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[at-l] Being judged by fellow hikers

>>Have to say that when I rehike the AT, itís gonna be southbound and
>>off-season so I donít have to justify every little decision I make
>thatís not
>>the same as what someone else is doin

I saw the above in a recent digest and It reminded me of something I read in
SLIPPER's journal which should alleviate any worries people have of being
judged by others on the trail.

I contacted SLIPPER and she gave me permission to use it here. Everytime I
read it, I feel moved. I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY IT.


Extract from her journal at trailplace

"I never, never expected to tap into such a vast range of emotions. I
realize, perhaps for the first time in my life, that I am both utterly
vulnerable and, on the other end of the spectrum, surprisingly capable of
fending for myself despite the odds. Iíve found, too, that no much as I
enjoy the company of so many new-found friends on the trail, my hike is
actually an incredibly personal endeavour. I canít emphasize enough how much
I value the amazing, treasured camaraderie amongst most of the thru-hiker
community. I would even liken it to a family. Iíve made some wonderful
friends out here. Yet I still do most of my walking alone, and find my
greatest peace in doing so. I almost always tent instead of shelter for the
same reason. Iím learning how to watch myself from within instead of from
the eyes of others. Out here there are no performance reviews, no judgments,
no responsibilities other than those I place upon myself. And it interests
me & pleases me that my actions do not diminish me in any way amongst these
people. I guess thatís what everyone means when they say ďhike your own
hike.Ē No matter how odd or even you go, your approach is never questioned.
Itís universally understood that no matter what your miles are, no matter
what you carry on your back, no matter what your belief system is, what your
budget allows, whatever, youíre an integral piece of the mosaic of hikers,
as lowly or lofty as you choose to go. I would never say that this trek is
an ideal world; far from it. But I will say itís a simple world, one where
necessities and complications are pared to a minimum."

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