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  1. #21
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    We have a booming economy, there aren't a lot of unemployed people with spare time right now.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    If I am reading correctly, there were 749 flip floppers. This number is not shown on this page https://www.appalachiantrail.org/hom...ty/2000-milers for other years. Perhaps an increase in flip-floppers has occurred, which if so, might be credited to ATC efforts.
    Maybe, I don't see any reported numbers on the flip-floppers from previous years other than reported completions, 22, vs 117 for 2018, but it hasn't been updated since November 24th. There was a big drop in flip flops completed in 2018 vs 2017/16. I wonder if it's less people completing or less people starting. Does anyone know anywhere else that might report these or any other numbers?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgillam View Post
    We have a booming economy, there aren't a lot of unemployed people with spare time right now.
    Yeah, probably another factor. But interestingly, our CO Mountain Club (7000 person hiking club) enrollment dropped about 40% just after the big "financial crisis" of 2008/9, but then started rising again during the recovery soon after. So, all the laid-off folks decided to quit hiking then is my take on it, for some reason. But in that case, we're talking mostly about day hikers or weekend warriors. If I were still a working stiff and got laid off, I'd head straight for a long trail somewhere, which is I suppose you're exact point in reverse.

    Not sure why we're talking about "better" places to hike rather than the subject as to why AT hiking has apparently dipped a bit, but since the subject has been brought up, here is an example of where I choose to hike for weeks at a time without seeing anyone, other than my 1 or 2 hiking companions. silly me.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #24

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    A flip flop sounds good in theory, but in practice it's not so good. You end up in VA during the hottest and driest part of the year.

    No doubt many of the Flip floppers who make it to Baxter decide that is far enough. It's just as easy to head home then it is to go back to Harpers Ferry.
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  5. #25

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    Is there a table listing the number of 2000 milers by year somewhere?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not sure why we're talking about "better" places to hike rather than the subject as to why AT hiking has apparently dipped a bit
    ...
    Yeah, I was thinking that too. Most of the trails I've hiked are generally pretty free of other hikers. But the thread is about the AT. I kinda extended it to the PCT, since it also is a big "draw".

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    I think the current younger generation will not generate as many hikers going forward either; as a teacher, at least up here, I am seeing so many less people engaged in anything that doesn't have constant wifi and phone usage, but this may be my skewed view.
    I couldn't agree more. "Constant WiFi" about says it all. I think there's a direct correlation to higher phone usage and declining backpacking numbers.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Is there a table listing the number of 2000 milers by year somewhere?
    Here:

    http://appalachiantrail.org/home/community/2000-milers

    Scroll down to see the good stuff, previous years vs. 2019

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    I think the current younger generation will not generate as many hikers going forward either; as a teacher, at least up here, I am seeing so many less people engaged in anything that doesn't have constant wifi and phone usage, but this may be my skewed view.
    The trend has overall globally been occurring for a long time - less of a connection to the Natural environment replaced by a connection to the economy or other things. This trend has been occurring in your/my generations too but according to that/our age's cultural normalcies.

    Hiking or other adventuring in Nature activities such as thru hiking, or as TW does "getting his bag nights", can be our attempts to somehow reconnect to that which is instinctually engrained, that we know/connect with in our souls - a connection with and love for Nature... because humanity is part of it not separate from it. Richard Louv terms it Nature Deficit Disorder. Humanity may not be as separate and levitating above the greater environment as some world belief systems and colonization efforts have us unquestionably believe and built societies/Nations.

    Some have the notion less Nature less wilderness less savagery more progress. Turn your TV or computer on. Read US history books. It's preached everyday in abundance from the highest pulpits of power. Some in a fallen state take the command 'take dominion over the Earth' as justification to rape, pillage, and waste it ignorant of life beyond our noses not aware that destroying Nature we destroy ourselves. Onwards to the next planet. See how we have progressed? Doesn't that contain a hint of species self absorption and arrogance?

    Humanity is not meant to be in rebellion to the Earth.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 01-09-2020 at 16:35.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Some in a fallen state take the command 'take dominion over the Earth' as justification to rape, pillage, and waste it ignorant of life beyond our noses not aware that destroying Nature we destroy ourselves.
    I have to question whether the folks doin the raping, pillaging and wasting are biblical enough to ever have heard or given thought to said command...

