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(Outside Online)   Hiking the Appalachian Trail is difficult: 2,200 miles, 16 Everests' worth of elevation gain, lots of injuries and loneliness. It's even tougher when you have to dodge the cops every step of the way while it's shut down due to coronavirus   (outsideonline.com) divider line
    More: Sick, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, small southernVirginia town of Glasgow, New Hampshire, 38-year-old, much of his trek, rest of his hike, Georgia's Springer Mountain  
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473 clicks; posted to Sports » on 02 Jul 2020 at 11:32 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



21 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-07-02 11:29:58 AM  
Or just book a flight to Buenos Aires.
 
2020-07-02 11:43:05 AM  
I'm a bit torn here.   The risk of spreading Covid on the Appalachian trail is probably very low, just based on the isolation.   But you do stop in towns a lot to restock, and frankly, the article makes the hiker sound like a pretty selfish self-absorbed jerk.   Even without the "oh yeah, he's a Trump voter".
 
2020-07-02 11:44:21 AM  
You can go to Walmart but you can't wander around the wilderness? That virus is way smarter than we are.
 
2020-07-02 11:52:01 AM  

edmo: You can go to Walmart but you can't wander around the wilderness? That virus is way smarter than we are.


Have you been foraging for food the last few months instead of getting your food from grocery stores?
 
2020-07-02 11:58:13 AM  

TDWCom29: edmo: You can go to Walmart but you can't wander around the wilderness? That virus is way smarter than we are.

Have you been foraging for food the last few months instead of getting your food from grocery stores?


Yeah, but for some reason the universe won't let me carry more than 100 pounds back to the wagon.
 
2020-07-02 12:15:59 PM  

FrabjousDay: I'm a bit torn here.   The risk of spreading Covid on the Appalachian trail is probably very low, just based on the isolation.   But you do stop in towns a lot to restock, and frankly, the article makes the hiker sound like a pretty selfish self-absorbed jerk.   Even without the "oh yeah, he's a Trump voter".


The real issue is that while you are generally isolated while actually ON the trail, you are going into town every 3 to 5 days to resupply (at a minimum - often town stops include restaurant food and spending a night at a hostel or hotel/motel).  The towns that are considered 'trail towns' due to their proximity to the trail and the trailheads where the hikers typically pop out of the woods to hitchhike into town, are small and have very limited medical resources to deal with contagion being brought into the community through people who are going to be very difficult to contact trace.

/occasional distance hiker
 
2020-07-02 12:16:58 PM  

edmo: You can go to Walmart but you can't wander around the wilderness? That virus is way smarter than we are.


It's a "Tragedy of the Commons" sort of thing.   One person on the trail is no big deal.   Put a bunch of hikers on the trails sharing shelters and outhouses and before long, you're having to airlift out dozens of Covid sufferers who collapse on the trail.

And yeah, I imagine if you get even a fairly moderate case of Covid while hiking an isolated part of the trail, then you're going to die.   From the sounds of it, you lose aerobic capability pretty fast and it doesn't come back for weeks.   So that means that if you're in, for example, that 100 mile stretch from NH to Maine, they're going to find your bones neatly wrapped in a one person tent the next hiking season.
 
2020-07-02 12:38:35 PM  
I donate regularly to the AT Conservancy, and they sent out an email a few weeks back saying the entire trail, with the exception of the northernmost 5.2 miles, is open again.  Here's the list of current closures.

https://appalachiantrail.org/explore/​p​lan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/c​ovid19/a-t-closures/
 
2020-07-02 12:42:23 PM  

FrabjousDay: I'm a bit torn here.   The risk of spreading Covid on the Appalachian trail is probably very low, just based on the isolation.   But you do stop in towns a lot to restock, and frankly, the article makes the hiker sound like a pretty selfish self-absorbed jerk.   Even without the "oh yeah, he's a Trump voter".


The problem is the overnight sleeping in shelters breathing one another's air.
 
2020-07-02 12:49:25 PM  
Hey look, a Trump supporter who believes in law and order!

Just not for him.  He gets to lie to cops about what he's doing, sneak around bans and since he's a white guy it's all ok.
 
