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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    The ATC does not recognize thru hikers-- at least not as a special classification.

    Rather, they acknowledge applicants who have walked the entire AT with the organization's "2000 Miler" recognition, regardless of how they hiked the Trail.

    They don't care if applicants did the AT as day hikers, or thru-hikers, or section hikers or slack packers or any combination of these.

    Sort of makes sense considering the ATC is first and foremost is a TRAIL organization and not a HIKING organization, right?

    The definition of what constitutes a "2000 Miler" is spelled out on their application form. It is thier award so they get to define it or change it anyway they so choose. They ATC can even require that hikers looking for the "2000 Miler" recognition sign a document attesting to having met their definition. And they do.

    The term "Thru Hiker" is different.

    Like many words in common usage, some will use them more "correctly" than others, but no one person or organization gets to set the definition-- we all do. English a living language -- does anyone think "gang banger" still means what it did 30 years ago?

    Same with "Thru Hiker". The meaning has changed over time (but not as much as some would think).

    Big deal.
    That ATC does define a Thru-Hiker: https://www.appalachiantrail.org/hom...ru-hiking/faqs"How does the ATC define thru-hiking?We define a thru-hike as a hike of the entire A.T. in 12 months or less."

    The 2000 Miler application also asks you to define your hike as a Section or Thru Hike. If a Thru Hike which type; NOBO, SOBO, Alternative (Flip-Flop).

    Even ATC's definition of a Thru has changed over the years as they now encourage alternative hikes to address overcrowding in the souther sections. They also use to say "one calendar year" but now say 12 months.


    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    That ATC does define a Thru-Hiker: https://www.appalachiantrail.org/hom...ru-hiking/faqs"How does the ATC define thru-hiking?We define a thru-hike as a hike of the entire A.T. in 12 months or less."


    The 2000 Miler application also asks you to define your hike as a Section or Thru Hike. If a Thru Hike which type; NOBO, SOBO, Alternative (Flip-Flop).

    Even ATC's definition of a Thru has changed over the years as they now encourage alternative hikes to address overcrowding in the souther sections. They also use to say "one calendar year" but now say 12 months.


    Thats all recordkeeping driven by escalating trail use though

    Not differentiated levels of recognition for achievement

    Which is where some confusion lies. Not the same.

    As far as Im aware, all certificates simply say congratulations for walking the whole thing, and the year completed with patch and 2000 miler rocker.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Thats all recordkeeping driven by escalating trail use though

    Not differentiated levels of recognition for achievement

    Which is where some confusion lies. Not the same.

    As far as Im aware, all certificates simply say congratulations for walking the whole thing, and the year completed with patch and 2000 miler rocker.
    We must be pursuing two separate sports. As Lone Wolf would say, it's just walking. Or it's just backpacking. Recognition for achievement? Certificates? Backpacking is about socks and water and maps and wool and food and spoons and trails and overnights. It has nothing to do with achievement-recognition or certificates. Leave that nonsense to the Fastest Known Time types.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWhiteWalker View Post
    Some of you are clearly missing my point and some of you will never understand my point unless you completed a thru hike. I am not trying to be mean but it is the truth. Thru hikers are a different breed with a far greater goal. So when you try to compare your thoughts/experience from your section hike to anything I am talking about, it is irrelevant. There was a reason why I posted this topic in the Thru Hiking Forum Section and not elsewhere.

    The point of my rant is to let former, current, and future thru hikers know about the excessive slack packing and section skipping that I witnessed (especially from young thru hikers) in the class of 2016. And how many of them would justify their actions by misusing the Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH) saying.

    If you cheated on your thru hike attempt and still called yourself a thru hiker, I look at you the same way a military person views stolen valor. You are a liar, cheater, and a fraud. HYOH does not apply! If you cheaters want to tag along with real thru hikers, like hundreds of you did, don’t claim to be a thru hiker to locals in town, day hikers, section hikers, your family, yourself, or to real thru hikers.

    Issue 1: Slack Packing – Yes, according to ATC, you are still considered thru hikers if you completed all the miles without skipping like I mention in my original post. Yes, some of you slack whackers did hike sections in the opposite direction to intentionally avoid large climbs up, you are pathetic for doing that. I highly doubt the ATC envisioned young able-bodied hikers abusing the slack packing when they wrote the requirements for thru hiking. Excessive slack packing by young able-bodied hikers is annoying for thru hikers to witness, not to mention you are lazy which I would bet this also mirrors your off trail life and work ethic. Maybe it is your parents fault, regardless I feel sorry for you. Did you ever wonder why the hostel owners/employees that push the slack packing option are often fat??

