to bacon.

TD55
09-17-2009, 17:41
[quote=Jack Tarlin;895324]Hey, Kanga, since you asked.....

No, the person who starts a thread doesn't "own" it.



But since you asked, Kanga.....yeah, it's perfectly OK to ask folks to stay reasonably on topic, and if they don't want to do this, then like I suggested, they can start their own thread/discussion.

quote]

or they can ignore the suggestion and attempt to broaden the discussion and let the mods speak up when the mods think it is necessary.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 17:46
You're still outta line, Rick.

Nowhere on this thread did anyone bash or say a negative word (or any word, for that matter) about the AMC. When I used the word "huts" I was speaking about various facilities on the Trail, and that hikers should have reasonable expectations about these places, including that they should expect to pay for them and not necessarily get free or discount services from these places.

But nowhere in this discussion was anyone bashing or criticizing the AMC itself, so your strident defense of the organization does indeed seem out of place.

If this is your pet cause of the moment, Rick, then by all means start your own discussion of the subject, as I suggested.

But as this is at least the third time I've proposed that you do so, I suspect this polite suggestion is going to be ingored. :rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 17:48
TD55:

Oddly enough, the only person with an apparent interest in "broadening this discussion" in order to talk about the AMC is Rick. :D

Doesn't seem too interesting to anyone else at present.

rickb
09-17-2009, 17:49
You're still outta line, Rick. Nowhere on this thread did anyone bash or say a negative word (or any word, for that matter) about the AMC.

You don't get it.

Its not that people have said anything bad about the AMC in YOUR thread, Jack.

Its that they say it on the Trail. Thru hikers in particular.

Some also carry this over to other venues, where it also damages things. People should be more respectful of their hosts. Whether its a guy providing a a washer, or a club providing a composting privy and work for stay opportunity. Frankly, I am surprised you disagree.

neighbor dave
09-17-2009, 17:50
you said, i said, he said, she said, we said, they said, QUIT BITCHIN'
the a.t. is a trail, not a service industry. go furkin hike the trail and stop tryin to perfect it:rolleyes::sun:welcome

Lone Wolf
09-17-2009, 18:00
TD55:

Oddly enough, the only person with an apparent interest in "broadening this discussion" in order to talk about the AMC is Rick. :D

Doesn't seem too interesting to anyone else at present.

this thread is about "needy little hikers" discussing the AMC is totally on topic. most thru-hikers feel they are different than other hikers in the whites and should be given special rates and/or acommodations at the huts. thru-hikers should not be given work-for-stays. pay like everybody else

beakerman
09-17-2009, 18:16
ia gree with LW..even I see the connection. It is not a direct someone said somrtinga bout in this thread typ eof conneciton but an attitude on general of thru-kihers not getting what they feel they should and then raising a stink about it. They feel entitled to various services and such even if they were never provided they heard from some source that this place has this or they had that in the last town so why not here crap. They feel entitled to something so they complain when it's not there in the form they wanted.

It's related so come back from the ledge there Jack, it's ok..

saimyoji
09-17-2009, 18:29
TD55:

Oddly enough, the only person with an apparent interest in "broadening this discussion" in order to talk about the AMC is Rick. :D

Doesn't seem too interesting to anyone else at present.

i think we should totally broaden the subject to the needs of thru hikers.....i think bourbon, bruce and pork chops are staples on the trail that no thru hiker should have to do without.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 18:33
Fine. I guess Rick wanted to discuss the AMC, so here goes:

It is indeed true that some hikers cop attitudes when they get to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and expect free or discount accomodation and/or food from the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is to be regretted that they due this: When hikers request or use visitor services anywhere along the Trail, they should be expected to pay for them, and if they don't wish to pay for these services, then they can forego them.

That being said, a great deal of the criticism of the AMC has NOTHING to do with needy hikers expecting freebies. Much of the criticism has to do with the simple fact that the organization has for many years isisted on putting a wildly dis-proportionate ammount of its time, energy and resources into catering to a coomparative fraction of the folks who visit this area, and this fraction constitutes its well-to-do members, and other people of means who can afford to use their facilities. There are many folks who feel that the AMC has really dropped the ball in this regard, especially when it comes to offering more facilities, and more varied facilities for people of more limited means, i.e. many people would very much like to see the Club spend more time building and maintaining campsites and primitive shelters, as opposed to spending so much time maintaining a high-end "hut" system, building a multi-million dollar hotel, etc. The AMC's policies in this regard have been the main reason that so many hikers have a beef with the organization; their dismay is not over the fact that they don't get enough stuff for free from the AMC; their complaints instead are based on the fact that there are too many places in this area that cost too much, and the AMC seems less than interested in addressing this concern.

By the way, I'd have never brought this subject (i.e. criticism of the AMC)into the present discussion, but it is obvious from his repeated comments, that RickB WANTED this discussed.

I trust he is happier now.

rickb
09-17-2009, 18:34
i think we should totally broaden the subject to the needs of thru hikers.....i think bourbon, bruce and pork chops are staples on the trail that no thru hiker should have to do without.

I appreciate your insouciance. Good timing, too.

rickb
09-17-2009, 18:39
Fine. I guess Rick wanted to discuss the AMC.

No, just thru hiker whining about the club. Whining about $8 fees. Whining about Forest Protection Areas.

Jack seems to feel the whining is well founded.

Its still whining.

Its boorish. Usually uninformed. And mostly wrong.

This is a service provider whose people deserve better. So too the poor weekenders who are subjected to so many rants. Not Jack's. Everything is not about him. I speak of rants along the the Trail. Whining is also contrary to the collective interests of future thru hikers as I discussed in an earlier post.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 18:41
And you're whining about the whining, Rick. I think we get you point, OK?

Now if you want to respond to my comments, please do so.

If you just want to continue whining, well I guess you can do that too, but in truth, it's getting tiresome.

You wanted to discuss the AMC, Rick.....so let's discuss it.

rickb
09-17-2009, 18:48
You wanted to discuss the AMC, Rick.....so let's discuss it.

No, Jack.

Thru hiker behavior.

Have you never seen a thru hiker get righteously indignant on learning that he was not permitted to camp in a Forest Protection Area?

Or told that there would be a small fee to use a shelter?

Of course you have.

Egads
09-17-2009, 18:50
Have you never seen a thru hiker get righteously indignant on learning that he was not permitted to camp in a Forest Protection Area?

Or told that there would be a small fee to use a shelter?

Of course you have.

Sounds like a course hazard, play on and stop whining

rickb
09-17-2009, 18:52
Time to eat. I can be needy too.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 18:54
Rick"

Did you even read my above post before sounding off?

I made it very clear at the outset that I found the behavior you described as regrettable and unfortunate, i.e. I think it's wrong for hikers to act this way.

Do I need to say this a few more times?

Honestly, there's no pleasing you, Rick. You throw a raqging hissy when people don't want to discuss the AMC and how the club is viewed by hikers. Then you throw an even worse hissy when they DO start to discuss it.

A mixed message to say the least.

Truly, I think this evening you're just interested in throwing the hissy.

GGS2
09-17-2009, 19:16
I don't know about whining and unrealistic expectation, but I think that there may be a worthy discussion about regions on the AT where the responsible maintainers have a quasi-monopoly, and decline to provide sufficient facilities for overnight stays by hikers-backpackers-thrus who don't wish to stay in upscale facilities. Jack and others do seem to indicate this may be an issue in the whites. And there may be a shortage of campsites, etc., in Connecticut or other parts of New England. What about the rest of the trail?

I know this is a problem in many Ontario trails that would otherwise be very useful for thru hiking. It seems quite general, and I think much of the problem is insurance and maintainer club liability. Just too expensive to "permit" overnight camping. Some times, it is the private property owners who fear property degradation and fire risk.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 19:22
No shortage of good campsites on/near the Trail in Connecticut.

And actually, there's no real shortage in the Whites, either.......there are countless good and legal places to pitch a tent.

The complaining comes mainly from folks who don't want to leave the ridgelines and get below treeline.

Just a Hiker
09-17-2009, 19:41
One can get through the White Mountains with little to no contact with the AMC or it's Huts. However, the Huts do provide a service to Thru-Hikers in terms of good water and reasonably priced soup and bread products during the day. As far as Work for Stay at the Huts, I feel as though Thru-Hikers in turn provide a service to the Huts........we do the menial jobs that the Hut Croos really don't want to do anyway such as washing dishes and cleaning the Bunk Rooms.....ect; therefore, I think it's a pretty good trade off for both sides.

bfitz
09-17-2009, 19:59
Well if you go looking for an example of people being jerks it's easy to find one in any group. On the other hand, if you you focus on the positive you may find many fine examples to renew your faith in humanity, or even subhuman hiker types....

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 20:04
Bfitz was recently an extended guest in Hanover.

