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  1. #101
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjozgrunt View Post
    At the risk of putting a target on my back, I'm glad I will never have to bushwalk with the OP as they are far too inflexible for me. They seemingly can't seem to wrap their head around the fact that everyone is different, everyone will be bushwalking the AT for different reasons, and have different expectations of both themselves and the trail. Some will never hike again and this will be one of their great adventures, some want to go past every white blaze, some want to get there the fastest, some will slack pack as much as possible, some will blue/aqua/yellow blaze, ( I hope there is someone that gets up earlier than me as I hate to silk blaze), some are coming just to walk on a different continent and meet different people and see different vegetation and animals (bears only at a distance please).

    What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. I'm no 'Expert' I just like to bushwalk my way and have done so on 4 continents and for 38 years, this will be my 5th. How I do the trail and how other people do it should not concern anyone but themselves. If they want to claim a bit of paper, so what, does it really lessen what you have done. I'm sure if some people had their way you'd get issued with a GPS monitor at the start and any deviations would have to be explained. The original poster well done on doing the trail your way, as for the rest of your waffle you've already had 14.59 seconds, too much of fame .

    Enjoy your bushwalking everyone, explore somewhere new, suck in those lungfuls of fresh air, smell a rose if you can find one, and above all have fun and be safe. If you hear a melodious aussie accent of a 50+ young man on the trail, please say hi, as meeting you is one of the many reasons I'll be on the trail.
    jjozgrunt,

    I don't think you are putting a target on your back andhow you choice to hike your hike, well that is up to you. For me, it more abouthikers taking credit for things they didn't do that is the really issue. Orclaiming to be "expert hikers" more than what they really know. Ihave never been to Australia. One day, I love to visit your country but rightnow I have never been there. It would been reckless on my part to claim I havebeen there and offer my “expert advice” on what someone else should pack for abushwalk. Well that is what many hikers are doing.
    Wolf

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    While I cannot prove it, I am convinced that the ATC made that update after it was observed in a contentious White Blaze debate that Earl Shaffer would not have qualified as a 2000 miler under their prior definition-- and some suggested (sarcastically, of course) that his name should be removed from the historical record.

    It was well known that before being accepted by the ATC as the first person to become a 2000 miler by the way of a thru hike, Earl freely shared with them that he missed some of the official trail in the Whites (but took blue blaze trails at least as long) because his maps did not arrive on time.

    The prior ATC written standard did not allow for even that kind of benign deviation.

    Or to put it another way, the ATC updated their definition to reflect common sense, and the "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck" standard.
    That makes a lot of sense and puts the term 'thru hiker' in perspective, as the person who started the activity defines what is needed to accomplish it by how they did it. In the sense that
    you can do more, but at least have to come up to that same standard to have accomplished the same thing.

    It is correct and good to go to the first known thru hike to help set the definition.

    Thanks

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    Malto,

    It is easy to say HYOH and there is an large amount of truth to the phrase. It can also be extremely annoying when someone claiming to be something they are not and share their "expert knowledge". Some of them even go as far as write books, make videos, teach courses, etc. It is often the hikers that know their stuff, that are the ones who correct some of the non-sense out there. It is a little annoying when new hikers after new hikers ask the same question over and over again because some put out some general information.

    If someone has never hiked or camp in the White Mountains for example, how can they be expected to help someone hike the White Mountains. It is even worst when someone goes as far to claiming they have done them but really have never done them.

    Wolf
    I complete agree with you on all points above. I just don't get as worked up over it because I'm not hiking for any other reason other than pure selfish enjoyment.

    On on the expert point. I believe Mags has written about how little experience normal long trail hiker really have, Tipi has also hit this point. A typical season AT give a very shallow level of experience. The funny part is that many "lowly" weekend and section hikers actually have vastly more experience in different terrains, conditions etc than someone who has completed a thru hike. Miles doesn't necessarily equal experience.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  4. #104
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    Bless me, Father White Walker, for I have sinned.

