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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Some may think this is early to discuss with so many suffering around the country, but I would hope we can still discuss what reopening the AT would look like even if it is a couple months before that happen. And I would hope the ATC is considering what it takes for them to issue an all clear. Or perhaps they won't even do that this year. It would be interesting to know their criteria. I hope they comment and send us all an email on their criteria like they did when the urged us to leave the trail.

    If the ATC does not come out with a plan, then what is you criteria?

    I think a lot of areas are probably still locked down until June or possibly longer. For me if local and state governments start easing restrictions and the federal governments open national parks/forests, then it would be time to restart the hike. They all don't need to open at the same time, I would stick to open areas. This would probably become a flip flop hike.

    How the hike might look. I would still socially distance from other hikers avoiding shelters where legal. I was hiking with a group so I am thinking we take a couple cars and hike car to car where we could hold about 2 months supplies so we do no need to go to towns, other than to do laundry.

    Anyone thinking about what would get you back on the trail?

    The ATC for all the good it does and it does a massive amount of good work. I say that as a preface to my opinion below.
    OPINION
    For the most part the ATC, if given enough rope, would have the AT regulated in such a way as to make the PCT rules look nonexistent. The ATC as a group (not trying to call out anyone) treat the actual trail as something to look, but not to actually use to much. That said, I would expect the ATC to resist any "opening" of the AT for as long as possible, with recommendations of staying close the rest of 2020. So, while the ACT has no authority to regulate the trail. The question will be how much weight will the various authority’s give to the ATC’s Opinion?
    This is where some of the ethical questions, will come in the near future. If the .gov “opens” the AT and the ATC say’s stay off. Then what?
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  2. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Two good questions. You are not in danger if you are not within 6 feet of anyone. That is pretty easy to do if you avoid shelters and hostels. I'm past the smokies so I don't plan to stay in any shelters. I am at equal risk to staying at home and hiking in a local park. If we do the 2 cars to hold food I could avoid towns for 2 months.
    (Sorry if my comment is repetitive, but the thread got too long for me to read every comment and as the OP I'd ask that you indulge me.)

    Self-isolation - staying home except for essential reasons, and when outside the home wearing a mask - isn't related to whether or not you become infected. It's to stop the spread of the disease. If you pick up the virus you can unintentionally pass it to someone without knowing you're infected, or you could get sick and end up far from a hospital equipped to deal with your illness, or end up in an over-burdened hospital consuming scarce resources. The greater the patient load the less supplies they have available, putting everyone in a risky situation in terms of infection control.

    It's not about you. It's about the people around you. Health care workers and the sick are begging people to stay home because they've seen how fast it spreads and how horrifying the illness is.

    Over 2,100 Americans died of Covid yesterday. One month ago, on March 11, eight people died from it. Why did it spread so fast? Human behavior. And we can change that behavior to slow down the spread.

    We don't know how long it will take to develop a vaccine, but until we are able to test everyone we will be on shaky ground. Even when that happens, though, we will still need to follow precautions.

    You're not protected simply by staying six feet away from other people. Coronaviruses can live on surfaces for several days and since it's a new virus, there may be a lot we don't know about it yet. The six feet guideline is based on how close to someone who sneezes or coughs you have to be to be in the direct line of their respiratory droplets. More importantly, many others are not protected if you don't follow the recommendations to stop the spread of the virus.

    This situation won't last forever, but it will go on longer than needed if folks don't modify their behavior.

  3. #203
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    All of our trailheads are shut down. As crowded as the AT gets I think the responsible thing to do is wait. Thru-hiking the AT is not a solitary experience. It is a social one.

  4. #204
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    Ruth, IM not sure you read my post at all. This is about after the states and parks are open.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    All of our trailheads are shut down. As crowded as the AT gets I think the responsible thing to do is wait. Thru-hiking the AT is not a solitary experience. It is a social one.
    That I a personal choice of how you hike the AT It is very easy to avoid crowds. Many days I have only seen one or two people all day. It is far more solitary than hikes on local trails. I've done 650 miles of the trail.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    That I a personal choice of how you hike the AT It is very easy to avoid crowds. Many days I have only seen one or two people all day. It is far more solitary than hikes on local trails. I've done 650 miles of the trail.
    Hiking a week or two presents certain challenges, but nothing close to those presented by a 6 month thru hike.

    One of those that come to mind is what a thru hiker should do if he or she comes down with a stomach bug. Or a bit of a sore throat.

    What would you do if you found yourself in the middle a six month hike and were in that position?

    What would you do if those symptoms became progressively worse?

    No simple path if you ar in the middle of a thru hike many hundreds of miles from home, right?

  7. #207
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    Be aware of non-truths being spread, 2 weeks ago we were walking a very popular beach in R.I. and there were maybe 6 people in the 3 miles we walked - the very next day they closed the beach due to overcrowding - another trail that I frequently mountain bike was also closed with zero people seen in the last 3 weeks.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Hiking a week or two presents certain challenges, but nothing close to those presented by a 6 month thru hike.

    One of those that come to mind is what a thru hiker should do if he or she comes down with a stomach bug. Or a bit of a sore throat.

    What would you do if you found yourself in the middle a six month hike and were in that position?

    What would you do if those symptoms became progressively worse?

    No simple path if you ar in the middle of a thru hike many hundreds of miles from home, right?
    I've been sick away from home many times. You get a hotel room and if needed get to an urgent care Dr, same thing you might do at home.

  9. #209

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    Getting sick on the trail. Yep, been there done that. Bunch of times. Once I could have died. Can get expensive, even for a mild case of the generic flu.

    If say you were to test positive for COVID-19 and recover, then you'd be of no further risk to yourself or others and should have no qualms about thru hiking. This is not an approach I'd like to take on purpose.

