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  1. #1
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    Default a general tip that i learned from this year's attempt

    you hear so much talk on here about gear and weight and everything else from maps to food to training.

    low weight is important and so is much of the other things discussed here.

    BUT I found out that thru-hiking isn't about the weight or the maps or the food or even a hard-core attitude.

    it's about just going for it and walking. forget all the minutiae. and leave the testosterone and estrogen at home.

    you might quit.

    you might get hurt. (i did and never saw it coming.)

    you might have the time of your life. you might not.

    and you might make it to katahdin. but that is a LONG way, and unless you have completed a thru-hike, i don't think any of us have any idea how far that really is to walk.

    i might try again in 2013. i might section. i might watch TV.

    but at least NOW i know what i am getting into when i say i'm going to thru-hike. a friend told me, "you mean, you are going to ATTEMPT a thru-hike."

    and he was absolutely correct.

    for what it's worth.

    - pages

  2. #2
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    Default

    i also wanted to say that from what i have learned - and true, 50 miles isn't much, but it was enough - it doesn't matter what tent, or pack, or shoes, or boots, or whatever you use, as long as they are reasonable in weight and quality.

    what matters, i think, is what you have or don't have under the hood. and a lot of luck.

    -pages

  3. #3
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    Katahdin fever usually hits in February or early March. There is no known cure.....
    Last edited by Spokes; 08-20-2012 at 09:13.

  4. #4
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    there's a surprising high number of folks who set off from Springer, planning to hike to Katahdin who for some reason really aren't all that outdoorsy. Some don't like hiking all that much and take short cuts (including slack packing) where ever they can. Many more can't handle to solitude and seek out any chance possible to party and drink enough beer to get drunk. In time the romance and the parties wear off. These are folks who most likely won't make it. Many folks cut corners from the start be skipping the approach trail (hey it isn't the official AT so why bother). Fact is, if you like to hike, love to be out in nature, than an extra day to include the approach trail is no big deal. If one truly loved hiking and being outside, they wouldn't try to avoid hiking up Mount Greylock by getting a ride to the top and slackpacking down. The 100 mile wilderness in Maine is easily the most beautiful and remote section of the entire trail Yet many hikers either dread it or try to get through quick as possible.

    If people would simply do a hike or two of say a long weekend or better yet a week or two, they'd have a better idea of whether or not they enjoyed hiking. It is true.. don't obsess on weight. Obsess on the rewards of the hike. If there are't rewards for you you shouldn't be out there!

  5. #5

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    Slack packing is NOT a short cut...DAVIDNH how DARE you condemn people who do. Ive had back issues for YEARS instead of risking a fall or severe injury...I've slacked. Last time I checked your NOT ATC or represent them in any means. To them slack packing is "HIKING THE TRAIL"...as long as you HIKE it fully. People suffer from healthy issues perhaps old(er) age who slack...and ALSO to enjoy the beauty. Before you EVEN judge others know what your talking about...slacking is a legal means of saying your a thru. Pages wish you all the luck on whatever you choose for 2013 and speedy recovery as such.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishBASTARD View Post
    Slack short cut...Before you EVEN judge others know what your talking about....
    IB,
    Didn't you just start the Religion vs. Truth thread, talk about judgemental.......

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirsty DPD:1326116
    Quote Originally Posted by IrishBASTARD View Post
    Slack short cut...Before you EVEN judge others know what your talking about....
    IB,
    Didn't you just start the Religion vs. Truth thread, talk about judgemental.......
    No I think Parkside open that thread!

  8. #8
    Registered User moocow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishBASTARD View Post
    Slack packing is NOT a short cut...DAVIDNH how DARE you condemn people who do. Ive had back issues for YEARS instead of risking a fall or severe injury...I've slacked. Last time I checked your NOT ATC or represent them in any means. To them slack packing is "HIKING THE TRAIL"...as long as you HIKE it fully. People suffer from healthy issues perhaps old(er) age who slack...and ALSO to enjoy the beauty. Before you EVEN judge others know what your talking about...slacking is a legal means of saying your a thru. Pages wish you all the luck on whatever you choose for 2013 and speedy recovery as such.
    I don't think he meant slackpacking to be as derogatory as you took it. My interpretation was that in context, there was nothing inherently wrong with slackpacking. But there might be something wrong with the mentality of only slackpacking to make the miles go quicker. In which case, it wouldn't be about getting a reprieve from some kind of pain, it would be about knocking out miles.