    I'd never heard of "slack packing" before starting the AT this summer. However — and I realize this makes me a loser, an abject scumbag who really shouldn't even claim to have hiked the trail, a groveling cheater who deserves death many times over — after flip-flopping, I slacked Katahdin. Worse — much worse; I shudder to admit it now — I slacked 21 miles from Pinkham Notch to Highway 2 in one day, because I was too much of a p***y to do Wildcat Ridge-Pinkham SOBO/downhill. Worse yet, I slacked the Kinsmans (Kinsman Notch to Franconia Notch) NOBO, even though at that point I was SOBO, once more because I was so very fearful — this time of descending South Kinsman SOBO.

    I. Am. So. Ashamed.

    Please, Father White Walker, won't you absolve me of my 54-year-old slack-packing sins on my (now I KNOW!) non-thru hike of the AT in 2016? So, so wrong of me to have ruined my hike (and worse, my all-important hiker ranking) from Georgia to Maine by allowing myself to be seduced into not carrying my full pack for those three sections. I know, too, that flip-flopping was a very sketchy way to go about all this.

    But I count my blessings that I now know the true way to hike. Mea culpa, Father, mea maxima culpa.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by claybonnyman View Post
    Bless me, Father White Walker, for I have sinned.

    I'd never heard of "slack packing" before starting the AT this summer. However — and I realize this makes me a loser, an abject scumbag who really shouldn't even claim to have hiked the trail, a groveling cheater who deserves death many times over — after flip-flopping, I slacked Katahdin. Worse — much worse; I shudder to admit it now — I slacked 21 miles from Pinkham Notch to Highway 2 in one day, because I was too much of a p***y to do Wildcat Ridge-Pinkham SOBO/downhill. Worse yet, I slacked the Kinsmans (Kinsman Notch to Franconia Notch) NOBO, even though at that point I was SOBO, once more because I was so very fearful — this time of descending South Kinsman SOBO.

    I. Am. So. Ashamed.

    Please, Father White Walker, won't you absolve me of my 54-year-old slack-packing sins on my (now I KNOW!) non-thru hike of the AT in 2016? So, so wrong of me to have ruined my hike (and worse, my all-important hiker ranking) from Georgia to Maine by allowing myself to be seduced into not carrying my full pack for those three sections. I know, too, that flip-flopping was a very sketchy way to go about all this.

    But I count my blessings that I now know the true way to hike. Mea culpa, Father, mea maxima culpa.
    Next time you'll add 15 pounds of rocks to your pack just to make sure you have some safety margin that separates yourself from the slackers. A heavy pack will become a thing of envy.


  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The AT 2000 miler certificate is strictly a congratulatory certificate by ATC of a self substantiated statement by an individual. If someone is so hard up or delusional that they want to lie about the entire hike, ATC will gladly send them a certificate. If someone wants to lie to themselves and others that they are 2000 miler that's their choice. I didn't sign a register at Springer or at KSC and yet I know I did the entire trail.....HYOH
    +1 Nailed it in the bold. HOWEVER, it is not just about their choice because they are lying....being dishonorable.... to others as if that is A OK. Their word is shart. I'll occasionally call out people for their fabrications. It's lame watching them backpedal as they are outed in a crowd. Lying to me about hiking something you didn't I sniff that crap right out with 3 or 4 pointed questions. Your credibility is shot. Go wipe your arse with your Certificate.

    MANY PEOPLE have all manner of convoluted justifications, hesitations, lame explanations, and crazy rationalizations why it is A OK to be DISHONORABLE...TO LIE!

    And, if that by itself is not enough here it is why it is also lame and wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by cspan View Post
    Not exactly. As I understand it, the ATC recognizes thru-hikers, and that accomplishment has some social currency. If the sense of accomplishment were purely internal, there would be no point in ever claiming to have thru-hiked the AT.

