[pct-l] About how many thru hikers per year

Donna "L-Rod" Saufley dsaufley at sprynet.com
Thu Jul 5 12:28:43 CDT 2007

Depending on when you start, there will be hikers that you will be seeing on the trail and who you may hook up with.  However, if you're starting before or after the ADZ Kick-off induced Herd, you may not see as many people, and perhaps none.  Leaving anywhere from a week to ten days before the ADZ, all the way up to the ADZ, will pretty much guaranty that you'll be seeing people.  How many you want to see then becomes the question.  

Further, even those who are hiking during the peak of the season don't always see people on trail -- they see them in towns and at watering holes.  Somehow when people are moving along separately but at a similar pace in the same direction, they tend not to see each other, and are quite surprised when they get to a gather place to find so many other hikers who were out at the same time.  

I read Girlscout's response that basically it's not optimal to pre-arrange a partner, and I do agree for all the reasons he stated -- those types of arrangements rarely work out well, and compatible hiking partners are most often found on trail.

I would add this:  if you are reluctant to hike alone, you may want to reconsider your hiking strategy altogether.  Somewhere along the way you WILL be alone.  You may be alone for days on end.  As humans we are social creatures, and when some of us are cut off from social activities, we're not happy.  People have quit the trail because they're lonely and the social aspect of hiking has disappeared.  I've heard of people quitting because they lost the friends they were hiking with, and the mental aspects of being alone were just too overwhelming.   

Bottom line, if you're not prepared to be alone -- with the skills, equipment, and mental fortitude to be out there by yourself, it could have a fundamental effect on your hike.  


-----Original Message-----
>From: Steve Fosdick <hikin_steve at yahoo.com>
>Sent: Jul 5, 2007 9:33 AM
>To: pct-l <pct-l at backcountry.net>
>Subject: [pct-l] About how many thru hikers per year
>Does anyone have an educated guess? I've heard that most travel north.
>  I'm preparing for my trip in 2008, and I've been telling a lot of people that I'm going to do this. That way, it will be much easier for me to just do the hike than to go back and tell all those people that I changed my mind and decided not to go.
>  So far, I can't seem to find ANYONE that wants to go with me, so I'll do it solo. That would lead to another important question ... of the _____ hikers that thru hike each year, about how many go solo? I always tell people that you are never really "alone" much because of all the other hikers out there.
>  One person said, "And besides, you'll have your cell phone with you!" I just smiles and laughed on the inside. You'll never see him on the trail, that's for sure!
>  Hikin_Steve
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