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Author Topic: Definition of Thru/Circuit Hiking  (Read 3912 times)
Captain Blue
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« on: March 01, 2011, 08:04:57 PM »

There is a phrase among long distance hikers called “Hike Your Own Hike”. In short it means you hike the trail your way and I will hike the trail my way. No two hikes are alike. There is more than one “right” way to hike a trail.

The Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) defines an AT thru hike as having completed the entire trail in one calendar year. To be a thru hiker in the eye’s of the ATC it does not matter if you hike the trail southbound, northbound, in one continuous journey, whether you carry pack, whether you sleep in a tent or whether you cook meals on the trail. I suspect if the Buckeye Trail Association has a thru hiker definition it would be very similar.

If you are a long distance hiker then you understand the concept of Hike Your Own Hike. You may not always agree or like the methods of other hikers but you learn to accept it.
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 01:01:49 PM »

I have hiked the whole trail -- all 1400-miles of it, but I do not consider myself a thru-hiker.  As far as I am concerned there is a definition for thru-hiker and it is the same as that of the AT.  The only thru-hikers I know of are Merrill and the Anslingers.  There may be others since the Anslingers, but I do not know of them.  Anyhow, I recommend a listing of those that have truly walked the trail in one season.

Merrill's book seems to say that he did not do the inner loop of the "little loop" in the Cleveland area.  As far as I am concerned he still should be considered a thru-hiker.

I hope others out there will respond to this attempt to define the "Thru-Hiker."
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Captain Blue
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 01:56:41 PM »

I need to tweak my above statement. This is from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy web site:

How does ATC define thru-hiking?

We don't. ATC uses the term "2,000-miler" as a matter of tradition and convenience. ATC defines a "2,000-miler" as anyone who has hiked the entire Trail between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine. We don't consider issues such as the sequence, direction, speed or whether one carries a pack.


On the ATC's 2,000 Miler application they classify Section Hiking as taking more than one year. So, by default, a thru hiker completes the trail in one year or less. (The average AT thru hike is 6 months.)

There doesn't appear to be a definition of thru hiking by the Buckeye Trail Association. So a thru hike can be what you want it to be. I am getting a bit off topic. Maybe we should open a new discussion on this? It could get quite lively!
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 10:12:50 PM »

I hope others out there will respond to this attempt to define the "Thru-Hiker."

I am satisfied with the definition on Wikipedia:

Thru-hiking is the process of hiking a long-distance trail from end to end. The term is most commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail, but is also used for other lengthy trails and long distance hikes, including the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Thru-hiking is also called "end-to-end hiking" or "end-to-ending" on some trails, like Vermont's Long Trail. Section hiking, on the other hand, refers to hiking a complete trail by hiking all of its individual sections, not in continuity or, necessarily, in sequence.
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Captain Blue
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2011, 11:33:25 PM »

I am not sure Wikipedia's definition for thru hiking is a good one for the Buckeye Trail. The BT is a loop trail with spur trails for the termini. Based on this definition a person could hike from the southern terminus of the BT to the northern terminus and be considered a thru hiker while skipping a significant portion of the loop trail.

Also, Wikipedia defines hiking as ... "Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often on hiking trails."

According to this definition a person "doing" the Buckeye Trail would not be hiking in some of the urban areas of the BT which are not natural environments. If you aren't hiking then you aren't thru hiking.

It makes sense to me why the ATC declines to define thru hiking.
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Poppie
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 04:58:40 AM »

May I throw another wrench in the gears?  Define "Circuit Hike"
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Departng Milford August 14, 2011
Captain Blue
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 12:08:03 PM »

Quote
May I throw another wrench in the gears?  Define "Circuit Hike"

Good one! Or define "Circuit Thru Hike"
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