Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 145
  1. #1
    Registered User BirdShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-11-2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    37

    Question The Five Most Influential Backpackers Of All Time

    Has it ever been debated on who are the most influential backpackers of all time (Top 5 )? With the creation of the A.T. Museum, I know there was discussion about the most influential Appalachian Trail backpackers of all time (ie. Earl Shaffer), but what about in general?

    I'd argue that Earl Shaffer makes that cut for pioneering the first "official" thru-hike, but what about someone like "Flyin' Brian" Robinson who became the first backpacker to conquer hiking's Triple Crown in a calendar year? He definitely took thru-hiking to an entirely new level? Curious to get your thoughts on this....

    BirdShooter
    GA-ME 1994

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-04-2003
    Location
    Maine
    Age
    69
    Posts
    520
    Images
    15

    Default

    I'll give you four - Avery, Shaffer, Espy, and Irwin.
    Life is what happens while you are making other plans. John Lennon

  3. #3

    Default

    If you are looking for "influential" then I'll go with Shaffer (obvious) and Ed Garvey (his book exposed many to the AT).

    And while Robinson, Espy, and Irwin all deserve their place in history, I don't see how they were "influential" in changing other hikers behavior.

  4. #4

    Default

    I feel as though there are alot of men and women who have been influential to long distance hiking, and there are alot of men and women who are dedicated to maintaining the trail. However, I feel that light weight gear and information has been the biggest influence the past decade.

  5. #5

    Default

    Lone Wolf for sure, thousands of AT miles and thousands more WB post's!
    Don't Die Before You've Had A Chance To Live!

  6. #6

    Default

    This thread should have been started in the "straight forward" section as its just a matter of time before Minnesota Smith gets mentioned.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-18-2002
    Location
    Central KY
    Age
    53
    Posts
    568
    Images
    1

    Default

    LMFAO, I was JUST typing his name.
    My name is Tabasco and I approve this message.

  8. #8

    Default

    Wingfoot needs to be included in the discussion of top 5 "most influential" as he created the first appalachian trail internet forum that had any appreciable membership, the existence of that website spawned this one. His "anniversary hike" (is that what it was called?) created interest as newspapers would meet him in town and then write about the trail. Updates were given on the radio in Atlanta.

    And how about Bryson? How many millions of people heard about the trail because of his book?

    Remember, the category is "most influential" not "strongest hiker".

  9. #9

    Default

    What about Grandma Gatewood. I never heard of any of those other guys until I came to Whiteblaze but I knew about her. And don't forget Collin Fletcher for influential all-round backpacker.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdShooter View Post
    Has it ever been debated on who are the most influential backpackers of all time (Top 5 )? With the creation of the A.T. Museum, I know there was discussion about the most influential Appalachian Trail backpackers of all time (ie. Earl Shaffer), but what about in general?

    I'd argue that Earl Shaffer makes that cut for pioneering the first "official" thru-hike, but what about someone like "Flyin' Brian" Robinson who became the first backpacker to conquer hiking's Triple Crown in a calendar year? He definitely took thru-hiking to an entirely new level? Curious to get your thoughts on this....

    BirdShooter
    GA-ME 1994
    The AT is certainly a significant factor for many hikers, but this question goes beyond the AT.

    John Muir.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  11. #11
    Rain Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-07-2003
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Age
    68
    Posts
    6,113
    Images
    620

    Default

    Horace Kephart would be one.

    RainMan

    .
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

    .

  12. #12
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,932
    Images
    68

    Default

    Collin Fletcher - Hands Down.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    31,110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Wingfoot needs to be included in the discussion of top 5 "most influential" as he created the first appalachian trail internet forum that had any appreciable membership, the existence of that website spawned this one. His "anniversary hike" (is that what it was called?) created interest as newspapers would meet him in town and then write about the trail. Updates were given on the radio in Atlanta.

    And how about Bryson? How many millions of people heard about the trail because of his book?

    Remember, the category is "most influential" not "strongest hiker".
    i agree. can't think of any others

  14. #14
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,932
    Images
    68

    Default

    I would round out the top five with:

    Harvey Manning
    Bill Kemsley
    Earl Schafer
    Grandma Gatewood

    Honorable mention - Jim Kern

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-03-2005
    Location
    Rockingham VT and Boston, MA
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1,221
    Images
    1

    Default

    Major Rogers of Rogers Rangers, James Fenimore Cooper, Colin Fletcher, Bill Bryson ( I thought if Katz could do it then I could do it ) , Wingfoot, These are people who actually influenced me. Schaffer, Garvey, and others I read about later
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-02-2008
    Location
    prairie du chien, WI
    Age
    69
    Posts
    501

    Default

    The internet has made even the least of us here on this forum very 'influential'.

    I have to say that I was influenced most by Fletcher. Also, G. W. Sears(Nessmuk) and Kepheart. John Muir gets my vote for first ultralighter that I knew of. Then, there was Lewis and Clark, my vote for provision planning influences. And, Moses, for sheer willingness to stay out on the trail for a long time.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-12-2002
    Location
    Hanover, NH
    Posts
    13,191

    Default

    The most influential foot traveler I can think of off the top of my head is Jesus Christ.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    31,110

    Default

    Ray Jardine?

  19. #19
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,932
    Images
    68

    Default

    Looking over the "nominations", my position would be that we need to define what we mean by backpacking. Is it foot travel, when few other options were available - Jesus Christ, Lewis & Clark, etc? Or are we talking about carrying the items you need for your stay in the "wilderness" on your back - military could be considered here. Or finally, are we limiting it to what is generally considered recreational backpacking, heading out to hike and camp for the fun of it - this is what I defined it as, and most have so far.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Collin Fletcher - Hands Down.
    Absolutely number one
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •