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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    The reasons for stopping include being cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, lonely, bored, injured, broke, not being what they expected it to be, sick of rain/snow/drought, disgusted with being filthy, etc.
    You are correct, however other than the injury one, those are the reasons I like LD hiking. Once you find out you can be all those things and still be happy, life is a lot better.

  2. #42
    Section Hiking Knucklehead Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    ........you guys make me feel bad for not being able to do amazing things that earn me bragging rights.
    I hate to break it to ya, but if you're in this for bragging rights, you may want to do some soul searching long before you start your thru.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  3. #43
    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    lol, i'm not, what i meant was that you guys r so awesome, that i wish i could do some of the stuff that you do.
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  4. #44
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    David just keeping learning, reading good books, studying, make the grades, honor Mom and Dad and hike when you can...you're gonna do just fine and do even greater things. Glad you're on here.


    P.S. That's my son with me on our hike on my avatar - we did the whole AT. He was 16 (turned 17 in Maine)







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  5. #45
    Section Hiking Knucklehead Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    lol, i'm not, what i meant was that you guys r so awesome, that i wish i could do some of the stuff that you do.
    You're here and that's a good start. You'll stand out from the video-game generation you're a part of. No one here's awesome, some are just more determined than others.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  6. #46
    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    yes, well... I am in awe of the dedication of these determined hikers, so their dedication is worthy of awe, but we all should be looked upon with equal respect (unless proven useless and banned)
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  7. #47
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    I agree. Much of life is about attitude. The most effective thing a person can bring to any under taking is a "good attitude." I don't mean some goofy, sweet bull crap attitude. I mean a purposeful, can do, positive, make it happen attitude.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doctari View Post
    Just last year I saw a section hiker that did nearly that, she didn't go to Wall Mart, she went to her parents basement & got her Brother's Boy Scout gear. Was on the trail the next week. She did NO research other than to find a trailhead (Damascus). Last time I saw her she was in Atkins having the time of her life.
    So, sorry to say: but the "Wall Mart hikers" are not more (or less) likely to finish than anyone else. Yes, she did change some gear on the trail, but after the first week or so it's almost all attitude, she had a good attitude / mind set.

    I have also seen "Well prepared hikers" (Patagonia hikers?) who didn't make it past the 100 mile mark, , , and NOT due to gear failure, but to a "Bad attitude".

    Maybe White Blaze can help with gear and attitude, but if it isn't in YOU, there is nothing anyone else can say or do to make it work for you.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    lol, i'm not, what i meant was that you guys r so awesome, that i wish i could do some of the stuff that you do.
    You can and you will. Maybe you already are. You have so much free time as a young person. Maybe you can spend some of it doing a section hike or something.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  9. #49
    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    distance is key, to get a key, i need to have a permit, when i have a key, i can go distance.
    -David
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  10. #50
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnycat View Post
    I plan every hike with the expectation that I am going to be completely miserable, with tons of bugs, vicious bears, freezing rain, and drunks at every campsite.

    When I get out on the trail it turns out to be paradise, and the little things never compare to what I psych myself out to expect them to be.

    Works for me!
    Jonnycat,

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Prepare for the worst and the rest will take care of itself. That's what we did in the fire service and it carried us through many a rough time. It is, however, a hard concept to understand that someone would just be reading the paper one day and say, "Oh, by the way, I'm leaving to thru-hike the AT tomorrow", then get up, go to Wally World and buy all the equipment they need in one fell swoop. I think that is setting yourself up for failure. There are exceptions to the rule and for some folks it may be that simple. For me, I will absorb all the knowledge I can get prior to beginning my attempt in 4-5 years, including several multi-night hikes. But no matter what one does, there's always going to be curveballs thrown your way. But bottom line, there is no right or wrong way, only your way. 'Nuff said.

  11. #51
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    pffff come on guys, you aint something special....like i've been told so many times; it's just walking, you guys aint nothin special!! if you feel it thru your body then you might be a little different but you aint better than the rest!! everybody feels like they can conquer the world thru a thru hike but what do they really have???? everytime you think that you can do it; the chances are you can't!!! alot of you guys can't even get thru the average day life; hence the reason you feel you need to walk!! what ever it seems it's not!! there are plenty of challenges in life that will push you to the limits, dont expect that you will solve all your problems walking thru the woods!!

    i hate to be the bearer of bad news but you just aint cut out for it!! why?? well the thing is, is that most people really dont like the idea of being different! it sounds great but when it comes down to it everyone just wants to be like everyone else; dreams are wonderful, but what do they really mean?? it doesn;t really matter how you look at the situatuion you still can't see what is the truth! Why? because the truth hurts!!! there aint nobody who really likes the truth put in front of them!!!! walk all you want but you're not going to get any further then you would if you really knew who you were!! i'm just saying that play all the games that you want; if you know that you can compete, then all the power to you! for those that try and can't; well i'm sure there are other things you can entertain yourself with! Dont think for one minute that anybody that can walk is better than anyone that can't; just think about everybody that has the opportunity!!


    the lick of life is all we have, dont feel that you are more entileted than me!!

