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Thread: Washington Post article on the challenges of thru hiking the AT at the moment

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Washington Post article on the challenges of thru hiking the AT at the moment

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...s-backpacking/

    While everyone is saying to stay away from others and get outside, the point of the article is that thru hiking is going to be quite hard this year. Most of the hiker's lodgings are closed--at least, for the moment--and it's not clear if anyone is going to pick up a hitchhiker trying to get into town. All the AMC facilities up at our end are closed...

    Brian

  2. #2
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Interesting article in Outdoors about the ethics of thru hiking now.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    "During the last two weeks, two schools of thought have emerged about the wisdom of a thru-hike right now. The first suggests that there’s no better place to be than on one of these national scenic trails, where social distancing exists by virtue of walking through some of the most isolated places in the United States." "Even Sandi Marra, president and CEO of the ATC, agrees that open trails are a necessary respite for a fraught time: “Do I think the Appalachian Trail should be closed to an individual family that can let their kids run for a few hours? Absolutely not. It’s an important way of escape.”"

    "But the growing second school of thought concedes that clusters of hikers do exist on these trails, groups of new friends whose social standards quickly evolve as they share close quarters and barter with food pulled from their backpacks. When a contagious disease enters such a bubble, it can spread quickly inside a group and leapfrog to others."

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Very interesting.

    For us now, long -- but local -- hikes are the order of the day. We can avoid any "clusters of hikers," and interact from a short distance with anyone we meet, while still getting in the miles of head-clearing.

    There are so many under-utilized (read: quiet) trails in New Hampshire that the possibilities are almost endless.

    Soon, too, it will be time to work on our adopted trails, which, not by chance, happen to be some of the same under-utilized routes which we adopted precisely to keep them open.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingcat View Post
    Very interesting.
    For us now, long -- but local -- hikes are the order of the day. We can avoid any "clusters of hikers," and interact from a short distance with anyone we meet, while still getting in the miles of head-clearing.
    There are so many under-utilized (read: quiet) trails in New Hampshire that the possibilities are almost endless.
    Soon, too, it will be time to work on our adopted trails, which, not by chance, happen to be some of the same under-utilized routes which we adopted precisely to keep them open.
    This is exactly right. Also a nice time to brush up on bushwhacking skills. In 30 years of off-trail travel, I have never once encountered a cluster of hikers!

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    This is exactly right. Also a nice time to brush up on bushwhacking skills. In 30 years of off-trail travel, I have never once encountered a cluster of hikers!
    For those of us in the choir, this works. Just got off Kearsarge North today and while we started nice and early (not early enough to get a parking spot at the ADK HPIC ) on our way down we passed a few people in Yak-trax (good for driveways) and people without traction. This group of non-choir members would be calling SAR if we gave them the idea that there are worthwhile places for them to post on their Instagram feeds that have no trail. Once I get back home, I'll be haunting the local woods.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    ATC Asks Hikers to Stay Home

    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...s-backpacking/

    While everyone is saying to stay away from others and get outside, the point of the article is that thru hiking is going to be quite hard this year. Brian
    The ATC has come out and asked folks NOT to hike the trail. ATC Chief Officer Sandra Marra asked hikers in an open letter posted on the Conservancy’s website to stay off the trail during the pandemic. Among other things she says...

    "Any hiker who is eating lunch and using outhouses, or privies, can spread the virus or contract it and bring it back to their hometowns. In particular, Marra wrote, she is concerned with the many rural communities along the trail that do not have the healthcare resources available in larger population areas."

    Full article here.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

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