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  1. #1
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Question Stoopid things we have done on the trail.

    Yes, I know it is spelled; Stupid

    But I have to ask, what stoopid things have you done on the AT? (or any hike I guess)

    I have: Forgot my hat. Quit a hike for no good reason. Taken an un-tested stove on a hike. Gotten hypothermia, , , twice (you would think I would have learned the first time). Forgotten gear at a shelter, important gear, had to go back & get it, , , each time. Continued to hike even though I felt a “hot spot” without stopping to fix / prevent the blister I knew was forming. Turned around (hiked an extra 2 miles) to go back to a shelter, just because I heard it MIGHT, maybe, could possibly, rain (I still can’t believe I did THAT).

    So, what have you done?


    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    The stupidest thing I ever did on the Trail was to leave it when I hit Katahdin Should have known better.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  3. #3

    Default

    1. I once hiked 7-8 miles south on the AT from Katahdin to reach Daicey Pond, where a well distinguished double white blaze marker on a tree with a sign that says “To At -à ” This trail leads you to a very nice scenic round trip trail, all the way around Daicey Pond, to Daicey Pond Campground and further on to the point to where there is a well distinguished double white blaze marker on a tree with a sign that says “To At -à

    If you happen to reach this point on your hike. Look ten or twenty feet past that double white blaze trail marker and you will inherently find a single white blaze with a posting “To Big Niagara Falls” 1.0 miles.

    Needless to say, all of Daicey Pond is beautiful but there is no need to circumnavigate the entire lake on your first day of hiking.

    2. I once sat for two hours (in a lightning storm none the less), at the boat ramp opposite White House Landing before realizing that there was an air horn tied to a tree to notify camp owners. If another hiker hadn't happened along and blew that horn I may have been there for a whole week waiting for that darned boat.
    "Not knowing where you are, is the best way to get to where you are going".

    "J. Peterman" "Seinfeld"

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctari
    Yes, I know it is spelled; Stupid

    But I have to ask, what stoopid things have you done on the AT? (or any hike I guess)

    I have: Forgot my hat. Quit a hike for no good reason. Taken an un-tested stove on a hike. Gotten hypothermia, , , twice (you would think I would have learned the first time). Forgotten gear at a shelter, important gear, had to go back & get it, , , each time. Continued to hike even though I felt a “hot spot” without stopping to fix / prevent the blister I knew was forming. Turned around (hiked an extra 2 miles) to go back to a shelter, just because I heard it MIGHT, maybe, could possibly, rain (I still can’t believe I did THAT).

    So, what have you done?


    Doctari.
    Oh no, those are stupid things. I do them all the time. I guess that means.....

  5. #5

    Default

    Stupid act:

    Paying $192 for me, my wife, and son to stay at a White Mountains hut, in a cramped room with 9 strangers, half of whom snored. All the while, we had hammocks and tarps and food with us that we had carried up Lincoln and Laffyette...

    The only advantage of staying was being able to complain about it! ?#!

    Within a half mile of the hut was a beautiful forest where hammock camping would have been perfectly legal and a lot quieter.
    Walk Well,
    Risk

    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
    http://www.wayahpress.com

    Personal hiking page: http://www.imrisk.com

  6. #6
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default Duh ...

    In 2003, based on "bad intel", I carried 4 liters of water over 2 miles to the evening campsite (which I found out later had an adequate water supply). Oh by the way ...it rained cats and dogs that night !!

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  7. #7

    Angry Why am I answering this post?

    Stoopid Thing #1: On my "shakedown" hike in '02 I stopped by a shelter to chat with some hikers. I walked out and hiked back two miles the way I came before I realized I was hiking the wrong direction! Man was I pissed at myself, ruined my day and practically the whole hike.

    Stoopid Thing #2: Talking about it.

  8. #8
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default Thanks Skeemer ...

    Now I feel better (NOT) ...at least I carried all that darned water in the correct direction !!

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  9. #9
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    Default Carrying Water

    Slogger...please tell me that was in New York around RPH Shelter. I want to know I wasn't the only idiot that got sucked into some moronic posts in the registers!
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  10. #10
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default The Waterboy ...

    Nah Moose ...it was much earlier in the hike (Georgia, in fact) and the worst part of it all was that I had hiked the entire Georgia section many times before my thru last year. It was just one of those days when I let myself run low on water and decided to check Wingfoot's Handbook for upcoming "dependable" water sources. As we all know, water sources come and go and despite all the rain we had in 2003 I decided to error on the conservative side. Actually, I think it was my kidney stones that made me do it !!