    Issue 2: Section Skipping – You are those lazy hikers that will justify your section skipping by your blue blazing and HYOH... you know who you are! You are NOT a thru hiker according to the ATC. Don’t even try to twist the ATC words or pull out the HYOH, you are NOT a thru hiker… so quit claiming to be one on the trail. If you want to call yourself a thru hiker, then hike the entire trail! Yes, all you lazy hikers that skipped the 10-mile hike into Baxter State Park and opted for the shuttle to Millinocket, which then shuttles you to the base of Katahdin, you are not thru hikers…. 1 of many examples of your cheating.

    Issue 3: HYOH – Hike Your Own Hike was intended for people who hike slow, fast, excessive zero days, no zero days, takes breaks every 30 minutes, never takes breaks, stops at every view, bypasses every view, doesn’t wear deodorant, always wears deodorant, etc. So please quit saying HYOH as a way to justify being a thru hiker.

    I could easily be a sheep and brainwash myself into believing the HYOH BS but my thru hike was such an awesome experience that I will not keep my mouth shut. Attempting and completing a thru hike of the AT is something very special that words cannot describe. It is not an easy feat for anyone, even for the best. When you have fellow hikers taking are shortcuts and also calling themselves thru hikers, it is insulting not only to current thru hikers but also to former thru hikers who have completed the trail. Saying nothing and buying into their HYOH is just enabling the lazy hiking culture. As these lazy thru hiker impostors would say… if you disagree with me, then please don’t comment and go HYOH!!



    HYOH is a more pleasant way of saying what it really truly means - "Mind your own ****ing business!!"

    slack packing has always been a thing by people of all ages - it's not new to 2016
    skipping sections big and small and still calling yourself a thru hiker has always been a thing it's not new to 2016.

    "Purists" - bitching about what others are doing and judging them has always been a thing. It's annoying and a waste of time. It's life - you live yours let others live yours. Comparing it to stolen valor is silly. It's not even close.


    It's normal to feel a little messed up about your experience compared to others when you get back. It took me a long time to get right with what I did and what it meant. It really doesn't matter what others did or say they did and what they tell themselves to get through the night. let it go and start planning your next hike.

    it's really only on the AT that people get so hung up about it - other long distance trails have their own issues which often means people are taking alternative routes.

    HYOY and get on with your life

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    We must be pursuing two separate sports. As Lone Wolf would say, it's just walking. Or it's just backpacking. Recognition for achievement? Certificates? Backpacking is about socks and water and maps and wool and food and spoons and trails and overnights. It has nothing to do with achievement-recognition or certificates. Leave that nonsense to the Fastest Known Time types.

    Bingo

    AT thru hiking, isnt really about backpacking for many
    In fact, many (most?) Never do hike again. One and done.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-05-2016 at 12:29.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby View Post
    "Purists" - bitching about what others are doing and judging them has always been a thing. It's annoying and a waste of time. It's life - you live yours let others live yours. Comparing it to stolen valor is silly. It's not even close.
    But I can see his point when recognition and certificates are involved---To say you've thruhiked the AT but actually did not, and to get such recognition when in fact you skipped sections and/or slackpacked. Disingenuous. Stolen valor? Mildly so.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    But I can see his point when recognition and certificates are involved---To say you've thruhiked the AT but actually did not, and to get such recognition when in fact you skipped sections and/or slackpacked. Disingenuous. Stolen valor? Mildly so.

    it's comparing a vacation to military service. One comes with much deserved benefits (because of serious personal risk and sacrifice) and in some cases preferential treatment with regard to institutional hiring practices. The other is a feather in one's cap. A great accomplishment true - but come on - stolen valor?

    Is it disingenuous - sure.

    I remember having similar feelings and thoughts when I finished my thru - hike. It's what you are faced with everyday for (in my case) 6 months. I hated Bill Bryson for years and refused to read his book. (FYI - I've since read it and liked it.)It took awhile before I could gain some perspective. Now that it's been a while and I've hiked a couple of other long distance trails - I realize it didn't/doesn't really matter. We all go to sleep and wake up alone. What some other person did or said they did that happened to be hiking the trail at the same time as me doesn't matter.

  8. #88
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    From the ATC info on applying for a 2000 miler certificate:

    Issues of sequence, direction, speed, length of time or whether one carries a pack are not considered.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    That ATC does define a Thru-Hiker: https://www.appalachiantrail.org/hom...ru-hiking/faqs"How does the ATC define thru-hiking?We define a thru-hike as a hike of the entire A.T. in 12 months or less."


