[at-l] hike prep

Frank Looper nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 21:53:26 CST 2009

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 9:30 PM, Cody Girl <codycodygirl at gmail.com> wrote:

> Frank, what's a bench hiker?  Will they really give me beer?
A Bench Hiker is
(A) An ex-hiker who loves to talk on and on about how much harder it
was in their day, and how these new thrus have it made, and how blah
blah blah. They usually drink their own beer, and sometimes lots of
(B) The kind we really like when we're out their. They are either
short sectioners or dayhikers or non-hikers. @$$holes call them
packsniffers. But they are your friend. They will feed you, give you
rides, give you some of their beers and feed you some more. All they
want in return is to hear what it's like out there.

Some ex-thrus fit in this second category as well, and will be the
ones you see doing the most organized, road-crossing trail magic.
They're not really bench hikers, even though they may never do a long
hike again. They are trail angels, know what you're dealing with, and
are so jealous they could almost steal your pack and run down the
trail. You'll understand them much better after you've climbed
Katahdin and trail videos make your eyes leak when you're watching
someone else doing the same thing. It happens to me. Once you've
climbed The Big K, nothing will ever be the same. At least it's not
been for me.

Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, always willing to give an opinion. :-)

P.S. I'm no (AT) thru-hiker. I've never hiked more than 350 miles in
one go. But my current guesstimate is somewhere around 7,000 total
trail miles. It is probably on the high side of that. If I could live
in the woods, I would. I may yet do that if the circumstances change
as expected.

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