AT Happiness: This Can Be Dangerous
The first thing to note is that thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is really quite safe. Few people ever die and there is very little crime. In my opinion the major reason for this is two-fold.
First, most thru-hikers are very prepared, we have spent months researching and practicing how to do this.
Second, as I talked about in my last post, we watch out and take care of each other. We learn from each other how to stay safe.
There are real risks and everyone thinks first about bears. Bear attacks are really rare and we take a lot of precautions to hang our food and minimize contact. We also take the risk very seriously.
Snakes and other critters are out here and again the risk is minimal and we pay attention. The real critter risk is from the tiny ones mosquitos and ticks. Far more people lose there hike to Lyme Disease than any other critter related reason.
The real risks out here are turning an ankle or a knee, or falling and breaking a bone. Hundreds of times a day we jump a rock, walk slippery surfaces, or put faith in a hand, stick or foothold that if it failed, could end our hike.
Thunderstorms are terrifying when you’re in a hammock or tent on top of a mountain and widow makers have already killed a hiker this year. Again we’re careful about where we camp.
So this is hard, it can be dangerous, but it’s also one of the most amazing things you could ever do. Have a happy day my friends – Rev Kane