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Violent Green
08-21-2011, 10:55
Seems that for the most part everyone agrees that hitch hiking is OK for the unsupported thru-hike classification. Where do shuttles fall? Namely, unaffiliated 3rd parties that are paid in advance(or maybe not) to shuttle the hiker from trail to town & back to trail. I was trying to explain supported vs unsupported to a friend and couldn't provide a rock solid answer for that question. Opinion?

Ryan

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 11:10
thats because there is no such thing as unsupported, so its really just an unsolvable argument over degree of support. sending yourself maildrops is, in effect, hiring the postal service to transport items to you along the trial, ie, bought and paid for support. why that would be ok but paying someone to resupply you isnt youd have to ask someone else, cause i dont get it.

seems it boils down to what a typical thru hiker would do vs what typical thru hikers dont do. well, your typical thru hikder does things slackpack mt moosilauke southbound while doing a nobo thru hike, so i guess thats ok and counts as unsupported?

its all a bunch of nonsense.

paistes5
08-21-2011, 11:16
Not really sure of why the discussion, but in my mind, supported means a dedicated staff to help you with the hike.

If you want to call getting a shuttle or hitching supported, then you could take it down to the nth degree.

Can't eat at a restaurant, you didn't make the food, can't sleep in a hotel or hostel, can't do mail drops, can't accept trail magic, etc.

max patch
08-21-2011, 11:55
seems it boils down to what a typical thru hiker would do vs what typical thru hikers dont do. well, your typical thru hikder does things slackpack mt moosilauke southbound while doing a nobo thru hike,


No, your typical thru hiker does not do that.

Sly
08-21-2011, 13:08
You set your own rules...

As far as an unsupported thru-hike it seems that sending mail drops has always been accepted, where as supported means a crew is helping and usually done without a backpack. Scott Williamson is trying to beat the "unassisted" record on the PCT which he already holds. His view is that he can send himself mail drops and that any ride in car voids the attempt.

Lostone
08-21-2011, 13:34
The Rules for records.

I know some people must have competition

Jennifer did it supported, pretty much as supported as you can get. Rides, food, water all waiting at the next road crossing.

Natureboy started it unsupported, but with sponsors and begging for pizza and all of the people offering him trail magic I am not sure it was truly unsupported.

Of course the days of the casual records are over.

My time in the woods is to valuable to rush thru it. Some day I may thru hike, I hope to enjoy my trip and my brothers and sisters I meet along the way.

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 13:41
No, your typical thru hiker does not do that.

perhaps saying the typical thru hiker does it is exagerrating, but ive seen droves of them do it. once one bends and does it most of the people in the bubble with them go along with it, and then slackpack the kinsman ridge the next day.

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 13:45
You set your own rules...

As far as an unsupported thru-hike it seems that sending mail drops has always been accepted, where as supported means a crew is helping and usually done without a backpack. Scott Williamson is trying to beat the "unassisted" record on the PCT which he already holds. His view is that he can send himself mail drops and that any ride in car voids the attempt.

and if sending maildrops (hiring the post office is ok) then i say hiring someone to meet you at a roadcrossing somewhere there is no convenient post office is no different. most people would disagree with this statement, but theres no logic in the disagreement.

and if you follow logic and concede that hiring someone to meet you once is ok, then at what number of hires does it become not ok? its an arbitrary argument with no reason behind it.

CrumbSnatcher
08-21-2011, 16:27
How about if your attempting an unsupported record attempt SOBO, starting at BIG k ,you've made it to gorham,NH.(rt.#2)
hitch in to Gorham(not a preplanned ride) and grab a bite to eat and grab some supplies, head over to the motel and book a room, leaving your pack in the room to head back out(thumbing it all the way) to hike the additional(20) miles to Pinkham Notch, hoping to hitch back(not preplanned ride) to the motel
is that ok? for unsupported :-)

matthew.d.kirk
08-21-2011, 16:46
According to the definitions provided by Peter Bakwin, people often use the term "unsupported" incorrectly. To my knowledge no one has ever successfully completed an unsupported thru-hike of the AT nor a hike much longer than 1000K for that matter.

Definitions below come from http://pbakwin.home.comcast.net/~pbakwin/FKT.html

Supported, self-supported, unsupported? What does it mean?
Supported means you have a dedicated support team that meets you along the way to supply whatever you need. This generally allows for the fastest, lightest trips, and for an element of camaraderie and safety, since someone knows about where you are at all times.

Self-supported means that you don't carry everything you need from the start, but you don't have dedicated, pre-arranged people helping you. This is commonly done a couple different ways: You might put out stashes of supplies for yourself prior to the trip, or you might just use what's out there, such as stores, begging from other trail users, etc.

Unsupported means you have no external support of any kind. Typically, this means that you must carry all your supplies right from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources. This approach has also been termed "alpine style". The longest trip I'm aware of using this style is Coup's 20-day thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. For most people, carrying enough food for more than a few days to one week will be prohibitive.

Slo-go'en
08-21-2011, 17:04
If I were making up the definitions, I'd change the above definition of Self-supported to Unsupported as doing a traditional thru-hike. Sure you are "supported" by the trail inferstructure, but your basically on your own in taking advantage of it.

Then I'd change Unsupported to be Self-reliant, in that you bring everything you need, including food, with you and you do not take advantage of any trail inferstructure. That would be truely difficult to pull of and puts you back in time to the colonial days.

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 18:16
If I were making up the definitions, I'd change the above definition of Self-supported to Unsupported as doing a traditional thru-hike. Sure you are "supported" by the trail inferstructure, but your basically on your own in taking advantage of it.

Then I'd change Unsupported to be Self-reliant, in that you bring everything you need, including food, with you and you do not take advantage of any trail inferstructure. That would be truely difficult to pull of and puts you back in time to the colonial days.


ok, so then if you accept a hostel's offer of them shuttling you up the trail 20 miles to slackpack in the opposite direction and stay a second night at the hostel, you are just using the trail infrastructure and therefore hiking unsupported, right?

what if i open a business whose purpose is to follow hikers and resupply them, i'd be part of the trail infrastructure then, wouldnt i?

its all just hiking, the rest of this is nonsense. it only matters for purposes of records anyway and the record is doing whatever you need to do to to hike as fast as possible. the application of limits is by people who are just jealous that they lack the means to remove those limits from themselves.