His visit absolutely restored my faith in subhumanity, and we look forward to seeing him again soon.

bfitz
09-17-2009, 20:05
Aw shucks.

saimyoji
09-17-2009, 20:17
Truly, I think this evening you're just interested in throwing the hissy.



:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
09-17-2009, 20:20
rickb wins. hands down. give it up jack

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 20:25
Hey, a troll in wolf's clothing!!

Where ya been?

Lone Wolf
09-17-2009, 20:30
Hey, a troll in wolf's clothing!!

Where ya been?

hiking, running, working. not tryin' to be some AT know-it-all has-been. give it a rest. you're OFF TOPIC

Alligator
09-17-2009, 20:38
If you guys are just going to use this thread to pound on each other, there isn't going to be much reason to keep it open:-?.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 20:39
I'm the has been?? :D

Please tell us how many times in the last five years you've been in the Whites or even SEEN an AMC facility, Wolf.

I mean, since you're such an expert and all.

Careful who you call a has been. :D

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 20:40
Sorry, Gator, missed your post.

And you're right, I'd very much like to see the thread get back to its original subject.

Lone Wolf
09-17-2009, 20:42
I'm the has been?? :D

Please tell us how many times in the last five years you've been in the Whites or even SEEN an AMC facility, Wolf.

I mean, since you're such an expert and all.

Careful who you call a has been. :D

you're off topic. and you're gonna get your thread closed. move on. there's more to life. much more

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 20:46
As previously mentioned above, I'd like to see the thread get back to its original purpose and I regret it got sidetracked.

The topic is entitlement on the part of hikers.

Let's get back there.

TD55
09-17-2009, 21:05
This is kind of funny. A thread about entitled hikers and some of the posters need to be reminded that they are not entitled to go off topic because they are not entitled no matter what thier imagined entitlement status.

Just a Hiker
09-17-2009, 21:13
This thread got me to thinking of the most blatant case of "Hiker Entitlement" I've ever witnessed. It was in North Woodstock, NH at the old Cascade Lodge in 2004.......the owner of the Cascade Lodge had just died and left the place to his grandson who had no interest in catering to hikers; however, the Lodge was still in all the guide books. Anyway, I had just hitched in from Franconia Notch and had planned on staying at the Cascade Lodge as well, and when I got there, 3 other SOBO hikers were standing on the porch of the Cascade Lodge arguing with the Grandson that the Lodge was in their guide books therefore they had the right to stay there. These hikers just wouldn't take no for an answer and they continued to argue with the Grandson until he finally gave in and let them sleep on the porch.........for free I might add. It was hard to watch. The rest of us were so embarrassed that we walked over to Lincoln, NH and split a hotel room.

neighbor dave
09-17-2009, 21:25
This thread got me to thinking of the most blatant case of "Hiker Entitlement" I've ever witnessed. It was in North Woodstock, NH at the old Cascade Lodge in 2004.......the owner of the Cascade Lodge had just died and left the place to his grandson who had no interest in catering to hikers; however, the Lodge was still in all the guide books. Anyway, I had just hitched in from Franconia Notch and had planned on staying at the Cascade Lodge as well, and when I got there, 3 other SOBO hikers were standing on the porch of the Cascade Lodge arguing with the Grandson that the Lodge was in their guide books therefore they had the right to stay there. These hikers just wouldn't take no for an answer and they continued to argue with the Grandson until he finally gave in and let them sleep on the porch.........for free I might add. It was hard to watch. The rest of us were so embarrassed that we walked over to Lincoln, NH and split a hotel room.

bill robinson and i became good friends over the years. that was a sad weekend. had i been there......

neighbor dave
09-17-2009, 21:31
you're off topic. and you're gonna get your thread closed. move on. there's more to life. much more

yup all seems pretty silly to me.
gotta love these self proclaimed lords of the trail. it a forking trail, not a hotel or supermarket:rolleyes:
ya'll look like a bunch of asses

neighbor dave
09-17-2009, 21:33
bill robinson and i became good friends over the years. that was a sad weekend. had i been there......
p.s. if memory serves me correctly bill died in may of 03

Just a Hiker
09-17-2009, 21:38
p.s. if memory serves me correctly bill died in may of 03

I just checked my hiking journal.......it was 2003.

neighbor dave
09-17-2009, 21:43
I just checked my hiking journal.......it was 2003.
the week before mothers day, r.i.p. bill
he was a great man, betty too:(

The Weasel
09-17-2009, 22:04
Whatever happened to "HYOH"? Jack, LW, rickb, the rest of you seem to all be saying, "Hike MY hike the way I want YOU to hike it."

I recall getting the old "Yogi" sort of passed off at me back in the Trailplace Day when I said she wanted everyone to hike her way, so we should all go hire Sherpas or whatever. I caught a TP suspension and a lot of gas for saying, "OK. I'm not gonna hike MY hike after all. Tell me all the ways YOU hiked so I can do it all over again for you." My sarcasm seemed to have been lost on her. But the point remains: If someone wants to whine, rant, cheer or whatever, that's their choice. Hostel/hut owners are free to "RYOH" ("run your own hostel") and boot out or invite who they wish. People who act boorishly get their own reward...being ostracised from nice company, especially once their rep gets ahead of them.

So this is a dead topic, even without Alligator getting understandably hissy about the flames. Yeah, I'm entitled to whatever someone else thinks I'm entitled to. And I'm not entitled to everything that people who don't want to give to me, don't.

Good bye, thread.

TW

A-Train
09-17-2009, 22:06
the week before mothers day, r.i.p. bill
he was a great man, betty too:(

wow thanks for the memories. That guy was a character. He drove me back to the trail in 03' but the funny thing was he didn't know where it was. Somehow I got dropped off about a mile from the AT and had to walk back, but nonetheless I appreciated the lift on what can be a tough hitch, due to the highway

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 22:20
Hmmmm.

I don't see anyone here describing themselves as "Lord of the Trail", nor do I see anyone dictating how people should hike. If I'm wrong here, then perhaps Dave can provide the appropriate post and quote.

How people should BEHAVE is an entirely different matter. Most folks seem to think that hikers should refrain from behavior that makes hikers look bad, or that makes people think ill of the hiking community, or may turn people against the hiking community. Most people think that while the majority of hikers behave just fine and are a credit to their peers, there are always some who act differently, and this problem seems to get more prounounced each year.

But nobody is telling people how to hike their hike, Weasel. Instead, and I'm going to be blunt here, is that folks are suggesting that douche behavior that negatively impacts the hiking community or that might affect OTHER people's hikes.....well, this is wrong, and hikers need to police themselves AND their friends.

Weasel is certainly welcome to disagree, but suggesting that people not behave in ways that screw things up for other hikers, well this is NOT making anyone hike someone else's hike. Weasel is missing the point: When people misbehave or cop attitudes out there, their actions do indeed affect other hikers; in short, it is THESE folks who are not letting others hike their own hike.

ShelterLeopard
09-17-2009, 22:30
One can get through the White Mountains with little to no contact with the AMC or it's Huts. However, the Huts do provide a service to Thru-Hikers in terms of good water and reasonably priced soup and bread products during the day. As far as Work for Stay at the Huts, I feel as though Thru-Hikers in turn provide a service to the Huts........we do the menial jobs that the Hut Croos really don't want to do anyway such as washing dishes and cleaning the Bunk Rooms.....ect; therefore, I think it's a pretty good trade off for both sides.

I agree- work for stay benifits everyone. And I think anyone should be up for it- whoever arrives first, and if it's taken, then you've gotta pay. And I have no problem with that.

ShelterLeopard
09-17-2009, 22:32
If you guys are just going to use this thread to pound on each other, there isn't going to be much reason to keep it open:-?.

Amen- if you guys want to bitch at each other, GET A ROOM.

dreamsoftrails
09-17-2009, 22:45
Fine. I guess Rick wanted to discuss the AMC, so here goes:

It is indeed true that some hikers cop attitudes when they get to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and expect free or discount accomodation and/or food from the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is to be regretted that they due this: When hikers request or use visitor services anywhere along the Trail, they should be expected to pay for them, and if they don't wish to pay for these services, then they can forego them.


its probably got a lot to do with the mandates of the system. when thru hikers get up there, they have largely not been told where to camp and to pay to camp on trail.

it is completely understandable if they are upset that an organization possesses an unnatural monopoly on a free public good: nature.

to any thru hiker that has ever bemoaned the AMC: thank you, and fight on.

Jack Tarlin
09-17-2009, 23:29
Well I wouldn't criticize all of their policies or rules by any means. For example, camping above treeline or too close to drinking water is generally a bad idea. And this is a REALLY highly used area, so I can fully understand why they want people to camp at established places that have permenent
live-in caretakers whose job it is to educate folks who need help and to clean up after slobs. Without these caretakers, these beautiful spots would be detroyed (The Green Mountain Club does similar stuff in Vermont). So I don't think it's wrong to charge a small fee in this few areas. And if people don't care to pay it, they can move on and quite easily find another place to stay.

