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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    No, but you know I didn't. The physical affects of meth use, appearances and behavior are widely known by everyday people, not just LEO and medical. If multiple people reported appearance and behavior that resemble that, and enough so that they left the general area due to safety concerns, I'd probably trust their judgement that something was rotten in Denmark until a "welfare check" by police proved otherwise. In a perfect world everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. But we don't live in a perfect world, so not everyone gets the benefit of the doubt. If it looks like a meth head, swims like a meth head, and quacks like a meth head...
    Meth use has nothing to do with legality of camping in woods.

    And a bunch of dope smoking hikers have no right to judge anyone else. Regardless of an individuals actions, its widespread and tolerated in hiking community.

    If people arent a threat to selves, others, or breaking law.....mind your own business.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-01-2019 at 06:23.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Meth use has nothing to do with legality of camping in woods.

    And a bunch of dope smoking hikers have no right to judge anyone else. Regardless of an individuals actions, its widespread and tolerated in hiking community.

    If people arent a threat to selves, others, or breaking law.....mind your own business.
    I have seen many marijuana users on the trail, but the only thing they were sharpening is their joint, not knives...and yes, meth users do behave erratically and their state of mind is not normal.

  3. #23
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    If they are meth heads, they won't be able to stick around too long at Beech Gap without going back for more supplies. There is also the possibility that they are cooking in the forest. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened.

    Regardless of the Beech Gap crowd, I have heard many times from Rangers that the homeless camping in the national parks is becoming a larger and larger problem. As long as they leave no trace, I do not have a problem with it. But from the campsites I have seen used by the homeless (ie: Raven's Cliff Falls in NE Georgia), the mess they can leave behind it staggering.

    One final point about meth versus pot usage, they are two different beasts. To try to lump the two together is like comparing a rubber band gun to a 50 caliber machine gun.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwcoyote View Post
    During my many years of EMS and Law Enforcement I have never been wrong when I assumed that someone was a meth user based on their appearance. When you use meth certain things happen to your body so how people look can be a great indicator of meth usage.
    and that's part of the reason there is a huge disconnect between law enforcement and the general public in a lot of places. Being stereotyped by law enforcement. You are contributing to the problem. And as an EMS, how does your ability to "spot" a meth user help you take better care of people? Probably doesn't.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    and that's part of the reason there is a huge disconnect between law enforcement and the general public in a lot of places. Being stereotyped by law enforcement. You are contributing to the problem. And as an EMS, how does your ability to "spot" a meth user help you take better care of people? Probably doesn't.
    Not sure why it's so hard to understand that long term (and it doesn't take that long) meth use has certain effects that are almost guaranteed to occur. You can use other drugs and maybe not incur visual changes to your appearances but meth is not one of those drugs. When you see these signs day in and day out it is not stereotyping people, when you see it, you know it. And as far as EMS, the possible of drug involvement in someone's condition is paramount in their treatment, again not a real hard concept to understand. Again, when I see these signs and have asked a person they have always admitted to being a meth user so there has to be a lot of basis for my assumption.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwcoyote View Post
    Not sure why it's so hard to understand that long term (and it doesn't take that long) meth use has certain effects that are almost guaranteed to occur. You can use other drugs and maybe not incur visual changes to your appearances but meth is not one of those drugs. When you see these signs day in and day out it is not stereotyping people, when you see it, you know it. And as far as EMS, the possible of drug involvement in someone's condition is paramount in their treatment, again not a real hard concept to understand. Again, when I see these signs and have asked a person they have always admitted to being a meth user so there has to be a lot of basis for my assumption.
    Easy to spot the stereotypical user in advanced stages.
    But thats not always the case.
    I know someone that was a heavy user, went to prison for making it. No physical outward sign until teeth deteriorated. Now he needs like 15 implants. But he has his life together.

  7. #27

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    I would have probably also moved to a different camp but the statement about “people sharpening large knives “ sounds like an exaggeration aimed at convincing law enforcement to act.

