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  1. #21
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Surprised at how boring and tedious a long-distance hike can become. I've seen more than just one passing reference that completing a long distance hike is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge.
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    I am glad I am not the only one who has had these same feelings.
    I found out at a young age (20's) that thru-hiking wasn't for me. I got bored after 6 weeks on the trail and quit. But such behavior wasn't limited only to the AT. I probably would have been diagnosed with adult ADD if such a thing existed in the medical vernacular at the time. I can handle a few weeks of hiking at a time, but then my interest wanes. There are too many other things that I enjoy doing as well, like golf, tennis, etc. I still toy with the idea of an AT thru, but realistically, my heart isn't in it. Maybe a thru of a shorter trail like the LT or Ouachita is in my future.

  2. #22
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    Realities of a hike are more easily accepted and adjusted to if one radically gets accustomed to not being accustomed.

    Before the hike sleep outside in a sleeping bag in a tent or better yet cowboy camp, take a multi night trek preferably in foul weather although I'd say what most think of as foul weather is just life embracing weather, walk in the rain to the grocery store, turn off the heat or AC in the house, cook your at home dinner by eating what you anticipate on trail in your trail cookware on your hiking stove outside, practice periods of abstaining from electronics/driving/fast food drive thrus, etc.

  3. #23
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    We regularly overcome what we initially sense as boring or tedious. An excellent counter point to having these feelings is gratitude, laughter, hope, altruistic behavior, knowing that hiking isn't just about hiking, and being mindful of thought life knowing what empowers us and what meditation limits us. It helps seeking out environments and people that demonstrate these qualities.

  4. #24
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I keep planning like I can still hike like I was 30 and the reality is at twice that age, I can't.
    Same here. I seriously wonder if at 65+ when I will have the time to do a thru-hike, will I still have the ability to hike an average 15 miles per day for 5 months to do a thru. A month at a time in the right seasons over2-4 years is looking like a really good alternative for a geezer. It seems like it would be much easier on an older body, and maybe easier on personal relationships. I know many hikers of all ages start to suffer a variety of ailments after 5-6 months on the trail. Maybe it would be better to leave the trail still wanting to hike, rather than to drag it out just wanting to be done with it. I'm hoping to do a thru, but preparing for alternatives if my body says otherwise.

    Youth is wasted on the young!

  5. #25

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    Maybe I just had the right attitude but I expected things to be a lot more difficult then they were. I'm not saying it was easy but...
    I only had about 2 days of heavy rain all day, other was just off/on and no big deal. Only 2 days of snow, only a handful of cold nights. Never thought the bugs were bad or anything to complain about other then one night. Only had to ford a total of one stream that was mid shin deep, etc. Never saw a rattle snake, or any poisonous snake for that matter. Never had a bad encounter with a bear and even saw 20+. Was worried about finishing in time and ending up finish in almost half the time I thought it would take. Those are just a few concerns I had before hand that ended up being irrelevant for my hike.
    Most of that just came down to being lucky with timing.
    It sucked some times but tough times make for the best memories.


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    GAME '16 4/18/16-8/12/16
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  6. #26
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    As someone doing short sections of the AT I start with a plan and then adjust depending on what reality brings me.
    Having a plan doesn't mean that I have expectations.

  7. #27

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    Thru hikers often just seem to not realize how hard it is going to be. I talked to a couple people this week who found out that solo walking in the woods isn't really their thing, but they press on! "can't wait to get to katahdin" isn't a great mindset when you're 40% done a hike, imo

    For section hiking, reality for me is that I get pretty bored on some section hikes on the AT
    I did a section in shenandoah this past week. Knew it wouldn't be my fav, but it had better weather than other sections and isn't inundated with that many thru-hikers

    Thought that section was pretty uninteresting. Easy trail, no proper creeks or rivers, way too many people, the road. So I added a few side trails, hammered out 70 miles over 3 nights and hit the Shenandoah river to kayak back to my car. Part of my "open agenda" philosophy, with no shuttle booked. My reality is that I want to see good country and get out there, and I don't care about AT miles completed, although I enjoy good portions of the AT.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Some people, especially inexperienced hikers, over plan their trail trips. Nothing is better for planning than getting out on weekends and familiarizing yourself with your equipment. No matter what anyone says about what you are carrying, field testing it yourself will tell you if something will work for you. True, there is great advise given here, but it comes down to what you think and feel about equipment. Once you figure out what works for you, then it's time to see if you can start shedding ounces and pounds. I went from a tent to a hammock setup and now experience the best sleep I ever had on the trail. Is this setup good for you? I don't know. you have to try it and find out. You can rent a setup or go to a hang in your area and see/tryout various ways hammocks work.

    Also remember your bank roll for your hike has to be reasonable. This is one of the no give requirements. I seen a lot of people that had to get off the trail due to lack of funds. You don't have to have 10's of thousands of dollars to hike with. But a couple of grand is not going to work, even if you have drop boxes sent to you. Washing yourself in a stream or pond or lake just don't cut it. You need to clean the stink off of you and out of your clothes unless you like seeing people move away from you when you sit down. Go to town shower your self, wash your clothes and enjoy a good steak. That's reality.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4YbMqcQK0k4



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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    plans go out the window, and pitch perfect turns into murphy's law.
    Yep. It is wise to plan, practice the plan, execute the plan and be willing and flexible enough to adjust the he!! out of the plan when the sh!+ hits the fan. From my days as a military planner : No great plan ever survives first contact with the enemy, and in all plans the enemy gets a vote -- so plan accordingly.

