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  1. #1
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    Default Thru-Hiker Ethnographic Book?

    Hello Everyone!

    I am a in the midst of planning my own thru-hike, though it will not take place for several years, but I am also a writer and storyteller. And I have this dream of writing a book about the Appalachian Trail. What I am dreaming of would be to hike up Katahdin every day during various weeks when most people would be finishing their thru-hike. I would spend a while atop the mountain and snap photographs of people as they finish their thru-hikes and then, hopefully, talk to them and get some good stories about how they feel and something that they have to say about their thru-hike or any good stories from along the way. I am hoping to compile all this together and make a book of Thru-hiker stories and such with awesome photographs of hikers and their final moments. But, I'm reaching out to hear your thoughts on the matter, if you think this is possible and if you all think that people would be into the idea and want to talk to me/be a part of this project?

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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    Amanda, I think that would be a neat project, and might even make a good book depending on how you do it. (But to be honest, it will be hard to tell if it will sell) If you decide to go through with it, I highly recommend making sure you don't just climb Katahdin during the time "most" people finish. Some of the greatest stories will come from people who finish at unusual times.

  3. #3

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    If it was this year and I finish my hike I would gladly speak to you and try and give you some good stories. My journal is on trailjournals.com/safeway. Good luck with your project.

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    I'm kind of a hermit myself. I'd find the idea of someone taking my picture without permission to be deeply intrusive while I'd likely be going through a very personal moment. If I choose to summit with someone, I'd think it would be with the friends I met and valued on the trail.

    I have some strong feelings about the vulture media profiting off the emotions of others. I think I'd find it a bit odd, like showing up to a strangers wedding and asking for pics and feelings.

    YMMV

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    It's an interesting idea, but there are concerns:
    1) Commercial use / purpose - You should apply for a Media Permit or contact BSP regarding feasibility prior to committing time/money to it http://www.baxterstateparkauthority....diaPolicy2.pdf
    2) Climbing and hanging out at the summit everyday possible for a month or so isn't easy physically nor from a logistics standpoint. On the plus side you'd be in great condition when you finished.
    3) As Puddlefish noted, there are privacy concerns. It didn't sound like you were suggesting taking photos without prior consent though, so I'm not criticizing.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-18-2016 at 20:07.

  6. #6

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    If your photo is taken in a public place, I don't think you can do anything about it. Ask the celebrities about that.

    Climbing to the summit of Katahdin everyday for a month, that would be hard to pull off. You'd have to camp out at Abol bridge and do a 20 mile hike everyday. But what you could do is interview hikers either before or after they summit and ask them to share their summit picture or to take one at the campground just to have a face with the story.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Thanks you so much for your feedback! I agree, going at several different times may prove to bring about some very interesting stories! T

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    Quote Originally Posted by trpost View Post
    Amanda, I think that would be a neat project, and might even make a good book depending on how you do it. (But to be honest, it will be hard to tell if it will sell) If you decide to go through with it, I highly recommend making sure you don't just climb Katahdin during the time "most" people finish. Some of the greatest stories will come from people who finish at unusual times.
    Thank you so much for your advice! Many good points, I agree that going at odd times would probably bring about some really interesting stories!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbright View Post
    If it was this year and I finish my hike I would gladly speak to you and try and give you some good stories. My journal is on trailjournals.com/safeway. Good luck with your project.
    Thank you! I hope to see you out there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I'm kind of a hermit myself. I'd find the idea of someone taking my picture without permission to be deeply intrusive while I'd likely be going through a very personal moment. If I choose to summit with someone, I'd think it would be with the friends I met and valued on the trail.

    I have some strong feelings about the vulture media profiting off the emotions of others. I think I'd find it a bit odd, like showing up to a strangers wedding and asking for pics and feelings.

    YMMV
    I completely understand where you are coming from with this. I would, of course, not use any photographs of anyone without their complete and total permission. I am still figuring out how I would want to go about this and all the details. That's why I started this thread, to see what the reaction might be from as many people as possible, so I am glad to hear your point of view. Thank you for your candidness! Best of luck with your hiking

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    It's an interesting idea, but there are concerns:
    1) Commercial use / purpose - You should apply for a Media Permit or contact BSP regarding feasibility prior to committing time/money to it http://www.baxterstateparkauthority....diaPolicy2.pdf
    2) Climbing and hanging out at the summit everyday possible for a month or so isn't easy physically nor from a logistics standpoint. On the plus side you'd be in great condition when you finished.
    3) As Puddlefish noted, there are privacy concerns. It didn't sound like you were suggesting taking photos without prior consent though, so I'm not criticizing.
    Thank you so much, that is extremely helpful feedback! I have thought about the physical frustration as it would be a daunting task to climb Katahdin daily for that long, though you're right - I'd be extremely fit after that! And, yes, I would never do anything without the consent of the parties involved Thanks again for the awesome feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If your photo is taken in a public place, I don't think you can do anything about it. Ask the celebrities about that.

    Climbing to the summit of Katahdin everyday for a month, that would be hard to pull off. You'd have to camp out at Abol bridge and do a 20 mile hike everyday. But what you could do is interview hikers either before or after they summit and ask them to share their summit picture or to take one at the campground just to have a face with the story.
    Great suggestions, thank you!

  13. #13

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    You are not breaking new ground. "I Hike" by Grinter is a book of hiking stories and "Just Passing Through" by Porter, the owner of Mountain Crossing in Georgia with through hike stories, are basically books like you are planning. I like to read about hiking stories so I would buy your book. You might want to read the aforementioned books to help you structure your book.
    If you faint in the face of adversity then your faith is indeed small--Solomon

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