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Re: [at-l] Re: Groups on the AT

PhattTires@aol.com wrote:

> I don't know about the proper "ettiquite" of the Trail . . . but i
> think the
> idea that large groups should not hike is rather bogus.
> But, why say groups, especially the Scouts, should stay
> away!?! It is a great experience for the youngsters.

It's great for Scouts & other organized groups to hit the Trail.  It's
how I got started.  Large groups tend to have more impact than several
smaller groups, however.  Trying to all fit into a single site, they
tend to enlarge them.  They also concentrate impact in cooking areas,
helping speed the process of degradation from a "used" area to a "camped
out" area (litter & vegetation completely gone to bare earth).

Still, there's ways to break a large group into smaller ones.  One
approach is to divide the group in half & have them start at opposite
ends of a point-to-point hike.  Passing each other in the middle, the
leaders exchange car keys.  Saves having to shuttle.

Another approach used by a lot of youth wilderness camping operations is
to send small groups out in a staggered series, one day apart.  At
Philmont, the BSA splits big groups up into smaller ones & sends them
out on different itineraries.

With a little planning, there's no contradiction.

- Priest

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