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Thread: Friendliness

  1. #61
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    It really doesn't take much effort to acknowledge someone, smile or simple greeting. You just don't know whether you'll end up needing this person later on down the trail for one reason or another. Just be nice.
    Happy Lifetime Sectioner!

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I've had alot of encounters like this. My pet peeve is backpacking on the AT and resting at a shelter to get water etc (before moving on) and watching so-called "expert" thruhikers "Hold Court" whereby an individual thruhiker will make his presence available for anyone wanting to ask questions---but him--himself (or herself) NEVER asking one question from anyone in his "audience". It's comical and possibly infuriating. I call it Holding Court---as in "I will now deign to take your questions."

    One time I went along with the madness and asked Our Lordship a simple question---after he went on and on about his expertise---"Have you ever backpacked and camped in the snow?"

    He said, "No, never in the snow". Oh okay---so much for the Guru of the Appalachian Trail.
    And to the OP---if such behavior bothers you---find areas to go backpacking where your chances of seeing anyone is practically nil. I can give you a long list.
    Interesting how you described that scenario, but I have seen this play out simply because some new hikers ask a lot of questions and like to talk about gear, the trail, etc. If I'm the so called hiker sage at a given moment that they're asking basic questions to, I will answer the series of questions politely, and won't necessarily ask them 5 questions about their legendary snow hikes because I don't necessarily care at the time!

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Interesting how you described that scenario, but I have seen this play out simply because some new hikers ask a lot of questions and like to talk about gear, the trail, etc. If I'm the so called hiker sage at a given moment that they're asking basic questions to, I will answer the series of questions politely, and won't necessarily ask them 5 questions about their legendary snow hikes because I don't necessarily care at the time!
    I guess it depends on personality types. I'm a full blown Questioner (not inquisitor)---so I like to turn newbs around from their questions to asking them about their hike and their gear and their motivations. But the types I'm talking about at trail shelters are easily recognizable. John Muir Himself could walk up and they wouldn't ask a single question.

  4. #64

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    Some time back there was an analysis of AT hikers that found a preponderance of introverts. I think it's true. They are not necessarily unfriendly, but social interactions are draining for them. Give them a break. If you come from a big city, you might be more used to extroverts, who thrive on personal interactions. Don't make the mistake of bringing this style into the woods.

  5. #65

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    Sometimes people get comfortable A few weeks ago we were resting at the end of a hike and saw another group approaching us and were relieved they reached the destination.

    I asked: "Great, day, how was Your hike ?"
    He: "allright, but I started cramping up half way"
    I say: "if you want I have a tablet of NUUN - it helps greatly with craming"
    He: "Oh, no, I don't have a colon!" (implying probably that he has overcome some kind of cancer which ended up with remova of colon and thus the use of a colostomy bag)

    The conversation died after that :-) lol I did not have a good comeback. :-)
    Let me go

  6. #66

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    I'd also add that if you're goal is to champion friendliness, it's probably best not to trash entire groups of people who don't perform to your expectations for your convenience. If you're just seeking understanding, that's great, if your intent is to complain that their manners/culture/outlook on life is wrong, because it's not yours, then that's just a wee bit authoritarian complaining.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    Interesting observation. Simple folks are more sociable. Makes me wonder if in the process of becoming the over-educated society we are today, we have lost some of our humanity. And, BTW, i don't mean "simple" in a pejorative way.
    I live in the South. I don't see that here. Most of us are sociable.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    I live in the South. I don't see that here. Most of us are sociable.
    People are more pleasant in the south. I agree. It is probably the weather...

  9. #69

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    Everybody loves HYOH when it applies to them, but not as many are fond of it when it needs to apply to others.

    Your hike may not be the same as their hike. Your norms may not be their norms. There's room for diversity.

    Unless what someone does impedes your ability to reasonable activities as a hiker/human, don't let it worry you.