My main complaint with the Club is that they take too much care of the well to do, and these folks represent a fraction of the people who visit the White each year. So I'd like to see more facilities aimed at low or moderate-income folks, and less emphasis on catering to the rich.

But their rules in regards to camping in crowded, overused, or fragile areas, well I don't think this isoverly restrictive administration at all. I think it's actuallly pretty wise.

Tinker
09-17-2009, 23:42
Well I wouldn't criticize all of their policies or rules by any means. For example, camping above treeline or too close to drinking water is generally a bad idea. And this is a REALLY highly used area, so I can fully understand why they want people to camp at established places that have permenent
live-in caretakers whose job it is to educate folks who need help and to clean up after slobs. Without these caretakers, these beautiful spots would be detroyed (The Green Mountain Club does similar stuff in Vermont). So I don't think it's wrong to charge a small fee in this few areas. And if people don't care to pay it, they can move on and quite easily find another place to stay.

My main complaint with the Club is that they take too much care of the well to do, and these folks represent a fraction of the people who visit the White each year. So I'd like to see more facilities aimed at low or moderate-income folks, and less emphasis on catering to the rich.

But their rules in regards to camping in crowded, overused, or fragile areas, well I don't think this isoverly restrictive administration at all. I think it's actuallly pretty wise.

I recently renewed my membership to the AMC. I sometimes do trail work with them and occasionally do a winter hike, when safety in numbers means a little more to me.
As for the well to do, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, they have the wherewithal to actually DO something about preserving the environment on a meaningful, large scale level. I pay my dues, clip a few branches, move a few rocks, etc. I have limited means, and hope my membership dues go to something bigger than a new building with resulting restrictions against anyone else (competition in the mountain "rough it" resorts, maybe) building nearby. Yes, it may be a wilderness Gucci monopoly, but at least there's wilderness to GO to, due to the conservation efforts of the AMC through the years. Sometimes you have to look real hard at the clouds to see the silver lining.

SunnyWalker
09-18-2009, 00:16
Interesting thread. I appreciate the reminder to remember to be nice, courteous and treat others as I would like to be treated. That said, I was section hiking GA two years ago and arrived after dark to a camping area. I had waited to long to pitch my HH and was glad to find the place. There was a couple in a tent next to the trail and I went on for 80 meters to another open spot. The next morning the male hiker of the two came up to tell me he was a thru hiker and I should not have stopped there and camped there. No one would do that he claimed, etc., etc. I remember it was about 9:00 PM when I came in the night previous. I had my HH up in 5 minutes and retired, never even made a meal. I let him tell me his "advice" or whatever and I lit out of there. Later their dog attacked my right leg on the trail for the third time and so I lost it. I told the girl, "One more time Ma'am and I a gonna make that dog sorry". She put the dog on leash and they took off. I let them get ahead of me and then walked by them later. This must have been one of the few moronic thru hikers. I have met many othes who were very friendly and nice. Thanks you guys for being so nice!

Crazy Larry #1
09-18-2009, 05:07
this thread is about "needy little hikers" discussing the AMC is totally on topic. most thru-hikers feel they are different than other hikers in the whites and should be given special rates and/or acommodations at the huts. thru-hikers should not be given work-for-stays. pay like everybody elsemaybe the one who is needing the work sees it differently, perhaps they like the cost of not having to have to do it themselves or having to pay someone out of pocket to get the job done.......when i was out there hiking i worked for stay, i worked for food, i worked for gear, i did a lot of work for services without any cash being transacted.....

Crazy Larry #1
09-18-2009, 05:11
Bfitz was recently an extended guest in Hanover.

His visit absolutely restored my faith in subhumanity, and we look forward to seeing him again soon.
I knew he was subhuman, I just knew it!:D

Marta
09-18-2009, 06:48
Interesting thread. I appreciate the reminder to remember to be nice, courteous and treat others as I would like to be treated. That said, I was section hiking GA two years ago and arrived after dark to a camping area. I had waited to long to pitch my HH and was glad to find the place. There was a couple in a tent next to the trail and I went on for 80 meters to another open spot. The next morning the male hiker of the two came up to tell me he was a thru hiker and I should not have stopped there and camped there. No one would do that he claimed, etc., etc. I remember it was about 9:00 PM when I came in the night previous. I had my HH up in 5 minutes and retired, never even made a meal. I let him tell me his "advice" or whatever and I lit out of there. Later their dog attacked my right leg on the trail for the third time and so I lost it. I told the girl, "One more time Ma'am and I a gonna make that dog sorry". She put the dog on leash and they took off. I let them get ahead of me and then walked by them later. This must have been one of the few moronic thru hikers. I have met many othes who were very friendly and nice. Thanks you guys for being so nice!

Assuming these people were hiking northbound, I'm bemused that they were giving themselves the thru-hiker title and all sorts of rights and privileges while they were in Georgia. They had about 2100 miles to go before they would actually be thru-hikers.

It's sweet of you to think that they must been among the very few moronic thru-hikers. As other people have said on this thread, and I agree with, thru-hikers are a cross-section of humanity, and run the gamut from saints to devils. Very people people fall on either extreme.

Another thing about taking a long hike is that, when a person is tired, hungry, cold, wet, and just all-around miserable, they can behave in a way that they would not do in the normal run of things.

Tin Man
09-18-2009, 07:10
Well I wouldn't criticize all of their policies or rules by any means. For example, camping above treeline or too close to drinking water is generally a bad idea. And this is a REALLY highly used area, so I can fully understand why they want people to camp at established places that have permenent
live-in caretakers whose job it is to educate folks who need help and to clean up after slobs. Without these caretakers, these beautiful spots would be detroyed (The Green Mountain Club does similar stuff in Vermont). So I don't think it's wrong to charge a small fee in this few areas. And if people don't care to pay it, they can move on and quite easily find another place to stay.

My main complaint with the Club is that they take too much care of the well to do, and these folks represent a fraction of the people who visit the White each year. So I'd like to see more facilities aimed at low or moderate-income folks, and less emphasis on catering to the rich.

But their rules in regards to camping in crowded, overused, or fragile areas, well I don't think this isoverly restrictive administration at all. I think it's actuallly pretty wise.

What the heck does are you talking about?? The AMC has small fee sites and more expensive huts and, by the way, it ain't hard to find no fee sites as well. Sure the huts charge more, mainly because they cost more to run. The AMC is not getting rich off the huts and they are catering to those who are willing to pay and they seem to have no problem filling them up. There are plenty of low cost, fee-based tent sites, that you seem to be okay with, and they fill up as well. There are free camping camping options in the Whites also. Something for everyone. So, what is the problem?

I tried all three options on my hike thru the Whites last year. And being a section hiker, it took me probably twice as long as a thru-hiker to do that stretch. So, I really don't understand the whinning on the merits of the hut costs when the hike though the area is really a fraction of the trip from GA-ME (or ME-GA), and especially since low-cost or no-cost options are easy enough to find.

neighbor dave
09-18-2009, 07:12
the week before mothers day, r.i.p. bill
he was a great man, betty too:(

2004 may:(

Gray Blazer
09-18-2009, 07:13
Hey Jack.....good thread.....like I said at the beginning about the rude entitled people, it's a reflection of society today. There are many wonderful young people out there, also. This reflects good parenting. There are good parents out there who are good role models for their kids.

What is amazing to me is the people on this website who feel entitled to poop all over your thread. I wonder who their role models are?:D

Crazy Larry #1
09-18-2009, 07:24
What Is Amazing To Me Is The People On This Website Who Feel Entitled To Poop All Over Your Thread. I Wonder Who Their Role Models Are?:d:d:d:d:d.......

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 07:44
I hesitate to post regarding fees in the Whites, but what I noticed is that those in favor are all northeastern locals that are accustomed to high taxation. You get taxed for everything else such as tolls, so it seems normal. It was mentioned that it is a fraction of the cost of the entire AT. I beg to differ. The AT has been free for me, until I hit the Whites. As I said, it goes with the territory.
It's probably only a matter of time for NC, but we don't have the tolls and it's the same federal highways that extend North. We're not charged at the trailheads or campsites. I'm not charged for an outing whether it's hiking or biking or boating.

Schuetzen
09-18-2009, 07:50
He who expected nothing ain't a-gona be deceived!

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 07:51
With that being said, I thought the croo at the huts were fantastic. I didn't whine. I wasn't demanding. I was very grateful, and glad they were there.

Peaks
09-18-2009, 08:35
I hesitate to post regarding fees in the Whites, but what I noticed is that those in favor are all northeastern locals that are accustomed to high taxation. You get taxed for everything else such as tolls, so it seems normal. It was mentioned that it is a fraction of the cost of the entire AT. I beg to differ. The AT has been free for me, until I hit the Whites. As I said, it goes with the territory.
It's probably only a matter of time for NC, but we don't have the tolls and it's the same federal highways that extend North. We're not charged at the trailheads or campsites. I'm not charged for an outing whether it's hiking or biking or boating.