    I would also say that experience wins out over dreaming and romanticism every time. Don't just dream it get out and do it. Get comfortable with yourself, your gear, the "process" of backpacking and dealing with the good, the bad and the un-expected.

    Furlough
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  10. #30
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    If you plan or allow for the unexpected, reality and your expectations will be a lot closer.

    I like the hikers who start out from Springer saying their going as far as they can implying Katahdin as opposed to the ones that specifically state their goal. The first group is expecting the unexpected, the second group seems to have more people who will make a mountain out of a molehill.

  11. #31
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    I have zero sympathy for an aspiring thru hiker that claims the hike doesn't meet their expectation. That is simply solved by hiking increasing longer distances and working up to a thru hike rather than meeting a dude in a bar that made the hike sound so cool and going from couch to the AT. You see the mismatch in expectations vs. reality in language, specifically the use of TOO. The trail is too steep, rocky, cold, hot, rainy etc. the trail is not too anything. It is the expectations that are too unrealistic. Getting out and hiking solves that.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  12. #32
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    What is it they say? Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. There will undoubtedly be days on any LD hike, that will be that punch in the face. People better be ready for that and be prepared to come up with a new plan very quickly.

  13. #33
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliotrope View Post
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4YbMqcQK0k4



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    Don't we all live in our own matrix?
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  14. #34
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae

    plans go out the window, and pitch perfect turns into Murphy's law.

    We all know that Murphy lives on the trail we happen to be on.

    Blackheart

  15. #35
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgillam View Post
    What is it they say? Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. There will undoubtedly be days on any LD hike, that will be that punch in the face. People better be ready for that and be prepared to come up with a new plan very quickly.
    I use the Muhammad Ali Ropa-Dope. Problem is the trail floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
    Blackheart

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Don't we all live in our own matrix?
    Now you're getting too deep


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    I have zero sympathy for an aspiring thru hiker that claims the hike doesn't meet their expectation. That is simply solved by hiking increasing longer distances and working up to a thru hike rather than meeting a dude in a bar that made the hike sound so cool and going from couch to the AT. You see the mismatch in expectations vs. reality in language, specifically the use of TOO. The trail is too steep, rocky, cold, hot, rainy etc. the trail is not too anything. It is the expectations that are too unrealistic. Getting out and hiking solves that.
    What do you do when feeling most uncomfortable, angry, scared, OR HAVING INITIAL THOUGHTS OF BOREDOM? Can you do this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tILSkVdUdzA
    Can you put on a smile and say "I never did mind about the little things?" Your life may depend on it!

    Ever hear someone say I'm bored while being grateful, joyful, creative, engaged in laughter, in a high energy state, passionate, contributing to others(looking outside of oneself with consideration of others)...?

    Backpacking or the trail voiced as boring is not about something outside oneself ...LIFE isn't boring...romance isn't boring...lovemaking isn't boring... dates aren't boring...marriage and relationships aren't boring...going to work doesn't have to be boring...traveling isn't boring....vacations aren't boring...commuting back and forth isn't boring...It's you, it's us, who is boring. It's an internalized mental state.

    There are no lack of things to do on the trail or when backpacking. Easy enough if one was only backpacking but when we recognize a hike or backpacking trip is not just about hiking the options are endless. It's traveling. Embrace it. It's a journey. Be emotionally and mentally engaged. Be present. Be in the moment.

    It's possibly a lack of creativity, gratitude, motivation, joy, peace, generosity, commitment, or something else - like misguided expectations - that is often the underlying issue that is being masked by saying "this is boring" or feeling bored. Want to be interested find an endless amount of things to be interested about. Be mindful of one's state of being including emotional and mental states. Be joyous, be appreciative, be hopeful, be intrigued. When we're finding things to be grateful about it opens the door to joy, laughter, creativity, accepting knowledge, open to wisdom, raising the energy levels of not only oneself but others, being positive even about the challenges and people and regs and ridge runners rather than complaining. That's what comedians do. Gratitude is infectious and overcomes - is greater than - boredom!

    ***Having gratitude - appreciation - has been shown in studies to correlate with being less materialistic and envious and irritated as well as being more agreeable and happy. Think that could be an asset in trail life?

    Be like Gene Wilder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6049YuWHy-8

  18. #38
    Registered User IslandPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    More than a few that attempt a thruhike have never backpacked before. That scene in Wild where Reese Witherspoon is loading up her pack and putting it on in her hotel room for the first time the morning she is leaving to begin her hike is more truth than fiction for many, many people.
    That was totally us! I read and read, and ordered a bunch of stuff online. We came back to the states and I unwrapped it all and stuffed it in a cardboard box, then measured the box. Went to REI and measured pack interiors till I had 2 that would hold that much and we were ready to go! I loaded the packs, and the next morning when we hoisted them on was literally the first time we'd had them on our backs and tried adjusting things! We're about 230 miles in and amazingly things are going great! No breakdowns of gear or crew. So for us, so far anyway, the reality has met the expectation, and hopefully that continues!
    Pete, Linda, and Scout...

  19. #39
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    To Island Pete'

    Consider you and yours lucky, but since it is working out for you good luck and may your trail be always level, dry and beautiful.
    Blackheart

  20. #40
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    When I start feeling trail romance in the air, I always make sure I take a hard shot of reality by studying my post trip notes. I recently had the idea of doing a 3 week hike, but heeding my own advice, I decided it would be better to plan three one week trips in different places. History is doomed to repeat itself without the post trip notebook! I think 5-7 days is the perfect amount of getaway time for me, and an occasional two-week trip if I've got friends and/or family involved.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

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