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[at-l] Low-tech



Hello everyone,

It's interesting to read this thread about just getting out there and not 
worrying so much about lightweight, new gear, Gore-tex, etc.  I agree 
wholeheartedly that none of those things will get you from Katahdin to 
Springer (or vice versa).  No matter how much your pack weighs or how 
high-tech your gear is, you still have to walk the walk.  I would daresay 
that, barring the first week or so of the Trail, the majority of people 
quit because of the mental, not the physical, toughness of the hike.  
Obviously it's very difficult to talk about that, especially with people 
who haven't even done it yet.  But, I feel that is where the difference 
between those who make it and those who don't can be found.  

I am currently reading The Appalachian Hiker by Ed Garvey.  It talks of 
his preparations for and the daily account of his hike in 1970.  While he 
talks about gear in the book, he does not dwell on it.  I think he 
realized, after it was all over, that it was his heart, mind, soul, and 
body that carried him from GA to ME.  Not his boots, tent, pack, etc.  
We all know about Grandma Gatewood and her thru-hikes wearing Converse 
basketball shoes.  I don't think anyone today would consider those as 
viable alternatives for footwear.  Why?  Has the Trail gotten more rugged?  
Have we, as a society, gotten softer?  I don't know.  Probably a million 
explanations/excuses could be given.  But the reality is that the only way 
you get from Spinger to Katahdin, is to take one step at a time.  And what 
you are carrying on your back and how much it weighs is not going to stop 
you if you are bound and determined to get there.  

I hope I haven't offended anyone.  It's just something I have been 
thinking about lately.  Probably a case of Springer fever so FWIW.  
Flames are welcomed.

I need to go for a hike,
Jason

P.S.  I too like to talk about gear and all that stuff.  And the 
information exchanged on this list is great.  Just don't fall into the 
trap of thinking that the "right" gear means you will "succeed" in your 
hiking endeavors, whatever they may be.
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