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  1. #61
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post

    3. Had a third thought but seem to have forgotten what it was.
    Me too. Every day.

  2. #62
    Registered User Elaikases's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    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.


    It really struck me that while the trail is 2171 or so miles (changing every year) the badge is for 2000.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    but if the trail is a road walk, nobody is going to gain anything by treading asphalt for 10 miles, so go for it.
    as a section hiker i generally do not do any long road walks that happen to occur at the beginning or end of my hikes. if they occur in the middle of course its kind of hard to avoid.

    for example in dalton mass i ended a sobo hike at the parking lot at north end of town and started the next hike by having the shuttle driver drop me off where the woods started again on the south end of town.

    dalton is a lovely place but im not sure what i stand to gain by spending 20-30 minutes walking down a mostly (if memory serves) residential street in small town MA.

    i kick myself for not realizing the hell that the duncannon roadwalk is before i was too far along in my planning to effectively plan around it.

    have i really not hiked the entire AT if i havent risked my life by trying to walk in the 2 foot gap between traffic and the wall of an underpass in the dark? i dont see it that way.

  4. #64
    Registered User Elaikases's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift Zone View Post
    as for leaving the trail... most appreciate you not ****ting on it, so by all means leave the trial for that. we'll let it slide.
    Ok.

    I'm still amazed at the number of times I have encountered human poop right on the trail, once completely covered in toilet paper.

    I'd really wish people always left the trail to do that.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaikases View Post


    It really struck me that while the trail is 2171 or so miles (changing every year) the badge is for 2000.
    I guess you didn't read the ATC's Certificate recognition for application info.

    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.Instead of everyone with their own definitions, interpretations, and needless endless confrontation and debating of what it means to complete the AT the ATC's definition is a darn good standard definition. It ends much of the drama.

  6. #66
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    I guess I'm a purist? The only bits of trail I didn't walk on my thru-hike this year were a couple hundred yards that were underwater from flooding at Watauga Lake, and then where the trail crosses that busy road in Daleville. Otherwise, I walked past every white blaze. But being "purists" became almost a game, and we would laughingly acknowledge that we were being pretentious when we back-tracked to exit a shelter on the same spur trail or doubled back if we got dropped off at a different end of the trail head parking lot or whatever. I didn't think people weren't real thru-hikers if they skipped that silly stuff or took blue blazes sometimes, as long as they walked the whole way. Even yellow blazing doesn't bother me, since it doesn't affect my hike at all, but I personally would feel disingenuous calling my own hike a "thru-hike" in that case.

    I did see an instagram post featured on the Trek or WWH or something, where the girl talked about her PCT thru-hike and how "it wasn't a perfect thru-hike, but it was MY thru-hike" and then declared that she had hiked 1800 miles. I mean, that's something like 70% of that trail. A totally admirable LASH, but why call that a thru? That seemed a little rude to the folks who walked 800 miles more than her. But that begs the question of what percentage gets to qualify. Strictly by definition, it's 100%. According to the AT people who say "It's a 2000 miler certificate, so you can miss up to 190 miles," about 90% is sufficient. To that girl, it was 70%.

    To me, it's kind of like a group project back in school. Yellow-blazing thru-hikers are the group members who don't do as much work, but get the same grade. Mildly annoying, but honestly? I only care about my grade.
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  7. #67
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    There are some really insecure people in this thread. Why would you allow somebody else to define for you what your goal is and then also decide for you what are your measures of success? Just do whatever the hell you like, and if somebody else doesn't concur, then they can do whatever the hell they like.

    People really should get off the AT and hike some other trails where this type of fundamentalism doesn't prevail.

  8. #68
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    Discussing someone’s beliefs on thru hiking is akin to talking politics or religion. Most people think their way is the best and that’s it.

    I tried my best to be a purist knowing I would eventually miss some blazes. I walked straight out of Duncannon instead of one block over realizing this half way out of town and not turning around. But the real reason for me being anal and going back to walk out the same blue blaze I came into the shelter on was to make sure I was paying attention to my surroundings and not autopiloting my way down the trail.

    After the AT I wasn’t concerned with being a purist and focused more on making sure to see what I wanted. In order to get a JMT permit I was required to take the four mile trail to the first campground instead of the first two miles of the JMT.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I'm a purist. Every white blaze along the way. I will take some side trails if time allows but I will be returning to the same blaze I left from.
    I have a couple different reasons for this. For one, when I am finished and say I have walked the entire thing, I don't want the little voice on my shoulder reminding me of that 5 miles in SNP to get to a wayside, or the bump from Garenflo gap down into hot springs because it was 100* out. I want to be able to emphasize EVERy foot of the trail and be able to mean it.

    My second reason is because I setout in the beginning of my obsession with the trail to thru hike it. And when the real world caught up to me overnight and I never even set out in an attempt to thru hike it, I told myself that in return I would section hike every mile of it, and in a way that resembled a thru hiker. I would put in the 20 mile days, and I would see every blaze. I pride myself in having seen a lot more blazes than many thru hikers I have met that seem to think its okay to call them self thru hikers when they stick a thumb out whenever its convenient. HYOH as a disclaimer.
    Nailed it...well done sir.