Hey, the Whites are free, provided you don't stay at certain high use campsites. And, before AMC started using caretakers, these sites were totally trashed. I'll gladly pay a small fee to stay at a site that is maintained. If you don't want to pay the fee, there are usually bootleg campsites just beyond the 1/4 mile Forest Protection Zone where it is OK to camp.

Many thru-hikers don't carry maps, don't read the published USFS regulations, or the published thru-hiker advice about the White Mountains, and then they whine. Like Jack said in the initial post: Needy little hikers.

bfitz
09-18-2009, 09:04
I agree- work for stay benifits everyone. And I think anyone should be up for it- whoever arrives first, and if it's taken, then you've gotta pay. And I have no problem with that.Well since someone else owns the stupid huts they can charge whatever they want. I wouldn't pay to stay in one and I wouldn't work to stay in one and I wouldn't pay a fine if they charged me one for camping. Not that they would. They'll never notice me and if they did I think I'd have to be a real jerk about it for them to do more than just ask me to move on. As previously stated, the whites are free, unless you want a bowl of soup, or to sleep with a bunch of fat new yorkers paying a hundred bucks to sleep indoors. My tent is waaaay more comfy. However, I do kind of think the whites, and trail in general might be better off without the huts and other buildings and shelters folks seem to feel the need to build out in the woods. I mean, it's camping. Why do they always feel the need to take the camp out of camping? I just ignore all prohibitions and fly below the radar. Do no harm and leave no trace and no one will ever even notice you. I do the same off the trail as well of course. Rules are for the children. Grown ups don't need em.

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 09:13
And, before AMC started using caretakers, these sites were totally trashed. This is interesting. As a thru or section hiker, I have never trashed a campsite. who then? locals? tourist?

rcli4
09-18-2009, 10:51
My main complaint with the Club is that they take too much care of the well to do, and these folks represent a fraction of the people who visit the White each year. So I'd like to see more facilities aimed at low or moderate-income folks, and less emphasis on catering to the rich.

But their rules in regards to camping in crowded, overused, or fragile areas, well I don't think this isoverly restrictive administration at all. I think it's actuallly pretty wise.

And you wonder where thru hikers get the elitist attitude. Because folks work hard and get rich they shouldn't be able to hike the way they want to. I'm think the huts could charge twice as much and still be full of fat New Yorkers with a job. Without the rich folks very few national parks would exist. Most started becase of rich folks. Get a job, quit drinkin up all your money and you to can be rich folks and enjoy an $80.00 a night bed including food.

Clyde

neighbor dave
09-18-2009, 11:10
yup, just another "needy thruhiker":rolleyes:

The Weasel
09-18-2009, 11:16
It's Jack who has missed the point: First of all, hiking on the AT - even as a thru hiker - isn't a "community" thing, and most people behave on the trail as they do elsewhere, regardless of what people say; that guy lathering up his nude body in the boxed spring in Georgia is gonna be a schmuck no matter what I told him (and he was). So it's not like there is some great community spirit that will make everyone toe the line, whatever that is, just to be "good hikers." If there were, Alligator wouldn't bother reading this thread.

Second, while some behavior may violate someone's rules - which may be incredibly, even unreasonably, strict or unbending - that doesn't mean it's "wrong" in some deep psych sense. I've been in Christian hostels where saying "damn" or some other coarse language would be grounds for being asked to leave, even they weren't swear words. That doesn't make those words "rude" or the rules "right". They're rules; follow them and stay, break them and leave. Not much different than "No parking."

Last - for now - Jack's also wrong in the sense that we should go around policing each other so that providers don't change or close. Providers aren't the trail, and the ones who - understandably or not - close don't change the trail. They don't change the "trail experience." When I hiked from GA into VA, it wasn't to enjoy (though I did) the Blueberry Patch or Kincora or Damascus, it was to walk in the woods. As I did, there were some places where the trail had been rerouted. In other places, "providers" had changed. As a result, things weren't "the way they had been." I didn't cry about either. I kept walking. That's why I was there.

In sum, I think this thread should be moved to the Humor forum. We all say we like to backpack to "get away from society" and then, having gotten there, we keep on being people (usually for the same wonderful reasons that pave the road to Hell in real life) who want to say, "Walk this way." They're as funny when they say that as John Cleese was when he said it, but usually shorter.

You hike your way, I'll hike mine.

TW

TD55
09-18-2009, 11:17
. Without the rich folks very few national parks would exist. Most started becase of rich folks.

Clyde

Now there is some twisted BS. National Parks are were and are created from mostly public lands. When land purchases are made the money comes from tax revenue. We the people own them. It doen't matter if you are a homeless person on the street or the richist person in the land, if you are an American citizen you own just as much of the National Parks as anyone else. We stole that land from the native americans fair and square and we all get to pillage it equelly.

Skyline
09-18-2009, 11:25
I hesitate to post regarding fees in the Whites, but what I noticed is that those in favor are all northeastern locals that are accustomed to high taxation. You get taxed for everything else such as tolls, so it seems normal. It was mentioned that it is a fraction of the cost of the entire AT. I beg to differ. The AT has been free for me, until I hit the Whites. As I said, it goes with the territory.
It's probably only a matter of time for NC, but we don't have the tolls and it's the same federal highways that extend North. We're not charged at the trailheads or campsites. I'm not charged for an outing whether it's hiking or biking or boating.



Well, as if it mattered, I'm far from being a northeastern local (grew up in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and now live in Virginia). But I see the good side of the White Mt. hut system, and I wouldn't compare it to being overtaxed by politicians.

The hut system gets those who pay to stay there a bed in a dorm in a secure building that has withstood the ravages of the Whites' notorious bad weather. If you need the hut system during a storm, it's a treasure. You also get two excellent meals and there's plenty to fill you up. You get up-to-date weather and trail condition reports, educational programs provided by croo, access to a good library. All for less than $100 per person, per night. Yes, more than you would get a bed in town that includes two hearty meals, except the location of AMC's huts is what makes it worth the extra cost.

That may be more than many thru-hikers can handle, but it is what it is. Thru-hikers comprise a tiny minority of the White Mt. hiker community. Hikers of all stripes who appreciate safety and value may choose to stay in the huts. They need not be wealthy Boston yuppies. Some come from far away and might even save up for the trip all year from a meager paycheck.

Though under no obligation to do so, many of us have witnessed or heard about croos taking pity on hikers without reservations, who were allowed to sleep on floors or tables after paying guests ate, during bad weather.

(Another positive about the hut system: Croo members also assist in S&R operations when called upon.)

Staying at a hut is indeed a choice, most commonly made in advance by reservation. As others have pointed out, there are alternatives to staying at the huts in the Whites. There are shelters and tentsites under the auspices of AMC and also Randolph Mountain Club which cost far less than the hut system, but you aren't as protected from bad weather and you have to fend for yourself food-wise. Lastly, you can get below treeline and find a primitive site of your own for free.

It would be great if the AMC huts each provided a low-cost alternative such as they do at Lake of the Clouds (the "dungeon"). I'm guessing that they have considered it, and rejected it due to construction costs and possibly the need for another staff person or two to deal with it. Just a guess.

Getting back on topic, I know some thru-hikers who have done work-for-stays at White Mt. huts who thoroughly embraced the experience. I know some who were too late in arriving to secure one of the WFS slots that day, took the news stoically, and moved on. But I have also seen thru-hikers who were not selected whine incessantly, make silly threats against AMC, and bad-mouth AMC to this day because they were not treated as royally as they felt they should be.

It's this latter group that could cause AMC hut croos to develop a bad attitude toward thru-hikers in general. In fact considering that the whining and worse go on fairly regularly, it is amazing that most croos still treat thru-hikers well at all.

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 11:30
. I don't have a problem with the hut system. If I had a problem, it would be with the campsite fees. When is enough, enough?

neighbor dave
09-18-2009, 11:49
if you are an American citizen

there's no such thing:-?

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 11:49
Interesting thread and some good comments.

Last comment: As Bfitz said, I wouldn't want to stay in the huts even if I had the money to waste there, but I still think that there should be some more facilities for people on smaller budgets. Why, of all the high country Huts, is Mizpah the only one with an immediately adjacent area for tenting? There's no reason why this system can't be put in place at all, or nearly all of the huts. Then those who wanted to spend the money for the meals and bunkhouse could do so, and other folks would have other options. Seems to me this would be pretty easy to do.

max patch
09-18-2009, 11:59
Last - for now - Jack's also wrong in the sense that we should go around policing each other so that providers don't change or close.

Actually, Jack is 100% correct. If you ever do a thru hike maybe you'll see what he and others are talking about. Bet it changes your perception.

