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  1. #1
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    Default Hostels on a thru-hike???

    I have been reading a few articles as im considering doing a through hike either in july southbound this year or next year northbound and most of them mention staying in hostels at some times on the trail.
    I would have thought that this defeats the object of doing a thru-hike, to get away from society for a while, living in the wild.
    It seems that by staying in a tent or a shelter on the trail lots of money could be saved that would be spent in towns.

    Is staying in town sometimes necessary?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post

    Is staying in town sometimes necessary?
    Hardly. It can be fun though. And sociable. And re-energize your spirit. Especially after several days of bad weather and/or bugs. But it is hardly needed. If a long hike required lots of town stays, we'd probably still be looking for the first CDT thru-hiker. It has become the norm on the AT, but not out of necessity.

    Good luck!
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  3. #3

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    Sure it is necessary.
    One of the big things about walking 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, is how much you sweat and how bad you need a shower. And a laundry. And a high protein, filling meal.

    It's not the bed that you need, it's not that you aren't getting a good night's sleep, or need to see other people, It's the smell, and clamminess, and empty feeling in your stomach that makes you crave town.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    I would have thought that this defeats the object of doing a thru-hike, to get away from society for a while, living in the wild.
    Since the AT has tons of people and crosses a road every few miles, it's not really living in the wild. Like FH says you need to get clean some time, and washing your clothes and bathing in springs or creeks doesn't cut it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    I have been reading a few articles as im considering doing a through hike either in july southbound this year or next year northbound and most of them mention staying in hostels at some times on the trail.
    I would have thought that this defeats the object of doing a thru-hike, to get away from society for a while, living in the wild.
    It seems that by staying in a tent or a shelter on the trail lots of money could be saved that would be spent in towns.

    Is staying in town sometimes necessary?
    hostels are usually crowded and a little dirty. the last thing you wanna do on a day off is spend it crammed in with a bunch of other hikers. get a motel room by yourself. you'll wanna do this omce in awhile. you'll see

  6. #6

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    You don't NEED to stay in town or a hostel, but you need visit them to resupply, wash, ect. And once your at a hostel or in a town, the tempation to spend the night is great. Overwhelming in fact. The main object of a thru hike is simply to walk from here to there. Hostels and towns make that feat possible. Or at least a whole lot easier!
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  7. #7

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    Hostels a little dirty? Not compared to how you arrive. I thought hostels were OK my 1st hike, and especially if you're trying to save money and don't have a partner, but I agree, motels are better.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    You don't NEED to stay in town or a hostel, but you need visit them to resupply, wash, ect. And once your at a hostel or in a town, the tempation to spend the night is great. Overwhelming in fact. The main object of a thru hike is simply to walk from here to there. Hostels and towns make that feat possible. Or at least a whole lot easier!
    That's what I was trying to say.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  9. #9
    2008 SOBO Frick Frack's Avatar
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    You will not need a town or hostel stay but you want one. Everyone hikes for different reasons but part of the hike for my wife and I was visiting the towns (and cold beer, warm food, laundry machines, hot showers). You are still on foot & exploring so whats the big deal?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    Hostels a little dirty? Not compared to how you arrive.
    i was being nice. they usually stink like hell with 15 hikers and their stinky gear crammed in a room

  11. #11
    2008 SOBO Frick Frack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    Hostels a little dirty? Not compared to how you arrive. I thought hostels were OK my 1st hike, and especially if you're trying to save money and don't have a partner, but I agree, motels are better.
    My wife & I were fortunate because motels were almost as cheap as hostels for the two of us. Hostels are more of a genuine experience but generally we preferred the privacy & cleanliness of a hotel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    i was being nice. they usually stink like hell with 15 hikers and their stinky gear crammed in a room
    especially hostels that aren't staffed with a caretaker like The Place. hikers at times live like friggin animals in that place

  13. #13
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    Im suprised at how many responses i received in such short time. Impressive forum.
    When i do my hike, i intend to stay on the trail for 99.9999% of the time and not spend any nights in hostels or motels. Two reasons for this being that im going to be doing it on a tight budget, and i want to experience what it is like to live outside of society for half a year, to see if my perspective on things change.

    I would feel like i was cheating if i stayed in a motel or a hostel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    Im suprised at how many responses i received in such short time. Impressive forum.
    When i do my hike, i intend to stay on the trail for 99.9999% of the time and not spend any nights in hostels or motels. Two reasons for this being that im going to be doing it on a tight budget, and i want to experience what it is like to live outside of society for half a year, to see if my perspective on things change.

    I would feel like i was cheating if i stayed in a motel or a hostel.
    cool. do it your way

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    I would feel like i was cheating if i stayed in a motel or a hostel.
    There is no such thing as cheating when it comes to hiking. Do whatever makes you happy... and if that's staying in the woods every single night, then do that!
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  16. #16
    2008 SOBO Frick Frack's Avatar
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    Without town stays and all the food & beer I would have withered away to the size of the Geico lizard and would have never been seen again...&/or the wife would have divorced me.....

  17. #17
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    You are likely going to need to stay in towns, especially early in your hike. There is a lot to do in town to prep for your next week in the woods; laundry, shower, good meal, mail drops?, groceries. All this could take anywhere from 4-6 hrs out of your day. And then there is the time to hitch in and out of town. Sometimes, you are able to find campsites that are within an hour hike of the road to town, but that is not always the case. By the end of my hike, I was getting to where a town stop could be limited to just over 2 hrs. I wasnt required to stay in town at that point, but they were good to just take a 0 day and rest my feet.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    Im suprised at how many responses i received in such short time. Impressive forum.
    When i do my hike, i intend to stay on the trail for 99.9999% of the time and not spend any nights in hostels or motels. Two reasons for this being that im going to be doing it on a tight budget, and i want to experience what it is like to live outside of society for half a year, to see if my perspective on things change.

    I would feel like i was cheating if i stayed in a motel or a hostel.
    If you want to live outside society the AT aint the place. The 2 years prior to me hiking in 07' I saw maybe 3 or 4 people on an average day. I saw a hell of a lot more than that on the trail. There is an other thread on here that even talks about the social aspect of the AT. Also you will want to shower and do laundry occasionally. Spending $15 or $20 every week or two to stay in a hostel that provides these services is not cheating. HYOH but I would have to say if you don't stay in a few hostels during your hike you are cheating yourself out of part of the trail experience.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr magooo View Post
    When i do my hike, i intend to stay on the trail for 99.9999% of the time and not spend any nights in hostels or motels.
    Thats easy to say from the comfert of your own home. And your not the only one to have said that. But I wonder how many who said that actually do once the reality of the trail sets in.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Thats easy to say from the comfert of your own home. And your not the only one to have said that. But I wonder how many who said that actually do once the reality of the trail sets in.
    I'm sure Shaffer and Espy even enjoyed a warm bed, shower and home cooked meal on occasion. No "hostels" when they hiked but I'm sure they ran into some hospitality from time to time.

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