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  1. #41

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    Continuing, I attended a 7 p.m. closed "meeting" held at an auditorium with over 1200 in attendance to hear this well know highly touted "Anonymous" speaker/believer during the throughs of my alcohol related yrs when smoking cigarettes in public was the norm. In the beginning of the meeting it was announced non smokers could see and hear the speaker from behind a separated large glass panel in a separated room actually nearer to the podium. Less than 20 people got up. I sat in the main room with, I kid you not, 18 out of every 20 smoking cigarettes many chain smokers. Seriously, I couldn't see across the room through the smoke. Additionally, 12 large urns of coffee each holding 200 cups each of coffee were offered. One urn was Decaf. The urn with the Decaf was never emptied. At the end of the meeting having a conversation with the host in charge of coffee she told me the 11 "full flavored" urns were emptied and refilled 3 times. Remind you, the meeting lasted almost 2 hrs. It was after 9 p.m when we were dismissed.

    I said to several people, including my always with an answer sponsor, and the nearby highly touted speaker "doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this picture?" NO ANSWER.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Continuing, I attended a 7 p.m. closed "meeting" held at an auditorium with over 1200 in attendance to hear this well know highly touted "Anonymous" speaker/believer during the throughs of my alcohol related yrs when smoking cigarettes in public was the norm. In the beginning of the meeting it was announced non smokers could see and hear the speaker from behind a separated large glass panel in a separated room actually nearer to the podium. Less than 20 people got up. I sat in the main room with, I kid you not, 18 out of every 20 smoking cigarettes many chain smokers. Seriously, I couldn't see across the room through the smoke. Additionally, 12 large urns of coffee each holding 200 cups each of coffee were offered. One urn was Decaf. The urn with the Decaf was never emptied. At the end of the meeting having a conversation with the host in charge of coffee she told me the 11 "full flavored" urns were emptied and refilled 3 times. Remind you, the meeting lasted almost 2 hrs. It was after 9 p.m when we were dismissed.

    I said to several people, including my always with an answer sponsor, and the nearby highly touted speaker "doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this picture?" NO ANSWER.
    if your referring to cigarettes and coffee as a drug delivery system, then yup, but humans need a vice, and other than the decision to use em in the first place...I never robbed a bank, started a fight, or dropped my pants in the middle of a busy intersection at rush hour from cigarettes or coffee, except that one time, but it was Irish coffee.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Or hike off season and have the shelters to yourself. Gets lonely.
    One persons lonelyness, is anothers bliss.

    I honestly dont understand why so many are reluctant to hike by self and need to have others around. With them. 24-7.

  4. #44
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I said to several people, including my always with an answer sponsor, and the nearby highly touted speaker "doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this picture?" NO ANSWER.
    Surely, coffee and tobacco are addictive. Coffee mildly so, the withdrawal lasts a few days. Tobacco is one of the most addictive substances on the planet.

    Tobacco surely endangers the health of its users. The jury is out on coffee. It surely has dangerous effects in certain vulnerable populations. On the other hand, current statistical evidence is too weak to make a significant broad-population correlation with all-causes mortality or morbidity. If it's risky, the magnitude of the risk is small.

    Whatever they do to the users, neither can hold a candle to alcohol in terms of the harm they do to others. Neither substance significantly impairs judgment or driving ability, so neither is responsible for cars mowing down bystanders. Neither substance lowers inhibitions to the extent that a user will go on a rampage. If the anonymous speaker chose to target the greater harm while ignoring the lesser, I shan't complain too much about hypocrisy.

    Then again, I tend to have a 'live and let live' attitude. What the crowd in the room was putting in their bodies is no concern of mine - except to the extent that they are polluting the air around them. You already said that a non-smoking area was available - and not 'ghettoized' the way some venues do it, so my breathing secondhand smoke wouldn't be a worry. Alcohol is something of a special case, since there is ample statistical evidence that alcoholism is a public health hazard to nondrinkers.

