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  1. #1
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Default How not to hike the Appalachian Trail

    This story is an an example of why people might want to do a just a little bit of research before setting out on their next outdoor adventure. The amount of bad decisions contained in this one story is mind boggling, even if you don't know the first thing about backpacking. If you read the article and watch the video it is obvious they have never been backpacking a day in their life and they decide to do a 10 day trip through the Smokies in January! They are lucky to be alive.

    They started at Fontana and according to the ranger weren't even close to their intended destination of Mollies Ridge Shelter. That means they only made it in about 5 -7 miles. The guy had packed a propane torch! I wonder what their packs weighed? One article quoted one of them as saying they would walk for 10 to 20 seconds before having to stop and catch their breath which tells me they were grossly out of shape and had no idea whatsoever of what they had signed up for. Another said they checked the weather and they were only calling for rain on a couple of days and no snow. They probably got the weather from the local television station reporting from Charlotte or Spartenburg since they were from Gaffney SC.

    I am consistently amazed that more people do not die from things like this every year. Credit the park rangers and rescue folks for doing a great job I guess.

  2. #2

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    There's already a huge thread on this story.

  3. #3
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Yes, other threads on that story, but let's focus on the title here. Its not unusual for folks to go out unprepared. Most on the AT get the benefit of the relatively benign Approach Trail to give them their first dose of reality, as opposed to winter in the Smokies. I find it quite surprising that these guys were allowed to get permits. I mean, shouldn't a permit mean something more than a reservation system and money for the park? Shouldn't the purpose of a hiking permit be to do a minimal weeding out of those who are obviously unprepared, if not for the hikers safety, then for those who would be called upon to rescue? Most of the time, there's not much to be done, but winter hiking in the Smokies is a totally different situation - one that the "blow torch" hikers should have known more about, for sure, but also one that a minimal check-in with a ranger ought to have prevented.

    There are good places to start hiking the AT, and there are places where only those with at least some experience should go UNLESS they prove they've done their research to prepare.
    Last edited by scope; 01-08-2014 at 13:25.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  4. #4

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    Your post is focused on the title? And somehow provides something that couldn't be discussed in one of the other threads already dedicated to these guys?

  5. #5
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Sorry, didn't mean anything towards you. You're not incorrect, just thought it might be OK to go down a path that was more generally related to the AT, not necessarily specific to this story. You a mod?
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  6. #6

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    Not a mod, just being a bit pedantic this morning.

  7. #7

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    "Next time we'll be prepaired for anything"
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  8. #8
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDSection12 View Post
    There's already a huge thread on this story.
    My apologies. I took a quick look but didn't see anything. Can someone link to it?

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  10. #10
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Duplicate thread. Closing. 4Eyedbuzzard put in the appropriate link.
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