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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckahoe View Post
    Since Mags split up the threads, my opinion is no longer relevant to the discussion.

    It wasn't relevant before either...you gave no advice or recommendations to the OP on the original post.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  2. #62

    Default ATC's suggestions

    Since ATC's website is down, I'll post the "Suggestions for Providing Trail Magic" that ATC developed with input from the trail community and Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

    Feedback is welcome. These were developed almost 10 years ago and it's probably time to consider if any tweaks are needed.

    Trail Magic, defined as an unexpected act of kindness, is a quintessential part of the Appalachian Trail experience for many long-distance hikers. The suggestions below incorporate Leave No Trace practices (www.LNT.org) to help those providing trail magic have the most positive impact on hikers, the Trail, its plants and wildlife, and the volunteers who maintain and preserve it. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association endorse these suggestions.

    Help conserve and maintain the Trail.
    The most essential service you can perform is to volunteer to maintain the Trail and overnight sites, or to monitor boundaries and resource conditions. Visit www.appalachiantrail.org for more information, or check with your local trail-maintaining club to find out how or where you may assist.

    Locate events in developed areas on durable surfaces.
    Large gatherings in the backcountry can lead to trampling of plants, soil compaction, and disturbance of wildlife habitat. Trail towns and local parks are better locations. Keep events small. Consider whether your event may be contributing to an overabundance of trail feeds in the local area or region. Some hikers come to the Trail to seek solitude and contemplation.

    Prepare and serve food safely. If you will be cooking or preparing food, check with the landowner to find an appropriate area and learn what food-safety or other regulations apply. Permits may be required. Charging a fee or asking for donations may not be allowed.

    Be present if you provide food or drink. Unattended items—including their packaging—can harm wildlife that consume them, or hikers, when unrefrigerated products grow bacteria or become contaminated. Unattended items are considered litter and their presence detracts from the wildland character of backcountry environments. Dispense food and drink in person, and carry out any trash or leftovers.

    Restore the site. Leave the site as you found it—don’t create a burden for Trail volunteers whose time is better spent in other activities.

    Advertise off-trail. Advertising—even noncommercial—is prohibited on the A.T. Publicizing a “feed” in advance can lead to clumping of long distance hikers, causing overcrowded conditions and avoidable impacts at shelters and campsites.
    Forgo alcoholic beverages. Don’t risk the legality and liability associated with serving minors, over-serving adults, or the safety issues associated with intoxicated hikers.

    Be hospitable to all. While many long-distance hikers will likely appreciate trail magic, be sure to make all trail users and volunteers feel welcome.

    Laurie P.
    ATC

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Squeezebox seemed angry to me.

    I'm not angry but I am disappointed. Again Maslov's hierarchy. I need a clean privy, no trash around the shelter, an improved trail roots and rocks, before I want a greasy cheeseburger. The group that clogs a shelter and surrounding campsites privy etc. for a month. I think the behavior is misguided. And that they could easily choose a better way to improve the AT. Keep the feeds in town. On the trail? Please improve the trail. I met a young man leaving a cooler of sodas, I just think that a trash can/bag carried out once a week from the nearby shelter would do more good. And thanks for the soda!!
    This conversation makes me hungry for a greasy cheeseburger.

  4. #64
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    Thank you! We meet many grateful hikers, and our goody bags (prepackaged only) always disappear from the hiker boxes at the NOC quickly!

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Hiker feeds and planned trail magic are much more a southern thing than northern thing. A large part of that is the sheer numbers all starting around the same time (within roughly a 4 week window). By the time "the herd" gets past Harpers Ferry, less than half remain, and even more so into New England, their numbers are cut to perhaps 25% of the original, and they have spread out a lot as well due to hiking pace. But even so, you don't see hiker feeds in the Whites in the summer, where there is a potential "hiker audience" on many days as large as anything you will see in the south in March/April. Local people, and organizations, are generally more reserved and/or focused on activities other than feeding hikers. Hiking isn't accompanied by the same party atmosphere that occurs with Springer Fever (note the Baxter State Park controversy).
    Interesting observation about the difference up North and down South. I wonder how much of this difference can be attributed to the larger role of organized religion in the souther states. What percentage of the big hiker feeds down south are done by church groups?

  6. #66
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    It is Trail Magic on a limited 4 hour basis in a public picnic area close to the trail. Perhaps I misunderstood the term "Hiker Feed". This is my first time on White Blaze.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner 70 View Post
    It is Trail Magic on a limited 4 hour basis in a public picnic area close to the trail. Perhaps I misunderstood the term "Hiker Feed". This is my first time on White Blaze.
    Trail Feed is the most appropriate term for what many call Trail Magic. Trail Magic is a traditional term that predates these Trail Feeds (or Hiker Feeds).

    True Trail Magic are unexpected events that happen while hiking the trail, almost magical in how they come to be, think of synchronicity and other such events and that's basically Trail Magic. When a group plans to feed hikers, that is NOT really Trail Magic, but they often erroneously use to term to describe it.

