On the PCT and an aborted hike


Alright, an article in my wheelhouse! I hiked 400 miles of the AT in 2012 (which was basically what I planned).

First off, she claims that these questions are condescending:
What day did you start hiking?
How many miles are you doing today?
What time did you wake up?
Are you walking all the way to Canada or are you just a section hiker?

Those are normal hiker questions. They're things people have in common. I was asked these questions all the time and never felt judged. We would all marvel at the people doing 30 mile days, but we weren't envious; just amazed.

I think that some people on the trail hit a breaking point where they realize that this is much harder than they signed up for. Some people can be honest with themselves about the reason they're quitting. Some make up another reason to avoid hurting their ego.

The trail is supposed to toughen you up. I was in shitty shape when I started. Had never done more than an overnight hike in my life, and certainly had never walked more than 5 miles in a day. There were days I felt like crying from loneliness, and days when I cursed the whole endeavor.

But I kept going, because getting stronger is the whole damn point of the exercise.

This woman failed. I get that people can be mean. I've been bullied. You get past that shit by having an internal reserve of strength. You get past it by developing a hard outer shell. You get past it by making real friends.

Shit like this pisses me off: "Almost every man I encounter wants to mansplain some aspect of my gear to me." Everyone wanted to explain my gear to me too. It's gear talk. It's what people do. Just because a man is explaining something doesn't make it mansplaining, and if you already know something, just fucking say that you already know it and thanks for trying to inform me but there's no need.

"I meet so many men who tell me, blissfully, that for the first time in their lives they finally feel completely understood. I am dumbfounded. They finally feel understood? Finally? But…where on this Earth do they not feel understood? What the fuck?"

Obviously you're not getting this! Some people feel like the modern world is dehumanizing and detrimental to one's mental well-being, and it's nice to meet people who want to get away from it all and test their mettle! That's what "feeling understood" is about! You're taking all your western victimization BS mindset with you on what's supposed to be a vacation from all that, a chance to really find yourself!