    Those who falsely claim it (including those who add their own exceptions to the ATC definition) devalue the currency. It is human nature to be bothered by such things. Nothing wrong with trying to uphold a defined standard. OTOH, perhaps the ATC should get out of the business of recognizing people who self-certify the accomplishment. Imagine if colleges/universities did the same.

    I wrote more, but lost it due to automatic logout. I wish I had time to re-create it, but I need to get back to my dissertation for my third Ph.D.

    I'm on my 25th Ph.D. I'm running for the presidential nomination too. I should fit right in.

  7. #107
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    “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

    C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

  8. #108
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    TheWhiteWalker, and I do like the The, while not a thru hiker (yet, I have a job and family to deal with), I agree with your post. I think slack-packing is a sign of our society, we want the satisfaction of having done something but don't want to sacrifice the entire effort.

    Just look around at the typical American - fat, dumb and lazy.

    Nice post. Congrats on completing the AT, the right way.

    Carl
    Last edited by cneill13; 10-01-2016 at 05:02.

  9. #109
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    If how someone else chooses to go about getting from point A to point B somehow detracts from your satisfaction in having gone about the journey, I think you are looking outwardly for satisfaction when you should be a bit more introspective. The true joy in any accomplishment lies in the satisfaction of a job well done, often while overcoming obstacles along the way. Defining what it means to do it well is really up to you. If someone else defines it differently, that's on them.

    Who really cares how others go about their hike, so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I would argue that if someone slackpacking somehow detracts from your experience or sense of accomplishment, maybe you need to get more comfortable in your own skin.

    I, along with my wife, will be attempting to thru-hike next year and we intend to be "purists". Not because we feel it somehow elevates us, or that it's correct in some way. Simply because it's how we envision ourselves completing the journey and I have read that purists tend to have a higher success rate, probably due to an OCD need to walk every foot of the trail. But, if someone walks some lesser percentage of the trail or walks it without a pack, that has no effect on how we'll feel about our accomplishment after getting up Katahdin. And frankly, I couldn't care less how someone else feels about it.

    I hope I can learn many lessons on the trip, this is one life already taught me.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  10. #110

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    Slack packing is a product for sale: thru-hiking sans pack. Why is this a problem trail geniuses? Because when you systematically remove the challenges of hiking it becomes attractive to more consumers, and sales people. It means a more crowded trail, both in terms of "hikers" and support vehicles. The new must have piece of hiking gear: a 12 passenger van. Back to nature! Funny how all those shuttles seem to end where you can buy things.

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    Thank you Ken.

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    It seems like the core problem is the ego of everyone involved.

    My goal was to complete a thru-hike without any slack-packing or skipping a single blaze, which I did. As it turned out the only one who cared about that goal before, during or after completing the hike was me.

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by twilightzone View Post
    It seems like the core problem is the ego of everyone involved.

    My goal was to complete a thru-hike without any slack-packing or skipping a single blaze, which I did. As it turned out the only one who cared about that goal before, during or after completing the hike was me.
    I find that admirable, but find that age makes it a real challenge to sleep on a thin mat. It surprises me how much it wrecks my body. Hiking is a relaxing break from the painful night before. So my thru hike will likely consist of more hotel stops than the average, even if carrying a full pack, which may result in carrying less food on average. Is that somehow cheating or slacking? Maybe so, but you have to work within your physical limitations and find solutions.

  14. #114
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    So if a business owner wants to generate more revenue by offering slack packing shuttles which leads to another night of bunk revenue and there are willing customers of all ages whether they have been slack packing at every opportunity or just want to try it, they are cheating? Is resupplying every three days instead of five cheating because its not as much of a wilderness experience? What about tenting at Mountain Harbor which is a few tenths off the trail? Is that the start of a new section hike whereas tenting at a shelter .5 miles down a blue blaze from the AT would be continuous? Is shipping winter gear home in Virginia and receiving it back in New Hampshire partial slack packing? Would it be OK if I gave my gear away in Virginia and bought new gear in NH? Is it cheating to spend $10,000 on a thru hike and stay in a hotel in every town?

