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  1. #41
    Registered User Carl7's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Hillbillyhanger;2250273 Now, how does slack packing integrate into the definition of a thru hike....[/QUOTE]

    Well played...as the game continues.

  2. #42
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    This is why I love Whiteblaze!
    "Whoever said nothing is impossible has never tried to nail jelly to a tree." John Candy

  3. #43

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    Bottom Line....Hike Your Own Hike. Don't fall in to the trap of what other's think.
    Full transparency, I'm happy to be a Section Hiker working My Way North.

  4. #44
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wishbone View Post
    Bottom Line....Hike Your Own Hike. Don't fall in to the trap of what other's think.
    This. It's all words.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  5. #45
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillyhanger View Post
    The debate about the term implies that one has accomplished something that the other hasn't. They've both walked the same distance. One was just privileged to have a time window to do it one trip. The other had to fight, claw, and scratch to find many windows of time to complete the journey. I think of them all as AT hikers. Then again, I just dont like labeling or putting people in boxes.
    Couldn't agree more regarding putting labels on folks. I think the ATC got it right making it a 2000-miler designation, irregardless of the "thru hike" specification. And regarding slack packing, isn't that what the record holders are? Got no problem with it.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  6. #46
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    Couldn't agree more regarding putting labels on folks. I think the ATC got it right making it a 2000-miler designation, irregardless of the "thru hike" specification. And regarding slack packing, isn't that what the record holders are? Got no problem with it.
    Etymology still matters, right?

    Nothing wrong with a community adopting new meanings for a word (think gangbanger) but worthwhile to ponder how, when and why the long-standing original definition evolved — or if it really has.

    The “term “2000-Miler” is special, in that it is commonly understood to be a specific award/recognition conferred by the ATC, which as such, that they alone can define however they wish.

  7. #47
    Furlough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillyhanger View Post
    A walk in the woods is a walk in the woods. Now, how does slack packing integrate into the definition of a thru hike....
    ....and by some folks interpretation in this thread, if as an example you are NOBO, stay at a hostel, get a shuttle north, slack pack back south, you are no longer a thru-hiker.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  8. #48

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    To further complicate this perpetual minutiae, on a philosophical level, one can only be a "thru hiker" after the hike has completed. One can say they are attempting a thru hike, but cannot say they are a thru hiker without having finished, much as someone cannot say they have read Moby Dick as they are reading it.

  9. #49
    John B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    ....and by some folks interpretation in this thread, if as an example you are NOBO, stay at a hostel, get a shuttle north, slack pack back south, you are no longer a thru-hiker.
    Since we both joined WB about the same time, you may recall that Back in the Day there was a lot of discussion about slack packing, which was often equated with "walking", versus "hiking," which meant carrying a pack with the three essentials. Quite a few argued that a person who slack packed the AT wasn't a thru hiker because they were walking instead of hiking.

  10. #50
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    To further complicate this perpetual minutiae, on a philosophical level, one can only be a "thru hiker" after the hike has completed. One can say they are attempting a thru hike, but cannot say they are a thru hiker without having finished, much as someone cannot say they have read Moby Dick as they are reading it.
    But "hiker" is an action word.
    So to be a "thru hiker" should imply you are attempting a "thru hike" (i.e. reading a book), and once completed, you could say you have "thru hiked" the AT (read the book).

  11. #51
    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    Maybe the “best” thru hiker is a nobo who completed in one continuous hike, no zeros off trail, no yellow blazing or blue blazing or pink blazing. They are also ultra light and had no injuries. They look dashing in hiking togs. But are the others not also thru hikers if they completed within the year as described by the powers that be, the Appalachian trail conservancy? Are the people who hiked but didn’t meet this criteria not hikers.My respect to all who have finished the AT, and all who do their best hiking in whichever way they can, and who enjoy nature and the satisfaction that being outdoors gives them.

    This is debate seems to be divisive, not positive, and seems to want to judge personal abilities with the intent of declaring “I’m better then you”. Let it go. HYOH. Help your fellow hiker when you can and graciously accept the help of others. That’s what makes the AT and the hiker community so great

    why by am I even writing this drivel? Just this morning I was out on a local trail with my dog. When I look back on my day in the evening, my walk is almost always my high point. Best to you all.
    Last edited by kestral; 06-29-2019 at 21:12. Reason: Uhg

  12. #52
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    To say that the subject is divisive is one thing, to say that this debate is divisive is a way of shutting down discussion. IMO discussion is always good, even if there is some collateral damage.

    Agreed that you are a thru-hiker if making an attempt. If the attempt fails, you didn't thru hike. You're not a thru hiker once you're off the trail, completed or not. You're simply one that has done a thru hike if completed, or a 2000-miler if you prefer that.

    But again, I don't like putting labels on anyone, but would pretty much accept any label one puts on themselves with very few exceptions.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  13. #53
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    A smart person understands that words can carry meaning whether or not one agrees to the legitimacy of the definition. Also, a person of integrity doesn't want to be dishonest and thus wants to avoid gross negligence in being up to date in common understandings of a word's meanings.

    Some extreme purists may insist that thru-hiking has to be continuous and one-way. Although defensible, it is not that commonly held.

    So if you started in Georgia, walked north, took one week off in July to attend a wedding, returned to the same point and resumed walking north with the intent to finish at Katahdin you need to decide what words you will use in conversation. If you hike 2200 miles, your intent WILL come up in conversation and unless you intend on being a total hermit, you WILL have to choose what words you use. This is not intended to judge anything superior to anything else. Close family members know your precise details. But you will cross paths with many people and strike up conversations with some. There are some on the forum here who would not call you a thru-hiker. Most would. So what do you do are in a brief conversation in a hostel and another hiker asks if you are thru-hiking?

    You could respond: "It's all walking". That might seem kind of off-putting. If you want to avoid being unfriendly, this might be hard to pull off with this kind of answer.

    You could respond: "No". For a person of integrity this might feel dishonest and it is going to seem dishonest to almost anyone who spends more time with you and learns more details. At the very least, this is highly misleading. And likely you are going to fit more in the company of other "thru-hikers" than you would weekenders or section hikers.

    You could respond: "No, I did a long section hike to Damascus, took a week off, returned to Damascus and resumed walking up until this point and intend to reach Maine by the end of the hiking season." This paints a clear picture, but most of which the person probably didn't care about when making light conversation. (If you see me on the trail, please don't answer this way).

    You could respond: "Yes". There might be some purist that consider this to be the wrong answer, but even those purist would likely be smart enough that your "yes" leaves open the chance you are not trying to claim you are meeting their purest requirements. Some purist may disagree with your choice of words, but they are not so likely to be misled by them.

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