    The person reporting this isn’t the same person who reported “ a hiker with a machette “ ? I hope


    I sometimes sharpen my camping knife for the fun of it. I hope no one calls the cops on me just because they want an extra spot at the lean to


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  8. #28
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    Default Beech Gap squatters

    How long does the average meth binge last? even if these characters are elite space cases, they have crashed by now and stumbled home. With no more knowledge than anyone else, I declare the area safe for backpackers, dope smoking or otherwise.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  9. #29
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    Passed thru there last Tuesday (4-23) while doing the Loop and saw nothing as noted in these posts.

  10. #30
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    If you see something that looks out of the ordinary, or gives you a concern, please call the appropriate agency. If all is well, they will have a friendly chat with the officer. No problem. A while ago I attended a multi-agency conference dealing with crime on the AT, a few years after two hikers were murdered at the Cove Mountain shelter in Pennsylvania. The chief lesson the NPS and ATC had for us was be alert for something that seems out of place. If it just doesn't look right, call us.

  11. #31
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    I’ve come across several people with guns over the years, and carrying a gun in the woods generally doesn’t get me all that wound up. Seeing a dude smoke a joint doesn’t get me all that excited. Seeing someone with a large knife doesn’t make me nervous.

    But odd behavior plus a weapon is a definite issue worth reporting. The one and only one time a gun got me nervous was when it was in the hands of a crazy dude muttering about his gold mine and claim jumpers in the Smokeys. I quickly packed up, urged others to do the same, and reported the incident to the park.



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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Game Warden View Post
    If you see something that looks out of the ordinary, or gives you a concern, please call the appropriate agency. If all is well, they will have a friendly chat with the officer. No problem. A while ago I attended a multi-agency conference dealing with crime on the AT, a few years after two hikers were murdered at the Cove Mountain shelter in Pennsylvania. The chief lesson the NPS and ATC had for us was be alert for something that seems out of place. If it just doesn't look right, call us.
    An excerpt from https://www.outsideonline.com/201132...alachian-trail

    Sept 11, 1990 - "At the time, the AT followed 16 miles of paved road through Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley—a shadeless hike, hard on the feet. The trail’s caretakers had worked for years to reroute the footpath into forest they had acquired piecemeal. On this afternoon, the ATC’s Karen Lutz was surveying one such property when she noticed a bearded man plodding up the road behind her.

    She was a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and figured him for a hitcher between rides, a drifter. No chance he was a hiker: he wore a flannel shirt, jeans, and combat boots, had a small rucksack on his back, and carried two bright red gym bags, each emblazoned with the Marlboro logo. He kept his head down as he trudged past, headed north toward U.S. 11.

    Two hours later, Lutz drove north on the trail, following its blazes through several turns. Well north of 11, she encountered the stranger again. So he was hiking, she realized. He wasn’t far from the spot where the AT veered from the road and into the trees. If he hustled, he might make the Darlington shelter, little more than three miles away.Lutz drove on, unnerved. Something about the man—his filthiness, his clothes, his joyless progress—filled her with dread. She didn’t know that the stranger carried a long-barreled .22-caliber revolver, a box of 50 bullets, and a double-edged knife nearly nine inches long. She didn’t know he was among Florida’s most wanted fugitives. Even so, Lutz, herself a 1978 through-hiker, decided that Darlington was a place she most sincerely did not want to be.

    For years she would be haunted by that moment, by 'tremendous guilt over the fact that I had seen him, and that I had sensed an evil aura coming off him.''

    'I know that sounds wacko, but that’s exactly what I felt,' she says. 'And I didn’t do anything.'”


    36 hours later Paul David Crews murdered SOBO thru-hikers Geoff Hood and raped and murdered his girlfriend Molly LaRue at the Thelma Marks (Cove Mountain) shelter.

    We spend much of our lives learning how to anticipate events, observing cause and effect, and making decisions based upon the context and entirety of situations. And generally, our gut reactions are spot-on. We are good at it. If something doesn't seem right, report it! Trust your instincts!

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    An excerpt from https://www.outsideonline.com/201132...alachian-trail

    Sept 11, 1990 - "At the time, the AT followed 16 miles of paved road through Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley—a shadeless hike, hard on the feet. The trail’s caretakers had worked for years to reroute the footpath into forest they had acquired piecemeal. On this afternoon, the ATC’s Karen Lutz was surveying one such property when she noticed a bearded man plodding up the road behind her.