Its tough to speak out. As I moved northward I saw many violation of posted hostel rules and didn't speak up. Until I got to Hanover. Hanover used to have a nice hostel in one of the churches. We had a large area in the basement complete with shower. There were rumors that because of past thru hiker abuse that thru hikers were going to lose this facility. One of very few rules was no alcohol in the church. One night hikers were drinking in the sanctuary. I thought this was totally disrespectful to our host and I spoke up. Finally. The hikers cleaned up the empties and moved to the basement. (So this was not a total victory.) There were no hard feelings afterward.

As it turned out this was the final year that the church offered a hostel to hikers. Perhaps if other hikers had spoken up earlier we would still have this facility.

Lone Wolf
09-18-2009, 12:15
Please tell us how many times in the last five years you've been in the Whites or even SEEN an AMC facility, Wolf.


once in the last 5 years. not much has changed except the beautiful highland center. the AMC is great

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 12:15
Don't have a lot of time to respond to Weasel's latest comment, tho his suggesting that we move this thread to "Humor" makes me smile.

Speaking of humor, has anyone else noticed that when it comes to talking about thru-hikers, or thru-hikes, or thru-hiker behavior.....isn't it funny that some of the most strident and hectoring comments invariably come from people who haven't thru-hiked?

Now THERE's some hiker humor. :D

But on a serious note: Hey, Weasel, one quick question. If some hikers won't police themselves, and if hikers refuse to rein in or try and influence the actions, behaviors, and attitudes of their friends.......well if none of this happens, then how is anything gonna change? Here's an example. You see another hiker shoplift something in a trailside Outfitter or maybe empty the collection box at a hostel. According to Weasel, you should say or do nothing, because according to Weasel, hikers shouln't go around policing each other. Wow, that's great, Weasel. Actually, most folks would consider this to be completely scumbag behavior and I hope they WOULD say or do something. But in Weasel world, this sort of thing is evidently OK, or at least it's not so bad that other hikers should intervene, cuz God forbid they don't let someone else hike their own hike.

Sorry, but that's about the most foolish thing I've seen here in quite awhile.

kanga
09-18-2009, 12:18
This is interesting. As a thru or section hiker, I have never trashed a campsite. who then? locals? tourist?
you may not have, but you would be suprised how many other hikers do. yes, the locals and the dayhikers are often guilty too, but i can't tell you how many times i've been saddened to see a hiker, be a thru or someone out for a week/end, throw their trash down wherever. some of the longer stretches, where you know it's not a dayhiker - too far to an outlet - is littered with corners of powerbar wrappers or the silver gum wrappers or pieces of nylon rope. i pick up what i see and always come home with at least a quart ziplock full from just a weekend hike. it's pathetic and sad and disturbs me that people don't have more respect for the incredible gift they have been given. it is just that, a complete lack of respect, which is the basis of the entitlement alot of us speak so passionately about.
i agree that more people should speak up when they see the behavior manifest itself. however, i do not believe it is our responsibility. i believe in accountability - everyone is responsible for their own actions - however i will personally continue to make someone that trashes the love of my life (nature) extremely uncomfortable for doing so. but i don't expect everybody else to do it. you can make your own choices in life.

kanga
09-18-2009, 12:23
But on a serious note: Hey, Weasel, one quick question. If some hikers won't police themselves, and if hikers refuse to rein in or try and influence the actions, behaviors, and attitudes of their friends.......well if none of this happens, then how is anything gonna change? Here's an example. You see another hiker shoplift something in a trailside Outfitter or maybe empty the collection box at a hostel. According to Weasel, you should say or do nothing, because according to Weasel, hikers shouln't go around policing each other. Wow, that's great, Weasel. Actually, most folks would consider this to be completely scumbag behavior and I hope they WOULD say or do something. But in Weasel world, this sort of thing is evidently OK, or at least it's not so bad that other hikers should intervene, cuz God forbid they don't let someone else hike their own hike.

Sorry, but that's about the most foolish thing I've seen here in quite awhile.


Lord help, "jack", sometimes you stretch things to the end of the universe and back. you're just being ridiculous now. you know full well that was not the full intent of his statement. please stop while you only look somewhat halfwitted.

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 12:24
Hey Wolf: Since you admit you've only been to the area once in the past five years, then how on earth can you tell us what's changed up there? :D

Oh, and I feel compelled to note that Wolf thinks the only significant change in five years in the Whites has been the addition of the Highland Center. Incidentally, this facility opened back in October of 2003, significantly more than five years ago. But it's nice to see that Wolf is here to speak to us with accuracy and authority about facilities and developments in the White Mountains. :rolleyes:

rickb
09-18-2009, 12:29
Getting back on topic, I know some thru-hikers who have done work-for-stays at White Mt. huts who thoroughly embraced the experience. I know some who were too late in arriving to secure one of the WFS slots that day, took the news stoically, and moved on. But I have also seen thru-hikers who were not selected whine incessantly, make silly threats against AMC, and bad-mouth AMC to this day because they were not treated as royally as they felt they should be.

It's this latter group that could cause AMC hut croos to develop a bad attitude toward thru-hikers in general. In fact considering that the whining and worse go on fairly regularly, it is amazing that most croos still treat thru-hikers well at all.

Exactly.

And lets not be distracted by any one individual's negative opinions about the AMC. Thats just a red herring. Sort of like suggesting one's feelings about the various positions of the Catholic Church should mattter to a discussion of hiker behavior at Graymore Monestary.

Lone Wolf
09-18-2009, 12:31
Hey Wolf: Since you admit you've only been to the area once in the past five years, then how on earth can you tell us what's changed up there? :D

Oh, and I feel compelled to note that Wolf thinks the only significant change in five years in the Whites has been the addition of the Highland Center. Incidentally, this facility opened back in October of 2003, significantly more than five years ago. But it's nice to see that Wolf is here to speak to us with accuracy and authority about facilities and developments in the White Mountains. :rolleyes:

nothing has changed Lawrence. all the huts and facilities are pretty much the same :D

you know no more about the AMC and whites than i do :rolleyes:

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 12:32
When I hike, I typically don't stay in towns. Now some hikers, that's part of their hiking experience. To my knowlege, there isn't a charge to camp on the AT in the other states.

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 12:33
Red herring?

For anyone to imply that there's only one individual who has questions or complaints about certain AMC policies is being intentionally dis-honest.

The sometimes "negative" attitudes towards some of these policies is widely held and widely discussed in the hiking community, and Rickb knows this to be true.

Lone Wolf
09-18-2009, 12:35
When I hike, I typically don't stay in towns. Now some hikers, that's part of their hiking experience. To my knowlege, there isn't a charge to camp on the AT in the other states.

yup. true. that's why i could care less if hostels close. i don't use them

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 12:37
At least I know my birth name, Wolf, and as any number of my close friends know, it isn't Lawrence. :D

So it'd appear that you know as much about me as you know about the Appalachian Mountain Club. Keep digging, Wolf. Even a blind pig trips over a truffle every few years. Gotta run, son, some of us have jobs.

Final comment for the afternoon: It's getting testy and personal again here.
Can we perhaps try and get back on the subject which is NOT facilities in the Whites and their history. It's about hiker entitlement. There've been some good on-topic comments recently and it'd be nice to see the discussion get back there.

TD55
09-18-2009, 12:39
I am guilty of being one of those entitlement attitude people. I have never stayed at a hut and have only been to one hostel. I feel entitled to pass them by and camp in the woods.

TD55
09-18-2009, 12:47
Gotta run, son, some of us have jobs.

.

I am at my job:banana

The Weasel
09-18-2009, 14:04
Actually, Jack is 100% correct. If you ever do a thru hike maybe you'll see what he and others are talking about. Bet it changes your perception.

Its tough to speak out. As I moved northward I saw many violation of posted hostel rules and didn't speak up. Until I got to Hanover. Hanover used to have a nice hostel in one of the churches. We had a large area in the basement complete with shower. There were rumors that because of past thru hiker abuse that thru hikers were going to lose this facility. One of very few rules was no alcohol in the church. One night hikers were drinking in the sanctuary. I thought this was totally disrespectful to our host and I spoke up. Finally. The hikers cleaned up the empties and moved to the basement. (So this was not a total victory.) There were no hard feelings afterward.

As it turned out this was the final year that the church offered a hostel to hikers. Perhaps if other hikers had spoken up earlier we would still have this facility.


Don't have a lot of time to respond to Weasel's latest comment, tho his suggesting that we move this thread to "Humor" makes me smile.

Speaking of humor, has anyone else noticed that when it comes to talking about thru-hikers, or thru-hikes, or thru-hiker behavior.....isn't it funny that some of the most strident and hectoring comments invariably come from people who haven't thru-hiked?

Now THERE's some hiker humor. :D

But on a serious note: Hey, Weasel, one quick question. If some hikers won't police themselves, and if hikers refuse to rein in or try and influence the actions, behaviors, and attitudes of their friends.......well if none of this happens, then how is anything gonna change? Here's an example. You see another hiker shoplift something in a trailside Outfitter or maybe empty the collection box at a hostel. According to Weasel, you should say or do nothing, because according to Weasel, hikers shouln't go around policing each other. Wow, that's great, Weasel. Actually, most folks would consider this to be completely scumbag behavior and I hope they WOULD say or do something. But in Weasel world, this sort of thing is evidently OK, or at least it's not so bad that other hikers should intervene, cuz God forbid they don't let someone else hike their own hike.

