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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    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.
    This.

    A simple solution is to place signs at road crossings for feeds located up or down the road a few hundred yards, allowing those who want to attend do so without disrupting others who don't have an interest.

    Hiker feeds however may be inevitable from an anthropology perspective. Its an evolutionary process commonly seen across the landscape of human history where trail intersections with predictable traffic patters attract service providers. These can be altruistic people offering food to food "with a message", eventually leading to commercial enterprise establishing itself on the trail or corridor. I am hoping this is not the case but history provides the lesson if we can learn from it.

  2. #82
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    IMO, if you don't like hiker feeds just pass 'em by and don't take anything. But don't get angry at folks who are just out trying to do something good for the trail community.
    It's all good in the woods.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    IMO, if you don't like hiker feeds just pass 'em by and don't take anything. But don't get angry at folks who are just out trying to do something good for the trail community.
    hard to pass 'em by when they set up right on the trail and are forced to walk through it.

  4. #84
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    Stumpkocker: Thank you for your kind words. Your respect and appreciation is what we experience on the trail and what keeps us coming back year after year. It's always a give and take and a win-win situation. My husband did plenty of trail maintenance when he was alive. Some people just don't know how brutal the trail can be. You will always have your elites who are fit and well prepared, and even they can come upon unexpected disaster. For the under prepared and under experienced it's even more critical that there be some measure of support and help. We enjoy doing our small part on a vast and complex undertaking by many adventurers.

  5. #85
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    Hard to pass up Mountain Crossings... or Hot Springs, or Damascus, or Duncannon.

    Trail Days began the tradition of celebrating thru hikers, in a big-time, organized, regularly-scheduled event.

    If ATC really want to do something about excessive trail magic maybe they'd considering working with Damascus to end that tradition to set an example. Just guessing here that that's not gonna happen.

    I haven't actually witnessed these large-scale on-trail feasts, except for Trail Days, eons ago. Maybe a southern thing?

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Hard to pass up Mountain Crossings... or Hot Springs, or Damascus, or Duncannon.

    Trail Days began the tradition of celebrating thru hikers, in a big-time, organized, regularly-scheduled event.

    If ATC really want to do something about excessive trail magic maybe they'd considering working with Damascus to end that tradition to set an example. Just guessing here that that's not gonna happen.

    I haven't actually witnessed these large-scale on-trail feasts, except for Trail Days, eons ago. Maybe a southern thing?
    Trail Days has run it's course. numbers are down the past 5 years or more

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    A simple solution is to place signs at road crossings for feeds located up or down the road a few hundred yards, allowing those who want to attend do so without disrupting others who don't have an interest.
    There was a heated thread on the ALDHA facebook page about one of these signs not being properly removed after the event.

    Hiker feeds however may be inevitable from an anthropology perspective. Its an evolutionary process commonly seen across the landscape of human history where trail intersections with predictable traffic patters attract service providers. These can be altruistic people offering food to food "with a message", eventually leading to commercial enterprise establishing itself on the trail or corridor. I am hoping this is not the case but history provides the lesson if we can learn from it.
    There was a time when people took care to avoid commercializing the trail. Everything in America gets commercialized eventually. ATC Journeys magazine carries ads. It's the age of social media. Yesterday it was Scott Jurek, today it's the Hiking Viking. And if not "commercialized" then "sensationalized." Something that Red Bull or Breitling will want a fancy video of. Any way you cut it, that ship has sailed...

  8. #88
    Son Driven
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    Some of the opinions on this thread reminds me of Fort Lauderdale, FL where I passed through 11/14. Their was a big media circus going on down at the beach where WWII Veteran Arnold Abbot was being arrested for publicly feeding the homeless. It would take an action like Fort Lauderdale, from every jurisdiction along the AT making it illegal to feed hikers. If our country ever gets to the place where private citizens are no longer allowed to freely give to sojourner's who cross their paths we are truly a lost nation. I think it was Adolf Hitler who attempted to wield this kind of control over the people of Germany.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  9. #89
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    Interesting thread.... As usual on WB, something relatively benign gets emotional. I must be the unluckiest AT hiker out there as I always somehow missed the big feeds by a day or two. I would have enjoyed them. I do agree they maybe get a tad big and "out of control".

    But to badmouth simple, manned trail magic, like folks parked at a road crossing with their tailgate open full of snacks and drinks? Downright weird. I sure appreciated those kind folks sitting with their table of goodies at a road crossing here and there.

    Weirdest trail magic: handing out cigarettes and moonshine somewhere in NC/TN....
    Best trail magic: that's easy, an ice cold beer!
    Runner up best trail magic: A juicy orange! Yummy... actually, that one is tied with the ice cold beer
    Third place: Sodas! don't care which brand/flavor, sugar and water. On the trail, how can that be bad? I have a soda a month in "real life", but on the trail........

    So, thank you trail magic people!