    In practice, even some years ago, when I'd be hiking with a young daughter, I was never into a nasty 'put that away - can't you see I have a little kid with me?' when we'd come upon the occasional safety meeting. I'd more be inclined to say, "the incense from your tea ceremony seems to be disturbing my daughter."
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  5. #45
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    Start early. Beat the party to the trail. You'll need to gear up appropriately since the weather extremes are quite different in January/February than April/May. To that point, March is the snowiest month in the GSMNP.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You can stay at shelters (tenting) and never even talk to another soul if thats what you like. Aint hard at all.
    Agreed. If you have even a modest tolerance for being around others there will be little issue. I'm around "party" hikers often enough and I barely notice since they tend to be low key.

    Up on Southern New England where I do most of my backpacking, we are required to stay in established campsite or shelter areas. I routinely share sites with others. The only time I recall having a even a slight problem was at a campsite that was directly next to a road and effectively had vehicle access. There were a bunch of Jersey Shore rejects partying there who had hauled in all the comforts they wanted. Even then I walked about 300 yards past them, setup out of the way and had a good night.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #47

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    "Tobacco surely endangers the health of its users.... On the other hand, current statistical evidence is too weak to make a significant broad-population correlation with all-causes mortality or morbidity. If it's risky, the magnitude of the risk is small."

    If you're applying the last two statements to tobacco use you are incorrect. You may not be aware second hand cigarette smoke kills 42,000 people in the U.S. annually according to the CDC. How many deaths need to occur resulting from tobacco use direct for the user and to the bystander do you deem needed before the death toll becomes significant?

    "Whatever they do to the users, neither can hold a candle to alcohol in terms of the harm they do to others. Neither substance significantly impairs judgment or driving ability, so neither is responsible for cars mowing down bystanders. Neither substance lowers inhibitions to the extent that a user will go on a rampage. If the anonymous speaker chose to target the greater harm while ignoring the lesser, I shan't complain too much about hypocrisy."

    Impacts posed by alcohol, coffee, and tobacco users regarding driving is a narrowed analysis of the broader impact that each user category levies on society.

    At what point does the mortality rate to bystanders dying from second hand cigarette smoke need to be to get you to understand how irresponsible and imposing it is to non smokers by those who smoke cigarettes? The federal Gov't thankfully has deemed differently then your "live and let live" definition as evident in legislating public smoking.

    Then again, I tend to have a 'live and let live' attitude. What the crowd in the room was putting in their bodies is no concern of mine - except to the extent that they are polluting the air around them. You already said that a non-smoking area was available - and not 'ghettoized' the way some venues do it, so my breathing secondhand smoke wouldn't be a worry. Alcohol is something of a special case, since there is ample statistical evidence that alcoholism is a public health hazard to nondrinkers.

    Maybe, you're willingness to breathe second hand smoke is acceptable for you but not to everyone. The federal gov't even recognizes this by enacting public smoking laws, THANKFULLY. The hazards to non smokers from tobacco DRUG users is recognized as a potential public health hazard as evidenced by the federal gov't enacting public smoking laws. Again, at what point will there be sufficient ample statistical evidence for you that second hand smoke poses a public health hazard to non smokers? Under what circumstances do you personally think need to exist before recognizing the far reaching negative impacts of tobacco drug use to not only the user but to society?

    If the public should rightly be protected from dying or being injured from the actions of an alcohol intoxicated driver behind the wheel, as it seems you're justifiably implying, than the public should likewise be protected from death or injury from second hand smoke. It is pro tobacco biased and hypocritical to assume otherwise.

    As said earlier, "SO MANY will point fingers at others doing drugs when the drugs being used are more socially unacceptable, (deemed more dangerous), while ignoring their own (or other) less stigmatized drug use.


    Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.Dec 11, 2015

    CDC - Fact Sheet - Fast Facts - Smoking & Tobacco Use


    www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    What you will find by 2020 is a very likely quickly changed landscape where recreational cannabis is more widely available in states the AT passes. I'm sure with Mass and ME now legalizing recreational cannabis dispensaries will locate near the AT to serve the AT user market as part of their market and that's only the two states in the east that I know of that has legalized recreational use. With these two states legalizing rec use legal stigmatization concerning cannabis use is sure to lessen. It's very likely within the next three yrs additional east coast states will legalize rec use.

