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    Default Scariest part of hiking the AT

    I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.

    What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

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    HI jenskim! Welcome! Good question. For me it is always the same before a long hike and it is the scary/lonely feeling. It goes away soon after I hit the trail. There isn't too much that gets me freaked out when I'm out there. Well' I'm not real happy to see any kind of snake up close but that doesn't happen that much. --- Happy trails---Two Tents!

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    Crossing the Palisades Parkway.

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    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimer View Post
    Crossing the Palisades Parkway.
    Ditto....I hate having to try and trot across busy road crossings in heavy traffic.

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    I've had sizeable tree limbs fall feet away from me 4 times now. Out of everything, that scares me the most.

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    I think the scariest thing would be that something would happen to my family and I wouldnt know about it.

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    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoidfu View Post
    I've had sizeable tree limbs fall feet away from me 4 times now. Out of everything, that scares me the most.
    We sat down on an old log next to the trail to eat lunch and about 5 minutes later a big limb fell about 20 feet behind us. Not really a NEAR miss, but it got my heart rate up for 10 minutes or so.

    As for the OP's question, for me it was when we first started hiking and with no real experience to draw from. The most scary part was dealing with all of the "What if" scenarios. That is largely why my pack used to weigh so darn much. At some point I realized I had been carrying things I never touched while we where hiking and that helped me realize that there is very little to fear about being out there.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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    Registered User Valentine's Avatar
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    Maybe not the scariest but Yellow Jackets swarming me certainly bring short term panic. This has happened to me on at least two occasions.

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    Lightning .... especially when you are caught on a mountain top.

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    Non-hikers at road crossings. But, I guess those are creature encounters ;0)

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    It is important to distinguish between fear and danger.
    Some stuff is more dangerous, but not as feared.
    Other stuff is more feared, but not as dangerous.

    I am probably more afraid of bear and people encounters than I need to be. I am probably less afraid of vehicle encounters than I need to be. I drove home after finishing a long hike once barely awake. Should have pulled over to sleep. Almost hit a moose. Might have simply fallen asleep at the wheel. Should have known better.

    Fear can be useful, especially as you get tired and fatigued or otherwise disoriented. But it is important to take stock and make sure you are fearing the right things. The biggest threat is probably bad judgement, especially when we get tired, or suffering from minor fatigue, dehydration, sunstroke, hypothermia, or whatever, which can turn major. Good skill is to learn to stop and have a cup of tea or coffee, and take stock before continuing on, hiking or driving.

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    ..my biggie is goin' off trail 2 check a view or whatever and falling down some rocks.....no 1 knows ur there..!!..happened 2 me twice.....no major injuries ....but could have been....PS....i solo hike alot....partner (swim buddy) is suggested....do as i say....not what i do..!!..Ha..

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    Registered User Reid's Avatar
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    You need to be careful there riverwarrior!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JenSkim View Post
    I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

    I concur....


    Crossing a 4-Lane HIGHWAY with 30-lbs on your back can be quite harrowing!


    See ya'll out there (w/ "Jigsaw" & "Model-T") May 2-14 Harpers Ferry,WV to Swatara Gap,PA
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

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

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverWarriorPJ View Post
    ..my biggie is goin' off trail 2 check a view or whatever and falling down some rocks.....no 1 knows ur there..!!..happened 2 me twice.....no major injuries ....but could have been....PS....i solo hike alot....partner (swim buddy) is suggested....do as i say....not what i do..!!..Ha..
    A friend of mine's Dad, who died of cancer a few years back, climbed some mountain in the Himilaya's. At the time he was the oldest man to go that high without oxygen, but its since been smashed by some dude much older. Anyhow, he said the two near misses were once when they had to cross a very iffy bridge across a ravine, and another time that he went for a pee and almost stepped off the mountain.

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    Alot of ocean racing sailors get swept overboard while having a pee also.
    Lots of guys on the bottom of oceans and ravines with their fly down.
    Something to think about.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by JenSkim View Post
    What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?
    That's an easy question. By far it's getting off and rejoining conventional society.

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    Registered User Pootz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blue View Post
    Lightning .... especially when you are caught on a mountain top.
    I will also vote for lightning. I got caught on top of the Priest in a big lightning storm in 07. It was hitting all around me. I think I hiked my fastest mile that day.
    Pootz 07

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    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    The scariest part is coming off the trail and having to go back to work...

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