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Re: [at-l] Two Questions

I wondered when someone was going to bring up the y2k problem in relation
to hiking the trail in the year 2000. Those ATM machines might be a

> From: Jeremy Reiter <rambleon@email.unc.edu>
> To: jeanpaul@iname.com; at-l@backcountry.net
> Subject: [at-l] Two Questions
> Date: Monday, August 24, 1998 11:37 AM
> Paul Miller wrote: 
> > i am going to hike in 2000 or 2001. i wanted to what people thought
> > about
> > the year 2000(maybe even 2001).. i was afraid alot of people might try
> > it
> > that year and it might be overcrowded.   jsut looking for some
> > opinions.  i
> > want a good mix of people and no-people :^)
> > 
> I would doubt that the new millenium would cause a _significant_ increase
in the
> number of people who set out to do the Trail. Even if it does, i'm sure
it won't
> affect the attrition rate, so as the hike progresses, the herds will
thin. Then
> again, it could provide a refuge from the Y2K problem :-)  Seriously
though, this
> should be the least of your worries. 
> > and i was goign to hike it south bound..  there seems to be less people
> > that
> > do that... that appeals to me in a way .. but i still want to meet
> > people
> > and get that feel from the trail ... i do not want to be alone for 6-7
> > months.. but i want to be able to be alone.. i still want to make some
> > friends on the way but i dont want to be bound to follwing people all
> > the
> > time . and i was wondering what other people thought about this.
> If you are going to hike southbound, you definitely should not worry
about the
> "millenium factor". Even if there was a 100% increase in attempted
thru-hikes, that
> means the number of southbound attempts would increase to about 18 :-) As
for your
> inquiries on solitude, here are some thoughts. You need to figure out
exactly what
> kind of solitude it is you are talking about. You can do a northbound
hike and still
> get a lot of solitude. You should remember that the majority of your time
is going
> to be spent hiking or sleeping. Hike alone. Sure, you'll pass people
throughout the
> day, and people will pass you, but you can get a lot of solitude this
way. Do you
> want solitude at the end of the day? Don't stay at a shelter. Fill up on
water, grab
> a bite to eat, and keep on hiking until you find a nice spot to throw
> tent/tarp/bivy up. You can leave Springer at the peak of thru-hiking
season and
> still make a lot of solitude for yourself. You have to carry a
> though (which i would recommend regardless). As for a southbound hike....
> I wasn't directionally challenged when i thru-hiked last year, so i can't
speak from
> experience here :-) However.... when you start, you won't have the hordes
> thru-hikers that head to Springer with dreams of walking to Maine. You
will have a
> good number of people who hope to walk to Georgia though. You have more
> of a start time if you go South to North. It seems to me that a lot of
> try to hit Katahdin as close to the opening day as possible. I've heard
stories of
> 50-100 people being holed up in Baxter or Millinocket, waiting for the
mountain to
> open so they could start. You are still going to get crowds in the
Wilderness, and i
> would guess in a good number of other spots in Maine as well. You are
also going to
> get a good amount of traffic in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You
are also
> going to have the waves of northbounders. These waves will run from July
> October. So you still are going to have waves of other thru-hikers you
are sharing
> the trail/shelters with, only you won't have as good of a guesstimate on
the volume
> because you're hiking towards them, and not with them. You are still
going to be
> hiking in the summer, so you will have all of the summer traffic from day
> weekend warriors, section hikers, etc. You will probably be hiking during
the fall
> as well, and i (and a lot of other people) like hiking in the fall a lot
more than
> in the summer. You still are going to be sharing the trail with a lot of
people, no
> matter when you start. If you want a greater opportunity for solitude
from other
> _thru-hikers_, then a southbound hike will probably provide this. If you
want a
> greater opportunity for solitude from other _hikers_... well, it's all
relative i
> guess. Remember... you don't have to hike in a group. You don't have to
stay in a
> crowded shelter. You create your hike while you are out there.
> Well, i hope this helps a little bit. Figure out exactly what type of
solitude you
> will be looking for, figure out how important that issue is in the grand
scheme of
> your hike, and do a little mental cost-benefit analysis with the
pros/cons of a
> southbound vs. northbound hike. I think this will help you arrive at the
> decision. 
> Walk with light,
> -Rambleon-
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