Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 46

Thread: Does long-term hiking have to involve a list?

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Middlefield, CT
    Posts
    898

    Does long-term hiking have to involve a list?

    Hiker Ed just sent out his 2017 missive with the folks who finished this and that list. Now things are evolving to "over 70" and "second time around."

    It got me wondering: for those who hike for decades and decades (and I am now old enough to be in that category), does one need to have lists? I have reached the sad conclusion that I think one does.

    I know of one, possibly two long-term hikers who do not keep lists of which I am aware, but that's about it. It is probably the case that virtually every person on this site hikes to a list now. Is that the case?

    Brian

  2. #2
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    manchester nh
    Posts
    371
    I sometimes make a personal list. I enjoy trying and sometimes making a goal. At my advanced age, sometimes it can be difficult. But it can give me a little more incentive.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bob Kittredge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Terrified on Webster
    Posts
    694
    Most people start hiking casually with friends or to get exercise and gradually realize they really enjoy it. Then they're just interested in hikes with good views, fun scrambles, or which push them a little harder. Hike to Mount Zealand? What for? For a long time I said "I'm not really a peakbagger" but I kept track of which 4Ks I'd done. I got to the point where I only had eight boring 4Ks left and let them sit for a year or two before finally succumbing. (I finished on Zealand.)

    Then there are the people who hike the same peaks over and over because they know they're rewarding. Franc Ridge, Chocorua, Jefferson, even Monadnock.

    And some people are just followers, who join whatever hikes their friends, clubs, or meet-up groups are leading without even being aware of lists.
    I am Geezer; hear me roar!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,223
    I stopped keeping track quite awhile ago.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Waltham, MA Jazzbo & Marty meet Bigfoot on Kennebago Divide
    Posts
    1,141
    I'm not much into lists. but that's just me. Over course of year I see something on map and say to myself I haven't been up there in a long time look over my list and and add it to sheet I keep. A weekend comes and presents certain weather and personal time constraints. I might look at the list and say humm might be a good opportunity to do this one. I like going off-trail to interesting features or terrain not necessarily a peak on a list. I'm pretty sure I'm minority in this view of outdoor recreation. I get many of my ideas for objectives from Steve Smith's blog. He gives me more ideas than I will ever have time to execute. I don't have time to go driving all over NE and NY to pick off peaks on a list. Hence I tend to focus on exploring interesting wild areas in detail within 30-60 minute drive from our place in NH. It would be nice if I could find others with similar inclinations but they are rare so I end up doing much solo outings. This has added benefit of helping to avoid crowds currently found on more popular peaks trails etc.
    On #67 of NE67
    On #99 of NEHH
    On #46 of WNH48

    An atom walked up to me and said "i think I've lost an electron"
    I said "are you sure?"
    It reply "I'm positive."

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    2,767
    In my relatively short "serious hiking phase" of the past 6 years or so I just started off hiking more. Having done the same stuff over the years I started half heartedly following the 48 4k list to try new areas. Figured it would be cool to do the 10 tallest peaks, then it was 20....That quickly evolved into an obsession as I saw more areas I had never seen and wanted to see more. Finished the list in about 13 months. Then I went back to favorites, climbing via all the possible routes, then began other lists (like a "ravine trail" list, etc). Then there was Winter hiking and a new 48 4k list. In Summer it became about "epic" hikes, covering as many miles as I could, how many summits could I hit, more vertical, etc, etc. I suppose that is just a natural progression of being in better shape and able to do more. And of course detailed data saved of everything.

    The past few years though I have soured quite a bit on the "lists" and numerical goals. I have 44 of 48 done on my Winter list (Zealand, Isolation, Jefferson and Adams left) and while nearly done I find myself having no desire to finish it. I can't wait to do Jefferson and Adams. I have no desire whatsoever to do Zealand or Isolation. Just don't care. Those hikes don't excite me at all. I think the biggest thing over the past several years is seeing so many people out in the woods doing lists, climbing peaks just to check something off the list, taking the shortest possible routes, going when the trails are well packed out, etc and going straight to social media talking about what bad asses they are for "crushing Tecumseh". And lately it seems to be all about trail running and speed. Seems like everyone references a time when they post their hikes. Quite frankly the "accomplishment" of most of these lists is not terribly impressive. Anyone in somewhat reasonble shape can endure some discomfort and bang these lists out. Just look at a lot of the people you see out there. Even high end goals are becoming a bit of a farce like Everest. It has become an issue of finances, where you can fly into base camp now in a helicopter, pay people to handle all your gear, carry your stuff and drag you up the mountain. That doesn't impress me. The lists certainly sparked the flame that got me going but completion of lists is not my ultimate motivation. Imagining myself as one of these people is nauseating to me now actually.

    So on the heels of my biggest hiking season to date last year (did about 44 hikes covering 500 miles - not much for many here but a BIG year for me - still making comparisons and referencing numbers ) I find myself revisiting why I am hiking in the first place. I like the physical challenges and hardships, the "process" of planning the route/selecting gear/etc and most importantly the views. I often skip summits now on hikes because they are too crowded and venture into lesser used areas. If I do the entire Gulfside Trail and don't summit a single peak I don't really care. I'm getting out much earlier or starting much later in search of more solitude and more dramatic views. I usually have a general "list" (I guess there is no avoiding it 100%) of stuff I want to do and each week I'll kick around a few ideas in my head until something grabs my enthusiasm and that is what I do. No check marks. No feeling of disappointment that I didn't summit anything. I had a lot of stuff on this "list" that I didn't get done last year and it doesn't bother me at all. Had a lot of great hikes, many of which were not on my radar until the idea hit me that prior week. This is how I imagine I'll hike for the rest of my life. No lists. Just experiences and skill building for even richer experiences.

