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  1. #21

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    Complete the following sentence:

    They (pick one)

    Are using cell phones
    Are being loud after 8 pm
    Have a dog
    Slack pack
    Have a cat
    Are Blue blazing
    Are eating food with crinkly wrappers
    Smoke cigarettes
    Listen to headphones
    Walk too slowly
    Eat in the middle of the trail
    Wear shorts
    Wear a bear bell
    Are not very attractive to look at

    .... and ruin the AT hike experience for everyone as a result.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Complete the following sentence:

    They (pick one)

    Are using cell phones
    Are being loud after 8 pm
    Have a dog
    Slack pack
    Have a cat
    Are Blue blazing
    Are eating food with crinkly wrappers
    Smoke cigarettes
    Listen to headphones
    Walk too slowly
    Eat in the middle of the trail
    Wear shorts
    Wear a bear bell
    Are not very attractive to look at

    .... and ruin the AT hike experience for everyone as a result.
    Funniest thing I read all day

  3. #23
    Registered User SkraM's Avatar
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    Congratulations on finishing your thru-hike. Slack packing is just another way to experience the AT.
    Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying "Comparison is the thief of joy". Don't let the hiking techniques of others spoil your memories.
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." John Muir

  4. #24
    Registered User linus72's Avatar
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    i think the ATC really just calls you a 2,000-miler,period. doesn't matter to them how long it takes. I'm a long-ass-section hiker because of work and parenting. so i go as many weekends a year as i can for short sections. it will take me another 10-20 years (will make up some when my kids are older and i can take weeks off at a time to hike) and i love every minute of it and i will be just as proud when i finish. in fact, section hikers have tons more logistics to work out with so many more dates and schedules to work around. and we lose our hiking legs in between every hike. so i don't think we have any less to be proud of than a thru hiker. and I think if people take a few alternate blazes on a 2189 mile hike, they're still a 2000 miler. the only negative thing i think of some of the younger hikers i've met out there is there are many of those that don't practice leave no trace ie leave trash / tp along the trail and are setting up tents in the shelter. they have the attitude that i don't live here, ill never be back here, and ill never see these people again. that's the arrogant and entitled behavior mentioned here that i think is the most problematic, including to the ATC. otherwise, respect the trail and the other hikers, and cover that 2189 or a little shy of it however you want to and need to.
    Doin' the trail one section at a time
    You can read about my adventures at
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  5. #25
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    I moved to Gorham NH in 1987 and since I have been there many thru hikers of all ages slack the wildcats and the carters. A very large number of AT thru hikers begin or end their hike by borrowing a pack at KSC campground to climb Katahdin and have done so for year. They are slackpacking.

    Skipping sections is another story, if someone skips a section or blue blazes they aren't a thru hiker unless they had to blue blaze as the AT was closed or dangerous. I happened to section through Georgia and southern NC after a small hurricane came into Franklin NC and caused a lot of damage to the AT and the local national forest. The national forest roads in the area were posted closed, individuals entering the area will be arrested. We had the option to head down to Georgia for the week but when we came back we asked the forest service and they would not allow us in the Standing Indian area as the roads were washed out. We were allowed to take the blue blaze trails that bypasses the loop. Per the AT rules we were legal as the trail was closed. We did come back the next year and did it anyhow but didn't have to. Hurricane Irene in 2011 destroyed much of VT and part of Western NH. The ATC didn't even post a blue blaze, they just declared the trail through the area closed and a legal through hike that year skipped the damaged section. This was in place for several weeks. Perhaps some folks came back and filled the section in but they didn't have to.

  6. #26
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OkeefenokeeJoe View Post
    That, sir, is an understatement. Add ignorant and entitled and you have a more accurate representation.

    OkeefenokeeJoe
    What else did you expect when they were raised by the baby boomers.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #27
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWhiteWalker View Post
    So for all the current and previous thru hikers who carried their own gear up and down the mountains, I want you to know that a large percentage of the record number of thru hikers that complete the AT this year are cheaters and lazy young slack packers.
    How is that possible?

    Don't hikers have to sign a piece of paper stating that they made and honest effort to hike the entire trail?