Sly
08-21-2011, 19:13
and if sending maildrops (hiring the post office is ok) then i say hiring someone to meet you at a roadcrossing somewhere there is no convenient post office is no different. most people would disagree with this statement, but theres no logic in the disagreement.

and if you follow logic and concede that hiring someone to meet you once is ok, then at what number of hires does it become not ok? its an arbitrary argument with no reason behind it.

Like I said, you set your own rules. You don't hire the PO, they're part of the trail infrastructure and have been used since day one.

If you're attempting to set a record you can set your own rules. if you're attempting to break an established record you need to follow the rules the record holder used.

If you hired someone to meet you at road crossings and resupply you along the way, IMO, that would be a supported hike.

Slo-go'en
08-21-2011, 20:07
If you hired someone to meet you at road crossings and resupply you along the way, IMO, that would be a supported hike.

Indeed.

Slack packing? I guess you can argue either way on that one.

Violent Green
08-21-2011, 20:25
Like I said, you set your own rules. You don't hire the PO, they're part of the trail infrastructure and have been used since day one.

If you're attempting to set a record you can set your own rules. if you're attempting to break an established record you need to follow the rules the record holder used.

If you hired someone to meet you at road crossings and resupply you along the way, IMO, that would be a supported hike.


I like your line of thinking on this Sly. As long as you play by the same rules as the person whose record you are trying to break, it doesn't really matter how it's classified. Since the unsupported record holder is Ward L., I wonder if he just walked to all of the towns. I wonder if anyone even knows since it was several years ago now.

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 22:14
You don't hire the PO,


so its free then?

by all means, i dont disagree with the conclusion that you set your own rules, i'm just pointing out that generally people accept things that are really no different than things they dont accept. call it whatever you want, sending maildrops is hiring someone to bring supplies to you at a point you designate and hold them for you until you pick them up. thats why hostels got in on the act, same thing. but if someone drives the supplies to you suddenly most people go "nononono you cant do that!"

Sly
08-21-2011, 22:34
Indeed.

Slack packing? I guess you can argue either way on that one.

Well, if someone is attempting to break an unsupported or unassisted record, yeah, again IMO, slackpacking wouldn't count.

Sly
08-21-2011, 22:38
so its free then?



You pay a fee to mail a package, but the PO doesn't go out of its way in such a way as someone paid to meet you at trail crossings.

You're trying to put it on a level like a grocery store holding your food until you get there.

sbhikes
08-21-2011, 22:41
I think all these records are dumb. There are people out there breaking the records all the time who don't say a word about it. So those who crow about or keep track of records, supported or unsupported or whatever, don't even really know for sure if they've been broken or not.

tdoczi
08-21-2011, 22:54
You pay a fee to mail a package, but the PO doesn't go out of its way in such a way as someone paid to meet you at trail crossings.

You're trying to put it on a level like a grocery store holding your food until you get there.

so the determination is how put out the people helping you are? i mean really, think about what youre saying (and really its not just you, youre expressing what is probably the majority opinion on the subject) it makes no sense. what difference is it whether the people helping you get your supplies are going out of their way or not? theyre still helping you, at your request, and only because theyre being financially reciprocated by you.

sure, you can argue the PO is just doing its job and is "infrastructure" but the reality is that these days theres tons of "infrastructure" there solely for the purpose of making money from helping hikers passing through. do you need to avoid all of these in order to hike unsupported? i doubt youd say yes. and i say if youre not going to avoid them all then you are welcome to use as many as you want, as often as you want and to whatever ridiculous extremes of putting others out of their way youre able to arrange.

i ordered a pizza from pen mar park on a section hike, was it supported? i mean the driver went out of his way....

bobqzzi
08-21-2011, 23:21
I think all these records are dumb. There are people out there breaking the records all the time who don't say a word about it. So those who crow about or keep track of records, supported or unsupported or whatever, don't even really know for sure if they've been broken or not.
I find this doubtful

Tom Murphy
08-22-2011, 11:45
Records for Fastest Known Time FKT.

I see this type of thing in the New England Hiking Websites all the time.

Basically, the first person establishes the rules for their FKT. If subsequent hikers want to try to better that time, then they must follow the same rules.

For example, the time to hike each of the NH 48 or to each of the ADK 46 might be recorded from first summit to last summit OR from the trailhead of first summit to the return to trailhead from the last summit.

The AMC hut hike has two established routes and therefore two different records.

The route and length of the AT is not static, it changes over time, so matter how elaborate your rules, you can't compare hike.

Jenn's feat was amazing and inspiring but once there is a single re-location anyway along the AT her "record" becomes frozen in time.

Tom Murphy
08-22-2011, 11:49
This is also touches on the dichotomy in the hiking community.

Some people go to the woods to leave competition and the other presures of society behind them.

Others go to the woods to challenge themselves.

Sly
08-22-2011, 12:00
Jenn's feat was amazing and inspiring but once there is a single re-location anyway along the AT her "record" becomes frozen in time.

Well, she'll always been known as the first woman to break the established overall record set by Trail Dog in 2005. She also had to hike about 6 more miles to do it.

Tom Murphy
08-22-2011, 13:44
Well, she'll always been known as the first woman to break the established overall record set by Trail Dog in 2005. She also had to hike about 6 more miles to do it.

My comments were not intended to diminish Jenn's accomplishment. Ands the fact that "her AT" was longer than Trail Dog's highlights my contention that each of these records are in fact unique hikes and it si difficult to compare them.

[thread drift]

Suppose a local club eliminates a particluarly difficult ridge line thereby reducing the AT lengths by 10 miles and a significant ammount of elevation gain/loss, does the future hiker who bests Jenn's time hold the "record"?

[/thread drift]

I like the definations above. There are two extremes: supported and self supported. Everything else lies on a continuum between those condtions

Next I hope we will discuss how may trail angels can fit through the eye of a needle.

Mags
08-22-2011, 14:05
Next I hope we will discuss how may trail angels can fit through the eye of a needle.