    So I think that is a longwinded way of saying I don't think you need any kind of list as long as the "pull" of the mountains still makes you want to get out there. Something will catch your fancy and keep you loading up the car each week. Who cares if anyone else is impressed with it, you were 30 minutes slower than someone else or there is no patch for it. Was your hike fun and satisfying to YOU? Mission accomplished.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  7. #7
    Administrator Kimball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Goffstown, NH
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kittredge View Post
    Most people start hiking casually with friends or to get exercise and gradually realize they really enjoy it. Then they're just interested in hikes with good views, fun scrambles, or which push them a little harder. . . .

    Then there are the people who hike the same peaks over and over because they know they're rewarding. Franc Ridge, Chocorua, Jefferson, even Monadnock.

    And some people are just followers, who join whatever hikes their friends, clubs, or meet-up groups are leading without even being aware of lists.
    I totally agree with Bob here, except I switched from just-for-fun to working-on-the-48 when I got about 1/2 way through. Hiking has always been and still is my favorite form recreation, I'm 54. It's not so much "The List" I enjoy as it is visiting new places and that sense of discovery. I don't keep track of peaks anymore after my first time thorough. I don't send in for the patches either (finished NEHH, ADK46, NE111/NE115). But I still LOVE staring at maps, visiting new places, and following others on their list.
    NH 4000 x8, NE 4000 x2, NEHH x1, Presi Traverse x8, Pemi Loop x12, Double Presi Traverse x1, ADK 46 x1.

    TrailsNH.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    2,767
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimball View Post
    I totally agree with Bob here, except I switched from just-for-fun to working-on-the-48 when I got about 1/2 way through. Hiking has always been and still is my favorite form recreation, I'm 54. It's not so much "The List" I enjoy as it is visiting new places and that sense of discovery. I don't keep track of peaks anymore after my first time thorough. I don't send in for the patches either (finished NEHH, ADK46, NE111/NE115). But I still LOVE staring at maps, visiting new places, and following others on their list.
    Good points. While for me lists are nauseating I don't begrudge others for doing it. Not everyone has the same purpose for hiking as I do. There is a competitive, fitness aspect for runners, completing lists for others provides some sense of satisfaction, etc. So times, checkmarks and summit selfies are the goal for some and if that provides the same rush I get from views then so be it. My goals aren't oriented around pleasing or impressing other people.

    "Visiting new places and that sense of discovery" is definitely my hook. I stare at maps for hours each week, plotting out routes, thinking about the gear I'll need and imagining that "wow" moment or personal challenge that makes the trip satisfying.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  9. #9
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    manchester nh
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Good points. While for me lists are nauseating I don't begrudge others for doing it. Not everyone has the same purpose for hiking as I do. There is a competitive, fitness aspect for runners, completing lists for others provides some sense of satisfaction, etc. So times, checkmarks and summit selfies are the goal for some and if that provides the same rush I get from views then so be it. My goals aren't oriented around pleasing or impressing other people.

    "Visiting new places and that sense of discovery" is definitely my hook. I stare at maps for hours each week, plotting out routes, thinking about the gear I'll need and imagining that "wow" moment or personal challenge that makes the trip satisfying.
    I agree with both of these ways of enjoying my hiking trips. One time I might enjoy going somewhere that I would prefer more solitude. Another day I might want to knock off a certain peak with a couple of friends that I haven’t done yet.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Xanadu
    Posts
    1,959
    I followed a list for about 25 years, and not in the 20 since.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    520
    I am grateful for the lists I followed, they got me to areas I would otherwise not have seen. Climbing Elephant, Peak Above the Nubble, and similar also helped my route finding and map reading.

    Not sure I will complete any more lists. The ADK Hundred Highest peaks have been distinctly unenjoyable so far, although I really liked the NE Hundred Highest. Now my wife and I are returning to peaks we loved, and we're able to wait for good weather if we want. Some we haven't been to for twenty years. We are also heading west more. I know some get obsessive about lists, but I really appreciated the opportunity to get to so many different places in the NE.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Верхоянский хребет
    Posts
    1,091
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    It is probably the case that virtually every person on this site hikes to a list now. Is that the case?

    Brian
    No; we do not.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Stamford, VT
    Posts
    1,351
    I can remember most of the places I've hiked to, but not how many times to each because I don't record my hikes. And although I like to go to new places, I just depend on maps when deciding where to go next.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    'Springtime' on the Carters (Tamworth, NH)
    Posts
    2,074
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Hiker Ed just sent out his 2017 missive with the folks who finished this and that list. Now things are evolving to "over 70" and "second time around."

    It got me wondering: for those who hike for decades and decades (and I am now old enough to be in that category), does one need to have lists? I have reached the sad conclusion that I think one does.

    I know of one, possibly two long-term hikers who do not keep lists of which I am aware, but that's about it. It is probably the case that virtually every person on this site hikes to a list now. Is that the case?

    Brian
    B, I feel like we've had this conversation before.

    http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...esorting+lists
    | 64.5% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Center Conway, NH
    Posts
    2,600
    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    B, I feel like we've had this conversation before.

    http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...esorting+lists
    Still don’t need no bozo buttons or decoder rings.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

Similar Threads

  1. Sure looks like we have some long term base in the woods
    By peakbagger in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-25-2016, 02:26 PM
  2. Is it possible to be a long-term hiker without resorting to lists?
    By B the Hiker in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 10-27-2015, 06:59 PM
  3. Is it possible to be a long-term hiker without resorting to lists?
    By B the Hiker in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-28-2015, 02:12 PM
  4. A New List! - Side-to-Side Hiking on the Long Trail
    By Kevin Rooney in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-16-2008, 12:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •