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  1. #1
    Registered User tsw's Avatar
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    Question Any good info for family concerns ?

    Anyone know of any good videos, articles, books, ect that would be good to show friends and family that are worried I am going to get killed by a bear or a crazy person or die of starvation ?
    I tried to answer any questions or concerns they had but maybe hearing it from someone else would give them a little more peace of mind.

  2. #2
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I would simply have them look up real statistics for their concerns. Afterall a person stands a much better chance of meeting their demise simply driving to work everyday.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Or have them look up how people were killed, assaulted, raped etc on a Monday morning in New York, Chicago, Baltimore etc.
    They'll be like yeah go hiking.

  4. #4
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    Any one of the many books about thru hiking or section hiking the AT should alleviate their concerns.

  5. #5
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    You also don't mention where? Alot of variables with animal concerns and or other concerns depending upon what trails.

  6. #6

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    Perhaps to those who state their concerns, share yours of their perishing in a fiery auto accident going to the grocery store which has a far higher statistical probability of occurring than a bear, crazy person, brain eating bacteria from bad water. Sometimes the best way to reach someone with AT experience concerns is to give them something better to worry about.

  7. #7

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    Another thought. My family was fine with me hiking, when I went with other people. Wait....I met this person on an online forum, we are going hiking, and you are OK with that? I mean he could be an escaped convict or.....
    Anyway, when I declared I was going Solo...at a place with zero cell signals....major concern. I sprung for a Garmin device, figured it out, set up wife as the contact and used it to send some test messages to, along with location. She suddenly was just fine as she would know, generally, were I was on the trail.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  8. #8
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    My family feels the same. Does not matter what you tell them. They think you have lost your mind. LOL.

  9. #9
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    So much in life involves luck. Take lightning. You do what you can to reduce exposure in the wilderness yet even those who do not typically are fine. And then two days ago, three people died of a lightning strike in the middle of Washington DC, in Lafayette Park right next to the White House!

    Too many people are irrational afraid of wilderness and too oblivious to risks in day to day life. Over 30,000 people per year die in traffic accidents but it is mundane and no one thinks about it. But one bear incident on the AT world make news.

  10. #10
    Registered User NY HIKER 50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsw View Post
    Anyone know of any good videos, articles, books, ect that would be good to show friends and family that are worried I am going to get killed by a bear or a crazy person or die of starvation ?
    I tried to answer any questions or concerns they had but maybe hearing it from someone else would give them a little more peace of mind.
    I had someone like that. They stayed home and told me the same thing. Bears are shy and only want your food. You won't die of starvation. I've done the trail between NH and TN. There were a few problems with water at times. Leave that kind at home or you'll never see the outside of your house. Don't let them discourage you. And above all, you can always stealth since only in movies does the monster find you.

  11. #11

  12. #12

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    Have the family look into a SPOT or similiar locater devices. you could send them messages and they can plot you on google maps

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    While trying to figure this out, count yourself lucky that someone cares what happens to you.

  14. #14
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    While trying to figure this out, count yourself lucky that someone cares what happens to you.
    This ^ this^ this^

    Which not everyone has, present company included.

  15. #15

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    I think Dixie of homemade wanderlust had a video about her family concerns and how to deal with it.

  16. #16
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    Option 1: Tell them that in the eastern US, about one person is killed by a bear every 20 years vs one every 20 seconds in car accidents. By getting off the road, you are much safer.

    Option 2: Don't give a rat's a$$ about what you family thinks a d get better friends.

  17. #17
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    InReach is useful for staying in touch while out of cell range. Indeed it is nice to have people who care about what happens to you. It’s just that most fears about backpacking are irrational.

  18. #18
    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
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    "Not Without Peril" by Nicholas Howe
    Give me a mile of trail and I can show you the forest. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
    Long Trail Completed 2021.

  19. #19
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I would simply have them look up real statistics for their concerns. Afterall a person stands a much better chance of meeting their demise simply driving to work everyday.
    Agreed with this. We all have a tendency to have untested perceptions that would seem to be factual but aren't. Ask your family to test theirs. Its a fact that bears live in the same woods you would be hiking/camping in, but consider the numbers of people doing the same and then look for the facts on issues with bears. There almost no real incidents involving injury to humans, and most of those few instances are in camps where there is consistently poor food/garbage management, not on the AT. The only exception I can think of is in the Smokies, and even then its rare.

    There is an occasional crazy guy out there and that is much more random, and if you think about it, no more random than what you're around every day out and about around home and work. You know, part of what I like about the AT is that its a bit of a hiker boulevard in terms of numbers of people that you'll see and proximity to roads. Its still real wilderness hiking, but not like some wildernesses that are truly remote. This means if something happens to you, you're likely to be found by someone and assisted to get attention. Yeah, access cuts both ways, but hikers do look out for each other. And the truth is you're never really that far from a road and a ride into town, so its possible that you could get real hungry, but you're not going to starve.

    Other than this forum, with the experience of those here that have hiked for years without issue, and without having heard of anybody else having issues, you can have them read trail journals. They'll find them pretty boring, and they'll see a distinct lack of wildlife mentioned, because its mostly not there. Yeah, they live there, but you're a stinky-axx hiker whom they really don't want to be around if you don't otherwise give them reason to.
    "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

  20. #20
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsw View Post
    Anyone know of any good videos, articles, books, ect that would be good to show friends and family that are worried I am going to get killed by a bear or a crazy person or die of starvation ?
    I tried to answer any questions or concerns they had but maybe hearing it from someone else would give them a little more peace of mind.
    Does anyone's advice help? And what would you do?
    Why not encourage said concerned persons to go with you one time, you know sit around a camp fire and tell stories. Good times!

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