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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy Q View Post
    Wow! So much wonderful advice so quickly! Thank you everyone!
    Our thru hiker found a ride into town and has parked himself at a hotel for the past three days, waiting for us to pick him up!
    Lots of great advice! Perhaps we will drive him ahead to join the "bubble"? Just wish he would get back on the trail and follow his dream!
    Thank you for the advice!
    Where is he (ball park location), just curious of his miles per day(MPD) average.

    Three days in one hotel not a good sign, seems like he's ready to quit, period. However, I'd still follow his instructions and not pick him up. Remind him well, of his words.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Where is he (ball park location), just curious of his miles per day(MPD) average.

    Three days in one hotel not a good sign, seems like he's ready to quit, period. However, I'd still follow his instructions and not pick him up. Remind him well, of his words.
    OK, just got the message, 11-15 MPD, that's ok mileage. However, I'd still not pick him up.

    The AT is NOT overcrowded, it can be very lonely.

  3. #23
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    Suzy Q,

    Tell him that Greenlight would give his left uhm... anatomy to be in his/her position: On the AT, beginning of May, fully equipped and spending money in the bank, and there are thousands of others like me. If the biggest faux pas is that (s)he's psyched out or lonely, dammit, that isn't a good enough reason to quit. Be sure to update us after your encounter.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  4. #24
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    no advice. he's done. the fantasy became a reality
    I agree. There are many out there that start the trail well prepared but quit, some after a day or two. On the trail they have dreamed about there was no rain, heat, cold, loneliness, dirt, etc. The idea of hiking is a lot more attractive to some than the actual practice. I ran into a fellow years ago on White Cap Mt in ME who was nearing the completion of his hike. I asked him how is hike had been. He said he hated every day but kept going because he is not a quitter.
    More walking, less talking.

  5. #25

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    Just wondering if "well prepared" means that he bought a bunch of new gear??

    How about dozens of long hikes with packs on steep mountains, to be well prepared?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    I ran into a fellow years ago on White Cap Mt in ME who was nearing the completion of his hike. I asked him how is hike had been. He said he hated every day but kept going because he is not a quitter.
    Seen that myself, more than once, and my reaction is kind of a weird mixture of admiration and "shaking my head." A hiker like that appears early on in Bryson's book, described by the cab driver on their way to Amicalola Falls State Park.

    Is it rational to spend months of unpleasantness, pursuing a goal that you set for yourself without really knowing the cost? And you can't really know till you try.

  7. #27

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    Currently on the trail myself, two months into my thru - if they need someone to talk to about things send me a message and I'll be happy to see what's what.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlight View Post
    Suzy Q,

    Tell him that Greenlight would give his left uhm... anatomy to be in his/her position: On the AT, beginning of May, fully equipped and spending money in the bank, and there are thousands of others like me. If the biggest faux pas is that (s)he's psyched out or lonely, dammit, that isn't a good enough reason to quit. Be sure to update us after your encounter.
    +1

    ( is trail days still going on? drive him up there, let him "immerse" himself in the bubble, stir, simmer........see what happens )

  9. #29
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Encourage a zero-day (a day off.) If they still want to quit than they really want to quit. If they do quit, they should celebrate.

  10. #30
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    If he wants to quit he wants to quit. The OP, who apparently isn't a long distance hiker, doesn't deserve some of the rude comments posted. They were looking for some constructive advice about how to keep their family member motivated.
    Lonehiker

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudeijuststarted View Post
    Encourage a zero-day (a day off.) If they still want to quit than they really want to quit. If they do quit, they should celebrate.
    Susy Q (the OP) says he's been holing up in a hotel the last three days. Not a good sign.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Well prepared thru hiker ready to quit!


    If it decidedly was planned to thru-hike the AT I contest the veracity of this statement based on the lame excuses given. The prospective AT thru-hiker wannabe has to play a winning mental game. There are solutions to the situation without succumbing to lame excuses. The hiker has to find those solutions outside of quitting.
    I like this a lot....bad excuses for quitting. "im lonely in the first 2 weeks means he needs less free time lol" answer, more walking..and camp with others.

  13. #33
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy Q View Post
    Wow! So much wonderful advice so quickly! Thank you everyone!
    Our thru hiker found a ride into town and has parked himself at a hotel for the past three days, waiting for us to pick him up!
    Lots of great advice! Perhaps we will drive him ahead to join the "bubble"? Just wish he would get back on the trail and follow his dream!
    Thank you for the advice!
    While he waits ask him to think long and hard on the following questions:

    If he quits now, will he regret it?

