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[pct-l] RE: pct-l-digest V1 #867 bears

>your're not thinking like a thru-hiker, you don't travel 
>many miles at any one time. But long 
>distance travelers pack and think differently, they "have to" >live more with nature in order to reach theit goal.
>You can always bail out.   Sly

Speaking from the perspective of a thruhiker (AT), trail hiker (JMT and others) and trip backpacker, I cannot agree with the above. Distance walkers are generally *less* concerned with living with nature than getting through it quickly. Walking rapidly S-N in a linear fashion from supply point to supply point (usually in towns)is what we thruhikers concentrate upon, and that does not strike me as nature's way at all. :-)

On the other hand, many backpack trips are planned solely with the goal of getting back to nature. Although few of us could honestly call ourselves at one with nature today, the idea of traveling to a somewhat secluded spot (not along a popular thruhighway) and "hanging out" for a few days or weeks becoming familiar with the area, seems closer to the definition of "living" and becoming at home.

Whatever our primary goals are, we all have the same responsibilities, don't we? Regulations apply equally to us. We all can show equal concern for the safety of others who will come after us, and not use high mileages and long days as an excuse for less care in food storage or packing out garbage. I have examined my collection :-)of used  wilderness permits and none states that thruhiker behavior in bear country can be less stringent than anyone else's.   

Why cannot a thruhiker bail out as easily (especially given their stated superior mobility) as anyone else? Visit this list's archives for a start. Many of this year's thruhiker's "bailed", often repeatedly. Most of us realize that a thruhike is not a single uninterrupted journey, but a series of walks, few of which occur in actual " deep wilderness" conditions.      Barb

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