    All I can say in retrospect is ...that was a very long 2 miles !!
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  11. #11
    Registered User Poster's Avatar
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    In 2000, I was hiking along that amazing stretch from Mcaffee Knob and tinker cliffs in VA. A couple others and myself were cooking dinner up on tinker cliffs and were planning on staying at the shelter a few miles north of there. Everyone left, but I stayed behind a bit to get some sweet shots of the sunset from up there. It was getting a bit dark so I packed up and headed down the trail. Inadvertently I took the Andy Layne trail at the Y instead of the AT. The blazes were yellow, but in the dark, even with my headlamp they looked white. After a while without seeing anything, a gave a couple loud hoots, but noone answered. I figured I must have missed the shelter or something. I walked a little while longer before throwing my tent up on a small patch next to the trail. When I woke up in the morning I noticed that the blazes were yellow. Luckily I heard some vehicles in the distance, so I hiked to the road. Looking at the map sign I realized I had gone like 3 miles away from the AT. It was a pretty boneheaded move, but luckily I was able to hitch into town and backtrack what I missed. Everyone thought I fell off the cliff or something. Live and learn I guess. I just know that on my next thru I'll keep an extra eye out for the Andy Layne Trail.

    Poster

  12. #12
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    Default Stoopid thangs...

    i've hiked the wrong way for a few miles...packed too much water....etc.,etc.etc., BUT i think i've got all of that beat....



    At Fontana Dam, after a HOT shower....i walked up to the Fontana "HILTON" & apparently somewhere along the way....i lost my hiking pants, watch, camera, pocket knife, whistle & compass....all fell out of my lower compartment of my backpack (which i thought was well secured & zipped!) Luckily, i had some mesh-lined jogging shorts along for camp....or i woulda been called the "NEKKED as a JAYBIRD" hiker dude....hehehehehehehe
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

  13. #13

    Default

    There aren't many times that I remember wanting to beat myself in the head and mutter "stoopid...stoopid...stoopid" repeatedly...

    There are a few, however. Hey, how can you go 6 months without doing SOMETHING stoopid?

    1) New York - Connetitcut line. In order to finally get out of NY, the trail wanders through the Schaghticoke reservation. At the time, there were rumors of the reservation closing off the trail in an attempt to become nationally recognized and therefore receive the rights to build casino's, etc. Anyway, I was walking down the roadwalk for a while, checking my map/databook occasionally to make sure that I didn't miss the turn off. It was only supposed to be ~2(?) miles but I knew that I had walked about 4, so I turned around and walked back. Sure enough, about 2 miles back, I found the trail. Apparently, I'd walked right passed it WHILE looking at my map to make sure that I wouldn't get lost.

    Oh, it gets worse. While I was climbing up the side of the mountain, I got hungry so I stopped to take a break and looked at my map again. Having some perspective on where I was, and where I'd been, I realized that had I kept going on the road, in about 2 more miles I would have walked smack into Kent. Damn.

    This coming from a hiker who hadn't had a shower or a bed in over 2 weeks. Well, as it turned out, it was a few days more before I'd get a shower and a bed, because the only show in town was ~$100/night for a single.

    2) This is the one that I really really really want to beat myself in the head over. It may not be so bad for you guys, but this one is just personal for me.

    I stayed at Upper Goose Pond in MA for 3-4 days. It was a fabulous experience. Todd (Wolf) and I met and hung with Mr. Clean, a southbounder who started on Jan. 1 at Abol Bridge and averaged about 4 mpd because he was trying to be as self-sustaining as possible. A year or two before, He'd done one of the fastest thru-hikes ever, and now he was out to do one of the longest ever...

    Anyway, he was an absolutely fantastic person and taught us many things. Each day, we'd spend the day in the woods gathering edible plants and on the lake catching fish with dental floss and saftey pins. Every night we'd cook up a feast of wild food and enjoy the stars out on the lake. It was one of the most special events of my thruhike. True trail magic.

    Anyway, One day while we were out on the lake, I decided to go for a swim. This wasn't a rare occurance, this time just kinda sucked for reasons as yet unknown. So I stand up in the canoe and leap into the water.

    --Freeze frame--

    I'm in mid air, the sun is shining and the water is glittering. I can feel the wind on my face and am anticipating the cold water. I'm as happy as I can get when I remember it. My camera! It's still in my pocket!



    So I hit the water cursing, climb back into the canoe as quickly as possible, but alas...

    As a result of this, I have no pictures from Mass or southern Vermont. That's a lesson that I only want to learn once!

    -Howie

  14. #14
    Registered User walkin' wally's Avatar
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    Getting my saw really pinched in a large poplar blowdown on the AT along Rainbow Lake and working nearly an hour to free it. All because I wasn't paying attention. It was early May and at least no hikers went by...
    Walkin Wally

  15. #15
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    Default Stoopid Things

    As I hiked out of the woods near Bland, VA, I caught glimpses of a big road and told myself that was the U.S. highway that would take me to Bland. Then I came to a smaller road with a country church on it. I didn't know which way to go, so I headed for the larger road, climbed down a steep embankment and began hitch hiking. Before long I became aware that traffic was moving VERY fast, and people were giving me strange looks. As it turned out, I was hitch hiking on I-77, and indeed on the wrong side as well (would have taken me to Bluefield, WV). I managed to find my way back to the US highway and caught a ride into Bland. I told the motel clerk what had happened, and he commented "That's illegal." As if I didn't know!