    Many, such as myself, have become disheartened by these trail feeding events, because they can become so intrusive.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner 70 View Post
    It is Trail Magic on a limited 4 hour basis in a public picnic area close to the trail. Perhaps I misunderstood the term "Hiker Feed". This is my first time on White Blaze.
    This is a matter of some opinion. What you're offering is indeed a Hiker Feed. People will have varied opinions on if what you're offering is considered Trail Magic.

    The difference in my opinion is that a hiker feed is basically just a party or a promotion. Trail magic, again, in my opinion is when an individual gives something to another individual just for the heck of it. A random act of kindness.

  9. #69
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    Default Hiker Feed Issues

    Thanks to all for the enlightening discussion on hiker feeds and trail magic. I may have posted under the wrong title of hiker feed. This is our 5th year to do Trail Magic in the Smokies. We have paid $150 dollars in the past to pass out goody bags at Newfound Gap, a few hours on one day, observing all the necessary red tape and following all the safety and security rules. We are big on bottled water and green tea as well as sodas; We put only prepackaged food in our goody bags; We take care of all of our trash; We are also big on fresh fruit--which the GSMNPark approves all these things. The reason we choose Fontana Dam and Waterville picnic areas is because they are public areas off or close to the trail. We did do one worship service on a Sunday and the half dozen people who stayed enjoyed themselves, and the other half left for a town visit after freely partaking of our food and coming back for more food later along with fellowship. We love talking to the hikers and hearing their stories more than anything else. Many will stay and talk for hours--a real ministry boost to us. My husband died hiking in the Smokies. He also did parts of the AT and it was his heart's desire to do the the entire AT. Many of the women in my widow's group (we're Noah's Ark because we're all in the same boat) also enjoyed good times with their husbands in the Smokies. This is our special love for hikers that motivates us to do what we do (we have many other ministry projects); and it's the most exciting adventure of our yearly activities. I will pass on your concerns to my group.

  10. #70
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Trail Feed is the most appropriate term for what many call Trail Magic. Trail Magic is a traditional term that predates these Trail Feeds (or Hiker Feeds).

    True Trail Magic are unexpected events that happen while hiking the trail, almost magical in how they come to be, think of synchronicity and other such events and that's basically Trail Magic. When a group plans to feed hikers, that is NOT really Trail Magic, but they often erroneously use to term to describe it.

    Many, such as myself, have become disheartened by these trail feeding events, because they can become so intrusive.

    I also concur. What used to be considered trail magic can and does still happen, but the term Trail Magic now generally refers to non-spontaneous, pre-planned gifts of food and drink to hikers. Especially in the South in the springtime.

    I've received the "new" TM, I've provided the "new" TM on a couple occasions, and nothing bad happened on those days. In fact, you could say some good happened.

    BUT...there is a type of AT hiker (I'd hope a minority) who starts to depend on or at least seriously look forward to it because it happens so many places along the AT in GA, NC, TN, and VA every March, April and May. They then start to adopt a kind of entitlement mentality which we can see has been detrimental both on-Trail and in nearby trail towns when their every whim isn't catered to. Too much of a good thing in my opinion.

    There probably isn't a good way to regulate this, and it probably shouldn't be regulated even if there was.

    But here's an idea . . . if the people and organizations providing the big hiker feeds, or leaving food and drinks trailside, would recognize that their unselfish acts do have some unintended consequences--and just voluntarily cut back it might help. If you put on a hiker feed every year for a week, maybe cut back to every second or third year. Or cut back the number of days to just a couple. People who leave out coolers could stagger their "gifts" more. Those people and groups in the same region who know each other could maybe get together and work out a schedule.

    On the off-years when a group isn't putting on a feed, they could contact the local maintaining trail club and offer to take on a special project for them instead. That, as much or more than free food, benefits hikers too.

    With the "new" TM less prevalent, and hikers experiencing it less (and needing to be more self sufficient) it might not foster that anger and attitude we see more of each year when they don't always feel the "magic."

  11. #71
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    Thr Fontana Hilton is the hiker shelter at Fontana Dam, so named because it's the biggest and best with a heated rest room with showers!

  12. #72
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    walnut mtn. shelter is the best. holds 5

  13. #73

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    I gots no problem feeding hikers.
    But it doesnt belong on the trail, or anywhere near the trail corridor.
    It spoils the nature of hiking
    A quiet parking lot with a couple parked cars is one thing to come upon at a remote road crossing.
    A party with 10 people there drinking beer and barbecueing, is something else.

    The ATC is remiss in not working to get rid of this stuff.

    Same goes for cooler and items left abandoned. On most national forest land, its even illegal to do so.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner 70 View Post
    Thank you! We meet many grateful hikers, and our goody bags (prepackaged only) always disappear from the hiker boxes at the NOC quickly!
    Have you ever done any trail maintenance, or is this only about you ego? 98% of the fundalmentalist christians I've ever met don't care about other peoples needs or opinions. Bring a shovel or ax instead. please

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Have you ever done any trail maintenance, or is this only about you ego? 98% of the fundalmentalist christians I've ever met don't care about other peoples needs or opinions. Bring a shovel or ax instead. please
    One on hand you make a general statement that 98% of a group doesn't care about other peoples opinions and then on the other hand you demand that this group must do trail maintenance instead of allowing them to participate in the trail in their own way. Brings to mind an old saying "practice what you preach".