  10. #70
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Purist here, as a long-time section hiker. I would make sure to touch the blaze I started/ended at to connect each section. There were a few times that I took the blue-blaze loop trail to/from a shelter, I suppose. I really don't care what others do, as long as they walk from Springer to Katahdin over some period of time.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  11. #71
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    Why would you allow somebody else to define for you what your goal is and then also decide for you what are your measures of success? Just do whatever the hell you like, and if somebody else doesn't concur, then they can do whatever the hell they like.



    exactly.......

    except when it comes to licking the blazes..........

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    Therefore if you havent LICKED every white blaze, AND every blue blaze, you havent walked the entire trail.
    there-------I fixed it for ya...
    Yeah, if you missed the snazzberry blaze you aint gettin no certificate.

  13. #73
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    Heck yeah, let's just all define what thru-hike means to our own selves. I have hiked a little over 700 miles of the AT, I'll just announce myself as a thru-hiker. (tic)
    My point is that if you don't have a standard (and maybe we don't actually), then anything (or almost anything) goes.
    Can't climb all the way to Kahtahdin? No problem, you're a thru-hiker. Skipped 50 miles to come back back later and do them (but never actually get around to it), you're a thru-hiker. Hike 3/4 of the trail this year and come back a year or two later and finish? you, too are a thru-hiker.
    At what point do we call it NOT a thru-hike?
    We don't accept these loose guidelines for an FKT attempt, just saying.
    I have read many (probly TOO many) trail journals and books written by thru-hikers in recent years and it seems to me that there is a lot of jumping around, skipping sections to catch up with friends or family, rafting, canoeing around certain sections, etc. Most of these still refer to themselves as thru-hikers.
    I guess if it doesn't bother them, why should I care? Just seems like a large gray area to me.

    Has it always been this way? Just curious.

  14. #74
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    According to the AT people who say "It's a 2000 miler certificate, so you can miss up to 190 miles," about 90% is sufficient.
    You misrepresent what the AT people are saying. Read, or reread, post 65.
    Lonehiker

  15. #75
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    I plan on finishing the AT in 2019. I've hiked 1511 miles of it in 2 LASH's. When I finish it, I will be a 2000 miler, not a thru hiker. I did not hike the entire trail in 1 calendar year.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    You misrepresent what the AT people are saying. Read, or reread, post 65.
    I'm well aware of the ATC definition that Dogwood quoted, and that is the definition I was referring to when I said "Strictly by definition, it's 100%." That's the definition I and many other hikers on the trail this year adhered to. But if you read, or reread (), the very line of my post that you quoted, you will see that I was saying that according to some AT people (those who say "It's a 2000 mile certificate, so 2000 is good enough."), anything above 90% should qualify. Not how I personally see it, but it's a sentiment expressed both on this thread and one that I heard from some hikers on the trail this year. Not how all AT people see it, but also not an uncommon opinion.

    The point of my post was that by definition, a thru-hike should be 100% of the trail, but not all hikers agree on whether it's necessary to follow that definition to the letter. In the end, however, the only thing that really matters to me is that I hiked the whole trail.

    Tl;dr hyoh. (Which I suppose is most threads on this forum boiled down to the post character minimum, ​xP)
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  17. #77
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Just seems to me like this “purist” thing is both a mental jackoff for those who haven’t actually hiked much of it, and a real good way to diss the hike many have already made simply because you don’t like how others have hiked their own hike. I mean, dissing those whom I would say hiked “reasonably pure” because you don’t like how others hiked who more clearly accepted that there are no rules.

    Like the guy that mentioned coming in to town to stay a night and then being shuttled to the trailhead the next day. Is that “skipping” miles in town between trailheads? I completely understand if you would choose not to do that and instead pick up from where you left off, but seems to me that putting a label of “purist” on your preference by default brands the other as less than pure, which bothers the heck out of me on behalf of those who’ve HYOH’d for the 2100+ miles. Most of them only “skipping” a few feet here, a mile or so there, not to make it easier but because at the time it seemed prudent. I forgot who said this, but I feel it’s true... it’s impossible to hike every foot, but a reasonable choice to hike every mile. Though I don’t see missing a mile or so out of the 2100+ as necessarily flaunting that.

    You make your own choices, don’t tread on mine, and don’t label my choices because you want one for your own. Call yourself a purist if you want in your own mind.


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  18. #78
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    exactly.......

    except when it comes to licking the blazes..........
    I've painted a few and ain't going to lick them.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift Zone View Post
    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 go out to HAVE FUN and not stress about passing every single white blaze.
    It's all good in the woods.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    Just seems to me like this “purist” thing is both a mental jackoff for those who haven’t actually hiked much of it, and a real good way to diss the hike many have already made simply because you don’t like how others have hiked their own hike. I mean, dissing those whom I would say hiked “reasonably pure” because you don’t like how others hiked who more clearly accepted that there are no rules.
    i find this to be generally true in life. there are people who go through life concerned with how things are supposed to be done, the right way to do everything. they make this their guiding principle. they put a lot of time and energy and willpower in it, and it is often not what they really want.

    so of course when they see someone who isn't going putting them self through the same struggle they are going through they react with anger.

    throwing in something even as insignificant as a certificate at the end as some sort of prize just makes it worse. those who do everything "right" don't want the people who just did as they pleased getting the same reward.

    the truth is someone who has never even set foot on the east coast of the united states can get one of those certificates, and i'm sure someone has. as such, i really never get why anyone worries about meeting the "requirements" to get one.

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