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  1. #1
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    Default What's your philosophy on whiteblaze purity?

    I'll go ahead and claim the most advanced and successful long distance hikers know there is no right, wrong, or better answer to this one. It is a personal thing that is best served highly customized. So what's your custom? How do you approach that?

    I'm almost kind of ashamed to admit I'm a purist. I'm looking at bypassing cool stuff because the mark in the tree had the wrong color? -that's a rough one for me to reconcile. However, hiking the AT to katahdin is the plan, and I tend to be real loyal to plans I adopt... no technicalities, if I'm gonna claim I hiked the entire thing, I will have. So that's how I end up a purist... I will follow the white blazes. Having said that, I have a get out of that free card in some places... I've hiked a third of the AT already. In those places, over ground I've already covered, taking blueblaze parallel routes to cool places is fair game. I will pretty much do so every time the grass is greener.

    How about you?
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  2. #2

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    Purist for me, everyone else hyoh. I'll take a blue blaze to see something cool, then retrace my steps to where I left the AT


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  3. #3

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    Don't let others force you to follow their meaningless rules.

    Those that traveled the Oregon Trail in the 1800's took thousands of different routes to get there. As long as they reached Oregon, nobody could say that they didn't travel the trail.

    Is walking past every single blaze really important to you, or is it the whole journey? Come on. Is it about them or about you? It's about YOU and that's what matters.

  4. #4
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    Hike however you want unless you're a real s$%mbag. Honor your word. Say what you do and do what you say as clearly, honestly, and to the best of your knowledge as you can. If you make application for a 2000 mile certificate or state you completed the AT meet the condition of having made an honest effort to walk the entire Trail. Honest is defined as free of deceit and untruthfulness. Effort in this context is not just referring to 'making an effort' but a concerted, determined, and vigorous effort.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Hike however you want unless you're a real s$%mbag. Honor your word. Say what you do and do what you say as clearly, honestly, and to the best of your knowledge as you can. If you make application for a 2000 mile certificate or state you completed the AT meet the condition of having made an honest effort to walk the entire Trail. Honest is defined as free of deceit and untruthfulness. Effort in this context is not just referring to 'making an effort' but a concerted, determined, and vigorous effort.

    Does that registration require every whiteblaze? How purist is it?
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift Zone View Post
    Does that registration require every whiteblaze? How purist is it?
    Pfft, it's on the honor system. It's required that you walk 2000 miles on the AT. I've done about that in Maine and New Hampshire alone.

  7. #7
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    I'm not judging or saying this means anything but according to the ATC a 2,000 miler is someone who makes an honest attempt to hike the entire trail, not just 2,000 miles of it. They call it that cause it sounds better then a 2,192 miler...

    I followed the trail exactly but I also took every scenic blue blaze I could and retraced my steps back anytime I would have had the option to skip part. That's just what I wanted to do, I was hiking the AT so I actually wanted to see the entire trail. If there was a more scenic route I was still interested to see the route they bring the AT through instead, and a lot of times it made me wonder.

    The next long stretch I do on the AT I will certainly mix things up and take every trail I can that connects back, even if not necessarily more scenic. HYOH for sure.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift Zone View Post
    Does that registration require every whiteblaze? How purist is it?

    Section hikers and thru-hikers who complete the entire A.T. can report their journeys to us by filling out the 2,000-miler application. Those who submit their applications will be added to our roster of 2,000-milers and will receive a certificate of recognition, an A.T. patch, and an accompanying 2,000-miler “rocker” patch. Each year the names of those who have reported hike completions in the previous 12 months are published in the Spring issue of A.T. Journeys magazine. Our comprehensive online 2,000-miler listing is updated periodically.