  10. #70

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    I grew up in the NYC metro area and lived in the northeast my whole life until moving to Houston 15 years ago. When I arrived here, I was taken aback by strangers saying hello to me. New Jersey (my home state) is the most densely populated state in the country and NYC is the highest population city. It's a stressful environment and the culture reflects it. I wonder if an extended period of time on trail might make people more inclined to be friendly to strangers. I hope so.

  11. #71
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    huh? coupla folks didn't acknowledge you in the woods and you're butthurt? much ado over nothin'

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    huh? coupla folks didn't acknowledge you in the woods and you're butthurt? much ado over nothin'
    .........
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 04-03-2019 at 21:26.

  13. #73
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    TLDR;
    They may have had an argument and didn't want to socialize..

  14. #74

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    I have difficulty hearing. Quite often I either don't hear when people speak to me or I have such a hard understanding their words I just smile and move on. Many think I am standoffish or just not friendly. That is not true at all. I just can't hear and it gets tiresome and embarrassing to keep repeating "What?" "Say again" or whatever. Oh, as bad as it is in the great outdoors trying to understand someone else in a noisy room is a lost cause.
    Apparently I had a woman yelling at me on a Miami sidewalk once, really getting into it. My friend saw what was happening and told her "he is deaf" (which is basically true in those situations). To her credit I think she had no idea and looked a bit sheepish afterwards.
    You aren't always being ignored, sometimes people just can't/don't hear you.
    ./~Hi ho, hi ho, it's up the trail I go ./~

  15. #75
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    3000+ people viewed this thread.
    Only 46 people (unique users) responded.
    I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about such stuff.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 04-04-2019 at 06:20.

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    3000+ people viewed this thread.
    Only 46 people (unique users) responded.
    I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about such stuff.
    More likely 100 people viewed it 30 x each as they followed responses.
    Or even less people....

  17. #77

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    I would like to mention that the Overwhelming majority of the people I have met on trail have ranged from polite to mostly friendly.That's what one could reasonably expect I would think as one could conclude that other people out in the woods with a backpack likely have something in common.

  18. #78
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    There's always a lot of well deserved talk about the Type A lifestyle here in the Northeast. But it isn't necessarily constant or universal, even here. There's often a circumstantial component. For instance, chances are that the same man who will ignore you while charging off the commuter train on a week night will give you a cheery greeting on Sunday morning, walking out of the market with his NY Times and bagels.
    "It goes to show you never can tell." - Charles Edward Anderson Berry

  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Grouse View Post
    There's always a lot of well deserved talk about the Type A lifestyle here in the Northeast. But it isn't necessarily constant or universal, even here. There's often a circumstantial component. For instance, chances are that the same man who will ignore you while charging off the commuter train on a week night will give you a cheery greeting on Sunday morning, walking out of the market with his NY Times and bagels.
    There's a famous southern hostel owner, who's big and expressive and makes a whole speech about welcoming everyone to his town, and how he wants to be the best host ever.

    I, from the north, perceived him as being a sleazy politician type, and felt his words didn't match up to the reality of his hostel, and felt like his free outfitter shuttle was more of an opportunity to get kickbacks from the crappy outfitter across town, instead of the great outfitter within walking distance of the hostel.

    My hiking buddy, from the south, just thought this guy was the nicest polite young man ever. I suspect the truth was somewhere in the middle.

    Likewise, on the trail, I've had really shallow initially friendly encounters with southerners who want nothing to do with you after the initial greeting... and a deep conversation with a former heroin addict from Brooklyn after an uninspiring initial greeting.

    So yep, it's best to just view each encounter based on the circumstances, and not expect all things from all people at all times.

  20. #80
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    Things are different. As a teenager, I rode my bicycle everywhere. I rode on my own and took weekend rides with a local club. Back then, passing any bicyclist going the other way would generate an exchange of greetings. Didn't matter if it were a serious racer type or casual rider, everyone was friendly to each other.


    Fast forward 40 or so years, and my experience is that a friendly hello or wave will more often than not, go completely ignored.

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