  9. #9
    AT NOBO2010 / SOBO2011 Maddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rastraikis View Post
    No I think Parkside open that thread!
    Lmao! IB...you're on fire my man! Don't stop now! Maddog
    "You do more hiking with your head than your feet!" Emma "Grandma" Gatewood...HYOY!!!
    http://www.hammockforums.net/?

  10. #10

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    I agree.

    You improve your chances of completing a thru-hike if you actually enjoy backpacking.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pages View Post
    you hear so much talk on here about gear and weight and everything else from maps to food to training.

    low weight is important and so is much of the other things discussed here.

    BUT I found out that thru-hiking isn't about the weight or the maps or the food or even a hard-core attitude.

    it's about just going for it and walking. forget all the minutiae. and leave the testosterone and estrogen at home.

    you might quit.

    you might get hurt. (i did and never saw it coming.)

    you might have the time of your life. you might not.

    and you might make it to katahdin. but that is a LONG way, and unless you have completed a thru-hike, i don't think any of us have any idea how far that really is to walk.

    i might try again in 2013. i might section. i might watch TV.

    but at least NOW i know what i am getting into when i say i'm going to thru-hike. a friend told me, "you mean, you are going to ATTEMPT a thru-hike."

    and he was absolutely correct.

    for what it's worth.

    - pages
    Thanks for an honest assesment. What happened on your prior thru attempt?

  12. #12
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Murphy View Post

    You improve your chances of completing a thru-hike if you actually enjoy backpacking.
    Actually you improve your chances if finishing the AT is the ONLY thing you want to do right now, above all else...

    The art of backpacking gets old fast doing it day after day, week after week, month after month.

    It's Mental.







    Hiking Blog
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  13. #13
    Garlic
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    I couldn't imagine hiking that far if you didn't, above all else, really love to hike. You are spot-on.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  14. #14
    Registered User Razor's Avatar
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    After years of observation in Georgia, attitude is what separates those who finish and those who don't. A love of nature helps. Thru hiking is more of a mental challenge and section packing is more of a physical challenge. Both are a challenge to some degree or the other. Slack packing is just a method of accomplishing either.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razor View Post
    After years of observation in Georgia, attitude is what separates those who finish and those who don't. A love of nature helps. Thru hiking is more of a mental challenge and section packing is more of a physical challenge. Both are a challenge to some degree or the other. Slack packing is just a method of accomplishing either.
    Years ago I read the first third of a thru-hike is physical, the second third mental/emotional, the last third spiritual. In a recent thread IrishBASTARD attests to the last third being spiritual.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirsty DPD View Post
    Years ago I read the first third of a thru-hike is physical, the second third mental/emotional, the last third spiritual. In a recent thread IrishBASTARD attests to the last third being spiritual.

    Hehe , good one.

  17. #17
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    Slackpacking, thru-hiking, etc.etc, I do it because I love nature and want to see what the trail can give me. If I could wiggle my nose and food and gear would appear, I would do it that way. I just want to see the trail and carrying a backpack is the only way you can do it. Everybody that hikes the trail will see the same views, so does it really matter how you do it.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishBASTARD View Post
    Slack packing is NOT a short cut...DAVIDNH how DARE you condemn people who do.
    Of course slacking is a short cut...thats why people do it. I don't think David condemned anyone; he merely pointed out the obvious.

    Is it easier to hike carrying 6 pounds instead of 36? Absolutely.

    When leaving town, is it easier to get dropped off 15 miles uptrail and then hike downhill back to town carrying 6 pounds or is it easier to hike uphill out of town carrying 36 pounds. Thats obvious.

    Is slacking a shortcut? Absolutely. In the context of becoming a 2,000 miler does it matter? Not to the ATC.

  19. #19
    Registered User About_Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    When leaving town, is it easier to get dropped off 15 miles uptrail and then hike downhill back to town carrying 6 pounds or is it easier to hike uphill out of town carrying 36 pounds.
    I don't seem to recall any 15 mile downhill stretches on the AT... I slackpacked a few times, but it worked out to always be in the direction I would have gone anyways with one exception. I thought more of slackpacking as a way to get in miles instead of taking a zero.
    2011 Through Hike - May 2nd Springer to Daleville, VA <> August 11 Katahdin back to Daleville, VA on December 22nd.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/abouttime

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