Sorry, but that's about the most foolish thing I've seen here in quite awhile.

Well, Max, to my infinite regret, the thru hike I started ended up a bit north of Grayson Highlands. Not in your league, or Jacks. But 500 miles isn't mashed potatoes. And, as you know, most of the action is in that stretch, since about half of those who start at Springer end by about where I had to.

But in that stretch, I saw pretty much everything, including being close to some real good crime (a string of credit card frauds from a couple people working their way from Damascus south, being investigated by a Fed of some kind) and some various thefts of services, basically non-payment by people at The Place. I cooperated with the former (I'd seen them a bit south of town) since despite Jack's baseless slur (Jack's not half the debater he thinks he is, but he's funny anyhow) I don't really condone lawless behavior. Something about being a weasel.

And I also saw the results of people's bad behavior, and wished they hadn't. But I also sort of agree with Gump's Law: "Stupid is as stupid does." If you have to tell someone in a hostel not to drink or abuse the place, unless they're about 9 years old, they know what they are doing, and your momentary "victory" isn't going to last, as your example showed: Told they were breaking the rules, they moved their behavior far enough to try to get away with it some more, and apparently succeeded. You deserve admiration for your effort, but the result was pretty much fore-ordained by whomever ostensibly brought them up.

As for Jack, well, gosh, Jack: When I see something criminal happening, adversely affecting someone else (theft qualifies; seeing another hiker tokin' as I walk past doesn't), that's not 'boorish behavior' but criminal. They don't get a pass. But rudeness? Calling it out against someone peeing on the carpet isn't going to change what they've done or what they are going to do. If it did, our prisons would be tulip gardens, and bar bouncers would sit down all night.

Not all rules are holy, Jack; Jensine sort of learned that having 500 or so signs, most of which began, "Don't..." doesn't mean that people who used two paper towels were going to Hell in the HOV lane, and if that's what's going to ruin the trail, well, gosh, sounds like the hostels and restaurants are gonna be replaced by campsites (I'm with LW on tear down the shelters, finally) and stoves. But that's sort of why I hike: Lord knows, it wasn't for the delights of some of the motels I saw along the way (although I think I'd enjoy stopping in Franklin this time!) or even some of the hostels (I mourn MM's only for the fact that it made me think of the Bates Motel).

Frankly, you guys sound like the problem you're complaining about: "Oh, golly whizbang! If we don't tell everyone to wash their hands and use extra nice words, we won't get to eat all the biscuits and gravy we want at that incredible AYCE at Shoney's, the best place to eat in North America!" And gee, guys, hostels will close down! And other things won't be there!

Yes, that's true, and I wish, along with you, that people behaved better when it mattered, and that some providers were a little looser in their desire for rules. I wish there weren't beer bottles and cans on the way out of Hanover, or that I hadn't seen hiker trash (the paper kind, not the human kind; you can tell it when you see it, in the sense of power bar wrappers and noodle packages in ziplocs) in that nice Civil War-era cemetary 10 miles or so further up the trail. But me playing Litter Nazi or Drinking KaPo isn't going to end that.

What will? Bring your kids up right. Vote for more school taxes. Look into your own soul and teach/preach by example. Encourage others to do the same. Read the Scout Oath and Law (the Motto and Slogan won't hurt, either) and try to live by them.

Then HYOH.

TW

The Weasel
09-18-2009, 14:14
I am amused to see my prophecy about how telling people not to misbehave on the trail is a waste of effort or, as I said, "Alligator wouldn't need to read this thread."

For once, Alligator and I seem to agree on something, more or less: Jack, Kanga, LW et al seem to be getting feisty about how others should behave, and their feistiness isn't accomplishing anything except causing more aggravation. It certainly isn't making the Trail - or this Site - "better". That appears to be why Alligator has deleted about 10 posts as being "off topic."

While I don't really agree with deleting, I agree that telling other people how they're not meeting my standards - oops! I'm sorry, "the standards of the hiking community" - and hence, Alligator is doing what he's got the right to do. So thanks, 'Gator. You did what you needed to do, and helped me prove my point.

TW

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 14:16
It's Jack who has missed the point: First of all, hiking on the AT - even as a thru hiker - isn't a "community" thing, and most people behave on the trail as they do elsewhere, regardless of what people say; that guy lathering up his nude body in the boxed spring in Georgia is gonna be a schmuck no matter what I told him (and he was). So it's not like there is some great community spirit that will make everyone toe the line, whatever that is, just to be "good hikers." If there were, Alligator wouldn't bother reading this thread.

Second, while some behavior may violate someone's rules - which may be incredibly, even unreasonably, strict or unbending - that doesn't mean it's "wrong" in some deep psych sense. I've been in Christian hostels where saying "damn" or some other coarse language would be grounds for being asked to leave, even they weren't swear words. That doesn't make those words "rude" or the rules "right". They're rules; follow them and stay, break them and leave. Not much different than "No parking."

Last - for now - Jack's also wrong in the sense that we should go around policing each other so that providers don't change or close. Providers aren't the trail, and the ones who - understandably or not - close don't change the trail. They don't change the "trail experience." When I hiked from GA into VA, it wasn't to enjoy (though I did) the Blueberry Patch or Kincora or Damascus, it was to walk in the woods. . .

Boy. You know, I often agree with a lot of what The Weasel posts, but I can't find a single thing in this post with which I agree. I have different opinions based on my own experiences.

First, I find that thru-hiking is very much an experience in community, and I know an awful lot of people (myself included) who thought of it, before getting on the trail, as this grand individual adventure/effort/accomplishment. What I found upon ACTUALLY thru-hiking was that one of the notable things about it, and one of the most enjoyable, was the sense of community. I came to realize how much I valued and depended on others, most of them strangers. Now, does that mean that evrybody's going to embrace that community, or even want to? No. Does it mean that everyone's going to toe a line or fall into lockstep regarding rules? No. But let's not pretend there isn't a community of thru-hikers or that there aren't any community standards at all.

Second, I don't try to define whether someone's rules are right or wrong, because that's not my business. But I feel pretty comfortable saying that if you know the rules of a place you're staying at, and you elect to ignore them, you're wrong. Better than "follow them and stay, break them and leave" would be "if you're willing to follow them stay; if you know you can't or don't want to abide by the rules, don't stay." You'll notice there's no "break them" option.

Finally, many, many thru-hikers would say that while most towns are not part of the literal trail, town stops are very much a part of the "trail experience." That being in a town is not your motivation for being on a trail doesn't diminish the fact that what happens in towns affects a thru-hike. Were that not the case, there wouldn't be any favorite/least favorite trail town threads on whiteblaze.


i agree that more people should speak up when they see the behavior manifest itself. however, i do not believe it is our responsibility. i believe in accountability - everyone is responsible for their own actions - however i will personally continue to make someone that trashes the love of my life (nature) extremely uncomfortable for doing so. but i don't expect everybody else to do it. you can make your own choices in life.

I've often found that a lot of what goes on regarding the trashing of sites/shelters is done as much out of ignorance as laziness. I've actually had some really good interactions with people who were out for a weekend and didn't understand why it wasn't a good idea to do certain things. Sometimes if we think of what we're attempting to do as informing people things go a lot smoother, and people are more likely to follow through with better behavior.

buff_jeff
09-18-2009, 14:36
I didn't read beyond the very beginning of your post, but it definitely rang some bells for me. On my last section hike, Late July to mid August of this year, I met so many arrogant thru-hikers. We ended up hiking mainly with LT hikers and AT section hikers, basically ripping on the thru-hikers the entire time. It was almost like the thru hikers acted as if they belonged to some elite group and didn't want to associate with day/section hikers. Of course, not all of them were like this, but there was definitely a sense of entitlement/extreme pride in the thru hikers I met.

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 15:02
Thanks Buff Jeff for your comment. Also thanks to Jester for a great post.

Don't have time to do a line by line on Weasel's latest screed, except to say that I didn't misquote him, nor were my remarks about his views "a baseless slur". In Post #201 above, he makes it abundantly clear that policing the behavior of other hikers is wrong, and that their fellow hikers shouldn't do it. This is what he said, period. If he doesn't want to get called out on things he said, or if he gets his bowels in an uproar when he does get called out on them, well there's a simple remedy.......he shouldn't say them. But to whine later that he's being slurred, well this is unseemly. When hikers are screwing up and creating problems, their buds need to rein them in, and this should not be limited to "criminal" activity. Most poor behavior by hikers doesn't involve actual law-breaking; it instead involves people behaving stupidly, and yes Weasel, if this behavior is likely to hurt the hiking community, other hikers that witness such stuff should absolutely speak up and do something. Weasel seems to think that it's only "lawless" behavior, i.e. fraud or theft of services that deserves some sort of comment or intervention. I disagree. It's possible to be a jerk out there and not break the law. Now Weasel will come back again and tell me I misrepresented his comments.

