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  1. #1

    :banana Begging On The Trail

    I saw a hiker today, (Near the truck stop outside of Duncannon, PA) with a sign begging for money. What got me is the guy had a great gear (Read $$$) but was out of money. Has anyone on this list begged for money (On the trail.) or thought about it?

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    saw quite a few panhandlin' hikers in damascus the past coupla weeks. bums

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    Was the truck stop near the trail? Just because he had great gear doesn't mean he didn't buy it months ago, so he could have legit money problems. If he was a t a truck stop, he'd be better off hitching a ride home, though, instead of panhandling. I've never heard of a hiker panhandling before. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. YOou more often hear of hikers yogi'ing, raiding hiker boxes, hiring themselves out work for food/lodging.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mother Natures Son View Post
    I saw a hiker today, (Near the truck stop outside of Duncannon, PA) with a sign begging for money. What got me is the guy had a great gear (Read $$$) but was out of money. Has anyone on this list begged for money (On the trail.) or thought about it?
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
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    Registered User jbbweeks's Avatar
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    Most would be surprised to see how much the pro-panhandlers rake in! Gave $3 to a woman @ Bland Kangaroo - clerk told me she was a pro that worked their parking lot on a regular basis - she had a car full of kids and said they were stranded - when she pointed to the car the kids waved & smiled at me - last time I was in there I ask if she had gotten my $3 back for me - she said the police had arrested her and found 2k on her! I don't think I will ever get my $3 back! The kids were cute!


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    I don't give money to the panhandler on the corner. There are many other ways my money can him and others but, I don't begrudge him/her for trying. I have given food or beverages.

    The panhandler I despise; the person collecting signatures and eventually contributions door to door for "Clean Water Action" or "Anti-toxic this", or other public-good sounding organization. I learned from an ex-employee of one such group that 1/3 of the collected cash is commission, most of the rest is "administrative costs" with a small percentage eventually being spent on "the cause".

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    i've seen a bunch of hikers whose supply plan is to raid the hiker box at all the hostels, etc
    Plunder the whole box.
    Not as bad as begging, but not much better

  9. #9

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    I hear some panhandlers in the big city's take plastic, they use the "square" on there cell phone.
    ...you have got to be ****ing kidding me! Crazy world.

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    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother Natures Son View Post
    I saw a hiker today, (Near the truck stop outside of Duncannon, PA) with a sign begging for money. What got me is the guy had a great gear (Read $$$) but was out of money. Has anyone on this list begged for money (On the trail.) or thought about it?
    Are you sure he was a hiker? He could've just parked his car at the truck stop, pulled his gear out, and started holding up the sign.
    It's all good in the woods.

  11. #11

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    It is embarrassing for me to read this, I know the trail is far from story book, book I doubt ol' Myron or Benton ever begged for anything, other than a trail to walk
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    I wouldn't dare ask for $$ but figure a way to generate it myself. I was taught to be industrious and would figure something out (singing for supper, washing dishes, peeling potatoes).

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    I have talked to a few older thruhikers when I give them car rides and apparently one of the newer challenges is to beg ones way north. A few of them speculated that the folks doing the begging had spent their funds on weed or partying in town. Its too bad that generally the folks who need it the most are the ones least likely to be begging and the worst at it. As Gorham is along a major east west highway we get a fair share of itinerants who swing through town on their way east or west and they sometimes will set up shop in town but soon figure out there is better begging elsewhere (like VT).

    I know of some folks who have time on their hands and when they see someone at road intersection with sign for "work for food" or "need a job" they offer to go buy them some food or give them a ride to the local unemployment office as currently there are numerous businesses in the area looking for employees. Inevitably the folks with the signs ask for cash instead.

    My feeling is that budgeting and paying for a thru hike is part of a thru hike, begging to continue a thru hike to me is the equivalent of blueblazing the AT and claiming they thru-hiked the trail. I have done trail magic in the past and will continue to do occasional trail magic but generally its something I initiate and is unexpected by the hiker. I can generally figure out "yogi ing" pretty quick and there is definitely a fine line between it and outright begging.

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    Registered User CoolBobby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    It is embarrassing for me to read this, I know the trail is far from story book, book I doubt ol' Myron or Benton ever begged for anything, other than a trail to walk
    Agree 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    It is embarrassing for me to read this, I know the trail is far from story book, book I doubt ol' Myron or Benton ever begged for anything, other than a trail to walk
    this is nothing new - granny Gatewood was not shy about asking for handouts

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    Having sufficient funds to hike the AT for 5-6 months is part of the planning process. I see no reason for anyone to beg especially given all the trail magic and hiker feeds. If you don't have 4-5 grand stashed away (at the very least) you should not be hiking the trail. End of story.

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    I met a guy who was hiking GA to HF with no money. He had crap gear, cooked over wood fire. Slept on the ground and would pull a Tarp over himself if it rained, which didn't work so well as he was drying his gear at a parking lot when i met him. When he needed food he would call a friend and say he ran out of money and asked him to mail a box of food to the next PO. He said he had enough friends to get to HF without having to ask the same person twice. He was a bit down because all his stuff was wet and wasn't able to hitch a ride to the PO before noon when it closed on Saturday. Now he was stuck with no food until the PO opened on Monday. I made his day by telling him it was actually Friday. I gave him some extra coffee which made him even happier.

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    Yogiing, or however you spell it, is just a fancy word for begging in my opinion.
    If the ultimate end result is to get something for free, then what's the real difference.
    The use of the word ' yogi' is just a feel good factor to lessen the blow.
    Hey, if you're going to scrounge something off me, at least have the China's to be upfront about it!
    (spellcheck changed Cahunas to China's ! Ha!)
    If I am wrong, someone please enlighten me...

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    China's the new cahunas

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother Natures Son View Post
    What got me is the guy had a great gear (Read $$$) but was out of money.
    most people without money today in America actually make 6 figures...but somehow also manage six figure debt
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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