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    There is no true, scientific way of accurately predicting who will finish a thru-hike and who won't. Gear actually has less to do with it than you'd probably think. Grandma Gatewood completed the trail in Keds sneakers, slept in a wool army blanket at night, a raincoat and carried it all in a homemade bag carried over her shoulder. Earl Shaffer hiked the trail in worn boots, an army rucksack and didn't carry a stove or a tent. The point is that thru-hiking is a lot less about expensive, status symbol gear than it is about heart, drive, determination, attitude and perseverance. Those 5 things you can't get at any outfitter, with any label or at any price. Either you have them or you don't.
    Grandma Gatewood :On one of her hikes, at least, she used a shower curtain as a raincoat and protection while sleeping (she did take advantage [in a nice way] of the kindness of strangers and slept in houses, garages, sheds, etc. as well as shelters along the trail.
    Earl Shaffer: He never hiked in socks. He poured vegetable oil inside his boots, rubbed it in, and put them on his bare feet.
    Just a couple of interesting factoids.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSy BaSS View Post
    pffff come on guys, you aint something special....like i've been told so many times; it's just walking, you guys aint nothin special!! if you feel it thru your body then you might be a little different but you aint better than the rest!! everybody feels like they can conquer the world thru a thru hike but what do they really have???? everytime you think that you can do it; the chances are you can't!!! alot of you guys can't even get thru the average day life; hence the reason you feel you need to walk!! what ever it seems it's not!! there are plenty of challenges in life that will push you to the limits, dont expect that you will solve all your problems walking thru the woods!!

    i hate to be the bearer of bad news but you just aint cut out for it!! why?? well the thing is, is that most people really dont like the idea of being different! it sounds great but when it comes down to it everyone just wants to be like everyone else; dreams are wonderful, but what do they really mean?? it doesn;t really matter how you look at the situatuion you still can't see what is the truth! Why? because the truth hurts!!! there aint nobody who really likes the truth put in front of them!!!! walk all you want but you're not going to get any further then you would if you really knew who you were!! i'm just saying that play all the games that you want; if you know that you can compete, then all the power to you! for those that try and can't; well i'm sure there are other things you can entertain yourself with! Dont think for one minute that anybody that can walk is better than anyone that can't; just think about everybody that has the opportunity!!


    the lick of life is all we have, dont feel that you are more entileted than me!!
    Is this guy for real? If so, who the hell does he think he is? I've heard some real wack-os in my life, but he definitely is near the top. Fella, I'll assume you're making comments out of sheer ignorance. I don't believe hardly anyone thinks they are better than anyone else. People walk/hike because they want to prove something to themselves, not anyone else. And as to being able to cut it in real life, I've already done that 3 times over. Thru-hikers are not out to conquer the world, just see more of it. And anyone who doesn't succeed isn't a failure. Why don't you get off your fat rear in your yatch and do something for once? Nobody really gives a horse's patootie what you think anyway. Better still, why don't you stick your johnson out there and let the sharks have it?
    (Note to mods: sorry about the outburst, but I hear enough idiots in my life that sometimes I just go off. My apologies!)

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxury Bullseye View Post
    A real man.

    But seriously, I think it's likely that online info can only help most people. Which scenario is more likely:

    1) The new over-researched hiker who bought into ultra-light philosophy without the skills to hack it and drops out.

    2) The new under-researched hiker who starts with a 65+ pounds of gear in a expedition-sized pack and drops out.

    I'm betting 2 has always been more common. And for every instance of 1, there's a dozen success stories of people getting informed, taking the middle path, and having that aid be a part of their successful through.
    I agree with all of the above statements. A Whiteblaze hiker is probably more likely to complete the trail because they will be less likely to make certain gear mistakes... such as starting with 65+ pounds of car camping equipment. Some of these folks will tough it out, others buy new gear at Neels Gap, but many others just go home.

    This may only affect a small percentage of hikers, but it's definitely something.