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    Some of the opinions on this thread reminds me of Fort Lauderdale, FL where I passed through 11/14. Their was a big media circus going on down at the beach where WWII Veteran Arnold Abbot was being arrested for publicly feeding the homeless. It would take an action like Fort Lauderdale, from every jurisdiction along the AT making it illegal to feed hikers. If our country ever gets to the place where private citizens are no longer allowed to freely give to sojourner's who cross their paths we are truly a lost nation. I think it was Adolf Hitler who attempted to wield this kind of control over the people of Germany.
    A little perspective may be in order. Feeding people on vacation is not comparable to feeding homeless people and the issues that can create in an urban environment, nor is advocating an alternative opinion to how hiker feeds are managed akin to being Hitler-esque.

    Point remains, it may be an inevitable creep of service conveyance and commercialism that humans have a common history of. The point is not necessarily if it should be done or not, but how it should be done if people want to engage in that activity.

  11. #91

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    All I can suggest is not to be stupidly helpful. Don't be selfishly helpful. It's great when people are able to spontaneously help each other. However, at some point, you're not helping out hikers, rather you're leeching off of them to promote your cause. At some point you're harming hikers by ruining the experience through your well intentioned, yet poorly executed deeds. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so it's said.

    I will actively avoid crowds, hiker feeds, annoying people trying to save my soul, parties, salesmen, commercial interests handing out free samples. I will actively avoid this hiker feed.

    I go on the trail to experience nature. Your well-intentioned "help" ruins my experience. For a few hours, or even a few minutes I can't take a moments rest at a shelter, because you've created a traffic jam.

    It's touching that your husband loved nature, and that you keep his memory by chatting with hikers. That's a lovely thing. I'd even love to discuss this further with you, preferably in a different thread. You can even do that on these message boards and join our online community talking about hiking.

    You can also chat with us on person, on the trail. Walk around a section of the trail at your own pace and just chat with people who seem interested in talking. That friendly smile, wave, maybe a few minute's conversation might be far more of a trail magic moment that a hiker remembers long afterwards.

    Leave the rest of the distractions at your church. Better yet, commit your valuable resources to a food bank, or the poor. Hikers are not needy. They're people with enough free time and funds to take a vacation. Don't confuse smelly and unshaven with actually needy. What you're doing now, is just contributing to the party atmosphere on the trail. Kind of a sad, pathetic, needy party, but a party all the same. If you have to set up a roadblock to get your magic, then it's probably more self serving than serving others. Ask yourself why you have to bribe people with goodies to get them to pause a moment.

    Oh, and Welcome to White Blaze.

    :Edited for grammar
    Last edited by Puddlefish; 02-08-2016 at 10:14.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Interesting thread.... As usual on WB, something relatively benign gets emotional. I must be the unluckiest AT hiker out there as I always somehow missed the big feeds by a day or two. I would have enjoyed them. I do agree they maybe get a tad big and "out of control".

    But to badmouth simple, manned trail magic, like folks parked at a road crossing with their tailgate open full of snacks and drinks? Downright weird. I sure appreciated those kind folks sitting with their table of goodies at a road crossing here and there.

    Weirdest trail magic: handing out cigarettes and moonshine somewhere in NC/TN....
    Best trail magic: that's easy, an ice cold beer!
    Runner up best trail magic: A juicy orange! Yummy... actually, that one is tied with the ice cold beer
    Third place: Sodas! don't care which brand/flavor, sugar and water. On the trail, how can that be bad? I have a soda a month in "real life", but on the trail........

    So, thank you trail magic people!
    My best trail magic was chatting with an elderly couple on my way down a mountain. She was on oxygen, hiking against her doctor's orders. He wanted to make sure I was alright, and tell me about a few poorly marked trail sections. I turned around and walked with them for a few minutes, then continued on my way.

    Trail magic for me, is purely in the mind of the recipient. You have to decide for yourself what has value, and what detracts from the experience. What's important to one hiker, has no value to another.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    Some of the opinions on this thread reminds me of Fort Lauderdale, FL where I passed through 11/14. Their was a big media circus going on down at the beach where WWII Veteran Arnold Abbot was being arrested for publicly feeding the homeless. It would take an action like Fort Lauderdale, from every jurisdiction along the AT making it illegal to feed hikers. If our country ever gets to the place where private citizens are no longer allowed to freely give to sojourner's who cross their paths we are truly a lost nation. I think it was Adolf Hitler who attempted to wield this kind of control over the people of Germany.
    You started out OK and went full-on Godwin in one paragraph.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    A little perspective may be in order. Feeding people on vacation is not comparable to feeding homeless people and the issues that can create in an urban environment, nor is advocating an alternative opinion to how hiker feeds are managed akin to being Hitler-esque.

    Point remains, it may be an inevitable creep of service conveyance and commercialism that humans have a common history of. The point is not necessarily if it should be done or not, but how it should be done if people want to engage in that activity.
    My point is that the attitudes are similar. We as a free society have the freedom to give of ourselves to others within the law. In order to enforce what is being advocated here it would take a Hitler kind of act to impose a law and impose it upon 14 states, and hundreds or thousands of jurisdictions. Much of the Appalachian Trail runs through impoverished communities, and so if some vacationers spend some money along the way, I do not see it as a bad thing. Remember these are hikers and can only buy what they are willing to carry.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    You started out OK and went full-on Godwin in one paragraph.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
    I'm not sure he even started out alright. The feeding the homeless analogy failed from the start. Hikers, by and large don't have the same needs, issues and challenges that the homeless have. I feel like some people are taking away a false sense of pride for helping what superficially appears to be a homeless person.