  11. #31
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    Wish tgheree was a like button on WB.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The trend has overall globally been occurring for a long time - less of a connection to the Natural environment replaced by a connection to the economy or other things. This trend has been occurring in your/my generations too but according to that/our age's cultural normalcies.

    Hiking or other adventuring in Nature activities such as thru hiking, or as TW does "getting his bag nights", can be our attempts to somehow reconnect to that which is instinctually engrained, that we know/connect with in our souls - a connection with and love for Nature... because humanity is part of it not separate from it. Richard Louv terms it Nature Deficit Disorder. Humanity may not be as separate and levitating above the greater environment as some world belief systems and colonization efforts have us unquestionably believe and built societies/Nations.

    Some have the notion less Nature less wilderness less savagery more progress. Turn your TV or computer on. Read US history books. It's preached everyday in abundance from the highest pulpits of power. Some in a fallen state take the command 'take dominion over the Earth' as justification to rape, pillage, and waste it ignorant of life beyond our noses not aware that destroying Nature we destroy ourselves. Onwards to the next planet. See how we have progressed? Doesn't that contain a hint of species self absorption and arrogance?

    Humanity is not meant to be in rebellion to the Earth.
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  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    I have to question whether the folks doin the raping, pillaging and wasting are biblical enough to ever have heard or given thought to said command...
    Manifest Destiny promoted and justified it.

    Excuse the hijacking. Mum.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I couldn't agree more. "Constant WiFi" about says it all. I think there's a direct correlation to higher phone usage and declining backpacking numbers.
    Were that the case, the numbers shown by the ATC would not have pretty much doubled every decade since the 1980's.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    I have to question whether the folks doin the raping, pillaging and wasting are biblical enough to ever have heard or given thought to said command...
    Manifest Destiny promoted and justified it.

    Excuse the hijacking. Mum.
    Yeah, interesting seque and definitely a thread hijack. Good discussion for somewhere besides here, so I won't respond further here except to say -- if you believe a butterfly flapping it's wings in China has as impact on the number of AT hikers, then you may believe manifest destiny also plays a role. IMO.

  15. #35

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    Like many other occurrences in nature and society, it is cyclical.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    A flip flop sounds good in theory, but in practice it's not so good. You end up in VA during the hottest and driest part of the year.

    No doubt many of the Flip floppers who make it to Baxter decide that is far enough. It's just as easy to head home then it is to go back to Harpers Ferry.
    One can time a flip flop however one chooses and there are several published strategies to do so.

    I was however reading that wrong as I did not see the double asterisk on the website. It was not appropriate to add the Harpers Ferry and Baxter numbers together as the counts do not reflect starts. At a minimum there were 414 flip floppers based on the table, which is the Harpers Ferry count. A much harder number to estimate-the true number of starts--with the flexible starting points available.
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  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Were that the case, the numbers shown by the ATC would not have pretty much doubled every decade since the 1980's.
    But we didn't have smartphones in the 1980s or 1990s or even into the 2000s---its widespread use (and addiction) is a very recent phenom.

  18. #38
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    I doubt smartphone use is the cause of an outlier number in the general trend. If smartphones were causing a decline in hiking, then please explain the success of Guthook.

  19. #39

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    I only thing long-distance hiking numbers will generally decline over time because more people of all ages, but especially young, are joining the "everything must be quick and connected" MO. Also, youth outdoor programs and general interest in hiking is way down for youth in my area.

    One data point from Scouts Canada, a few years old:
    2015-16 youth membership stands at 61,438,[8] a 5% decline from 64,693[9] in 2014-15. This is a significant decline from its 1965 peak of 288,084 youth

    Some hikers will want to disconnect when they're older and want to do a long-distance hike, but I think millions more would rather go to the key points of interest and take 1,000 pictures and maybe a 10 min video. Or hit the backpacking trails that are the most awe-inspiring.

    But this is just one variable of many!




  20. #40
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    every decade there are more recreational opportunities, so of course some have to decline in popularity, but few go away completely

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