    Will this dream gnaw at him over time, as life happens and other opportunities to hike do not arise?

    If you go pick him up, will it be used against you as the reason why he did not finish? That question is in now way meant to be harsh - It is an honest question. How will he feel when the frustration wears off? He did leave instructions for you to NOT pick him up... He might be done with this hike, but I would be hesitant to go get him. Many people who are truly "done" would have found their way home after 3 days of waiting. His waiting in town makes it sound like he might not yet really know what he wants to do.

    Perhaps offer him the opportunity to jump ahead (rather than quit) to meet up with others who are hiking his pace? If that is truly the reason for wanting to bag the hike, then that is a solution to the issue. The few days off might be what he needs to regroup.

  14. #34
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    Anyone planning to thru hike ought to be capable of getting themselves back home, without assistance. (Barring contingencies like injury, stolen wallet or IDs, etc.) So my thought is, don't pick him up. He asked not to be picked up. And if you go against his wishes now you'll never hear the end of it. Time for a bit of tough love -- at least let him find his own way home, if he really wants to be done with the trail.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    While he waits ask him to think long and hard on the following questions:

    If he quits now, will he regret it?

    Will this dream gnaw at him over time, as life happens and other opportunities to hike do not arise?

    If you go pick him up, will it be used against you as the reason why he did not finish? That question is in now way meant to be harsh - It is an honest question. How will he feel when the frustration wears off? He did leave instructions for you to NOT pick him up... He might be done with this hike, but I would be hesitant to go get him. Many people who are truly "done" would have found their way home after 3 days of waiting. His waiting in town makes it sound like he might not yet really know what he wants to do.

    Perhaps offer him the opportunity to jump ahead (rather than quit) to meet up with others who are hiking his pace? If that is truly the reason for wanting to bag the hike, then that is a solution to the issue. The few days off might be what he needs to regroup.
    Some of the best advice yet! It would be good to help him realize what he's actually giving up...and remind him of those who have in the past, and generally gone on to regret that decision.

  16. #36

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    Most attempts are just that.

    Hikes are vacations.
    If he is not having fun on his vacation then it IS time to come home.

  17. #37

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    Suggest he walk to the next big resupply stop (i.e. from Fontana to Hot Springs or from Hot Springs to Damascus) and see if he still wants to quit. I found that each section of the trail was a bit different, with new views, new people, different weather, etc. Experiencing the diversity made it easier to say, "I want to see what the next section is like."

    He isn't particularly fast if he's doing less than 15 mpd. In any case, there will be a bunch of college kids on the trail soon since many schools get out in May. There will also be a lot more section hikers. He won't be alone.

    Trail reality is always different from expectations. Few of us practice week long solo trips in the rain before a long hike. We should.

  18. #38
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    So the hiker says, "whatever I say, under no circumstances should you come pick me up" and then two weeks later says "come pick me up right now."

    Hmm, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before?

    Oh, yeah...


  19. #39
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    "Well prepared" means planning, studying, saving for a year to go on this hike.
    His favorite place to be is in the forest... any time off from work he had, he would take a pack full of weights and head to the mountains!
    He also did a prehike of 40 miles close to home, as a test hike a month before he left.
    New gear, yes! And well worn boots!
    He was prepared physically, financially, and we thought mentally...
    Will probably boost him up the trail to the bubble?

  20. #40
    279.6 Miler (Tanyard Gap) CamelMan's Avatar
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    Maybe quitting will cause regret, and regret will create a burning desire. But if the desire can't be found, the desire can't be found. Maybe this is just not the time. I hope this person can find the self-direction and inner drive to do what they really want to do, whether it's to stay or to quit, rather than listening to the people around them, or doing what they think they're supposed to do.

    I don't see the point of continuing something that takes a lot of time and money just to avoid calling yourself a "quitter". You can use those resources to find something you really do like to do, maybe with more inherent social interaction. For example, I really like scuba diving, and there is no way to be lonely doing that. (You can still be cold and wet, though. It's just more temporary.)

    On the other hand, there's always time to change your mind and quit later.
    Last edited by CamelMan; 05-04-2016 at 12:56.

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