    Over the years, I'd say that Whiteblaze has been directly responsible for a great deal of successful thru-hikes
    My Web Site: Parkaymaps

  15. #55
    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    that was one part of what i was asking for... i wasnt looking for someone to say that people make it on thier own or that i'm not going to finish just bcuz im sittin on whiteblaze (its true though. if i sit here, ill never get a hike. if i get up, ill b able 2 hike atleast a little.)
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  16. #56
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    i'm not really quite sure that my above post came out the right way! i admire all thru hikers and believe they are a tenacious and courageous breed! i only hope to be half as tough as most of the people walking along the trails! now in regards to my earlier post; i think what i was trying to say is that anybody that that thinks they can read a whole lot of information and think they can do it, can't! i think i was trying to get across is that there is a special breed of people out there that don't even realise what it is about them, that they can complete anything they set their minds to. they dont know what it is in side them they just feel it. what i said earlier wasn't out of ignorance it was just wrongly expressed and i do apologise for getting such a rise. next time i've had a few too many, i'll try and chose to keep my mouth zipped up!

    sorry Gramps........ but do you mind if i keep my johnson away from the pointy end

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    You're here and that's a good start. You'll stand out from the video-game generation you're a part of. No one here's awesome, some are just more determined than others.
    I'm awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by PSy BaSS View Post
    pffff come on guys, you aint something special....like i've been told so many times; it's just walking, you guys aint nothin special!! if you feel it thru your body then you might be a little different but you aint better than the rest!! everybody feels like they can conquer the world thru a thru hike but what do they really have???? everytime you think that you can do it; the chances are you can't!!! alot of you guys can't even get thru the average day life; hence the reason you feel you need to walk!! what ever it seems it's not!! there are plenty of challenges in life that will push you to the limits, dont expect that you will solve all your problems walking thru the woods!!

    i hate to be the bearer of bad news but you just aint cut out for it!! why?? well the thing is, is that most people really dont like the idea of being different! it sounds great but when it comes down to it everyone just wants to be like everyone else; dreams are wonderful, but what do they really mean?? it doesn;t really matter how you look at the situatuion you still can't see what is the truth! Why? because the truth hurts!!! there aint nobody who really likes the truth put in front of them!!!! walk all you want but you're not going to get any further then you would if you really knew who you were!! i'm just saying that play all the games that you want; if you know that you can compete, then all the power to you! for those that try and can't; well i'm sure there are other things you can entertain yourself with! Dont think for one minute that anybody that can walk is better than anyone that can't; just think about everybody that has the opportunity!!


    the lick of life is all we have, dont feel that you are more entileted than me!!
    This was an excellent attempt at replicating a Matthewski post. Major mistake: too many words spelled correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Parkay View Post
    . . .they will be less likely to make certain gear mistakes... such as starting with 65+ pounds of car camping equipment.
    Plenty of people have finished thrus with 65+ pounds of car camping equipment. The mistake would be trying to carry the car.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

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  18. #58
    Registered User DrRichardCranium's Avatar
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    Okay, here's another question: If it is all about attitude & perseverance, then why has the % completion rate changed?

    It used to be that of those that attempted an AT thru-hike, only 10% would make it. Successful thru-hikers were called "10 percenters."

    But according to the AT conservancy figures, in the last 10-15 years it seems that closer to 20% make it.

    Why is that?

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Does anyone know if the people on whiteblaze are more likely to finish a thru-hike than the people who say
    Obviously, no.

    As a side note, I am constantly amazed at the number of folks that I meet in the back country that do very little research. Anywhere. Maybe its my personality, but I like to, at least, have some idea what I looking for when I go to a store, new trail, etc. I can understand this behavior 15 years ago when it was harder to find information, but now 10s on google...

    But then, this seems to be quite common in other areas as well. Recently, I've been looking for a new cell phone. I go to a store, and 99% of the time, the salesperson doesn't mention anything other than "the looks" or the "the price" of the device. They don't have a clue how to sell it. Or understand any of the devices real features that make it "better" than another phone. Which makes me think we have way too many impulse buyers out there....
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRichardCranium View Post
    Okay, here's another question: If it is all about attitude & perseverance, then why has the % completion rate changed?

    It used to be that of those that attempted an AT thru-hike, only 10% would make it. Successful thru-hikers were called "10 percenters."

    But according to the AT conservancy figures, in the last 10-15 years it seems that closer to 20% make it.

    Why is that?
    Excellent point. I've pondered that, too, and my guess is that it's at least partly because of the use of more appropriate gear for a thru hike (lighter pack and shoes, for instance). Why has this usage increased? In my experience, it's mainly word of mouth out on the trail (look at how many people refit during their hike), but certainly internet forums have something to do with it, for some at least.

    One related issue--I think one of the driving forces behind the availability of lightweight gear is the adventure racing phenomenon. There is actually prize money there, and that drives competitors to seek an edge. Those competitors spend big bucks on entrance fees, travel, support, etc, so a few thousand on gear is no big deal, and manufacturers market to and sponsor them. Then hikers have access to 5-oz ice axes, better running shoes, UL shelters, etc.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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