I was thinking of dancing on the head of a pin myself. ;)

Sly
08-22-2011, 15:47
My comments were not intended to diminish Jenn's accomplishment. Ands the fact that "her AT" was longer than Trail Dog's highlights my contention that each of these records are in fact unique hikes and it si difficult to compare them.



I realize that. If anything the trail is bound to get longer such as in Jen's case, do to side hilling and switchbacks, not shorter, so anyone that attempts to break the record will also have to raise the bar.

Tom Murphy
08-22-2011, 16:37
I was thinking of dancing on the head of a pin myself. ;)

yeah, that's it, thanks

Figures an Italian from RI would be the first to correct me.

So Mags, are there more bars or churches in your hometown? Every neighborhood has at least one of each, that's for sure. hahahaha

Lone Wolf
08-22-2011, 20:29
Next I hope we will discuss how may trail angels can fit through the eye of a needle."trail angels" don't exist. they're just wannabe hikers

Mags
08-22-2011, 21:13
yeah, that's it, thanks

Figures an Italian from RI would be the first to correct me.

So Mags, are there more bars or churches in your hometown? Every neighborhood has at least one of each, that's for sure. hahahaha

:) Don't forget the 9 years of Catholic school....

If you include the nearby West Warwick, RI (I grew up in the Pawtuxet Valley area that crosses the Coventry and WW borders), definitely more bars than churches! Lots of great dive bars.... Cafe Jericho: Large basket of fries (enough for 3 semi-drunk guys in their early 20s), a ginormous burger with bacon, cheese ad mushrooms and a pitcher of beer WITH tip for $15 total in 1998. (or $20 in 2010 dollars!). Conveniently located across the street from the basement apt a buddy had. Skeevy bar with skeevier people..but damn good greasy food. :)

EDIT: Second thought..probably equal number of bars and churches. Catholics...party, confess, church...repeat!

stranger
08-23-2011, 01:23
I agree this topic is amusing, in my world it will always be:
- supported (what Jennifer Pharr just did)
- unsupported (what Ward Leonard did in 1990)

This nonsense about establishing criteria is silly, complete BS from where I'm standing. Self-supported versus Unsupported?

How is ANYONE not self-supported? Someone pushing you up hills? Someone else walking for you? Swallowing your water?

For example, two hikers thru-hike the Appalachian Trail:
- Hiker A takes 59 days, hitches into towns
- Hiker B takes 60 days, walks into towns

Hiker A has hiked the trail faster, this FACT cannot be debated, end of story. Roads into towns ARE NOT part of the trail.

Sly
08-23-2011, 01:28
For example, two hikers thru-hike the Appalachian Trail:
- Hiker A takes 59 days, hitches into towns
- Hiker B takes 60 days, walks into towns

Hiker A has hiked the trail faster, this FACT cannot be debated, end of story. Roads into towns ARE NOT part of the trail.

Of course it can be debated. if roads are not part of the trail, and you deduct the time it takes A and B to get in and out of town, B had less time on the trail (hiked faster) than A

DLANOIE
08-23-2011, 06:17
This thread is pointless. Give it a rest people.

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 06:38
I agree this topic is amusing, in my world it will always be:
- supported (what Jennifer Pharr just did)
- unsupported (what Ward Leonard did in 1990)



so you know what ward leonard did in 1990?

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 06:39
This thread is pointless. Give it a rest people.

which has always been my point : )

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 06:41
For example, two hikers thru-hike the Appalachian Trail:
- Hiker A takes 59 days, hitches into towns
- Hiker B takes 60 days, walks into towns

Hiker A has hiked the trail faster, this FACT cannot be debated, end of story. Roads into towns ARE NOT part of the trail.

so, by this logic who cares whatever ward leonard did? it was slow than JPD, so its not the record. carrying a pack is not part of the trail. neither is going for maildrops (either by walking or hitching).

jesse
08-23-2011, 06:42
Slack packing is just lame.

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 08:11
if someone hiked thru, but never told anyone, is it still a thru?
if a person carried no food and begged his way from GA to ME, isd that a supported hike?

Lemni Skate
08-23-2011, 09:29
I don't think I'll care when I do my hike what anybody else calls it. I'll call it my "big, long hike." If I wear a jock strap I'll call it "supported."

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 09:34
I'll be going braless for an unsupported hike.

jersey joe
08-23-2011, 09:56
For unsupported i'm going to say that maildrops and hitching are allowed but you should carry your pack the whole way, no slackpacking.

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 10:18
For unsupported i'm going to say that maildrops and hitching are allowed but you should carry your pack the whole way, no slackpacking.

but whats the logic behind this conclusion? why is having the post office carry your stuff down trail for you ok but hiring a private individual not ok? why is hitching ok but telling someone where you are going to be and having them pick you up not ok? is it ok to stay at a hostel and have them give you a ride into town for supplies?

theres a million factors and my feeling is ther eis no logical system for dividing what is ok from what is not ok. its all arbitrary.

the closest i can come to a logical definition of "unsupported" that would work is that no one is allowed to move equipment or supplies down the trail for you on your behalf. but that would preclude the post office. as soon as you let the PO move stuff for you, then, logically anyone can move stuff for you and itd be the same idea.

Tom Murphy
08-23-2011, 10:40
theres a million factors and my feeling is there is no logical system for dividing what is ok from what is not ok. its all arbitrary.


Again the two end points are easily defined & most reasonably people agree.

Supported [you just walk the trail and everything else is taken care of by others]
and
Unsupported [i.e start all your food for the entire trip]

Everything in the middle IS arbitary. And what is logical to you may not be logical to someone else.

Example:

IMO, Passing every white blaze is a reasonably good defination of a "pure hike".

Why? because, in my opinion, hiking the AT means hiking the actual trail so pass each blaze

IMO slackpacking is fine since IMO hiking is walking in the woods

IMO if you want to say you backpacked the AT then you need to carry the pack the whole way

IMO you don't need to walk into and out of town, hitching a ride is acceptable since you are no longer "on the the trail"

I hope I am strong enough to avoid these types of conversations in the shelters and towns when I thru-hike.

yappy
08-23-2011, 10:44
I'm glad I live in alaska we r not anal and disect evrythng 2 the 9th degree ! East coast folks r an odd bunch ..just sayin

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 10:44
Again the two end points are easily defined & most reasonably people agree.

