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  1. #21

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    Tipi Walter , what do you think about when you're on the trails once you're all packed up in the morning and just heading out?

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    Tipi Walter , what do you think about when you're on the trails once you're all packed up in the morning and just heading out?
    That's a good question. Despite hauling a heavy pack I'm always excited to get moving every morning and happy to be a self-contained unit out for the duration. To me a foot trail is a labyrinth leading to little treasures---a waterfall here, a pine forest there, a snowy bald, a rhododendron grotto, a creekside camp---always another place to call home for the night.

    My actual mind is consumed with boot placement to avoid falling, blowdowns on the trail which need to be cut thru---and a simple yoga mantra I do in rhythm with my stride.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    If someone talk mostly drinking, smoking pot, jazzing for a zero in town, watching youtube at shelters, listening to podcasts, and other distractions, do they really enjoy walking? The peace and quiet.


    But for some, smoking pot (either on the trail or wherever) enhances the activity.....

    I know....I know----all you wanted to do is stereotype and keep the stigma going....

  4. #24
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    Boredom is a symptom of not engaging, not being present in the moment. It's one of the biggest lies we can tell ourselves in today's global interconnectedness.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Despite hauling a heavy pack I'm always excited to get moving every morning and happy to be a self-contained unit out for the duration. To me a foot trail is a labyrinth leading to little treasures---a waterfall here, a pine forest there, a snowy bald, a rhododendron grotto, a creekside camp---always another place to call home for the night.

    My actual mind is consumed with boot placement to avoid falling, blowdowns on the trail which need to be cut thru---and a simple yoga mantra I do in rhythm with my stride.
    So nicely put and a lot like how my mind works out there. Never a morning where I don't feel like walking......(sometimes I don't want to put on my damp clothes, but that's different!). That there is a new section of trail right there in front of me each day, I find somehow magical. Yes, there's all the planning before you get out there, but when you can get up and not have to worry about driving and trailheads and parking and how far you can go before you have to turn around and go back (the realities of day-hiking), it's really a wonderful thing. Every day brings something new. No boredom here.

    ...Except I don't cut through blowdowns, and my rhythm on trail is more likely a song in my head...I'll sing outloud if I know there's noone to hear.....!

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    But for some, smoking pot (either on the trail or wherever) enhances the activity.....

    I know....I know----all you wanted to do is stereotype and keep the stigma going....
    Actually, I was making the general point that if one is not engaged in the activity, they are more likely to be boring themselves. I just quickly listed about 5 such examples and did not stigmatize or stereotype although I wonder how many manage to get to Damascus and then peter out once into the very long state of virgina. Just wondering, thats all

  7. #27

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    Everyone who experiences similar things has a different experience.

    Having followed groups of chatty young adults for miles and able to hear every word, or worse, someone (or two together) deciding a high frequency bear bell with a peal that carries for miles on a slight breeze is necessary, I find the use of earbuds to be relaxing and returns me to the solitude I am there for. I supposed to the casual observer I could be considered stand-offish or bored, when I am actually deploying a defensive device allowing me to retreat into my thoughts.

    With the digital age has come distractions with attractiveness difficult to get away from, a lot of people on the trail have come of age with technology unheard of just 20 years ago. As a result, much of their lives pivot on communications with others via communications and social media, never mind the use of handy navigational aids. One of the interesting results of this is some people may not know how to be with themselves and digital age devices can be a tool to by-pass being alone.

    All of us find that path ourselves, and while trying to hasten their "discovery of solitude" by deriding things like earbuds, this may be in reaction to others around them. Though watching You-Tube in a crowded shelter seems a real reach, I see it more akin to a 21st Century campfire and staring into the coals. I have often wondered when I see people doing this who are on a long distance hike if that behavior modifies as their journey continues. My guess is it does in some fashion or another and they likely emerge with a better sense of what solitude can provide and how to attain it.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    I actually agree with both you and your friend.

    Hiking the A.T. can be incredibly boring. For the most part, it's just the same thing -- mile after mile, hour after hour, day after day. There are occasional bright spots, of course -- McAfee Knob, Pulpit Rock, the Whites -- but mostly just trees, climbs, and an occasional field. Literally every trip, if not every day, I eventually start to ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" I never do arrive at a satisfactory answer.

    But I fight this boredom with my thoughts -- the way I've lived almost my entire life. For some people, that's an approach they want to avoid, as being alone with one's thoughts CAN be un-nerving. Some people avoid this with non-stop 'noise' (videos, parties, TV-watching, entertainment), others avoid it by shutting down their thought processes with chemistry.
    Perhaps your friend has simply never developed a taste for being alone in thought. His loss, I suppose, but it's definitely an acquired taste. If someone has never developed this ability, the boredom of the trail can become overwhelming.
    I agree very much with this. Some people are too scared to be alone in their thoughts. I feel for them. Knowing what I know about depression I would guess that most who suffer with it are afraid to be that alone. Strangely perhaps, I find being alone with my thoughts so utterly clearing. Yes, clearing. Being able to think through my concerns without interruption and noise (other than nature sounds) is incredibly helpful and healing to me.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  9. #29
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    One person's boredom is another person's passion or solitude; what interests one person doesn't necessarily interest another. I know that I can watch lengthy documentaries about obscure subjects with rapt attention, while nearly everyone else I know is bored to death. Similarly, I can walk alone for hours and feel completely engaged with my surroundings and comfortable in my own head, while other people would be bored and lonely.

