15 Comments

  1. Turk Montana (stage name)
    Turk Montana (stage name) March 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I would say both yes and no. Yes, for the reasons you mention, plus increased environmental awareness, better trail maintenance, and safety from bear theft. No, for the reasons you mention, also. 1) the internet makes it into too much of a “thing,” and adds to numbers of people in the wilderness. 2) while the GPS is a great tool, and invaluable in emergencies, it detracts from the sense of adventure, from mystery, from developing one’s own directional sense. Just my opinion. 3) While government regulation is necessary to some extent, and actually still is fairly permissive, it is – perhaps necessarily – MUCH more restrictive than it once was. I believe almost all the regulations are pretty sensible, and worth honoring, but there was a freedom in the woods 50 years ago (I started more than 60 years ago) that is pretty out the window. That said, backpacking in the Sierras is one of the most wonderful things anyone can do – also just my opinion – and I am no more or less happy up there than I have been at any age, which is not always happy, but always filled with the love of nature and the thrill of being so close to it. Backpacking creates its own golden age, and that time is now.

  2. Judy
    Judy March 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Having backpacked in Rainier NP, I agree 100%. That felt more like a cross between Disneyland and a reality TV show. Cross country is allowed there offering those who have the skills much more freedom. So, the GPS may aid those who desire wilderness experiences to continue to enjoy them in the Sierra. Thank you for all your thoughtful and informative articles.

  3. Ham
    Ham March 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I agree. Also the gear we have is fantastic. light weight and warm.
    When I started it was prickly wool and heavy rain coats.

  4. Christy
    Christy March 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Very enlightening. We’ve come a long way since my father organized a JMT hike including my mom and brother (13) in 1959. I was too young to go. My mom wrote a book, take a look: http://amzn.to/1WgaczQ

  5. How to View Campsite Online
    How to View Campsite Online July 11, 2016 at 8:04 am

    […] few months ago I made the case that we are living in the golden age for hikers and backpackers. One reason: the many ways we can visit the trail and campsites from the comfort of our […]

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