    On the more generally liberal west coast, on the PCT that passes through three states that all have legalized rec use you will not find many thru-hikers that drink heavily but there sure is significant current weed use. The weed culture sentiments are much much more relaxed on the west coast and on the west coast trails than the east coast and it's trails.

    What I've seen on the AT in the last dozen or so yrs alcohol use is largely confined to in town visits and near THs at busier road crossings and maybe some of the larger established camping areas. And weed users, because rec use is still largely illegal, tend to have much greater reluctance to publicly use around others hiking. That may change as legalization continues in the east.

    Although some don't think of drug use this way I recognize the largest drug or drug category used on the AT is not weed, alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco but pain relievers and anti-inflammatories such as Motrin(Ibuprofen), other NSAIDS, and prescription drugs overall, including massive amounts of pain prescription meds. Notice how drugs are conveniently called meds when they come from the pharmaceutical industry?

    SO MANY will point fingers at others doing drugs when the drugs being used are more socially unacceptable while ignoring their own less stigmaticed drug use.

    Hopefully, this info can help those hike soberly.
    I've worked with recreational pot smokers who keep their use to off business hours and they've been some of the nicest people I've met. There's a generalization for you. You can't OD on pot. You can on alcohol or even Vitamin I. I've never had so much as a roke from a joint or a bong hit, though I did get a contact high at the Page and Plant "Walking in to Clarksdale" tour back in the early 90s. Would I seek it out on the trail? Nope. Would I take a hit if someone offered? Maybe. Would I actively seek out the party crowd on my thru? oh hell no. I'm about the hike.


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  9. #49
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    For what it's worth, and especially to the OP:

    Best to avoid shelters and campsites near roads. On general principles. It's a matter of personal safety, as well. It's something you figure out after a few bad scenes. Shelters near a road are more likely to be used by hard-partying teenagers, etc.

    On the other hand, if the shelter's a mile or more from the nearest trailhead, or 1000+ feet uphill, most kids and troublemakers won't bother. That kind of effort is the filter that makes the more distant shelter more safe as well.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    "Tobacco surely endangers the health of its users.... On the other hand, current statistical evidence is too weak to make a significant broad-population correlation with all-causes mortality or morbidity. If it's risky, the magnitude of the risk is small."
    I meant that the magnitude of the risk of coffee is small. You said yourself that adequate provision was made for nonsmokers at the event in question, however few in number the nonsmokers were.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  11. #51

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    Gotcha Kevin. Thx for the clarification.

    Coffee here. Coffee dime bags. Top shelf. The primo stuff guaranteed to stimulate for 2 hrs and give you rock hard abs and the sex life you always wanted. Regain that youthful vigor. Studies have shown that coffee promotes hair growth. Regain that full head of hair you had back in HS. Used by olympic athletes world wide. The all natural supplement - coffee.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I recognize the largest drug or drug category used on the AT .. including massive amounts of pain prescription meds.
    yeah, it is not just on the AT -- after decades in construction I am amazed at the recent prevalence of prescribed opioid pain relievers mostly for back issues, which become worse because natures notification of a problem (pain) is turned down

    job sites are refusing access regardless of weather it is a valid prescribed med

  13. #53

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    Bottom line is probably this, if you have issues now with sobriety issues in social settings, you probably will find it similar along the way. If you don't, then its likely a non-issue.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Bottom line is probably this, if you have issues now with sobriety issues in social settings, you probably will find it similar along the way. If you don't, then its likely a non-issue.
    ........this^

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    yeah, it is not just on the AT -- after decades in construction I am amazed at the recent prevalence of prescribed opioid pain relievers mostly for back issues, which become worse because natures notification of a problem (pain) is turned down

    job sites are refusing access regardless of weather it is a valid prescribed med
    Yup, gotta pass a piss test...just gotta study up for awhile before you get the job.