Supported [you just walk the trail and everything else is taken care of by others]
and
Unsupported [i.e start all your food for the entire trip]

Everything in the middle IS arbitary. And what is logical to you may not be logical to someone else.



so unless youre doing either extreme whats the point of bothering? there is none. THATS my point. theres no such thing as the "unsupported record" because going to the extreme of truly unsupported isnt going to happen and all the points in the middle will never be agreed upon, nor do we have any idea what the current "record holder's" concept and guiding principle was. in fact i doubt he had one.

stranger
08-23-2011, 11:15
so, by this logic who cares whatever ward leonard did? it was slow than JPD, so its not the record. carrying a pack is not part of the trail. neither is going for maildrops (either by walking or hitching).

Ahhh nope, you're not getting my point. My point was that there have always been two classifications of speed hiking:
- Supported
- Unsupported

A supported hike is what Pharr just did, an unsupported hike is what Ward did - what I think is silly is the 'additional' classifications that people have now put into the mix, like calling a traditional unsupported hike like Ward's 1990 thru-hike a 'self-supported' hike, or thinking about how one gets into town as relevant.

stranger
08-23-2011, 11:21
Of course it can be debated. if roads are not part of the trail, and you deduct the time it takes A and B to get in and out of town, B had less time on the trail (hiked faster) than A

How is this debated? Are you serious? The only thing that matters is the total distance covered in a specific time, if someone chooses to walk into town, this adds nothing to the accomplishment because they are off trail, it's meaningless.

The fact that they hiked for a shorter period of time while on the trail because of the extra time they spent walking into town is meaningless, because time spent hiking is not the issue, miles covered is what's relevant, for example...two hikers can walk 40 miles in a particular day, if it takes one hiker 14 hours and another 16, it doesn't matter...they've both walked 40 miles in a 24 hour period.

Tom Murphy
08-23-2011, 11:30
I'm glad I live in alaska we r not anal and disect evrythng 2 the 9th degree ! East coast folks r an odd bunch ..just sayin

hahaha, yup, some of us do enjoy a philosophical discussion

But just start a conversation about fishing or hunting in Alaska and watch how seriously anal some people get about those subjects...just saying :p

yappy
08-23-2011, 11:33
Lol right on tom ! I'm not a huntr but people sure luvvvv 2 kill things up here ...don't much care abt the rules tho..whch is sickeng

stranger
08-23-2011, 11:35
so you know what ward leonard did in 1990?

First off, I'm commending Ward, what he did was amazing.

Second, I have a fairly good idea of how Ward hiked, I was around on the AT in the early 90's, I remember people talking about it, and I feel privledged to have met Ward. Do I know everything about his hike, of course not, but I understand he thru-hiked the trail without support, hitched into towns for resupply, etc...In additinon to meeting him personally, I know about 4 other hikers who spent some time with him in the early 90's, for a few days at a time in some cases.

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 11:48
First off, I'm commending Ward, what he did was amazing.

Second, I have a fairly good idea of how Ward hiked, I was around on the AT in the early 90's, I remember people talking about it, and I feel privledged to have met Ward. Do I know everything about his hike, of course not, but I understand he thru-hiked the trail without support, hitched into towns for resupply, etc...In additinon to meeting him personally, I know about 4 other hikers who spent some time with him in the early 90's, for a few days at a time in some cases.

so in other words, no, you dont know what he did. youre taking a guess based on the assumption that he did an "unsupported hike" combined with your own personal view of what that means. you have no real way of knowing what he did or didnt do or why.

especially you say "he thru hiked without support" but the meaning of the statement is precisely what is at issue (and i insist can not be defined logically and consistently without resorting to an extreme definition) can you elaborate on what that statement means to you with logical reasonign as to what is allowed or is not allowed? and PS- you can sue the word unsupported to define what unsupported means. the circular logic here is rgeat- what is unsupported? its what ward leonard did. what did ward leonard do? hike unsupported! it does nothing towards defining what that means.

again, let me reiterate, i dont think what is really meant when a typical person says "unsupported" can be defined, and is therefore arbitrary and totally pointless. and that is in now way to belittle what wardd leonard or anyone else has done.

DLANOIE
08-23-2011, 11:53
Who gives a flying fart.

Go out and hike some.

yappy
08-23-2011, 12:09
Lol now THAT makes sense

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 12:14
Who gives a flying fart.

Go out and hike some.supported or unsupported?:confused:

Sly
08-23-2011, 12:40
How is this debated? Are you serious? The only thing that matters is the total distance covered in a specific time, if someone chooses to walk into town, this adds nothing to the accomplishment because they are off trail, it's meaningless.


You know how they time the Tour de France? Time off the course isn't counted. Want to debate that?

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 13:15
You know how they time the Tour de France? Time off the course isn't counted. Want to debate that?

yeah but every day has a designated start and end place. itd be fun to try and set something like that up on the AT but i dont think anyone ever has.

yappy
08-23-2011, 13:22
I always thought support meant wearg a bra or not

ATSeamstress
08-23-2011, 14:24
Seems that for the most part everyone agrees that hitch hiking is OK for the unsupported thru-hike classification. Where do shuttles fall? Namely, unaffiliated 3rd parties that are paid in advance(or maybe not) to shuttle the hiker from trail to town & back to trail. I was trying to explain supported vs unsupported to a friend and couldn't provide a rock solid answer for that question. Opinion?

Ryan

Ryan, when I hike solo, I will not hitch. I'll walk to resupply points (PO or store) within 2 miles or so of the trail. For points further, I'll utilize shuttlers, hostel/motel owners, cab companies, or trail angel networks. Anyone whose name and number I can give to my family before my ride appears. In my opinion only, in terms or supported vs unsupported, it's no different than hitching. It's still a local person getting you into town and back, it's just one whose identity is known up front. Hope that helps.

WingedMonkey
08-23-2011, 14:42
The ATC does not recognize trail records, therefore there are no rules for trail records, supported or unsupported on the AT.

:banana

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 14:50
The ATC does not recognize trail records, therefore there are no rules for trail records, supported or unsupported on the AT.

:banana

and if there are no rules, then by definition, there can be no record. whether they officially exist or not its easy to establish readily agreed upon rules for fastest overall hike of the AT. this notion of "unsupported hike" though....