    She was a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and figured him for a hitcher between rides, a drifter. No chance he was a hiker: he wore a flannel shirt, jeans, and combat boots, had a small rucksack on his back, and carried two bright red gym bags, each emblazoned with the Marlboro logo. He kept his head down as he trudged past, headed north toward U.S. 11.

    Two hours later, Lutz drove north on the trail, following its blazes through several turns. Well north of 11, she encountered the stranger again. So he was hiking, she realized. He wasn’t far from the spot where the AT veered from the road and into the trees. If he hustled, he might make the Darlington shelter, little more than three miles away.Lutz drove on, unnerved. Something about the man—his filthiness, his clothes, his joyless progress—filled her with dread. She didn’t know that the stranger carried a long-barreled .22-caliber revolver, a box of 50 bullets, and a double-edged knife nearly nine inches long. She didn’t know he was among Florida’s most wanted fugitives. Even so, Lutz, herself a 1978 through-hiker, decided that Darlington was a place she most sincerely did not want to be.

    For years she would be haunted by that moment, by 'tremendous guilt over the fact that I had seen him, and that I had sensed an evil aura coming off him.''

    'I know that sounds wacko, but that’s exactly what I felt,' she says. 'And I didn’t do anything.'”


    36 hours later Paul David Crews murdered SOBO thru-hikers Geoff Hood and raped and murdered his girlfriend Molly LaRue at the Thelma Marks (Cove Mountain) shelter.

    We spend much of our lives learning how to anticipate events, observing cause and effect, and making decisions based upon the context and entirety of situations. And generally, our gut reactions are spot-on. We are good at it. If something doesn't seem right, report it! Trust your instincts!
    Simply coincedence.
    She judged him driving by in a car
    All she could tell...was that he was likely a transient
    And thats not a crime. Neither is travelling on the trail.
    For every one thats a murderer.....hundreds are not.

    Even a broke clock is right twice a day.

    What your calling for....is profiling. Profiling people not like yourself. People that are poor, or indigent, with apriori assumption that they are criminals or a threat.

    More people will be murdered on the AT. People murder other people. Everywhere. Its life. If dont like it, stay home. But thats where your most likely to die, soooo......

    Nothing wrong with trusting your gut,
    But it needs to be based on a little more than driving by in a freaking car.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-01-2019 at 21:25.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Simply coincedence.
    She judged him driving by in a car
    All she could tell...was that he was likely a transient
    And thats not a crime. Neither is travelling on the trail.
    For every one thats a murderer.....hundreds are not.

    Even a broke clock is right twice a day.

    What your calling for....is profiling. Profiling people not like yourself. People that are poor, or indigent, with apriori assumption that they are criminals or a threat.

    More people will be murdered on the AT. People murder other people. Everywhere. Its life. If dont like it, stay home. But thats where your most likely to die, soooo......
    So, it was just coincidence that KL sensed something was wrong? No, it wasn't coincidence. It was gut instinct. He didn't belong. Something wasn't right with this picture. People "profile" other people every day. Day in, day out. We all do it. Every. Breathing. Person. Even you. We can play a PC game and label it part of "unconscious bias". We can pretend to ignore it. But it never goes away. It's a survival instinct. The best we can do is to recognize it and not apply it in situations where it clearly isn't fair, such as in the workplace or legal system. But when it comes down to personal security, only a fool wouldn't trust his own instincts.

  15. #35
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    Probably a good thing not to profile people at Walmart or Whole Foods.

    Probably a very good thing to profile people at a shelter who you will be sleeping next to.


    Probably not a good thing to profile someone who has outfitted themself from a thrift shop.

    Probably a very good thing to profile someone whose kit includes a 12” pig sticker.


    Probably not a good thing to profile a person for their facial piercings.

