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  1. #1

    Default 'Stolen' Trekking poles from gravel springs hut

    Did a weekend in the Shenandoah and stayed one night at gravel springs hut. Was surprised that a few groups trickled in. In the morning 2 groups of 2 had left before I awoke. And as I went to get ready to leave I realized that my red rei trekking poles were not where I had left them. I cannot tell for sure if this was something done maliciously or by accident by someone who thought they had been hiking with poles that weekend but were really not. It really has bothered my since because I am fairly trusting hikers, especially those that I spend a decent amount of time with at a shelter. And now I can no longer do this. The community which I have enjoyed on the trail feels different to me. Anyways, I posted this hoping that someone mistakenly took them and they might maybe see this...

  2. #2

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    How does the community feel different to you?

    I will attest that I almost accidentally took someone's poles. I was at a busy shelter, and put my poles next to another person's, and they looked so similar that when I went to get mine, I almost grabbed theirs, then stopped, and asked around - it took some time to sort it out, but ultimately I did get my poles.

  3. #3

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    If there was a set of poles there when everyone left, I would say it was an accident. If no extra poles, stolen
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  4. #4

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    There was no extra set. I know the second group of two to leave was a couple who both hiked in with poles. The other two guys who left fairly early maybe one of them had poles. But the two guys who left first had been at the shelter all day while another hikers stuff was there while he was doing a day hike, so I dont know what to make of it..

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHuth View Post
    How does the community feel different to you?

    I will attest that I almost accidentally took someone's poles. I was at a busy shelter, and put my poles next to another person's, and they looked so similar that when I went to get mine, I almost grabbed theirs, then stopped, and asked around - it took some time to sort it out, but ultimately I did get my poles.
    It feels different because its possible they did steal them. If it was an accident I would probably have them back in my hands. Both groups knew where I was hiking to.

  6. #6

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    I'm surprised that poles don't go missing at shelters more often. I too have red REI trekking poles, bought on sale a long time ago. Now the paint is pretty chipped, and they are so short that they are unlikely to be taken, either accidentally or on purpose. When something does disappear, it certainly affects one's trust in the hiker community. I hope you get them back, Dholmblad.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dholmblad View Post
    It feels different because its possible they did steal them. If it was an accident I would probably have them back in my hands. Both groups knew where I was hiking to.
    I know we all like to think the best of people and situations on the trail but when it really comes down to it, they are strangers. The only thing most have in common are sharing a dirt path thru the woods. And the whole "accidentally" took my poles, I'm sorry but I have never accidentally picked up someone else's stuff, I carry those poles for hundreds of miles every year, and 2 things always happen, I remember them, and they always feel like mine. If they were takin it was probably spontaneous and they thought it would be cute.
    AT Shuttle List
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  8. #8

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    Maybe a raccoon dragged them off into the woods to chew on the salty grips. Yeah right! You got NEAATly ripped by the New Entitled Authority of the Appalachian Trail. It's a new group that has formed. They call themselves neat for short.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I know we all like to think the best of people and situations on the trail but when it really comes down to it, they are strangers. The only thing most have in common are sharing a dirt path thru the woods. And the whole "accidentally" took my poles, I'm sorry but I have never accidentally picked up someone else's stuff, I carry those poles for hundreds of miles every year, and 2 things always happen, I remember them, and they always feel like mine. If they were takin it was probably spontaneous and they thought it would be cute.
    Yeah, like I said at this point I believe that they were stolen. I know the trail names of the couple who left second, the other two guys I dont remember their names. But one of them told me the company he worked for and his first name, so Im not sure why he would take something from me....

  10. #10
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    Another reason to stay out of the turd boxes!!! My poles hold up my shelter so it would be tough to steal!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    A proper quick, brave, steady, ready gentleman! ocourse's Avatar
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    The reality is that hikers aren't more honest or more dishonest than any other group. Cops sometimes are dishonest, as are nurses, mechanics, and mayors, etc. You can't assume trust in someone you meet once. Trust is reserved for someone you actually know well - and then it usually works out. Most people lock their cars and houses, and don't leave tools unlocked and out in sight. On the trail, you can't watch all gear, all the time, and things can get stolen. Don't lose heart though. Lots of people are honest and will look out for another's property when they can.
    I've learned....
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  12. #12

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    A thief on the trail is still a thief. Keep an open mind about other hikers, but let them earn your trust.

  13. #13
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    Which is why I mark my hiking poles with random tape and stickers. To make them too "ugly" to steal or to be picked up by accident.

    The only time I have ever had anything stolen from me while hiking was at Whitley Gap Shelter on the Georgia AT. Someone in a boy scout troop pocketed my knife that I had left out while whittling. I told everyone within earshot for the person who stole my knife to be careful as it can be quite tricky to close.

  14. #14
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    I have my name on every piece of gear I carry. I clean the mud off my poles and put them beside my mat in shelters, never know when you might need them to fend off unfriendly animals or humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocourse View Post
    On the trail, you can't watch all gear, all the time, and things can get stolen.
    Yes you can.
    If someone isnt diligent, and leaves gear unnatended, thats a personal choice.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Yes you can.
    If someone isnt diligent, and leaves gear unnatended, thats a personal choice.
    Maybe that's s sign your carrying to much crap!!


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    I have my name on every piece of gear I carry. I clean the mud off my poles and put them beside my mat in shelters, never know when you might need them to fend off unfriendly animals or humans.
    Sandy isn't the issue with humans are the ones that want to be too friendly? maybe the animals too? Wanna have dinner 1st?

  18. #18
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    Yes mark your stuff. Trail name, real name, address, phone #, friend's phone #, email, Nobo or Sobo, clear taped to your poles, and anything else you can mark. Clip your poles to your pack or something else I even marked my socks and underwear summer camp style. Nobody tried to steal my underwear. Really !!!

  19. #19
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    I always felt that theft was so low among hikers because no one wanted to carry any more weight than they started with. That being said trekking poles would be one of those exceptions as I found out on the Camino in 13, you had to watch those things closely. Last year on the whole of the trail I only heard of one pair being stolen and that was from in front of a grocery store in Lincoln NH, the police were pretty certain it was a local that did it.
    I guess that's a good reason to be the first one up and at em in the morning.

  20. #20
    Registered User PAFranklin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Yes mark your stuff. Trail name, real name, address, phone #, friend's phone #, email, Nobo or Sobo, clear taped to your poles, and anything else you can mark. Clip your poles to your pack or something else I even marked my socks and underwear summer camp style. Nobody tried to steal my underwear. Really !!!

    Not advice I would give to my daughter hiking the trail. Put your trail name on it. Maybe paint a bight band so you can ID at a distance. At that point if someone wants to steal it that's the way it goes.

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