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RE: Request for a friend who needs to do AT research

   I have a huge favor to ask of you and I hope that you might actually have fun helping me out.
I'm at Penn State now working on my Masters degree, and for one of my term papers I am researching
the culture that develops among long distance hikers, specifically Appalachian Trail hikers (since
it passes through this great state of Pennsylvania) and trying to examine why trail-culture
develops. I think that most long distance hikers would agree that there is a definite culture that
develops among hikers on the trail, and one can experience that culture no place other than on a
trail, or with fellow hikers. In my research I'm defining culture as "information or ideas that
are received or created, stored, transmitted and utilized by a group or groups of individuals." 
Since I have not completed a thru-hike of the AT I can't give a first     hand account of the
experience of AT culture, and I want to present that perspective in my paper. If you could help me
out with this first-hand perspective I would really appreciate it. There are only two questions
that I really want to examine. They are:

      1a. Do you think that culture develops among Appalachian Trail Hikers?

      1b. If yes, please explain the components of that culture? (can be broad or specific. ie.
components of culture can be language, food, specific or general behaviors,   attitudes, etc..)

      2. Is there a difference between the culture of thru-hikers and section hikers? or worded a
bit differently, do you think that section hikers have a similar experience with trail culture
than thru-hikers?

  Now, I'm not expecting this to take up too much of your time, so I'm not expecting long answers,
just some thought provoking information to use in my paper. Also, if you know other AT hikers that
would be able to help me with some enlightening ideas on their take of the situation, please
forward this email to them. The more information, the more thorough my research paper. If you
don't have time, or think that this concept is completely silly,  then just let me know.

Send all responses to:
   Becky Pfaffenbach  - mailto:bjp181@psu.edu

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