  16. #16
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    Default Stoopid things

    Carrying alcohol (the drinking kind) when hiking has become my #1 no-no.

    First event.

    We get a snow storm forecast in Atlanta, so I call up my favorite hiking buddy and we decide to load up and head out to Ellicott Rock Wilderness for an overnighter. Pack steaks, liquor and a few goodies and hit the road. Make camp, start a fire, get the steaks started. As we eat and work on the liquor, the temp starts dropping, and I mean fast. We're alcohol fueled, no problems, right? 'Long about midnight, we call it a night. Having a ten dolllar drunk going, I ask my buddy "What are we going to do for coffee if the river freezes?" (as if we aren't going to have bigger problems if that frigging river freezes). Says I "I know, I'll get water now!" I go down to the creek, lean over to fill the pot, and the current sucks the pot out of my hands, and I reach for it. By the time that I realize that I have reached too far, it's head first or feet first. Long story short, I shoot up the bank, strip, throw my clothes over a limb to drain (no, they didn't drain much before they froze) and get into a spare set of thermals and dive head first into my sleeping bag.

    The river didn't freeze that night, but my clothes sure did. We had to light a fire in the morning to get 'em defrosted enough so that I could fold them to get them into my pack. Next, all that ice in my clothes weighed a ton. Last, my boots were right frosty.

    Second event

    Got a hall pass from my sweetie for a 5 day trip on the AT, and I decide to pack a pint of vodka along with everything else. First night out, I find a nice place on Granny Knob, set up camp and get a camp fire going. The fog starts blowing in, the fire is really blasting and I'm bubbling that darn bottle. Shot of vodka, sip of water, throw a stick on the fire. Shot of vodka, sip of water . . . 'Long about midnight, I decide to call it a night. Wake up with about two sips of water left, a tongue that feels like it needs shaved and 1 1/2, maybe two miles to the next spring. And I got miles to make or I miss my rendezvous. Feeling like I've been run over by a truck. Pack, stumble to the spring, and start sucking water.

    The bad part was I had about an inch or two of vodka left in the old flask. Couldn't bring myself to drink it and couldn't bring myself to ditch it either. Just cussed every time I saw that stinking flask in my pack.
    Last edited by Two Speed; 05-11-2004 at 17:19. Reason: spelling
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  17. #17
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
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    Default

    The first time I hiked the Georgia section we stopped at the Low Gap shelter and ate lunch. The night before was a dry camp and we did not cook so by lunch the next day I was really hungry. I decided do boil some water and make up some beef stroganoff from one of the dehydrated dinners I had. Well I was so darn hungry that I didn't let it sit long enough, I thought it was done. Gobbled it down and then 20 minutes later started to hike again. 2 big mistakes back to back !! About a mile up the trail I started to expand like a balloon. That dinner was still gathering moisture only this time in my stomach.
    Started to feel really sick and turn green. Had to stop and take a break for an hour or more just to live through the the baking process. Anyhow I've
    learned my leason when cooking those@#*^! dehydrated dinners."Wait until done!"

  18. #18
    Registered Troll
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    Default

    Two Speed your sig says "If I'd known then what I know now, I darn sure would have run away and lived in the woods." And I bet you'd leave that bottle at home before heading to the woods.

  19. #19
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Default

    We had parked a car in the Dicks Creek Gap parking lot last week so we could get into Hiawassee regardless of when we arrived. I got there first, at least 3 hours before my partner, so I quickly changed into my town clothes, popped some Vitamin I (I needed it after two consecutive 18-mile days), threw my stuff in the trunk and took off for town and a shower.

    After the shower I started to reorganize my pack and looked for my asthma and allergy meds which were in my toiletries bag. No toiletries bag in the pack, and I was pretty sure that I had left it somewhere back on the Trail. Fortunately, my medical condition is pretty tame, but I had also had my headlamp and backup light in the bag, as well as the DryGlide that had been so effective to date at eliminating chafing, and my small knife, etc. I wasn't so mad about losing the stuff as I was for leaving it somewhere.

    I headed back up to the parking lot later that evening, still fuming about misplacing something from my pack. As I was sitting there waiting for my partner to reach the trailhead, I suddenly remembered that I had pulled the Ibuprofen from the very same bag just before I got in the car! I jumped out of the car, walked a few cars over to where I was parked, and lo and behold, there was the bag on the grass! I hurriedly opened it up and realized that some of the higher value items were missing. Oh well, I'm thinking, that's what I deserve for my stupidity, when this teenage kid walks by and sees me rooting around in the bag. It turns out that he had "sifted" through its contents to pull out the stuff he was interested in and then just tossed the bag on the grass. Fortunately, he gave me back all my stuff, although I think he was miffed that I didn't give him a reward or something.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  20. #20
    Registered User Patco's Avatar
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    Default Shelter pains

    I know I often underestimated the lowness and solidity of shelter roofs and ended up bumping my head a good many times.

    Haw many can share stories of either bumping their heads, or rolling off the bunks during the night?
    There are 3 kinds of poeple in this world; those who can count and those who can't. :datz

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