Also, the posts Gator delted had nothing to do with my comments about hiker behavior, and had nothing to do with "feistiness". They were instead Gator quite rightly cleaning up posts that were either stupid, insulting, or more likely, had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this thread. I've asked people about five times to stay on topic, here, Weasel, with limited success. If certain people want to hijack the thread to make comments about people being mean to the AMC, or to make their usual anonymous personal comments about me, well there's not much I can do about it. If people want to use this thread (or other ones) to troll or create nasty arguments, there's nothing I can do except ask them to get back on topic. Sometimes they do. Happily, Alligator stepped in and helped out here.

Lastly, Weasel, I repeat my observation that frequently the most strident commentators on thru-hiking and thru-hikers are people who haven't thru-hiked. :D

Thank you to the people who have added to the discussion with timely and on-topic comments, it's good to have heard from so many different folks.

Tin Man
09-18-2009, 15:04
I don't have a problem with the hut system. If I had a problem, it would be with the campsite fees. When is enough, enough?

I have talked to a few caretakers at fee-based campsites. Before the fee the woods around them was laid barren from all the tromping around, campfires, etc. It was less of a trash problem and more of an overuse and abuse issue. Now that caretakers are there, the underbrush has returned and the woods looks like woods again. It was a remarkable transformation.

The other issue was the privies. They have been converted to composting privies, which are more costly to maintain especially in the high-use White Mtns, but more environmentally friendly.

But like I said before, and others have mentioned, there are places to camp for free. You will not see them advertised, but if you read the rules, you can see that it is legal and if you are discreet and nice, some of the caretakers might even tell you where to find them. :)

Jack Tarlin
09-18-2009, 15:10
I forget who made the observation (it might have been Peaks, with his usual wisdom), but in my experience, I agree with him that the people who complain the most either haven't read up on the area before they got to the Whites (even tho the rules/regulations are very clearly defined in the major Trail guidebooks); or they ARE perfectly familiar with these regulations and stipulations but they seem to think these rules simply don't apply to them, because they are somehow "special" and are entitled to different treatment.

It is this sort of attitude that is precisely what I had in mind when I started this dialogue.

Tin Man
09-18-2009, 15:19
So what did we learn here?

Thru-hikers are the same as people anywhere else in life, mostly good, but a few bad apples who feel entitled. Some ignore the bad apples and enjoy the company of the many more good apples. Yet, some folks want to focus on the behavior of a few bad apples like they think they can change them. :rolleyes: Got it.

Some want to criticize or condemn service providers for their policies or prices. Yet, they are free to take their business elsewhere, and usually do, but want the right to whine anyway. :rolleyes: Got it.

People like to wrastle with each other on this forum for fun and sport. :) Got it.

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 15:24
I didn't read beyond the very beginning of your post, but it definitely rang some bells for me. On my last section hike, Late July to mid August of this year, I met so many arrogant thru-hikers. We ended up hiking mainly with LT hikers and AT section hikers, basically ripping on the thru-hikers the entire time. It was almost like the thru hikers acted as if they belonged to some elite group and didn't want to associate with day/section hikers. Of course, not all of them were like this, but there was definitely a sense of entitlement/extreme pride in the thru hikers I met.

While there are arrogant thru-hikers out there, this might also be a bit of a perception issue. When they've been hiking with the same people for four months or so, it's easy for thru-hikers to fall into the pattern of only interacting within the community The Weasel doesn't think exists. I think we can all think of times we went to a party and immediately sought out our friends rather than mingle with people we didn't know. So it might not be an "elistist" thing, even if it's perceived that way. On the other hand, I don't know those involved, so the perception might be the reality -- but it's not so clear-cut. Personally, I crave interactions with non-thru-hikers after a few months, if only to have a conversation that doesn't devolve into talk about gear, eating, or pooping. But that's just me.

dreamsoftrails
09-18-2009, 15:28
I have a theory: hiker entitlement is a myth constructed by certain folks to serve a certain purpose for them. This purpose includes giving themselves something to whine about so they can seem relevant, it helps them when they are out on the trail and not having much fun but others are, they just tell themselves that the one's having fun are selfish a-holes and are ruining it for 'everyone else.' It is a scarecrow that allows certain folks who want to be an authority on AT behavior to make themselves look as though they are.

Second, i see it as a simple form of jealousy, which has already been alluded to. when someone is not having fun and others are, it makes them feel better when they can convince his or her self that they are doing something wrong and thus he or she is still morally superior to them.

thus, thru hiker entitlement is a constructed mechanism that some may employ to cope with jealousy and authority/superiority issues and weaknesses.

modiyooch
09-18-2009, 15:29
You wanted to discuss the AMC, Rick.....so let's discuss it.

I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused. I took my cue from your statement above. Also, in regards to getting back on topic and taking jabs at people, I see a whole lot of jabbing coming from your court.

Now, I'm one of those hikers that got to the Whites and didn't realize there was a $8 charge at the campsites. I don't carry detailed description of the trail. I don't like knowing the details, I rather experience them. I just carry a summary sheet in regards to the mileage, shelters and towns. The charges didn't really surprise me, though and I was able to change my strategy.

I truly think that it's just a few bad apples. And, I think that we tend to focus and concentrate on the 10% wrong vs the 90% right.

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 15:34
I have a theory: hiker entitlement is a myth constructed by certain folks to serve a certain purpose for them. This purpose includes giving themselves something to whine about so they can seem relevant, it helps them when they are out on the trail and not having much fun but others are, they just tell themselves that the one's having fun are selfish a-holes and are ruining it for 'everyone else.' It is a scarecrow that allows certain folks who want to be an authority on AT behavior to make themselves look as though they are.

Second, i see it as a simple form of jealousy, which has already been alluded to. when someone is not having fun and others are, it makes them feel better when they can convince his or her self that they are doing something wrong and thus he or she is still morally superior to them.

thus, thru hiker entitlement is a constructed mechanism that some may employ to cope with jealousy and authority/superiority issues and weaknesses.

Hmmm. That's an interesting theory.
Perhaps I'm an exception to this, as I always have a blast when I'm on a trail, I rarely whine, and I already know that I'm more awesome than just about anybody for reasons that have nothing to do with hiker entitlement.

beakerman
09-18-2009, 15:34
Al this talk of community and such is just a red herring. It's about being a decent human freaking being folks. Just becaused you managed to reprioritize your life so that you can take 6 months off from the rest of the world does not mean you are entitled to anything...including rudeness.

You made a choice to go on a 6 month walk and you are toting along most of the stuff you will need to keep yourself alive. That does not make you a better person than the guy that takes a long weekend and does a section hike, nor does it make you better than a guy that does a single overnighter in a shelter. You supossedly know what you are getting into. shelters are first come first serve fo rthe most part. They are not reserved for thru hikers only nor are they posted with signage stating that a non-thru hiiker must surrender a shelter to a thru hiker.

If you want to talk about community then try some of the behaviours I used to see when I was on the trail many moons ago (it happend even back then) out in a "normal" setting. Treat a server in any food joint like they owe you something and I'll bet you get something extra...in your food and it won't be what you want either. Be a tourist in NY and talk to a taxi driver like they owe you a free ride and see what part of town that ride turns out to be...if you survive let me know.

The point is on trail or off just be polite all the time and be grateful when someone does do something nice for you. Expect nothing from anyone and expect to pay fair value for what you get. Fair value is not what you think it is worth it's what the other guy thinks you will be willing to pay for said service. If you want to haggle that's fine just don't expect to get everything for free--basically you need to learn to negotiate and the win-win proposition is always the best way to go.

You are not special just another smelly hiker that really needs a shower.

kanga
09-18-2009, 15:38
I am amused to see my prophecy about how telling people not to misbehave on the trail is a waste of effort or, as I said, "Alligator wouldn't need to read this thread."

For once, Alligator and I seem to agree on something, more or less: Jack, Kanga, LW et al seem to be getting feisty about how others should behave, and their feistiness isn't accomplishing anything except causing more aggravation. It certainly isn't making the Trail - or this Site - "better". That appears to be why Alligator has deleted about 10 posts as being "off topic."

While I don't really agree with deleting, I agree that telling other people how they're not meeting my standards - oops! I'm sorry, "the standards of the hiking community" - and hence, Alligator is doing what he's got the right to do. So thanks, 'Gator. You did what you needed to do, and helped me prove my point.

TW
i am so glad you actually read what i wrote seeing as how i was agreeing with you in a sense. :rolleyes:

Tin Man
09-18-2009, 15:38
I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused. I took my cue from your statement above. Also, in regards to getting back on topic and taking jabs at people, I see a whole lot of jabbing coming from your court.

yep, he's a pro. :D Especially since the thread is jabbing at 'entitled' hikers.