    Actually they don't define "thru hiker"-- they define a thru-hike.

    But that is beside the point.

    The ATC owns (for lack of a better word) the 2000 Miler Award. As such they have the authority to define the requirements for it anyway they like. They spell those requirements out in writing an an application for all the thesupplicants to send in.

    That's all well and good-- the way it should be.

    The ATC is also welcome to define thru hiking any way they wish-- just as others are free to do so. The word is descriptive, not sacred. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    That simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Actually they don't define "thru hiker"-- they define a thru-hike.

    But that is beside the point.

    The ATC owns (for lack of a better word) the 2000 Miler Award. As such they have the authority to define the requirements for it anyway they like. They spell those requirements out in writing an an application for all the thesupplicants to send in.

    That's all well and good-- the way it should be.

    The ATC is also welcome to define thru hiking any way they wish-- just as others are free to do so. The word is descriptive, not sacred. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    That simple.
    Well then what would you call the person who completes a thru-hike? The ATC calls them a "Thru-Hiker". From the 2000 Mile application:
    "ATC policy is to operate on an honor system, assuming that, if you apply for 2,000-miler status, you have madean honest effort to walk the entire Trail—as a thru-hiker or in sections."
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  11. #91

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    The ATC doesn't give a rodent's patootie how a hiker accomplishes their 2000 miles. They don't give certs for thruhiking, but for completing. Pack, no pack, 2000+ days of 1 mile hikes, or sections strung together in a spirograph pattern. It all adds up to the same thing, and who's to judge.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    I love the 'biblical-like' legalism in this thread. Here is another:

    ATC assumes that those who apply have made an honest effort to walk the entire Trail, even if they did not walk past every white blaze.
    This differentiates one who has hiked the entire trail from the necessity to walk past every single blaze. So there certainly is wiggle room of an undefined amount. Between a 'honest effort' (the requirement), and a white blaze purest.

  13. #93
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    The biggest issue with slack packing is trusting your gear to someone else. I tried it once, only to give my aggravated LCL a rest, and my pack was damaged in transit which caused me a zero and losing my group trying to sort it out. I then had to hike 50 miles with a bent pack frame to get the replacement. Another hiker slackpacking with me had food stolen out of his pack. There were about 8 of us slackpacking Woody Gap to Neel Gap, and our packs were left out in front of Mountain Crossings on the sidewalk. The Wolfpen Gap Hostel told us they would be delivered to Mountain Crossings and stored inside where we would have to show ID to pick them up. Avoid that dump like the plague.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    I love the 'biblical-like' legalism in this thread. Here is another:



    This differentiates one who has hiked the entire trail from the necessity to walk past every single blaze. So there certainly is wiggle room of an undefined amount. Between a 'honest effort' (the requirement), and a white blaze purest.
    While I cannot prove it, I am convinced that the ATC made that update after it was observed in a contentious White Blaze debate that Earl Shaffer would not have qualified as a 2000 miler under their prior definition-- and some suggested (sarcastically, of course) that his name should be removed from the historical record.

    It was well known that before being accepted by the ATC as the first person to become a 2000 miler by the way of a thru hike, Earl freely shared with them that he missed some of the official trail in the Whites (but took blue blaze trails at least as long) because his maps did not arrive on time.

    The prior ATC written standard did not allow for even that kind of benign deviation.

    Or to put it another way, the ATC updated their definition to reflect common sense, and the "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck" standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post

    To second point: So true. Whenever I find myself on the AT during a backpacking trip I am amazed by these so-called "experts" HOLDING COURT at picnic tables by trail shelters. They invite questions from the drooling onlookers and "newbs" but never themselves ask any questions. They've been on the trail for 2 whole months and will now take your questions as they portray a cool trail weariness. It's laughable.

    One time I met such a fellow at Thomas Knob shelter by Mt Rogers and he went on and on about his trail experience. I managed to get in one question: "Have you ever camped in snow??" "No" was all he said. Scratch another expert off the list.
    I get a lot of crap for my comments that many "expert hikers" are not the experts they make themselves out to be, including some famous hikers. There are only a few hikers that I would consider as really knowing their stuff. The “experts” HOLDING COURT hikers that you are referring to in trail shelters, I see selling books, videos, talks, etc. Where it makes a different is it reflects the next year hikers. The hiking world has changed from when I did the bulk of my hiking. More money and less wilderness skills has been the answer by so many. It not my style of hiking but it the way the hiking community has turn towards.

    Wolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post

    To second point: So true. Whenever I find myself on the AT during a backpacking trip I am amazed by these so-called "experts" HOLDING COURT at picnic tables by trail shelters. They invite questions from the drooling onlookers and "newbs" but never themselves ask any questions. They've been on the trail for 2 whole months and will now take your questions as they portray a cool trail weariness. It's laughable.

    One time I met such a fellow at Thomas Knob shelter by Mt Rogers and he went on and on about his trail experience. I managed to get in one question: "Have you ever camped in snow??" "No" was all he said. Scratch another expert off the list.

    But at the same time, someone with 1 months experience, knows what works much better than probably 75% of newbs hitting springer. So.......

    I like to believe halfway intelligent folks can separate the wheat from the chaff for themselves. And blowhards can be comically entertaining sometimes as well.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-05-2016 at 23:24.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    I have thru hiked yet I think you may need a long hike to chill a bit. While I have never slack packed or yellow blazed I couldn't give a rats azz if others do a one, two skip a few 99, 100 approach to their hikeor hire a Sherpa to carry their pack. You keep throwing the term "abusing" around. Really? Do you think because you just walked 2000 miles that you are now the singular source of the truth on how one should hike?

    Finally, as to your comment "if you disagree with me, then please don't comment and go HYOH!!" This shows your immaturity. You are just looking for validation and are upset that everyone didn't hail you as a hiking sage.

    Mags, when you return we need you HMHDI post.
    Malto,

    It is easy to say HYOH and there is an large amount of truth to the phrase. It can also be extremely annoying when someone claiming to be something they are not and share their "expert knowledge". Some of them even go as far as write books, make videos, teach courses, etc. It is often the hikers that know their stuff, that are the ones who correct some of the non-sense out there. It is a little annoying when new hikers after new hikers ask the same question over and over again because some put out some general information.

    If someone has never hiked or camp in the White Mountains for example, how can they be expected to help someone hike the White Mountains. It is even worst when someone goes as far to claiming they have done them but really have never done them.

    Wolf

  18. #98
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    But at the same time, someone with 1 months experience, knows what works much better than probably 75% of newbs hitting springer. So.......

    I like to believe halfway intelligent folks can separate the wheat from the chaff for themselves. And blowhards can be comically entertaining sometimes as well.
    I would be so sure of that statement. There are many people who believe Bill Bryson's book on the AT is true.

    A little knowledge can also be dangerous. Do you think it would be a good idea if a Southbounder were to give advise on what equipment a Northbound hiker should start off with? Generally speaking, Southbounders start when the weather is warm, compare to Northbounders who start when the weather is cold.

    Wolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    I would be so sure of that statement. There are many people who believe Bill Bryson's book on the AT is true.

    A little knowledge can also be dangerous. Do you think it would be a good idea if a Southbounder were to give advise on what equipment a Northbound hiker should start off with? Generally speaking, Southbounders start when the weather is warm, compare to Northbounders who start when the weather is cold.

    Wolf
    I think...if people are intelligent enough to think a bit for themselves...and ask reasonable questions....and sift thru responses for those that make sense to them...then they will have no real problems.

    People getting flawed information, and going out and dieing, is somewhat of a hypothetical scenario.

    Yeah, theres some real idiots out there. In my experience, those are folks that dont ask questions, and even if given good advice, refuse to listen.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-06-2016 at 00:14.
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    At the risk of putting a target on my back, I'm glad I will never have to bushwalk with the OP as they are far too inflexible for me. They seemingly can't seem to wrap their head around the fact that everyone is different, everyone will be bushwalking the AT for different reasons, and have different expectations of both themselves and the trail. Some will never hike again and this will be one of their great adventures, some want to go past every white blaze, some want to get there the fastest, some will slack pack as much as possible, some will blue/aqua/yellow blaze, ( I hope there is someone that gets up earlier than me as I hate to silk blaze), some are coming just to walk on a different continent and meet different people and see different vegetation and animals (bears only at a distance please).

    What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. I'm no 'Expert' I just like to bushwalk my way and have done so on 4 continents and for 38 years, this will be my 5th. How I do the trail and how other people do it should not concern anyone but themselves. If they want to claim a bit of paper, so what, does it really lessen what you have done. I'm sure if some people had their way you'd get issued with a GPS monitor at the start and any deviations would have to be explained. The original poster well done on doing the trail your way, as for the rest of your waffle you've already had 14.59 seconds, too much of fame .

    Enjoy your bushwalking everyone, explore somewhere new, suck in those lungfuls of fresh air, smell a rose if you can find one, and above all have fun and be safe. If you hear a melodious aussie accent of a 50+ young man on the trail, please say hi, as meeting you is one of the many reasons I'll be on the trail.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

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