    You're talking about a group of elderly ladies (with all due respect to the ladies!) who are widows. I don't think they should be expected to go out on the trail and swing an ax! In looking at their Facebook page it appears that they do a lot for their community.

    My opinion, as long as they do there hiker feed in a public parking area, clean up afterwards (I'll bet they take hiker's trash too and pick up the lot too) and don't force their opinions on others then it's OK.

    I've come across a few hiker feeds and I always thankful for the offer.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    We are not squashing debate, rather asking people to politely go into the appropriate place on this website to have a debate. You don't post Colorado Trail shuttle questions on the Appalachian Trail shuttle forum by any chance? Same concept.
    I agree with Mags here. There are appropriate places to debate and then there are places to keep your comments to yourself, especially in designated areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore View Post
    Seems fair to me. I think part of the problem may be that people click on the what's new icon, see a subject line in the list of threads and jump into the fray without looking at where the message was originally posted.
    Offshore, This has caught me off guard more than once myself. I don't have a suggestion to make it better, maybe I just need to pay attention more.

  17. #77
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    Location Location Location the Troutdale hostel has a tradition of doing a hiker feed. The week after Trail Days! Troutdale is a couple miles off trail from Dickies gap. They have a nice pavilion, Pastor Ken presents a nice message in regards to my favorite hiker Jesus Christ. No alchol is allowed. The AT is a body, mind, and spiritual experience for many, and an opportunity to fellowship, and tap into ones spiritual dimension is part of the experience.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  18. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I bet most of the critics wouldn't pass up an ice cold soda on a hot day.
    Better would be lots of water, especially on hot days, and when water sources might be scarce.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    One on hand you make a general statement that 98% of a group doesn't care about other peoples opinions and then on the other hand you demand that this group must do trail maintenance instead of allowing them to participate in the trail in their own way. Brings to mind an old saying "practice what you preach".

    You're talking about a group of elderly ladies (with all due respect to the ladies!) who are widows. I don't think they should be expected to go out on the trail and swing an ax! In looking at their Facebook page it appears that they do a lot for their community.

    My opinion, as long as they do there hiker feed in a public parking area, clean up afterwards (I'll bet they take hiker's trash too and pick up the lot too) and don't force their opinions on others then it's OK.

    I've come across a few hiker feeds and I always thankful for the offer.
    Thanks, Don. You are very perceptive and understanding. Sounds like the only axe squeezebox uses is to grind against well-meaning folks he knows nothing about.

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner 70 View Post
    Thanks to all for the enlightening discussion on hiker feeds and trail magic. I may have posted under the wrong title of hiker feed. This is our 5th year to do Trail Magic in the Smokies. We have paid $150 dollars in the past to pass out goody bags at Newfound Gap, a few hours on one day, observing all the necessary red tape and following all the safety and security rules. We are big on bottled water and green tea as well as sodas; We put only prepackaged food in our goody bags; We take care of all of our trash; We are also big on fresh fruit--which the GSMNPark approves all these things. The reason we choose Fontana Dam and Waterville picnic areas is because they are public areas off or close to the trail. We did do one worship service on a Sunday and the half dozen people who stayed enjoyed themselves, and the other half left for a town visit after freely partaking of our food and coming back for more food later along with fellowship. We love talking to the hikers and hearing their stories more than anything else. Many will stay and talk for hours--a real ministry boost to us. My husband died hiking in the Smokies. He also did parts of the AT and it was his heart's desire to do the the entire AT. Many of the women in my widow's group (we're Noah's Ark because we're all in the same boat) also enjoyed good times with their husbands in the Smokies. This is our special love for hikers that motivates us to do what we do (we have many other ministry projects); and it's the most exciting adventure of our yearly activities. I will pass on your concerns to my group.
    I don't usually make comments on this website, but I wanted to thank you personally for what you do for hikers.
    WhiteBlaze is about the only place you'll hear of anyone complain about, or state that they would pass by the kindness, food and beverages you offer.
    I've been around lots of trail magic, both providing and gratefully accepting, and I have only seen one hiker pass it up.


    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Have you ever done any trail maintenance, or is this only about you ego? 98% of the fundalmentalist christians I've ever met don't care about other peoples needs or opinions. Bring a shovel or ax instead. please
    Like I said above...I don't usually comment on WhiteBlaze, but this statement is one of the most ridiculous I've ever seen here.
    Did you actually read what Sojourner 70 wrote before you made up your mind to chastise her for helping others out of the goodness of her heart?
    One of you two have an ego problem....and it's not Sojourner 70.
    Stumpknocker
    Appalachian Trail is 35.9% complete.

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