Monday, September 3, 2007

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Mt. Washington Summit

Figgy and I do not look like typical thru-hikers, and quite often to our amusement, we are mistaken for day hikers.

We lack all of the "official" characteristics that people expect from "real" thru-hikers.

  • trekking poles

  • large pack

  • heavy boots

  • northbound beard

We do not carry trekking poles because our loads are so light we don't need them. Same goes for the leather boots, so we use running shoes. And we find gaiters to be unnecessary. (Many of the techniques we've employed this summer come from Ray Jardine's insightful and provocative book on the subject.)

And since we take care of ourselves at home, we figure it couldn't hurt on the trail. Even after one week without a town stop or real showers we still have people comment about how clean we look.

Just this weekend we met a friendly couple who in typical fashion mistook us for dayhikers. Andrew has recorded their impressions of us on their blog. On another occasion we arrived at a hostel where we even confused a bunch of thru-hikers who had not met us yet. They were wondering if dayhikers were allowed to stay there as well.

Anyway, fun times. I guess appearances can be deceiving.

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