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 14:52
Ryan, when I hike solo, I will not hitch. I'll walk to resupply points (PO or store) within 2 miles or so of the trail. For points further, I'll utilize shuttlers, hostel/motel owners, cab companies, or trail angel networks. Anyone whose name and number I can give to my family before my ride appears. In my opinion only, in terms or supported vs unsupported, it's no different than hitching. It's still a local person getting you into town and back, it's just one whose identity is known up front. Hope that helps.

without agreeing or disagreeing with you about whether or not your hike is supported or unsupported, what if you pre-arranged shuttles at the road crossing you were most likely to be at at the end of everyday. by your reasoning (which again i am not disagreeing with) youd still be hiking unsupported. many others, i think, would cry foul. my point is though that they are complaining about the degree of help or how frequently you get help, which i think is silly. either you can get help (of any kind, as much and as often as you like) or you cant.

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 14:56
if you completed a thruhike and told noone of your accomplishment, you would have still completed the thru, and you would take away whatever personal sense of accompishment you felt.For those so interested in categorizing themselves, start a club.define your own rules(no blueblazing, no shuttles,must touch every blaze etc.), find a place to report the successes. Otherwise, as the OP pointed out in the original title. its just semantics.does a supported thruhiker smell different than an unsupported thru hiker?I find its usually the people who have accomplished the least that look to diminish othrs accomplishments.Now lets all reread the 1948 article.

Sly
08-23-2011, 14:58
What 1948 article?

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 15:03
What 1948 article?maybe I shouldnt have brought it up again.but its in the lower left corner of the home page.I get tired of the purist nonsense as well as the classifying, categorizing etc.its one of the thiongs I go hike to get away from.

tdoczi
08-23-2011, 15:13
maybe I shouldnt have brought it up again.but its in the lower left corner of the home page.I get tired of the purist nonsense as well as the classifying, categorizing etc.its one of the thiongs I go hike to get away from.

i'd be perfectly happy to never seen the notion of "unsupported record" ever mentioned again. if you need a record, the record for fastest thru hike is all you need. if you need a record for someone who has intentionally hobbled themselves according to some arbitrary rule, why not fastest hike by man wearing only one shoe the whole way?

jesse
08-23-2011, 15:34
Just curious. Any of you that are struggling with this. What do you do for a living? Does this "condition" cause you any problems at work? At Home? Is there medication available?

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 15:46
Just curious. Any of you that are struggling with this. What do you do for a living? Does this "condition" cause you any problems at work? At Home? Is there medication available?many come to WB for support. others come for unsupport.but we all come.as you did.

DLANOIE
08-23-2011, 16:16
Just curious. Any of you that are struggling with this. What do you do for a living? Does this "condition" cause you any problems at work? At Home? Is there medication available?

The disease is the Appalachian Trail and the medication is HIKING IT!

hikerboy57
08-23-2011, 16:33
I got my fix in last week up in ME and NH, my last week out before I section from springer to DWG next spring. In the meantime, WB is a healthy diversion from work.going up to the gunks tomorrow for a little climbing.I understand they are working on a 12 step program to help with WB addiction.

paistes5
08-23-2011, 17:40
Since we are classifying hikes for records, I'd like to go on record for attempting to set the record for fastest hike of the AT by a man wearing size 12 shoes, bald, one tattoo, carrying a pack too large, who wears contacts occasionally, left handed from Alabama.

I think I can get that record.

Violent Green
08-23-2011, 20:07
Ryan, when I hike solo, I will not hitch. I'll walk to resupply points (PO or store) within 2 miles or so of the trail. For points further, I'll utilize shuttlers, hostel/motel owners, cab companies, or trail angel networks. Anyone whose name and number I can give to my family before my ride appears. In my opinion only, in terms or supported vs unsupported, it's no different than hitching. It's still a local person getting you into town and back, it's just one whose identity is known up front. Hope that helps.

Ahh, a nice insightful post. Thank you. Seems like a logical stance to me. A shame it's only one of about three in this whole thread.

Ryan

Double Wide
08-23-2011, 20:16
I hope to set the record for pissing off the most gram-weenies by refusing to trade in my Nalgene for an old Aquafina bottle found on the side of the road...

Mags
08-23-2011, 20:44
I.I understand they are working on a 12 step program to help with WB addiction.

The more steps I take, the less time I spend online. A five-million step program works really well. :)


I hope to set the record for pissing off the most gram-weenies by refusing to trade in my Nalgene for an old Aquafina bottle found on the side of the road... .

Never understood why paying $10 fora water bottle is considered normal.

Probably the same logic that makes people buy a calorie laden, $5 coffee and sugar drink form the Starbucks next to the REIs that sell the $10 water bottle that people must bring into the backcountry.
;)

stranger
08-24-2011, 02:39
You know how they time the Tour de France? Time off the course isn't counted. Want to debate that?

I don't know how they time the Tour de France, and if I wanted to debate that I would probably go to a cycling website, not a hiking one.

stranger
08-24-2011, 02:40
Who gives a flying fart.

Go out and hike some.

Best advice I've had in a while, will do...

stranger
08-24-2011, 02:59
so in other words, no, you dont know what he did. youre taking a guess based on the assumption that he did an "unsupported hike" combined with your own personal view of what that means. you have no real way of knowing what he did or didnt do or why.

especially you say "he thru hiked without support" but the meaning of the statement is precisely what is at issue (and i insist can not be defined logically and consistently without resorting to an extreme definition) can you elaborate on what that statement means to you with logical reasonign as to what is allowed or is not allowed? and PS- you can sue the word unsupported to define what unsupported means. the circular logic here is rgeat- what is unsupported? its what ward leonard did. what did ward leonard do? hike unsupported! it does nothing towards defining what that means.

again, let me reiterate, i dont think what is really meant when a typical person says "unsupported" can be defined, and is therefore arbitrary and totally pointless. and that is in now way to belittle what wardd leonard or anyone else has done.

Is someone taking crazy pills?