    Perhaps the hikers you saw were simply hiking he Trail on thier own terms, and not interested in such a formal recognition from the ATC -- or from fellow hikers who think like you who took a different approach.

  8. #28
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I too have a sense of "my feet will carry me and my pack every inch of this trail" thing in my head. I'm stubborn I guess, judge me if you will. Probably why I'm not picking up where I left off last year on my thru attempt and I'm starting completely over next year (yes that's a thing now about 98% official (not FB worthy yet)) But that's just me. I don't hold it against anyone who's out there having a great time doing it a little different than I do. If you wanna slack pack (or not), go for it! Just have fun, isn't that what it's all about anyway?
    - Trail name: Thumper

  9. #29
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  10. #30
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    Hike your own hike, it´s really just that simple. My wife and I enjoy team slacking. I drive her to the southerly trail head, then park the car at the northerly trail head and hike south to meet her for lunch, or to camp together overnight depending on the length of the section. When she reaches the car she drives south to pick me up and we then drive to the next section or double section.
    We both hit every foot of the trail, just in different directions and sometimes without full pack. When we complete our journey to Katahdin I think we will be just as proud of ourselves as you are proud of yourself, and i think we have all earned the title thru hiker.
    Just because we didn´t carry our 30 pounds every inch of the way does not detract from our accomplishment. To each his own, and hike your own hike. Be thankful the rest of us are out here with you putting in the miles, regardless of our age.
    Be proud of your accomplishment and congratulations on your achievement, you´ve earned a special spot in the 2000 mile club and a special right to be called thru hiker.

  11. #31
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    Every year I hear a few hikers explain that the "2000 miler" certificate is so named because the ATC allows you to skip 189 miles and still be considered a thruhiker.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

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  12. #32
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    brother I agree 110% with you

    slackpacking has become the 'thing'

    I just returned from a section hike in MA and VT

    met a lot of young SoBo thrus who talked like slacking was the accepted and normal way to hike the AT

    the emphasis today seems to be more on doing mega daily miles, and finishing the trail as soon as possible

    yellow blazing & slackpacking are becoming more accepted

    think about it.... a lot of that goes on in normal life these days

    short-cuts & slackpacking

  13. #33
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    The AT 2000 miler certificate is strictly a congratulatory certificate by ATC of a self substantiated statement by an individual. If someone is so hard up or delusional that they want to lie about the entire hike, ATC will gladly send them a certificate. If someone wants to lie to themselves and others that they are 2000 miler that's their choice. I didn't sign a register at Springer or at KSC and yet I know I did the entire trail.

    I do chuckle about the purist whiteblazers early on in thru hike. I met a lot of them over the years down south. I meet far fewer up in the whites. Several of the nicer above treeline summits in the whites are on blue blazes as the AT is routed to minimize weather exposure (if possible) along the summit ridge. Sure there may be some folks who go around the summits to stick to the AT and some go up and back via the same blue blaze, but far more seem to come up one blue blaze and go down the other effectively skipping a section of the AT. I also expect they consider themselves a thru hiker. HYOH

  14. #34
    Registered User jbbweeks's Avatar
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    WOW - I just hike! I like to do it - that's it - that's all of it - the only rules are the rules you learned from your mother - don't be a slob - cleanup your mess - keep your mouth shut - if you don't like someone don't play with them - don't lie -don't steal - don't be mean - if you see someone that needs help then help them -- smile - now go play and have fun and don't get in trouble or you'll lose your bike for a week! When was the last time you took a bath? Nothing else matters!


