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  1. #1
    Registered User TylerJ76's Avatar
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    Default Thru Hiking Sober?

    I am just curious if anyone else was/in my boat.

    January 1st of 2017 will be my 2 year sober anniversary.

    I am not planning on my Thru until 2020.

    That being said, everything I have read, seen on YouTube depicts this drug and alcohol scene that just isn't a part of who I am anymore.

    I have a pretty good control on my sobriety, I am just curious if anyone else has been in my shoes?

    Are my concerns legit? Or am I worrying about nothing?

  2. #2
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    Default

    It's part of the scene, sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes not so obvious. You'll need to exercise the same self-control that you use to get by in the real world.

    Pot use is legal in at least one AT state at this point. Yay.

  3. #3
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I still love a beer or two, but the party scene is the last thing I want, too. It's there, but pretty easy to avoid.

  4. #4

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    You get to choose who you hang out with.
    Its that simple.

  5. #5
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    People have done it, and I have met some on my thru, it does have a party element, and it does happen, but that's not an accurate portrayal of what one's AT hike has to be, there are plenty of others who are far less into that aspect. Private rooms and dry hostels may help.

    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    It's part of the scene, sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes not so obvious. You'll need to exercise the same self-control that you use to get by in the real world.

    Pot use is legal in at least one AT state at this point. Yay.
    I believe now 2, MA just voted it in.

  6. #6
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    Am I correct to assume that the number of partiers decreases significantly after the Smokies?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerJ76 View Post
    I am just curious if anyone else was/in my boat.

    January 1st of 2017 will be my 2 year sober anniversary.

    I am not planning on my Thru until 2020.

    That being said, everything I have read, seen on YouTube depicts this drug and alcohol scene that just isn't a part of who I am anymore.

    I have a pretty good control on my sobriety, I am just curious if anyone else has been in my shoes?

    Are my concerns legit? Or am I worrying about nothing?
    Let me guess, these videos talked about lots of "safety meetings." When I first started researching a thru hike I stumbled across the same videos and was pretty horrified. Thankfully, that element isn't really present unless you seek it out. Also, stay away from shelters (particularly the ones near roads).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlight View Post
    Am I correct to assume that the number of partiers decreases significantly after the Smokies?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, along with the number of hikers.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  9. #9
    Clueless Weekender
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    Don't hike with Terry Coyle. His videos, to the extent they reflect reality at all, reflect only a small slice of it.

    You pretty quickly get a feel for who's there to hike and who's there to party. It's pretty easy to avoid the second group, particularly if you avoid the crowded shelters near the highway. That's no easier, and no harder, than not walking into the gin mill that you pass on your way home from work.

    The only joints I roll on a trail are my ankles.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  10. #10
    lemon b's Avatar
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    It is a huge concern and if I am reading the post correctly several years away. We live day by day. It is a day by day choice not a contest. More and more of us know that life on life s terms is a rewarding method of life. Plus I am someone who respects the unique private conversation with a sponsor. IMHO this is a decision you two make together. Good luck, planning and projection are very different concepts.

  11. #11

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    Consider a Flip Flop hike starting northbound in or around Harpers Ferry in mid April. You will find it to be much less of a party.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

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  12. #12

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    "The only joints I roll on a trail are my ankles."

    Ha! Good one.

  13. #13
    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    People figure out pretty quickly you cannot get wasted every night and walk 10-20 mi/day That said, with now 31+ yrs of sobriety, it is your spiritual program that provides the margin of safety in sobriety. People drink, some get drunk, you will pass them easily going up the next mountain.

  14. #14
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    Default

    I have hiked from Springer to the NOC during two years beginning the first week of April, the heart of the northbound thru-hiker season.

    The difference between the Georgia crowd and the North Carolina crowd is extreme even though the Georgia trail is only about 75 miles.

    Most of the hard core partiers (ie- the nightly drinkers and smokers) drop out by the time they reach N.C. Heck, I saw nearly 1/4 of my crowd drop out at Neal's Gap, mile 32.

    But we sure did have some fun on those early nights.

    When you get into N.C., people tend to get serious about hiking. In bed at dusk, up at daylight.

    I had no fun in the North Carolina section. That is why I have been sticking to Georgia.

    In case you haven't figured it out, I am exactly the type of person you want to avoid.

    Carl

  15. #15

    Default

    I keep looking for this legendary "party crowd" and have yet to find them. I always seem to find myself with a bunch of old farts, but then I guess I'm one of them now.

    Once dry from Georgia to Virginia, these days you can get beer in all the towns down south along the trail, but only beer. Don't hang with the 20 somethings and leave the restaurant after dinner and you'll be fine.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  16. #16

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    One step at a time, one day at a time.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

  17. #17
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    ...The only joints I roll on a trail are my ankles.
    I think I'll borrow this one on occasion.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  18. #18

    Default

    Legit concerns, but proper planning and a bit of avoidance and I'm sure you'll be good
    Others have mentioned alternate starting points as being helpful. flip/flop, sobo etc. These type of routes have other benefits as well
    I met one guy last year who started hiking NOBO in hot springs, NC in early March. His plan was to take his time getting to Maine, and then go back to Georgia and pick up that last southern stretch in September. A bit of logistics involved in that, but as of mid-may he said it was outstandingly quiet on the trail for the first couple months, which was the goal.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You get to choose who you hang out with.
    Its that simple.
    This is only true on the AT if you never camp near the rat-box shelters and spend minimal time at the shelters.

    Quote Originally Posted by cneill13 View Post

    But we sure did have some fun on those early nights.

    I had no fun in the North Carolina section. That is why I have been sticking to Georgia.

    In case you haven't figured it out, I am exactly the type of person you want to avoid.

    Carl
    You definition of Fun is different than my definition of fun. Of course I dumped demon booze and pot way back in February 1973 and see the use thereof as a temporary inertial-station on the ladder of life. No movement forwards, probably going backwards etc etc.

    So when I'm backpacking the AT and come across dope smokers or drunks (esp at shelters) I reflect on my personal life-and-death struggle with drugs (alcohol is a drug) and know eventually these boys will have to quit when they hit bottom. Just not there yet.

    I have an especial low regard for so-called "nature lovers" who worship in the church of the outdoors and yet bring booze (or pot) on backpacking trips and into camps and then suckle for hours on the Demon Teat. I question their intent. It's all about intent.

  20. #20
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    i thru hiked sober. started NOBO and it took about 200 miles to realize the nobo scene was not for me. i turned it into a flip flop and enjoyed every minute of it from there on out.

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