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 06:43
Is someone taking crazy pills?

i dont know, are you?

jersey joe
08-24-2011, 11:04
but whats the logic behind this conclusion? why is having the post office carry your stuff down trail for you ok but hiring a private individual not ok? why is hitching ok but telling someone where you are going to be and having them pick you up not ok? is it ok to stay at a hostel and have them give you a ride into town for supplies?

theres a million factors and my feeling is ther eis no logical system for dividing what is ok from what is not ok. its all arbitrary.

the closest i can come to a logical definition of "unsupported" that would work is that no one is allowed to move equipment or supplies down the trail for you on your behalf. but that would preclude the post office. as soon as you let the PO move stuff for you, then, logically anyone can move stuff for you and itd be the same idea.
I guess my logic is that it's pretty much impossible to carry all of your food the entire length of the trail so hikers have to resupply by either buying at stores or picking up packages at post offices. Either way, someone is carrying your food to one of those locations. This is an acceptable support in my mind. Someone carrying your stuff down the trail for you or giving you rides to different parts of the trail to slackpack is support. Carry your pack the whole way, hike the ENTIRE trail, if you hitch into town occasionally, just get back on the trail where you left off...I realize it is impossible to be truely unsupported but I believe the community can come to a concensus.

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 11:32
I guess my logic is that it's pretty much impossible to carry all of your food the entire length of the trail so hikers have to resupply by either buying at stores or picking up packages at post offices. Either way, someone is carrying your food to one of those locations. This is an acceptable support in my mind. Someone carrying your stuff down the trail for you or giving you rides to different parts of the trail to slackpack is support. Carry your pack the whole way, hike the ENTIRE trail, if you hitch into town occasionally, just get back on the trail where you left off...I realize it is impossible to be truely unsupported but I believe the community can come to a concensus.

so, lets say i carry my pack the whole way, do not slackpack, do not reverse direction on any sections. but, what i do do is have the same person meet me every day or 2 at a road crossing to give me a ride into town so i dont have to try and hitchhike. is this supported or unsupported? if this would move the hike from unsupported to supported then youre basically saying part of setting the record for an unsupported hike is your skill at hitchhiking??

Mags
08-24-2011, 12:01
so, lets say i carry my pack the whole way, do not slackpack, do not reverse direction on any sections. but, what i do do is have the same person meet me every day or 2 at a road crossing to give me a ride into town so i dont have to try and hitchhike. is this supported or unsupported? if this would move the hike from unsupported to supported then youre basically saying part of setting the record for an unsupported hike is your skill at hitchhiking??


This is beginning to sound more and more like a algebraic equation.

Or maybe a Socratic dialogue?

:)

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 12:25
This is beginning to sound more and more like a algebraic equation.

Or maybe a Socratic dialogue?

:)

whichever one of those is deliberately trying to make it sound foolish. its not hard, cause it is.

Mags
08-24-2011, 12:42
whichever one of those is deliberately trying to make it sound foolish. its not hard, cause it is.

Are you actively trying prove my joke? ;)

Give it a rest dude. A dumb person like me can't add to this "debate" (?). I just know it is beginning to sound like a broken record. :D

Unless you have something else to add without sounding like a shampoo commercial (Wash! Rinse! Repeat!), maybe you want to find a better use of your time?

hikerboy57
08-24-2011, 12:57
the only pure unsupported hike would have to be completed by a hunter-gatherer.all else involves some sort of support, whether it be maildrops, buying hot meals, resupplies, etc.
semantics are fun.and meaningless except to those that care.

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 14:21
Are you actively trying prove my joke? ;)

Give it a rest dude. A dumb person like me can't add to this "debate" (?). I just know it is beginning to sound like a broken record. :D

Unless you have something else to add without sounding like a shampoo commercial (Wash! Rinse! Repeat!), maybe you want to find a better use of your time?

well it seems if nothing else i'm providing you with the invaluable service of giving you something to read, pointless though it may be it would appear you lack any better distraction yourself.

DLANOIE
08-24-2011, 14:32
Arguing for the sake of arguing...?

jersey joe
08-24-2011, 15:58
so, lets say i carry my pack the whole way, do not slackpack, do not reverse direction on any sections. but, what i do do is have the same person meet me every day or 2 at a road crossing to give me a ride into town so i dont have to try and hitchhike. is this supported or unsupported? if this would move the hike from unsupported to supported then youre basically saying part of setting the record for an unsupported hike is your skill at hitchhiking??
Hitchhiking is a very small part of hiking the AT. Most of the time you waste more time hitching than it would take you to walk into town.
If you have someone traveling with you to meet you at road crossings twice a day to "support" you, that is a supported hike.

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 16:30
Hitchhiking is a very small part of hiking the AT. Most of the time you waste more time hitching than it would take you to walk into town.
If you have someone traveling with you to meet you at road crossings twice a day to "support" you, that is a supported hike.

you changed my question and answered a different one. if the person meets you every day or two, not to bring you anything but to give you a shuttle in lieu of hitchhiking, is that supported? that was my question. not whether someone can meet you twice a day to "support" you. (again, using a word to define itself)

i'm sure you see where i'm going with this. if you answer yes, thats supported, then logic would dictate hitching should not be allowed either. but the gut reaction of most in the community is that one is ok but the other isnt.

jersey joe
08-24-2011, 16:40
you changed my question and answered a different one. if the person meets you every day or two, not to bring you anything but to give you a shuttle in lieu of hitchhiking, is that supported? that was my question. not whether someone can meet you twice a day to "support" you. (again, using a word to define itself)

i'm sure you see where i'm going with this. if you answer yes, thats supported, then logic would dictate hitching should not be allowed either. but the gut reaction of most in the community is that one is ok but the other isnt.
OK, just take out the twice a day and the sentence still makes sense. If you have someone traveling with you to meet you at road crossings to "support" you, that is a supported hike.

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 16:52
OK, just take out the twice a day and the sentence still makes sense. If you have someone traveling with you to meet you at road crossings to "support" you, that is a supported hike.

how is a prearranged ride into town (again, not bringing you supplies, just giving you a ride) fundamentally different enough from hitchhiking that one is ok but the other is not? saying hitching is ok but a prearranged ride isnt therefore somehow makes skill (or luck) of hitching part of the hike.

this is basically the OP question.

matthew.d.kirk
08-24-2011, 16:53
Info on records for the AT (including the self-supported record held by Ward Leonard) can be found here:

http://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=midatlantic&thread=6&page=1

If anyone has meaningful info on his hike, please consider posting on the thread linked above. Thanks.

max patch
08-24-2011, 16:58
Weird thread.