    Tapatalk

  15. #35
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    I'm a section hiker. My kids sometimes hike with me for day hikes and at times, they've been slackpackers. Definitely adding to their mileage but the littlest? He's done a boatload of miles with someone else carrying his stuff. Maybe those miles shouldn't count towards his 2,000. And when the oldest was a baby, we covered miles with her--in a backpack on my husband's back. Does that count towards her miles? Or does that count as double mileage for my husband? At times, I've covered the same section of trail during different seasons. How does this count towards my overall trail mileage? I think I need a Frequent Hiker Card....
    When I was in college, I backpacked through Eastern and Central Europe and the Middle East. This was before cell phones--my folks had no way of getting in touch with me, and at one point, I was detained at a border crossing. Not having access to a cell phone made this predicament extremely harrowing. Long story short, I survived and made it out. These days, all you need is a cell phone and an internet connection and you're ready for almost any situation. This doesn't make those folks trekking across Europe these days any less legitimate because they're "cheating" by using technology, or by booking reservations on trains in their hostels or campsites the night before they plan to travel on. It's just a different experience.
    I've been privileged to meet many thru hikers on the AT as they've made it to NY. Some had more stuff; some less. Some had dogs, some had trekking poles, some walked on their own, and others walked in groups. Whether a person has a pack or not or if someone skips some miles for whatever reason (perhaps some had covered other sections previously, or plan to do them in the future) doesn't make a thru hike any less legitimate.
    I love hiking, I love the AT, and I've always felt that the woods is a judgement free zone. It's where many of us go to be free of the stress and competition that defines our daily lives.
    You do your thing and be proud of your accomplishments. Don't worry about the person a day ahead of you--it doesn't negate your accomplishments in any way.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Complete the following sentence:

    They (pick one)

    Are using cell phones
    Are being loud after 8 pm
    Have a dog
    Slack pack
    Have a cat
    Are Blue blazing
    Are eating food with crinkly wrappers
    Smoke cigarettes
    Listen to headphones
    Walk too slowly
    Eat in the middle of the trail
    Wear shorts
    Wear a bear bell
    Are not very attractive to look at

    .... and ruin the AT hike experience for everyone as a result.
    do not forget:

    smell even worse than me
    pick their nose
    pick their ass
    bite their toenails

  17. #37

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    Somebody should tell Warren Doyle he's doing it wrong.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    Who are you "competing" against? If you are not "competing", then you would not be complaining about how others hike the AT and whether or not they call themselves "thru hikers". There's no medal, no award, no plaque for completing the AT. The accomplishment is inside of you for getting it done.
    Not exactly. As I understand it, the ATC recognizes thru-hikers, and that accomplishment has some social currency. If the sense of accomplishment were purely internal, there would be no point in ever claiming to have thru-hiked the AT.

    Those who falsely claim it (including those who add their own exceptions to the ATC definition) devalue the currency. It is human nature to be bothered by such things. Nothing wrong with trying to uphold a defined standard. OTOH, perhaps the ATC should get out of the business of recognizing people who self-certify the accomplishment. Imagine if colleges/universities did the same.

    I wrote more, but lost it due to automatic logout. I wish I had time to re-create it, but I need to get back to my dissertation for my third Ph.D.

  19. #39
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    I tried slack packing for the first time this year. I was re-hiking from Harper's Ferry to Duncannon with a friend. I had already done this section about 10 years ago. When the opportunity arose to slack pack for a couple of days, no charge, I decided to try it. It was different, and reasonably nice. I can see where it would be tempting if you were coming off an injury. That said, I will not be going out of my way to do it again.

    A large part of the backpacking experience for me is to know that I am self-sufficient, that I can hike in any direction I want, for as long as I want, and be completely comfortable and safe. Gives me a feeling of tremendous freedom. It's been that way since my first backpacking trip in the late 1970s. In other words, I like having all my gear with me. Slack packing means you are no longer self-sufficient and you MUST make your planned destination. For me it takes away from the feelings that I like.
    Last edited by Lyle; 09-03-2016 at 10:58.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjozgrunt View Post
    OK seems HYOH only means if someone else approves of it, seems like a common problem with life in general these days.
    Not true! HYOH is being abused and used incorrectly. Quick example... I met a "thru hiker" who admitted skipping 110 miles of trail because he had to get off trail for a couple days and wanted to rejoin his friends. I asked him if he plans on doing that 110 miles he skipped and he said no because he heard it was a boring section. He told me he still considers himself a thru hiker and justified it by using the HYOH.

    That is a very common example. I will say that 110 miles was on the higher end, most "thru hikers" that were skipping sections were more in the 20-60 mile range. Most of them will justify their blue blazing for the miles they skipped and pull out the HYOH to make themselves feel better.

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