    Probably a very good thing to profile a person for home made ink on thier fingers.


    i have more :-)

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    So, it was just coincidence that KL sensed something was wrong?
    From a moving car? Absolutely. Makes a nice story for an article though.

    you can't go calling police every time a kid with a hoodie rides their bike down your street, or a latino person dressed cholo walks by, or a white van drives through a neighborhood, or a guy with tattoos knocks on your door. Do they look out a place? Maybe. That alone isnt enough reason to call the authorities. If that were the case all the authorities would do nothing but investigate BS calls, and they don't have time for that. You really need some clear signs that a person is doing something illegal or is a real threat to other people or themselves. Yeah it can be their behavior, but I promise you no one assessed that driving by in a car. If you're uncomfortable and want to move along , by all means, that's what you should do.

    there's quite a few thru-hikers that start in Georgia with big Rambo survival knives and machetes. Just ignorant people that have some unrealistic expectation of what a hike is at first. And we won't even talk about locals and car campers that show up at shelters. A machete is standard equipment for many woodsy people. I always have one in the front basket of my four wheeler on my hunting lease. When trails are overgrown you hack your way through.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-01-2019 at 22:44.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    From a moving car? Absolutely. Makes a nice story for an article though.
    "...the ATC’s Karen Lutz was surveying one such property when she noticed a bearded man plodding up the road behind her."
    So, you think she was surveying the property from a car?
    "She was a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and figured him for a hitcher between rides, a drifter. No chance he was a hiker: he wore a flannel shirt, jeans, and combat boots, had a small rucksack on his back, and carried two bright red gym bags, each emblazoned with the Marlboro logo. He kept his head down as he trudged past, headed north toward U.S. 11."
    She observed quite a few details about the hiker as she was surveying property. Not likely if she just drove past. And since it says "he trudged past", she was obviously stationary and able to observe him.

    I don't think the game warden or other posters are saying/implying that hikers should "profile" others based on their clothing/hygiene. However, you can observe demeanor, facial expressions, posture and these can give off clues that may alert you to the potential of trouble or danger.
    Last edited by Trillium; 05-02-2019 at 12:23. Reason: left out a word
    Trillium

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trillium View Post
    "...the ATC’s Karen Lutz was surveying one such property when she noticed a bearded man plodding up the road behind her."
    So, you think she was surveying the property from a car?
    "She was a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and figured him for a hitcher between rides, a drifter. No chance he was a hiker: he wore a flannel shirt, jeans, and combat boots, had a small rucksack on his back, and carried two bright red gym bags, each emblazoned with the Marlboro logo. He kept his head down as he trudged past, headed north toward U.S. 11."
    She observed quite a few details about the hiker as she was surveying property. Not likely if she just drove past. And since it says "he trudged past", she was obviously stationary and able to observe him.

    I don't think the game warden or other posters are saying/implying that hikers should "profile" others based on their clothing/hygiene. However, you can observe demeanor, facial expressions, posture and these can give off clues that may alert you to the potential of trouble or danger.
    what exactly did he do or did she describe that you would not expect a transient person walking down a road to do?

    Would you expect them to tap dance and sing a show tune?
    it's hot and they're walking on foot , and carrying stuff, of course they're going to "trudge". They're not on vacation, they're on foot out of necessity.

    Maybe it's because they didn't come up and chat?

    A person's demeanor observe from a distance is.... Nothing.

    If you interact with them maybe you can tell something.

    Plenty of town people historically have thought AT hikers were equivalent to homeless bums and discriminated against them. You still see it today when areas prohibit zoning for hostels when people want to start a new hostel.
    they judge them just by seeing them and the fact that they appear different than they are, dirty, shabby hair, beards.

    if you're quick to judge others, you have no room to complain about other people judging you the same way.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-02-2019 at 13:20.

  19. #39
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    Have any of y'all ever come off a long stretch of days and trudge into Kent, CT (or XYZ town in affluent region)? LD hikers are profiled as degenerate constantly. 4eyed, I thought your final paragraph was very well stated but I can't totally agree.

    If you are surrounded by friends/family/neighbors, it's not hard to notice strange behavior. When out amongst people in the mountains...a lot of actions seem strange to me. I don't alert law enforcement for odd behavior.

    Were I feel a threat to my own safety or those near me, different story. Profiling on the trail seems like a never ending spiral.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    associating how someone looks with meth use is jumping to conclusions
    Not really. There are some diagnostic symptoms. Sores on their face and bodies, rotting teeth, for example.

    https://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/...-meth-use.html
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