    ::Edit for grammar (this was worth the price of the donation!)
    Last edited by Puddlefish; 02-08-2016 at 10:58.

  16. #96
    Son Driven
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    You started out OK and went full-on Godwin in one paragraph.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
    This is hilarious thank you for sharing the link, I learned something today.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    My point is that the attitudes are similar. We as a free society have the freedom to give of ourselves to others within the law. In order to enforce what is being advocated here it would take a Hitler kind of act to impose a law and impose it upon 14 states, and hundreds or thousands of jurisdictions. Much of the Appalachian Trail runs through impoverished communities, and so if some vacationers spend some money along the way, I do not see it as a bad thing. Remember these are hikers and can only buy what they are willing to carry.

    Just stop with the Hitler analogy, it's flat out wrong. There are Federal laws, there are State laws, just because a law benefits some people, but you don't particularly like it does not make it Hitler like.

  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    \Much of the Appalachian Trail runs through impoverished communities...
    Which is exactly why the hiker feeders are better off donating to local food banks if they really want to help. Very few thru hikers don't know where their next meal is coming from - not the case with a lot of homeless or working poor in Appalachia. Hyperbolic Hitler comparisons aside, you have every right to spend your money any way you want, just don't pretend a hiker feed is in any way a public service or done for the public good. Its a relatively inconsequential good deed at best and at worst a ruse for proselytizing.

  19. #99
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    it's disgusting the amount of food being fed to vacationers with packs full of food at some of these feeds

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    IMO, if you don't like hiker feeds just pass 'em by and don't take anything. But don't get angry at folks who are just out trying to do something good for the trail community.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    hard to pass 'em by when they set up right on the trail and are forced to walk through it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    Some of the opinions on this thread reminds me of Fort Lauderdale, FL where I passed through 11/14. Their was a big media circus going on down at the beach where WWII Veteran Arnold Abbot was being arrested for publicly feeding the homeless. It would take an action like Fort Lauderdale, from every jurisdiction along the AT making it illegal to feed hikers. If our country ever gets to the place where private citizens are no longer allowed to freely give to sojourner's who cross their paths we are truly a lost nation. I think it was Adolf Hitler who attempted to wield this kind of control over the people of Germany.
    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    My point is that the attitudes are similar. We as a free society have the freedom to give of ourselves to others within the law. In order to enforce what is being advocated here it would take a Hitler kind of act to impose a law and impose it upon 14 states, and hundreds or thousands of jurisdictions. Much of the Appalachian Trail runs through impoverished communities, and so if some vacationers spend some money along the way, I do not see it as a bad thing. Remember these are hikers and can only buy what they are willing to carry.
    Not being snarky, but seriously, exactly what "good" are these folks doing for the hiking community? Hikers aren't starving, nor are they socially deprived, nor even homeless in a legal sense. They are on vacation. That these folks are being nice by giving out free food is certainly one possible description. But they are often doing so with the primary intent of attracting an audience for some personal reason. It's not truly done for the hikers - it's done for the providers. Perhaps that reason is just socialization. Perhaps that need is to evangelize, no matter how soft-sell or benign it may be. There is nothing inherently wrong in these activities - until they become so invasive as to infringe upon the rights of others.

    Regarding those rights, one must look at the competing rights involved - in cases such as this, the right to feed people and create an assembly/crowd, and perhaps evangelize, vs. the rights of others. Those competing rights involve quiet enjoyment of private property and the right not to be subjected to public nuisance on public property. The use of public lands is regulated to try to achieve a balance between these competing rights. Just as with Abbott in Ft. Lauderdale, intentionally creating an event that draws large assemblies has a negative impact on the rights of some others. Regarding Abbott, property owners, business owners, and vacationers felt that the large homeless feeds infringed on their rights. They cited crowds, lack of providing sanitary facilities, panhandling, harassment of vacationers, negative impact on business, etc. All reasonable complaints. The city attempted to provide several alternate nearby sites to try to achieve a balance between the two competing sides, all of which Abbott rejected, which made many feel that feeding the homeless had become secondary to his making a political statement.

    I see a similar situation regarding hiker feeds, minus the actual homeless aspect. Obviously some hikers feel that hiker feeds create a public nuisance that detracts from their enjoyment of public lands. There is a balance to be struck. Finding that balance means that both sides must be willing to compromise. To that end, I think we must to a great degree look at the intent of why the AT exists, which is ultimately that it is a wilderness trail experience. I can't in good conscience complain about feeds that happen off the trail. People on both sides of the food table have the freedom to do as they choose. And acts such as leaving water/soda at crossings, picking up hikers at crossings or directing them to feeds off the trail, etc. are pretty unobtrusive. But IMO, when you set up a feed on the trail itself, one that I can't avoid, it becomes an intrusion on the intent and purpose of the trail.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-08-2016 at 12:39.
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