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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    05-26-2024
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    Default Any advice on calming the nerves of a nervous husband?????

    Hello again!
    Thank you all once again for your advice on trekking poles vs no trekking poles! I have another question. I'm hoping that someone will be able to give me some advice on how to ease the fears of a loved one. A bit of background: I grew up in Florida where the land is flat. Growing up, most of my time outside was in the shrubby bush where there was not a lot of elevation gain or rough terrain. Also, the wildlife in Florida is different and the biggest concerns are snakes and mosquitoes. In January of 2022, we had to move to Mississippi because of my husband's job. This move opened a lot of doors for me as far as places to hike--and I love it! I am a short drive to Alabama and Arkansas--both great places for hiking. Tennessee and Missouri are also close, but I haven't made it there yet.
    I have evolved my outdoorsman ship (is that a word???) since then and made a ton of mistakes the first time me and my son went camping in October of 2022. I have learned a lot and have since learned about leave no trace, learned about (and became certified in) wilderness first aid, learned how to pack the 10 essentials, and how to read blazes. I have also taught my 8 year old son theses things. And he has taught others. Last year, I asked for and received a Garmin In Reach mini for Christmas. I have been on a few overnights to multiple places, including the Sipsey Wilderness in Alabama. I haven't gone on longer trips because I work.
    Recently, I have planned to use some time off to finally start our first section hike of the AT with my son. We are extremely excited about this trip! As we have gotten closer, my husband has become more nervous. He is afraid of bears. He is afraid of me getting lost with Daniel. He is afraid of one of us falling and getting injured. He is afraid of us getting heat stroke. So now, he is insisting that he goes with us.
    The problem is, he doesn't really enjoy hiking and camping. He likes to relax. And that's fine, but I am afraid if he goes with us, he will make it miserable. He will carry his fears with us. Additionally, he is not in great shape and I worry that if he doesn't practice before the trip, he might have a health emergency. I believe that me and my son can do it, but I'm not so sure about him. If he could go and enjoy it, I would love for our family to be together. But if he doesn't enjoy it and he is not ready for it, I'd rather him not. If he doesn't go, he says that our son can't go. This would be devastating since this is our thing that we do together. I would hate to go without him, but I would also hate to miss this trip I want to go on so badly.
    How do I either convince my husband to let go of his fears and believe that I can keep me and Daniel safe or convince him to learn to enjoy it and to start seriously training for this trip?????
    Please any advice on this would be appreciated! Thank you!
    Best regards,
    Tasneem

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default

    One more thing: I come from flat land, but I also was able to climb The Incline in Colorado. My husband went with me and I was ahead of him

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    08-14-2015
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    Rome, Georgia
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    Well, my name is Daniel too. And I did the AT with my boys, beginning when they were young teens. And I worried about their safety because I was responsible for their welfare and what if any of 10,000 things happened?

    Then you get out on the trail and the fears evaporate, as you immediately discover that it's time to take a step, and then the next step, and each of these is manageable and there's no feeling of looming menace. You're aware of the possibility of snakes or lightning or bears or whatever, but it's no longer an overwhelming thing, just like when you drive on an interstate you know an accident is a remote possibility, so you pay attention and drive responsibly but you aren't paralyzed by fear.

    Have your husband watch some YouTube videos posted by female AT backpackers. "Sparrow on Sabbatical" is a 60-year-old woman doing the trail this year. I met her in Virginia and she's having a blast. Or try "Wildflower Adventures," a mom and her young daughter (maybe 12 years old), from Florida, now well into Virginia. They're 750 to 1000 miles into their trips, now, and you can see that they are at ease and enjoying the journey.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Default

    here's a mother and daughter that started at Springer. they're on day 77
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCThXgDqY2E&t=1120s

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Dan Roper's comments are perfect. He is exactly right. Fear fear fear, until you take that first step. Then you're busy with the task of walking, and you just take each hill, each turn, each challenge as it comes.

    My husband and I completed the AT in 2020. Since then we've been hiking here and there locally, not just sitting on the couch. Later this month we'll be taking our first steps on the PCT in Oregon. To listen to us, you'd think we are newbies! What if it's cold? What if it's hot? What if it rains? Is there still snow? I don't know if I can go that many miles, or carry that much food, ..... Truth is, once we get there, all this silliness goes away, and we'll be fine. If your schedule allows, take your husband on a shorter backpacking trip so he can see that you are capable, and the woods aren't full of bears. Maybe that will help him let go.