  16. #56

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    To paint a clearer picture how widespread and dangerous prescription opioid pain killers and OTC drugs such as NSAIDS are, that is often not given the due concern from the media, law enforcement, including the DEA in charge of fighting the so called "war on drugs", and the western medical community as a whole, consider these statistics:

    1) heroin, the justifiably dangerous, highly socially stigmatized, and addictive drug that it is, accounts for about 1/2 or 55 % of overdose deaths compared to the total pharmaceutical opioid analgesics overdose deaths. Other words, pharmaceutical opioid analgesic overdose deaths outnumber heroin overdose deaths by almost a 2 to 1 ratio.

    2) in 2000, according to statistics, 17,000 deaths from ALL illicit drugs COMBINED. Compare this to more than 18,000 deaths each yr contributed to pharmaceutical opioid analgesics ALONE.

    3) (NSAIDS) "Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States." (NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.) - See more at: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Caus....yS81WOUh.dpuf

    4) overdose deaths from cannabis - "0"

    5) (Leading Causes of Death 2000) "The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000), and illicit use of drugs (17,000)."- See more at: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Caus....yS81WOUh.dpuf

    Anyone else also notice a bias in favor of state sanctioned drug dealing? Anyone else notice some misplaced priorities regarding "wars on drugs" or living soberly?

    Is it a wonder why passionate pro health fanatics without a horse in the race like myself rant on about the seriousness of prescription drug pain relievers, OTC NSAIDS, and dietary and sedentary life style choices?

    So, when we say we intend on hiking soberly, intend to avoid "drugs", maybe that involves a little more honest soul searching and redefining of what that means?

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Caus....yS81WOUh.dpbs

  17. #57
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    ^^^ Awesome rant but totally irrelevant to the OP's concerns.

    Congrats on being the 1 in 1000 long distance hikers who's never yielded to the devil ibufrofen.

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    ^^^ Awesome rant but totally irrelevant to the OP's concerns.

    Congrats on being the 1 in 1000 long distance hikers who's never yielded to the devil ibufrofen.
    What makes you assume that? I have my trials and tribulations too. I'm not somehow levitating above everything. I have to cope with "stuff" too.

    Don't you see how totally relevant it is to the goal of "staying sober" and "avoiding drug and alcohol use" that one also stays away from drugs like pain killers and anti inflammatories too which are commonly thought of as non addictive, not as dangerous, or "safe?" People can fool themselves that their avoiding drugs because the initial drug of choice is avoided while just opting for a different drug. Happens a lot. It can lead back to using the initial drug of choice too. Happens commonly as heroin addicts are put on state sponsored methadone with the goal to eventually stop methadone use. But, what can happen is long term dependence on and use of BOTH methadone and heroin. Sober is sober not sober from just some narrowed set of drugs. That's where the honest soul searching and redefining of sobriety and "avoiding drugs" comes in.

    It happens also when folks say they don't do drugs yet will gladly down ethyl alcohol which is just a different drug discounting it not as a drug perhaps because alcohol drug use is generally more socially acceptance. . Common.

    Ever meet someone who is staunchly anti drug use but is addicted to tobacco?

    Ever have an older person, perhaps while being a little bit self righteous, opine on how drugs are destroying America yet daily habitually down prescription pain killers or OTC anti inflammatories like NSAIDS?

    Know any LE that despises illicit street drug use yet are regulars down at Clancy's Bar getting shart faced?

    These are all people either in my family, close friends, some deceased who I've been there when they passed, or myself.

  19. #59
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    Anyone else notice some misplaced priorities regarding "wars on drugs" or living soberly?



    ive noticed this for the last 32 years.............

    and that number, interesting enough, has a correspondence to an important milestone in my life...........

  20. #60
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    Ever meet someone who is staunchly anti drug use but is addicted to tobacco?



    every day...............and twice on sunday.............

    or, the person holding an adult mix drink also putting down the use of a safer alternative.........

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