The troll isn't the OP.

stranger
08-24-2011, 19:19
i dont know, are you?

You are too funny bro...now, you are not really 35 are you?

stranger
08-24-2011, 19:20
MAGS can you please add a chapter in HMHDI for this very important topic.

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 19:23
You are too funny bro...now, you are not really 35 are you?

wish i wasnt.

its funny, being called immature by someone who interjected into an attempt at a serious discussion with the incredibly brilliant and mature comment "Is someone taking crazy pills?"

you arent really 36, are you?

Mags
08-24-2011, 20:29
well it seems if nothing else i'm providing you with the invaluable service of giving you something to read, pointless though it may be it would appear you lack any better distraction yourself.

Well..seeing as it took me several hours to reply! :D

As the moderator of this forum, it is my 'job' to read any and all posts, drivel, rantings and stupidity (most of which is mine on any given day. ;) )

I tried dropping some hints.....

So, let me say this:


Please, this place isn't to debate endurance hiking or if it is silly or not.

If you find the concept to be not to your liking and/or the record criteria does not fit your world view, please find another place to espouse on it.

I tend to take a light hand...but perhaps the more direct approach is better for you? So, if you have nothing else to add to this discussion, MOVE ALONG.

Thanks, I do appreciate it. :)

re: HMHDI


Oy vey! I never thought I'd have to revise the doc. But, apparently I do. :D

Sly
08-24-2011, 20:43
Glad I got out of this one. It's all yours Mags. :D

Mags
08-24-2011, 21:06
Glad I got out of this one. It's all yours Mags. :D

I am sure the gentleman above who thinks he is Socrates will have some illuminating words to add. I, however, have a secret weapon: DANCING BANANAS!!!!

Moohahah....

tdoczi
08-24-2011, 21:15
:banana:banana:banana

MAGS AGAIN: Please read this sticky. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?52676-Trail-Running-and-Speed-Hiking-(sticky)&p=873204&viewfull=1#post873204)

Further disregarding the house rules will results in more dancing bananas (and being put on moderated status). :)

atmilkman
08-24-2011, 21:47
Info on records for the AT (including the self-supported record held by Ward Leonard) can be found here:

http://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=midatlantic&thread=6&page=1

If anyone has meaningful info on his hike, please consider posting on the thread linked above. Thanks.

Jenn's record is 46 days 11 hours 20 minutes and it was Maine to Georgia

Mags
08-24-2011, 22:11
Jenn's record is 46 days 11 hours 20 minutes and it was Maine to Georgia

I believe Matthew was looking for more info on Ward Leonard.

Acknowledged to hold the current record for a self-supported thru-hike, the fine details if his long hikes are not generally known other than the days hiked. More info is usually written about Mr. Leonard himself than his hiking methods.

Those who know him better may want to chime in.

jersey joe
08-25-2011, 09:09
how is a prearranged ride into town (again, not bringing you supplies, just giving you a ride) fundamentally different enough from hitchhiking that one is ok but the other is not? saying hitching is ok but a prearranged ride isnt therefore somehow makes skill (or luck) of hitching part of the hike.

this is basically the OP question.
The most obvious difference between hitching and having pre-arranged rides is that it would be much easier to get into more towns faster to resupply if you had a pre-arranged ride following you down the trail. This would make the hike easier. Hitchiking isn't nearly as easy and someone going for a distance record would probably avoid trying to hitch into towns that were further off the trail and likely wouldn't get into towns as often. I agree with you that hitching is "support" to a degree, but an acceptable level of support in my mind, as opposed to hitching. I understand your arguement and could even be swayed into accepting that hitching is not allowed on an unsupported record attempt, but for now, i'm still ok with it.

hikerboy57
08-25-2011, 09:13
The most obvious difference between hitching and having pre-arranged rides is that it would be much easier to get into more towns faster to resupply if you had a pre-arranged ride following you down the trail. This would make the hike easier. Hitchiking isn't nearly as easy and someone going for a distance record would probably avoid trying to hitch into towns that were further off the trail and likely wouldn't get into towns as often. I agree with you that hitching is "support" to a degree, but an acceptable level of support in my mind, as opposed to hitching. I understand your arguement and could even be swayed into accepting that hitching is not allowed on an unsupported record attempt, but for now, i'm still ok with it.it would be easy to see that a prearranged ride can resupply you right there, rather than actually giving you a ride into town, so it would become a supported hike. IMHO, hitching would be "less" supported.

jersey joe
08-25-2011, 09:23
it would be easy to see that a prearranged ride can resupply you right there, rather than actually giving you a ride into town, so it would become a supported hike. IMHO, hitching would be "less" supported.
Agree...would you say that someone going for the unsupported record would be allowed to hitch?

hikerboy57
08-25-2011, 09:35
Agree...would you say that someone going for the unsupported record would be allowed to hitch?this can get pretty hairy.I would say no. what if you use a stopwatch to just time the mileage spent on the actual trail, and stop it everytime you stepped off trail for "true" speed times> but then , if you spent a year completing a thru, but only spent 47 days actual time on the trail, etc.you really have to set exact parameters and rules constituting an unsupported hike. Its obviuos you cant carry months worth of food on your back. what if bear canisters containing food resupplies were cached at points along the trail prior to the start of the hike would that constitute support?
Im really more intersted in spending as much time on the trail as possible, not less.
But, bottom line we can all debate these points to death, there are so many variables that can constitute support, itll be tough to call any thru hike completely unsupported.

stranger
08-25-2011, 09:43
wish i wasnt.

its funny, being called immature by someone who interjected into an attempt at a serious discussion with the incredibly brilliant and mature comment "Is someone taking crazy pills?"

you arent really 36, are you?

Who ever said you were immature?

Thanks for labeling your posts as 'a serious discussion'...interesting self-reflection.