    There is a good chance I will catch the nasty thing at some point, but when I do I want it to be at home where I can better deal with it. My little town of 300, in the middle of a national forest and 4 miles by trail to the AT, now has a dot on the COVID-19 map, so no where is safe.
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  10. #210

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    At this point in time, I don't think it is a very good idea to be out there. However, I suspect within 4-6 weeks things will start to ease up a bit and if hikers practice social distancing and stay away from shelter areas, being on the trail is as acceptable as being any where else. When they go into towns they need to get their business done and move along. If a hiker is practicing the right behaviors, they are probably a lot less of a threat (once they have been out for a couple weeks) in town than most any one else. Thru hiking in 2020 will be a very tough experience. Lots of "me" time and probably need some thick skin.

  11. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post

    If say you were to test positive for COVID-19 and recover, then you'd be of no further risk to yourself or others and should have no qualms about thru hiking. This is not an approach I'd like to take on purpose.
    The medical experts don’t know yet if you are immune after getting it once.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    I've been sick away from home many times. You get a hotel room and if needed get to an urgent care Dr, same thing you might do at home.
    My guess is that each time you got sick away from home in the past, you did not check yourself into a hotel room at the first opportunity after you experienced a tummy ache or a scratchy throat or a bit of a cough or fever much less isolate yourself in that hotel room for two weeks or more.

    You probably powered through your distress for a good while first, and then checked out within a day of feeling better, right?

    Not a good plan these days.

  13. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    The medical experts don’t know yet if you are immune after getting it once.
    True, but your probably good for a least a while afterwards and having made a supply of antibodies, if your are exposed again you should be able to fight it off quicker.
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  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    My guess is that each time you got sick away from home in the past, you did not check yourself into a hotel room at the first opportunity after you experienced a tummy ache or a scratchy throat or a bit of a cough or fever much less isolate yourself in that hotel room for two weeks or more.

    You probably powered through your distress for a good while first, and then checked out within a day of feeling better, right?

    Not a good plan these days.
    Do you understand my original post? I am not going out there until parks reopen. That's probably not happening for at least a month.

    I already hike legally under our lock down and socially distance while hiking. That will be 20 times easier on the AT.

    Do you plan to never leave your house in the next 5 -10 years (normal time to create a vaccine)? If not then practice social distancing and go out when allowed.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    That I a personal choice of how you hike the AT It is very easy to avoid crowds. Many days I have only seen one or two people all day. It is far more solitary than hikes on local trails. I've done 650 miles of the trail.
    I did 1200 miles of it back in 1994. It was crowded then.

    Hey... I hike every week. I move and planned my life around living in a place where I could hike every week. I get it.... I bend the rules too.

    Just don't do something that brings other people at risk. It isn't honorable.

  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
    I did 1200 miles of it back in 1994. It was crowded then.

    Hey... I hike every week. I move and planned my life around living in a place where I could hike every week. I get it.... I bend the rules too.

    Just don't do something that brings other people at risk. It isn't honorable.
    I started in the winter to avoid crowds. When I restart it will be done to avoid crows. I am not bending any rules. Social distance exercise is encouraged in my state and all the state parks are open.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Eight View Post
    For the most part the ATC, if given enough rope, would have the AT regulated in such a way as to make the PCT rules look nonexistent. The ATC as a group (not trying to call out anyone) treat the actual trail as something to look, but not to actually use to much. That said, I would expect the ATC to resist any "opening" of the AT for as long as possible, with recommendations of staying close the rest of 2020. So, while the ACT has no authority to regulate the trail. The question will be how much weight will the various authority’s give to the ATC’s Opinion?
    This is where some of the ethical questions, will come in the near future. If the .gov “opens” the AT and the ATC say’s stay off. Then what?
    I get this impression from them as well. They've already petitioned the Dept of Interior to shut the entire trail down. It's overreach imo.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  18. #218

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson Bigills View Post
    At this point in time, I don't think it is a very good idea to be out there. However, I suspect within 4-6 weeks things will start to ease up a bit and if hikers practice social distancing and stay away from shelter areas, being on the trail is as acceptable as being any where else. When they go into towns they need to get their business done and move along. If a hiker is practicing the right behaviors, they are probably a lot less of a threat (once they have been out for a couple weeks) in town than most any one else. Thru hiking in 2020 will be a very tough experience. Lots of "me" time and probably need some thick skin.

    I think that this is a good take on things. Perhaps some part of the season can be salvaged, but it will be different.
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  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Do you understand my original post?

    Was it the one about your idea of hiking car to car and the criteria for reopening the trail?

    i thought that was thought provoking.

    My comment had more to do with how hiking the Trail as a thruhiker (without such an elaborate support system) is more problematic than hiking it for shorter trips.

    We are probably more on the same page than not — like almost everybody seems to me.

    I am struggling with the idea that a loop or out and back trip will also be considered problematic for a long time to come — seems far more reasonable in areas that allow off trail camping.





    Edit: Changed to read “areas that allow off trail camping” to keep out of rabbit hole.
    Last edited by rickb; 04-12-2020 at 08:18.

  20. #220

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    I am struggling with the idea that a loop or out and back trip will also be considered problematic for a long time to come — seems far more reasonable in areas that encourage off trail camping, like the Whites.
    The Whites are set up well for day hiking and loops. Off trail camping, not so much - unless you mean in a motel. We'll have to see how many motels and campgrounds decide to open this summer. Just because the curve of infections is flatting, doesn't mean the virus is going away. It just means less people are getting sick all at once.

    Any overnight hikes I do this summer will likely be in the wilderness areas, since that's where most of the trails I still need to red line are located. I'll avoid the popular trails out of the notches. I did pretty much every trail out of Crawford this winter anyway.
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