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- Subject: [at-l] Low-tech
- From: Jason Johnson <johnsojd@UMDNJ.EDU>
- Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 10:36:23 -0500 (EST)
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,
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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