Now, I'm one of those hikers that got to the Whites and didn't realize there was a $8 charge at the campsites. I don't carry detailed description of the trail. I don't like knowing the details, I rather experience them. I just carry a summary sheet in regards to the mileage, shelters and towns. The charges didn't really surprise me, though and I was able to change my strategy.

I truly think that it's just a few bad apples. And, I think that we tend to focus and concentrate on the 10% wrong vs the 90% right.

I don't know anyone who likes to pay $8 for a campsite, but I understand it a little better after being there and talking to the people who work there. Personally, I found it quite easy to avoid those sites AND camp legally if one put a tiny bit of effort into it.

I have always found it a waste of time to focus on the lower "10%" or whatever the number is. I guess that would make this thread a waste of time. Oh well. :o

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 15:47
I truly think that it's just a few bad apples. And, I think that we tend to focus and concentrate on the 10% wrong vs the 90% right.


I have always found it a waste of time to focus on the lower "10%" or whatever the number is. I guess that would make this thread a waste of time. Oh well. :o

I think everyone here would agree that we're talking about a pretty small percentage of hikers, but unfortunately they have an effect on everyone around them --partially because it seems to be human nature to take notice of the bad rather than the good. And if non-hikers are going to notice them, I kind of feel it's a good idea for me to take note as well; I doubt I would get a good response if I talked to a local and told them they were wasting their time and needed to stop focusing on the bad and instead focus on how awesome I am.

Which is surprising, when you consider just how awesome I am.

dreamsoftrails
09-18-2009, 15:49
one think i am not really grasping: say these allegations of thru hiker entitlement are true, and at least a small percentage of the thru hikers think that they are special, some services 'belong' to them, some rules and reg.'s don't apply to them, trail facilities are for them first, etc, etc..

how do you then answer this question:

so what?

The Weasel
09-18-2009, 15:49
Well, as for the deletions, as I said, they prove my point: People said things they're not supposed to say. Others said they shouldn't do that. It happened a few more times. No one changed their behavior until "the sheriff" simply deleted them. So much for "community."

As for Jester, I agree with him even if he doesn't agree with me. There's a difference between hiking with (and making) friends, and functioning cooperatively with them, and some great nebulous "Appalachian Trail Community" with some kind of social compact that obligates some to comply with the dictates of others. Those who know the difference between good and bad behavior aren't a problem, and the others aren't going to change; the example of "It's against this hostel's rules to drink" followed by the offenders simply cleaning up a bit and moving to another room sort of proved that, as I noted.

And Jack? It's just arrogant to say - that's never stopped you before, but I'll note it, since I'm sure that the "Appalachian Trail Community Handbook Of Acceptable Hiking And Community Practices And Rules That Somebody Tarlin Says Everyone Has To Follow" says, "Don't be arrogant!" - that after 500 miles thru and another 100 sectioned somehow I (and others who haven't finished a full thru hike, or sectioners) don't get to disagree.

Me, I hike. I don't feel like a trail has to include all kinds of services or cool places in order to be a "Trail Experience." If someone is fed up with bad behavior, damn right they should close if they want. But that guy - a sectioner hiking with his teen daughter -I mentioned a few posts back who stripped nude, stood at the pipe in the spring and latered up, well, after I mentioned, "You know, kind of wrecks up the water right there," and he responded, "Fork you." (I'm hard of hearing. It sounded like that.) Couple days later saw him peeing in a creek.

If rules make sense for a place, I'll go in. If they don't, I don't. If someone breaks them, they should leave. I don't hang out with friends on trails (or elsewhere) who don't share my values. Everyone else, I'm not going to be able to change and, to my regret, neither will all of you. If you want to try, go ahead. But beating a cow doesn't get you more milk, and it just irks the cow.

TW

A-Train
09-18-2009, 16:02
Hey Wolf: Since you admit you've only been to the area once in the past five years, then how on earth can you tell us what's changed up there? :D

Oh, and I feel compelled to note that Wolf thinks the only significant change in five years in the Whites has been the addition of the Highland Center. Incidentally, this facility opened back in October of 2003, significantly more than five years ago. But it's nice to see that Wolf is here to speak to us with accuracy and authority about facilities and developments in the White Mountains. :rolleyes:

0ctober 03 is significantly more than five years ago? With what calendar?

kanga
09-18-2009, 16:05
one think i am not really grasping: say these allegations of thru hiker entitlement are true, and at least a small percentage of the thru hikers think that they are special, some services 'belong' to them, some rules and reg.'s don't apply to them, trail facilities are for them first, etc, etc..

how do you then answer this question:

so what?
well nothing really. some of them are arseholes the same way as in the rest of society and sometimes "outsiders"/"civilians"/"normal people" relate their behavior to the hiking society as a whole which kinda sux cause i'm not like that, but you really can't do anything about it except beat them up and hang 'em upside down in a shelter by their toenails. oh, wait, i forgot. you can get on the internet and bitch about them.

does that answer your question?

Tin Man
09-18-2009, 16:08
0ctober 03 is significantly more than five years ago? With what calendar?

His thru-hiking calendar... 1903 :D

dreamsoftrails
09-18-2009, 16:09
well nothing really. some of them are arseholes the same way as in the rest of society and sometimes "outsiders"/"civilians"/"normal people" relate their behavior to the hiking society as a whole which kinda sux cause i'm not like that, but you really can't do anything about it except beat them up and hang 'em upside down in a shelter by their toenails. oh, wait, i forgot. you can get on the internet and bitch about them.

does that answer your question?
yes, in fact it also lends credence to my theory that thru hiker entitlement is desired as a forum through which one can bitch and appear justified.

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 16:10
. . . how do you then answer this question:

so what?

Is "it harshes my mellow" a good enough response?


. . .If rules make sense for a place, I'll go in. If they don't, I don't. If someone breaks them, they should leave. I don't hang out with friends on trails (or elsewhere) who don't share my values. Everyone else, I'm not going to be able to change and, to my regret, neither will all of you. If you want to try, go ahead. But beating a cow doesn't get you more milk, and it just irks the cow.

TW

What if the cow is a masochist?

The problem I see is that the "hiking community" IS a thing that exists beyond small groups of friends, even if only in the minds of people who live in the towns through which the trail passes. So bad behavior by others affects how I'm treated in town, because I'm perceived as being the same.

So I guess the next question would be, does it exist in any form other than in the heads of townsfolk, and if so, can it (or should it) be something used to promote good behavior. I would say, yes and yes.

I have tried it, incidentally. You could ask some 2000 thru-hikers about Gnarly, Burley, and Blue, who went from being escorted out of Duncannon by the police to mowing the lawn and doing other chores at Vernon Hostel.

Seriously, let's start beating some cows.

kanga
09-18-2009, 16:16
yes, in fact it also lends credence to my theory that thru hiker entitlement is desired as a forum through which one can bitch and appear justified.
well i agree with you in a way.. i have seen this "entitlement" attitude of which some speak and it embarrasses me as a hiker that our "hiker community" has idiots like that in it, but i do think that there are some that use it as one more soap box to stand upon to garner attention. you know, after so long standing on the other ones, i think they wore out and fell over. this one's fresh and should give us hours of entertainment for the time being...

kanga
09-18-2009, 16:17
Is "it harshes my mellow" a good enough response?



What if the cow is a masochist?

The problem I see is that the "hiking community" IS a thing that exists beyond small groups of friends, even if only in the minds of people who live in the towns through which the trail passes. So bad behavior by others affects how I'm treated in town, because I'm perceived as being the same.

So I guess the next question would be, does it exist in any form other than in the heads of townsfolk, and if so, can it (or should it) be something used to promote good behavior. I would say, yes and yes.

I have tried it, incidentally. You could ask some 2000 thru-hikers about Gnarly, Burley, and Blue, who went from being escorted out of Duncannon by the police to mowing the lawn and doing other chores at Vernon Hostel.

Seriously, let's start beating some cows.

yes. this is what i was trying to say.;)

Alligator
09-18-2009, 16:18
Enough with the personal attacks already people:rolleyes:.

kanga
09-18-2009, 16:20
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-angelic006.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Jester2000
09-18-2009, 16:25
0ctober 03 is significantly more than five years ago? With what calendar?

Maybe the Jewish one? It's currently 5769 in that one, so 2003 would be significantly more than 5 years.

A-Train
09-18-2009, 16:30
Maybe the Jewish one? It's currently 5769 in that one, so 2003 would be significantly more than 5 years.

Now it's all clear. Happy Rosh Hashonah everyone!:banana

Disney
09-18-2009, 16:31
Maybe the Jewish one? It's currently 5769 in that one, so 2003 would be significantly more than 5 years.

I personally use a calendar system that begins on the day I was born. It has 13 months and every Friday is a religious holiday.

So 2003 is a long time in the future.