|Mike objected to "people on their couches" suggesting|
that his homemade bleach water treatment helmet
was the "dumbest and possibly most dangerous"
thing they'd ever seen.
“Totally not what I expected or wanted. I went on this Facebook group and outlined the plan I came up with without knowing what I was doing and asked what everyone thought,” said Mike, who goes by the trailname Samsonite. “The last thing I wanted was experienced people being negative by politely suggesting that what I wanted to do might not be the best idea. I mean, it's not like I'm going to change my plan. Jerks.”
“All I did,” said 2-Time Thru-hiker Rachel "DUCK" Hecht, “was point out that carrying all of his gear in a hard-sided Valor 2-Piece Luggage Set seemed like a bad idea. Even if they do have wheels. I think I said something like, ‘what’s wrong with a backpack?’ And then he and a bunch of other people in the group attacked me for being negative, so I didn’t even get into all of the other stuff he was planning on doing.”
Samsonite, who got on the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain on January 1st, had no previous backpacking experience. But he did read a lot of crowd sourced information from people he didn’t know who were possibly marginally less clueless than him. Or not. “I decided to use a 40-degree bag, go no-cook, and not bring rain gear. I really needed to get my baseweight down so I could be the first person to carry a cello on a Thru-Hike,” said Samsonite, “and then some jerk told me I’d be the second person to think he was going to carry a cello on a Thru-hike, and also the second person to quit while carrying a cello on a Thru-hike.”
“Yeah, that was me,” said Triple Crowner Katie "Wing-It" Howe. “I mean, I didn’t really go into the possibility of him freezing to death in his 40-degree bag in January. But I probably implied it when I said that once he regained feeling in his hands he could play Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 for the SAR guys after they pulled him off Blood Mountain. And then a whole bunch of people said I was being mean-spirited. And complimented me on my musical taste.”
“I just don’t understand why experienced hikers can’t just say ‘you got this.’ THAT’S what I’m on Facebook for. Why can’t they be like all of the people who were super-supportive of my decision to keep hiking with severe tendonitis?” asked Samsonite, who ended up quitting the trail due to severe tendonitis.
“It was all, you should rest it, you should take a couple of days off, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. Fortunately I found a Facebook group for hikers called, ‘You Got This! (For Hikers Asking For Advice Who Don't Really Want Advice)’. No negativity. Zero criticism. And very little common sense. Just a bunch of people you don’t know typing ‘GO FOR IT!’ even if it’ll lead to you seriously injuring yourself and getting off trail. Because they understand that I’m there for the positivity, and they also understand that bad advice has no consequences for them.”
|Some people prefer to get backpacking advice exclusively from cheerleaders.|
As usual with these things, the quotes are fake but the names are real. Thanks to the people who let me use their names, and thanks to all of the folks who inspired this post. Sort of.