2020-07-02 12:58:00 PM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: I donate regularly to the AT Conservancy, and they sent out an email a few weeks back saying the entire trail, with the exception of the northernmost 5.2 miles, is open again.  Here's the list of current closures.

https://appalachiantrail.org/explore/p​lan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/c​ovid19/a-t-closures/


I did the northern 5.2 Katdtin <dp?> Met some people that had done the norther half. Talked to them later that evening and they said they were going to bus their smelly-asses back south and do the southern half in a year or two.
/I offered them a beer but "we only drink wine"
//I wanted to smack 'em then
///I'll hike out to my car in a bit, have a smoke then go to the mailbox.
 
2020-07-02 1:01:17 PM  
The percentage of thru hikers that are self entitled asshats is usually pretty high by the time they get up here because many of the cool folks drop out early on or along way.

This year its a solid 100%
 
2020-07-02 1:03:26 PM  
In New Hampshire's White Mountains, his pace slowed to one mile per hour as he broke new trail through thigh-deep snow. Exhausted and alone, he was on the verge of quitting until the two hikers who eventually accompanied him to Katahdin arrived at his illicit shelter. "They walked in, and I just said, 'Hey, I'm not in a good mental state. Can I hike with you?'" he says. "It was a miserable scenario."

The only time I'm really disheartened is when I am fairly close to a destination and have to turn back.  In addition, screwing up on the trail because of exhaustion is definitely a thing and typically has to be experienced to be understood.  That can really bring the funk as well.

But slogging through snow - you just have to keep your attitude and push through.
 
2020-07-02 1:33:16 PM  

FrabjousDay: I'm a bit torn here.   The risk of spreading Covid on the Appalachian trail is probably very low, just based on the isolation.   But you do stop in towns a lot to restock, and frankly, the article makes the hiker sound like a pretty selfish self-absorbed jerk.   Even without the "oh yeah, he's a Trump voter".


This year the isolation is low, because 95% of the hikers are being responsible and staying off the trail.

That said, the isolation is not low.  You pop into a town every three or four days to buy food.  Often little towns, with minimal hospital beds.

During a busy year, the AT has a whole lot of hikers, and we tend to bunch up at shelters and tentsites, and essentially sleeping and eating right next to each other.  Norovirus has been running rampant through the trail community for several years now, because it's seriously hard to isolate.

One kind of has the opportunity to stealth camp, and find legal flat spots, 200 feet off the trail to tent.  The problem is, if everyone did this, the trail would be a denuded parking lot within years.  The shelters and privy's harden one shared area, so the rest of nature can survive.

It was a seriously selfish act to hike the AT this year.
 
2020-07-02 2:00:48 PM  

TwoHead: The percentage of thru hikers that are self entitled asshats is usually pretty high by the time they get up here because many of the cool folks drop out early on or along way.


Every time I've been on a national trail the thru hikers that I've ran into were hauling ass.  But that attitude is common on widely known hikes and climbs which is why I try to avoid them.  Notice I don't say "popular" - Grays and Torreys in CO is a popular climbs but *most* people on the trail aren't pricks.
 
2020-07-02 2:02:48 PM  

FrabjousDay: you're having to airlift out dozens of Covid sufferers who collapse on the trail.


Not to pick on you speicfically, but I hope a lot of folks are working on their Fark novel contributions.
 
2020-07-02 2:07:04 PM  
"To wit, he plans to vote for Donald Trump again in November because of the Republican Party's "support for police departments and law and order." Still, he often found himself hiding from the law and outright breaking it."

What an asshole.
 
2020-07-02 3:24:41 PM  

edmo: FrabjousDay: you're having to airlift out dozens of Covid sufferers who collapse on the trail.

Not to pick on you speicfically, but I hope a lot of folks are working on their Fark novel contributions.


I don't even know what that means.
 
2020-07-02 3:51:17 PM  
This article is why I basically hate Outside magazine, most readers of Outside are going to think this guy is pretty cool. And that's the way the editors want it. They know the target audience is mostly made up of relatively affluent self centered aholes, in shape aholes, but aholes nonetheless.
 
2020-07-03 8:36:22 AM  

FrabjousDay: I'm a bit torn here.   The risk of spreading Covid on the Appalachian trail is probably very low, just based on the isolation.   But you do stop in towns a lot to restock, and frankly, the article makes the hiker sound like a pretty selfish self-absorbed jerk.   Even without the "oh yeah, he's a Trump voter".


Governments are really testing how far they go with total control.
 
2020-07-03 8:37:51 AM  

edmo: You can go to Walmart but you can't wander around the wilderness? That virus is way smarter than we are.


Hell yeah, you can even protest by the thousands. But no wilderness for you!

Talk about theater.
 
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