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  1. #21

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    Stumbled into this joint just before Covid to plan my 2020 thru, which shifted to a 2021 thru.

    WB provided great support/escape for me in those dark days.

    Agree with Dan Roper that the mods did a pretty good job, even though I also got zapped once or twice.

    Will also stick around like Gambit.

  2. #22
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    That used to happen here but the polite response to "Which Stove is better" could be handled with a "go to the top and put in a search...there are 20+ discussion threads about choices already".
    Let's see how it goes nowadays "Which stove is better" canister or DIY alcohol?

  3. #23
    Registered User
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    10-17-2007
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    Michigan
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    Most of the posts in this thread are from relative newcomers (less than 1000 posts, 10 years). That is encouraging as it takes new people to keep it going. Some old-timers have moved on to other fora to find things not available here, such as more social interaction. If you Google Appalachian Trail Forum, you may find them.

  4. #24

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    It seems cyclic. There’ll be a group that’s hyper active, and then they’ll get bored and drift away and there’ll be a down time, and then a new individual or group will arrive and they’ll liven things up for a while. We’ve had members who passed away, and we had “memorials” via the forum. Hiking is a bit like economics, the questions are the same, but the answers change. If you look at early posts, hiking poles just tore up the trail, now they’re how people hold their tents up. Stoves, tarps, tents, packs, DIY, fabrics, vendors, the dancing banana, what’s on sale, how to fix a broken ____, shuttle people, nuts-on-the-trail, how’s the water—those topics never die, they just transform to here, now, and today. Frankly, “active” isn’t always great. I was kind of glad when the biting dinosaurs era ended, but I always enjoyed hearing what Minnesota Smith was up to.

  5. #25
    Registered User Slugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Most of the posts in this thread are from relative newcomers (less than 1000 posts, 10 years). That is encouraging as it takes new people to keep it going. Some old-timers have moved on to other fora to find things not available here, such as more social interaction. If you Google Appalachian Trail Forum, you may find them.
    Huh, I found the forum you’re referring to. Had never heard of it before. Seems like a similar vibe to WhiteBlaze, but with even less activity. Seems like a consolidation would be mutually beneficial but I’ve never even heard of such a thing occurring with online forums.
    Last edited by Slugg; 04-22-2024 at 09:58.
    Appalachian Trail ‘16-
    678/2198
    Pinhoti Trail ‘17-‘20
    321/321
    Benton MacKaye Trail ‘17-‘21
    286/286
    Bartram Trail ‘22
    116/116
    Foothills Trail ‘21
    78/78
    Palmetto Trail ‘22-
    22/380

  6. #26
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Yes, activity is down from when I joined 10 years ago. But it's not dead, not by a long shot. There's a group of regulars who I believe will keep this site active for years to come. But also, it's not attracting any younger people (under 30), so will probably continue to dwindle. Social media is more popular for young folks for reasons people have mentioned previously, plus I think the younger generations would rather watch a video than read (this is certainly true of my children). Another reason is apps like Far Out now provide real-time trail info, eliminating the need for threads like "Is the water source at campsite XYZ flowing?"

    Personally I still check the site at least once/week. I'll probably never leave entirely, but I may check it less often after I finish the AT in a few more years.

  7. #27
    Registered User
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    03-10-2013
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    I first came here in 2012(?) It seemed that every question I Googled pointed me in the direction of some thread on Whiteblaze, so after lurking for a bit I eventually signed up. Whiteblaze has been my single best and most reliable source of information for all things hiking. I have learned so much from so many different people here. Whenever I've been feverishly planning section hikes, I would probably hit this site several times a day. And there have been times when injury or illness has thrown me into a funk, and I start thinking maybe hiking is part of my past...but then I take a look at Whiteblaze, and it only takes looking at a thread or two to give me some inspiration to get back at it.

    It does seem slower than in years past. There have definitely been some characters and topics that would make my eyes roll. And sometimes I miss the entertainment provided by some of those characters and discussions, but I think the moderation has been fair -- people are allowed to have their thoughts and opinions, even if they're stupid (<---just my opinion ), but there is a line and when it's crossed the mods do their job. And once upon a time having played that part, I can say that it's often a boring, irritating, and thankless job.

    I do agree that younger people are more inclined towards the various social media platforms (and I'm sure there's a whole sociological thing going on there), and it's true that those sites are easily accessed on smartphones, but so can Whiteblaze. In fact, I access Whiteblaze exclusively on my phone, via the Tapatalk app. The last time I checked in on my laptop, I was lost trying to navigate it. I guess I'm just saying that the two (Whiteblaze and phone apps) can co-exist.

    Well that's the longest post I've written in a while -- maybe the best way to revive a sleeping forum is to poke it!
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  8. #28

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    See Gambit’s new thread on struggle!

  9. #29
    Registered User
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    04-24-2018
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    Wytheville, Virginia
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    Discussions about outdoor ethics, inspiration to get out, and a wealth of information to improve my experiences when I do get out are better here than other forums/social media IMO. It has felt slower this past offseason though.

  10. #30

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    You can always load it up on tap a talk

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAri View Post
    You can always load it up on tap a talk
    We need more of your kind to perk things up ThumbsUP.png

  12. #32
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    Greenville, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAri View Post
    You can always load it up on tap a talk
    awesome! How do I do that on my typewriter?

  13. #33
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Count me in the group that says it's because of Facebook.

    A decade ago, this site seemed to be THE place to go when it came to all hiking topics, not JUST the AT. At the time, I personally never saw another hiking related forum that was as active as this. But in the last ten years, I feel like I've seen a steady decline in white blaze that corresponded with topic specific Facebook groups.

    I've seen the same thing happen to other social media sites.

    Eight years, ago, if you wanted to talk about the John Muir Trail, there was a Yahoo group devoted to the subject. Today, that Yahoo group is dead and there is a strong JMT group on Facebook.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Count me in the group that says it's because of Facebook.

    A decade ago, this site seemed to be THE place to go when it came to all hiking topics, not JUST the AT. At the time, I personally never saw another hiking related forum that was as active as this. But in the last ten years, I feel like I've seen a steady decline in white blaze that corresponded with topic specific Facebook groups.

    I've seen the same thing happen to other social media sites.

    Eight years, ago, if you wanted to talk about the John Muir Trail, there was a Yahoo group devoted to the subject. Today, that Yahoo group is dead and there is a strong JMT group on Facebook.
    I’d rather hike stupidly on my own than smartly with Zuck.

  15. #35

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    Most of us who have been here since the beginning were refugees from Wingfoots old site. It was wild back in the day as technology was infiltrating backpacking and the endless threads about phones in the wilderness could get heated. There were some great debates back in the day as well. Baltimore Jack vs Warren Doyle was anlways enjoyable reading.

    WB has archived some of the most in depth discussions from the last 20 years that are still relevant today.

  16. #36
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    I'm still waiting for TrailPlace to come back :-)

  17. #37

  18. #38
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    Here's one of the problems with WB:
    We hiked in the Smokies this past weekend. I just posted on FB a handful of photos. It was easy.
    Posting photos on WB is cumbersome.
    But if anybody is missing some rainpants from campsite 26 or 27, let me know.

  19. #39

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    All my fault...been slacking It is true though that I haven't been on in ages, and when I have the regulars I recall are mostly missing (not you Illabelle thankfully). Anyway, I just "reupped" with the donation, and I hope to stay on the forum (if not the actual trail) more.
    "Maybe life isn't about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it."

  20. #40
    imscotty's Avatar
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    I'll pop my head in here and post for the first time in two years. Some of us got tired of the over moderation. I hang out in another forum now with my friends on the 'Group 'W' Bench.' We get to talk about 'inseams' and everything.

    And Hello Teacher! Good to see you in here.

    Scotty
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

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