    I know hikers who went blue blazing in the Shennys, road walked it or took the Creeper Trail out of Damascus. I guess they are all cheating and not allowed to claim they hiked the entire AT because they honestly didn't try to. I also know hikers who skipped 100 miles to catch up to their hiking friends, skipped about the same because they said they were going to run out of time and a hiker who missed 8 miles because he got dropped off at the road closest to where he had to leave the trail the prior year by the guy who picked him up while hitching. I imagine they all claim they've hiked the whole thing when asked and maybe some of them add a qualifier but...

    None of that has anything to do with my hike. When I think back on my hike its about what I saw and did with the people I hiked with and not what others who happened to be around me on a certain day did. Don't let what others do distract from your enjoyment.

  15. #115

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    For me, a "thru hike" means I hiked the entire AT, always in the same direction, and carried my pack from Amicalola to the top of Katahdin. I understand that is not the ATC definition. That being said, I don't understand how it can be a thru hike if you are generally heading NOBO, but occasionally hike SOBO (say moosilauke) to make your hike easier. My biggest issue is with the large number of Aqua blazers who claim they are thru hikers when, in fact, they skipped 100 miles of the trail.

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    Question for purists- On a recent section hike I got off the AT and took a roadwalk about .3 miles to a public campground, where I stayed for the night. They directed me to the tenting area at the rear of the campground, and advised me there was a side trail from the tenting area that led directly to the AT. In the morning I took the side trail and continued my hike, instead of going back out the entrance and back up the road to where I got off. Thereby skipping a .1 to .2 mile section of the trail itself. If I am ever successful in section hiking the entire trail will I be tainted?

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterQ View Post
    Question for purists- On a recent section hike I got off the AT and took a roadwalk about .3 miles to a public campground, where I stayed for the night. They directed me to the tenting area at the rear of the campground, and advised me there was a side trail from the tenting area that led directly to the AT. In the morning I took the side trail and continued my hike, instead of going back out the entrance and back up the road to where I got off. Thereby skipping a .1 to .2 mile section of the trail itself. If I am ever successful in section hiking the entire trail will I be tainted?
    Only you can answer that...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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    I think I'll be able to live with myself.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulWorksHard View Post
    For me, a "thru hike" means I hiked the entire AT, always in the same direction, and carried my pack from Amicalola to the top of Katahdin. I understand that is not the ATC definition. That being said, I don't understand how it can be a thru hike if you are generally heading NOBO, but occasionally hike SOBO (say moosilauke) to make your hike easier. My biggest issue is with the large number of Aqua blazers who claim they are thru hikers when, in fact, they skipped 100 miles of the trail.
    I flip flopped and have done tons of section hiking. Alternative thrus have tons of benefits, discussed elsewhere, and are actively encouraged. Check your guide then check your thinking. Moosilauke is way harder SOBO. NOBO is pure? MacKaye thought otherwise. Or maybe Earl Schaeffer's thru is the gold standard...wait, he had to fill in blanks and blaze his own trail periodically the whole way. Seems to me, and I've seen demonstrated, that Maine is way harder than Georgia for someone without 2000 miles of practice and the Whites under their legs. The trail evolves constantly. Magnetic declination has nothing to do with terrain difficulty. Hike every incline/decline both ways then make your decision. Aqua blazing...I'd agree on that, but wouldn't take away from the value of their journey.

    And to the OP's post, I'm 37 years old with mild scoliosis and kyphosis of the spine, and have no problem using a slackpack to cheer me up or avoid a zero. It's just walking on dirt, nobody's getting a nobel prize for this.

  20. #120

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    i feel like it's hard to consider them lazy when they are still hiking 2000+ miles


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