  6. #6

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    You may consider getting a SPOT LOCATOR or one of the other tracking devices on the market.
    You could send a message out to family and send up a Google tracking map so family members can follow you

  7. #7

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    Comfort people with what comforts them. In todays time that is electronics. Show him the guthooks app until he understands it completely. May wanna get a GPS tracker device so He can see real time where you are or where you notify him you are...

    Statistics are hard to argue with, especially stats that stack up against 1 million samples a year.....

    My latest and greatest method is to just not tell people I am gone, until I return!
    Then they didn't worry, I don't have to update them as I go, and there are lost expectations during the hike.
    Trail Miles: 5,154.2
    AT Map 1:
    ✔ | 13-21'
    Sheltowee Trace: ✔ | 20-23'
    Pinhoti Trail: ✔ | 23-24'
    Foothills Trail: ✔ | 24'
    GSMNP900: 134.7(17%)
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    CDT: 210.9
    BMT: 52.7

  8. #8

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    Take him to the Pinhoti in Alabama for a "shakedown" hike. Show him that you use Guthooks and know how to use your inreach. If he is afraid of bears, get a bear canister. Show him you are capable and give him a chance to try out his hiking/camping skills. Don't go in the summer, though. It's hot and muggy and there are long dry spells. October is nice.

    Charlotte

  9. #9

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    Bears: the biggest problem with black bears on the Appalachian trail is them stealing your food. They very very rarely attack anyone. Hang your food (PCT method) or use a bear canister. A little Googling will confirm the rarity of black bear attacks. You’re far more likely to be injured in a car accident.

    Getting Lost: the FarOut app for smart phones (formerly Guthook) will keep you from getting lost on the trail.

    Injuries: A Garmin InReach can be used to summon emergency services via satellite if necessary. It can also show your progress by recording gps locations at set intervals so your husband can see where you are on the internet. You can also send text messages.

    Take your husband on a multi day hike so he can see how competent you are, and he may also realize hiking isn’t for him.

  10. #10

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    Article that discusses how little there is to fear about black bears.

    https://bear.org/bear-facts/how-dang...%20to%20avoid.

  11. #11

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    Gummies? Or ‘shrooms?

  12. #12
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    If you have a Gramin InReach, I don't know why he has a problem...
    Bears are a non-issue so long as you properly protect the bears from your food. I've camped with my kids in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for YEARS (enough that my 2nd child became a member of the GSMNP 900 Miler Club before the age of 14), and we never has a serious issue with a bear... and bear density is much greater around GSMNP than near the start of the trail.

    My biggest concern would be the fact that you carry an InReach which can lead some people into a false sense of security and become willing to take on higher risk that perhaps they should. I've been taking my boys into the woods since they were each 7yo, and I've never taken an InReach type of device but instead concentrated on taking the responsibility of ensuring we don't take risk and do everything practical to keep ourself safe.

    Of course there's no way to guarantee anything, After all, in the time I've been taking my kids to the smokies, teenagers have been attacked by bears. But it's the type of thing that is so rare... after all, when that sort of thing happens, you become national news. When was the last time you went hiking and made national news?

    The only thing I can think to otherwise allay your husband's fears is that he should know wildlife isn't an issue. Any place you go to has wildlife that can be dangerous. You come from Florida as you KNOW gators are a thing and can be dangerous. Well bears are nothing more than hairy gators willing to live away from water.

  13. #13
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Bears are a non-issue so long as you properly protect the bears from your food. I've camped with my kids in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for YEARS (enough that my 2nd child became a member of the GSMNP 900 Miler Club before the age of 14), and we never has a serious issue with a bear... and bear density is much greater around GSMNP than near the start of the trail.
    The only thing I can think to otherwise allay your husband's fears is that he should know wildlife isn't an issue. Any place you go to has wildlife that can be dangerous. You come from Florida as you KNOW gators are a thing and can be dangerous. Well bears are nothing more than hairy gators willing to live away from water.
    Yep... bears are really a non-issue on the AT if you store your food properly. My worst animal encounters on the AT have involved unleashed dogs and rodents in AT shelters.

    Most people aren't aware of this, but it's been pretty well documented that the two most common causes of injury/death on the trail are hypothermia and falling.

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