    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) recognizes anyone who reports completion of the entire Trail as a “2,000-miler.” The term is a matter of tradition and convenience, based upon the original estimated length of the Trail. Conservancy policy is to operate on an honor system, assuming that those who apply for 2000-miler status have hiked all of the A.T. between Katahdin and Springer Mountain, either as a thru-hiker or in sections. In the event of an emergency, such as a flood, a forest fire, or an impending storm, blue-blazed trails or officially required roadwalks are viable substitutes for the white-blazed route. Issues of sequence, direction, speed, length of time or whether one carries a pack are not considered. ATC assumes that those who apply have made an honest effort to walk the entire Trail, even if they did not walk past every white blaze. If you meet these standards, please complete and sign the form below.Recognition Policy

    • We hold high expectations of 2,000-milers that include treating the natural environment, A.T. communities, other hikers, and our agency partners — whose land the A.T. passes through — with kindness, respect and cooperation;
    • We operate on the honor system;
    • We give equal recognition to thru-hikers and section hikers;
    • We recognize hikers regardless of sequence, direction, speed or whether they carry a pack;
    • In the event of an emergency, such as a flood, a forest fire or an impending storm, blue-blazed trails or officially required road walks are viable substitutes for the white-blazed route.



    A fair definition with reasonable conditions of recognition for completing the AT whether applying for the 2000 mile certificate or not. Opinions vary though. This has been debated so many times.

    I'm concerned with purity of one's word, one's heart, and mind rather than someone claiming an act with untruthfulness and deceit.

  9. #9

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    But if you blue blaze during a thru did you really thru?

    Seriously... let it go. You said it yourself. Those who talk about this crap are those who have never walked that far.



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  10. #10
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    The purists tend to thin out after a few months on the trail. In the whites the Crawford Path and the Gulfside are foul weather routes in spots that skip the actual summits and ridgeline. I expect more than few folks follow the ridgeline on a nice day

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    A fair definition with reasonable conditions of recognition for completing the AT whether applying for the 2000 mile certificate or not. Opinions vary though. This has been debated so many times.

    I'm concerned with purity of one's word, one's heart, and mind rather than someone claiming an act with untruthfulness and deceit.
    hmm. I see. They're pretty much purist about it. Honestly, think my vote would be to relax it to a minimum of 2k on white blazes, leaving a little room for side paths on thru hikes, while section hikes should stay purist. It wouldn't change my personal approach any, I'd still be purist; but that's how I'd vote.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    But if you blue blaze during a thru did you really thru?

    Seriously... let it go. You said it yourself. Those who talk about this crap are those who have never walked that far.



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    Directed at me?

    If i start at springer/falls and hike to katadin in a season, yea, that's a thru in my view.

    i was just curious about the philosophy, cuz I know it's a thing on the AT. -west coast is usually my base camp. The inexperienced care what others philosophies are, like as in guiding principles or something... I don't care, advanced hikers don't care, no one should care. Apparently the 2000miler patch cares, but that's a patch, who cares what it thinks? -i would never register for it, doesn't matter if I get every single white blaze.
    Last edited by Rift Zone; 12-24-2018 at 22:15.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  13. #13

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    Default

    Do what you like
    Others will do what they like

    Theres already plenty of yellow blazin 2000 milers

    Sun still comes up each morning.

  14. #14
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    If you take a blue blaze trail into town and a different blue blaze out of town, and in doing so miss a short section of white blazes but cover a few extra miles, I'm not going to say anything. Blue blazes don't alway mean short cut.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Theres already plenty of yellow blazin 2000 milers
    that's just plain dirty. lol meh. more power to them and their achievements.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  16. #16

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    When I hear the word purism i think of one thing.

    Integrity.



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  17. #17

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    Most of us had zero issues claiming that 2000 miler status.

    Others struggle, because their dishonest.

    I love the honor system. Best damn thing about the hiking community. People who lie mess it up for the rest of us.

    Shun them. Shun them hard.




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  18. #18
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    It is not a contest and there are no rules, excepting leave no trace and such. If you are one of the few people doing serious FKT attempts, you follow the customs of that pursuit. All up to you.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  19. #19

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    There's being a "purist" and then there is being anal about it. Does it really matter if you went into a shelter site one way and came back out another? Took the foul weather blue blaze even if the weather was nice? Just don't yellow blaze a significant section of trail.
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  20. #20

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    Follow your own path. If it leads from one white blaze to the next then so be it. If it takes you on a path less travelled then so be it. I hike for myself, I answer only for myself. Integrity applies to how one deals with others as well as oneself.

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