Good luck in your quest to be right, take care comrade, godspeed, dancing bananas to all

CrumbSnatcher
08-25-2011, 11:23
Agree...would you say that someone going for the unsupported record would be allowed to hitch?joe i agree with you and stranger,i myself believe hiking for the unsupported record is the same as thruhiking the trail the traditional way, and rides are exceptable. your just hiking for the record! we all know rides are a hit and miss thing anyway, some rides come right away and some never come. prearranged rides, that is support in mind.

max patch
08-25-2011, 11:39
joe i agree with you and stranger,i myself believe hiking for the unsupported record is the same as thruhiking the trail the traditional way, and rides are exceptable. your just hiking for the record! we all know rides are a hit and miss thing anyway, some rides come right away and some never come. prearranged rides, that is support in mind.

That is exactly correct and is so easy to comprehend I don't understand why some people can't figure this out.

Different Socks
08-28-2011, 11:52
Can someone in this thred please tell me what Ward Leonard was supposed to have accomplished?

Different Socks
08-28-2011, 12:01
You people are all out of your minds!!! First off, hitching into town would not be part of a "supported" hike. The person giving the ride is not there to help you, he/she is just there. A person giving you food on the trail b/c you asked for it and need it to continue, that is supported. A person whom gives it to you b/c they don't need it, that comes under "unsupported".

Miner
08-28-2011, 15:59
The whole problem with an unsupported record is there is a variance of time from one person to the next on how long it took them to resupply. As an example, if hitchiking is allowed, one person may get picked up almost immediately while another had to wait 30minutes. But that 30minutes longer has to be included.

When Scott Williamson and Adam Bradley broke both the unsupported and supported record of the PCT last year while hiking unsupported, they set a very high bar as they tried to remove much of that time variance. They refused to ride in any vehicle and had to walk to any resupply. That removed most of the resupply time variance for any that try to break their record in the future. They pretty much left only the length of the line at the Post Office as a differing time.

As others mentioned before, you pretty much have to follow any rules set by those who set the record you are breaking. However, I think the way the PCT record was set is the best way to define Unsupported as it creates a more even playing field for those that wish to play latter.

Different Socks
08-28-2011, 16:36
Knowing you will get a ride and have one waiting for you at the road crossing is different from hitching and not even knowing if and when a car will stop to offer a ride. That is the difference.

CrumbSnatcher
08-28-2011, 16:59
The whole problem with an unsupported record is there is a variance of time from one person to the next on how long it took them to resupply. As an example, if hitchiking is allowed, one person may get picked up almost immediately while another had to wait 30minutes. But that 30minutes longer has to be included. theres always a little luck involved in a record attempting hike
this includes rides and the weather, theres only 24 hours in a day, can't be adding time to that :-)
you pick a start time and then you go.........................
people are overthinking this IMO

stranger
08-30-2011, 09:12
Can someone in this thred please tell me what Ward Leonard was supposed to have accomplished?

Ward Leonard is best known for his 1990 'unsupported' thru-hike of the AT in just 60 days, from what I know about this hike he simply did a normal typical thru-hike, without a team of people following him, in just 60 days. This record was widely recognized as the 'unsupported' record by most people in the AT community until recently, with all these variables being thrown in about what happens if you accept a hitch, etc...

He also thru-hiked the AT 3 times in one year, and has thru-hiked the AT 10 times, also, he accomplished most of this before 1994 to give some context. He also suffers from mental illness which meant some people feared him, although to anyone who met him, or knew him, they all seem to agree he was more misunderstood than anything else.

I met Ward in 1993, he was a very cool person. I didn't realize at the time who he was, found out later on. I feel lucky to have met him.

Different Socks
09-01-2011, 21:22
Ward Leonard is best known for his 1990 'unsupported' thru-hike of the AT in just 60 days, from what I know about this hike he simply did a normal typical thru-hike, without a team of people following him, in just 60 days. This record was widely recognized as the 'unsupported' record by most people in the AT community until recently, with all these variables being thrown in about what happens if you accept a hitch, etc...

He also thru-hiked the AT 3 times in one year, and has thru-hiked the AT 10 times, also, he accomplished most of this before 1994 to give some context. He also suffers from mental illness which meant some people feared him, although to anyone who met him, or knew him, they all seem to agree he was more misunderstood than anything else.

I met Ward in 1993, he was a very cool person. I didn't realize at the time who he was, found out later on. I feel lucky to have met him.

When did he do the AT, 3 times in one year?

stranger
09-02-2011, 21:22
I am not sure when he did his double yo-yo, I have heard 1990, the same year of his 60 day hike, but cannot verify this. The best sources I've found on Ward Leonard on Whiteblaze is Lone Wolf and Warren Doyle, so you might want to contact those guys or if they read this perhaps they could chime in.

slow
09-02-2011, 21:59
Ward was on meds.He dont count...bottom line.

Sly
09-03-2011, 00:23
Ward was on meds.He dont count...bottom line.

What kind of meds? I want some.

LOL... that's almost as bad as the guy that said because he had emotional issues and wasn't normal he had an unfair advantage.

Sly
09-03-2011, 00:28
When did he do the AT, 3 times in one year?

What I heard is he had a hike that went something like this, he'd hike from Springer to Neels Gap, back to Springer, to Hiawassee back to Neels Gap, to Franklin, back to Hiawassee, to NOC, back to Franklin, To Fontana Dam etc all the way up the trail, thereby hiking the trail three times at once.

stranger
09-03-2011, 04:24
Ward was on meds.He dont count...bottom line.

Oh is that so...thanks for your little opinion

stranger
09-03-2011, 04:30
What I heard is he had a hike that went something like this, he'd hike from Springer to Neels Gap, back to Springer, to Hiawassee back to Neels Gap, to Franklin, back to Hiawassee, to NOC, back to Franklin, To Fontana Dam etc all the way up the trail, thereby hiking the trail three times at once.

Perhaps...there are alot of stories out there.

My understanding is that it was a double yo-yo, and he even turned around a 3rd time but ended up getting off the trail a few hundred miles into the 4th hike.

CrumbSnatcher
09-03-2011, 10:20
the only doubt i ever had, was reading a thread a couple years ago, that talked about someone was having a birthday party up the trail somewhere in town, and ward was invited and offered a ride, he turned down the ride and said he'd make it later. he showed up at the party later that evening having walked 40 something miles. i can hike 40+ myself, but the post was saying he started late in the afternoon, i thought that was a little suspicious. but i always heard ward was a strong hiker and speedy