    I haven't yet experienced boredom while hiking, but there have been times at the end of a long day when it seems every part of my body hurts, and listening to some music or a book or a podcast helps to ease those last few miles.

    Many (by no means all) young people in our culture today will indeed find themselves feeling bored and restless without modern electronic stimulation, and it's not a moral failing or a character flaw -- it's how their brains work. They've lived in a world full of computers their entire lives -- their first toys talked at them, their eye-hand coordination has been developed via video games, even their music has been a visual experience. Their brains are basically wired differently than ours. So yeah, some might feel "bored" in less stimulating environments.

    And they will shake their heads in exasperation when I can't figure out how to work their latest gizmo....
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  10. #30
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    There has got to be a reason so many folks give up backpacking after their thru hikes.

    Boredom on the trail is as good an explanation as any.

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    I also think the whole introvert vrs. Extrovert thing plays a part as well ,yes?

    An introvert like myself I don't mind being by myself, not what you call a social butterfly ua know. I was social distancing before social distancing was cool ....

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    There has got to be a reason so many folks give up backpacking after their thru hikes.
    In 2019 I met many hikers on the PCT who were doing big daily miles through Washington, one of the most beautiful parts of the trail, simply to get the hike done. I could tell that they were no longer enjoying the experience and were ready to go home. The focus on thru-hiking as the goal, not allowing themselves to stop and save the rest of the experience for later. Its no longer about the experience, its about putting a checkmark next to the accomplishment.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Boredom is a symptom of not engaging, not being present in the moment. It's one of the biggest lies we can tell ourselves in today's global interconnectedness.
    To me boredom is over-saturation of the 5 senses---too much television, too much food, too much of almost anything and we are satiated and ask ourselves in exasperation "Now What!!??". This is a sour place to be.

    Backpacking is a unique activity whereby thru physical exertion we discover new places even on trails we've hiked dozens of times. And like with too much food or TV or screens we get to sleep thru the night and by morning we're ready to feed our 5 senses again. Backpacking is a little different in that we usually camp and sleep at relaxing spots and keep our own counsel on solo trips and if we're lucky we get to form our own "religion" based upon Miss Nature---the Queen of Green. And by morning we're ready to strap on the pack and move.

  14. #34
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    I've always been surprised how quickly the hours melt away in a solo camp.

    Meanwhile, sitting at the DMV for 2 hours, smartphone in hand, feels like an eternity.

    That's why I go.
    Be Prepared

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    There has got to be a reason so many folks give up backpacking after their thru hikes.

    Boredom on the trail is as good an explanation as any.
    I think for some people a thru hike is a "bucket list item" but not part of a larger passion. How many people have you seen (or read about) who never backpacked a day in their lives and yet they set out to do a thru? Many fail but many also succeed and never return to hiking.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  16. #36

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    https://thetrek.co/nature-immersion-...mental-health/

    Not sure the scientific rigor behind some of these claims, but the gist holds true for me. But you have to be open to it.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    There has got to be a reason so many folks give up backpacking after their thru hikes.

    Boredom on the trail is as good an explanation as any.

    Maybe the bodies are so ruined after completing a thruhike? Boredom for quitting?

    Slow hikers always seem to think that faster hikers are missing something. I think the slow hikers miss a lot.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Maybe the bodies are so ruined after completing a thruhike? Boredom for quitting?

    Slow hikers always seem to think that faster hikers are missing something. I think the slow hikers miss a lot.
    I don't really see to many thru hikers with ruined bodies. Some fkt attempties yes.

    Boredom for quitting absolutely hike,sleep,eat,hike,sleep,eat etc.
    Not as glamorous maybe as some of them YouTubeers make it look.

    And how do you think the slow hikers miss alot? Wouldn't the fast hikers be missing out on alot doing 30-40miles a day . Hiking 12,16 hr days with very little towns,0's, side attractions etc.
    I'm just curious by your logic of I think the slow hikers miss alot?

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I don't really see to many thru hikers with ruined bodies. Some fkt attempties yes.

    Boredom for quitting absolutely hike,sleep,eat,hike,sleep,eat etc.
    Not as glamorous maybe as some of them YouTubeers make it look.

    And how do you think the slow hikers miss alot? Wouldn't the fast hikers be missing out on alot doing 30-40miles a day . Hiking 12,16 hr days with very little towns,0's, side attractions etc.
    I'm just curious by your logic of I think the slow hikers miss alot?
    You see less in 12 miles than you do in 20 miles.

  20. #40
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    I'm still doing that 20 miles but I'm taking 2 days to do it instead of 1. Therefore if there's a waterfall off trail, a monument, a view,a wayside etc,etc. I have the time to see more as opposed to the one blasting out big miles every day, the only thing they get to see is the trail itself.

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