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Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Unsupported / Unresupplied Hike - The fat lady sang and Coup is off the AT. on 03/26/2008 17:01:25 MDT Print View

I hate to say this but Coup has stopped at Neels Gap. His 40 days and 40 nights is called off.

When I was playing "what if" on a long unsupported / unresupplied hike my food weight was only around 60 pounds if I remember correctly. My total pack weight must have been around 70 or so pounds on day one.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Unsupported/Unresupplied/Thru-Hikes on 03/27/2008 10:28:04 MDT Print View

In Ron Moak's blog he points out that Coup was carrying seventeen pounds of gear. I presume your hypothetical gear weight was to be sub five, Bill?

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Now supported, but continuing it seems..... on 03/27/2008 15:19:26 MDT Print View

The word I have is that Coup sent over 100 pounds of food home, perhaps to be set up as a maildrop, but intends to continue hiking the trail for the remainder of the 40 days he set aside.

He was a Neel's Gap yesterday, 30 miles by day 5. I suspect he will rocket ahead now that he is, in fact, going light.

Apparently he hasn't spent much time in the east and is very much enjoying the AT itself and looks forward to the Smokies in the near future. So GO COUP!

It seems he is making the best of the situation by abandoning a not-so-great idea in exchange for an excellent one, a traditional long-distance AT section.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Now supported, but continuing it seems..... on 04/08/2008 19:20:29 MDT Print View

Outside BLOG...

April 08, 2008
GoLite Founder Quits World Record AT Attempt

A couple weeks ago, Demetrios Coupounas, founder of GoLite, set out to spend 40 days and 40 nights hiking the Appalachian Trail. In an extravagant, almost biblical, field test, he declared that he would not re-supply, but rather strap 127 pound of stuff to his back and just keep going. But, Coup quickly found, and oddly seemed surprised, that hiking with the weight equivalent of your average lady fastened to his back “really sucked.” Forty days turned into four, and he gave up at Neel’s Gap where the fine folks at retailer Mountain Crossing helped him take a load off.

“By the end of the first day, I had this massively profound and deep feeling of ‘I don’t want to carry this thing for any reason,’” he says. “127 pounds turned out to be too much.” Umm, yea.

His original goal was to hike until April 30th and break the current 620-mile World Alpine Style Backpacking Distance record. “I have maps for about 1100 miles,” he said before he left. “And it’d be a shame to carry a bunch of maps many hundreds of miles and then not use them.” He made it 31 miles. But, he did set a new record, after all. From Mountain Crossing, Coup mailed home 115 pounds of stuff, blowing their average 12 pound ship-off out of the water. Then, he continued traipsing about for a few more says with a less-than-30-pound load before calling it quits altogether. He was back home in Colorado this weekend, several weeks premature.


“One is always thrilled to be proven right in one’s wackiest ideas,” he says. “But it’s one thing to make a plan and it’s another thing to go live it.”
-Claire Napier Galofaro

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Unsupported / Unresupplied - Long Hike on 05/02/2008 00:13:55 MDT Print View

I have a question: This is an "opinion" question.

Does it make any difference where (what trail - what direction) someone might attempt a 630 mile or more un - supported / un - supplied hike?

This seems to be the number of miles Coup was going for.

jon goldsmith
(jegsmith) - F
Unsupported/Unresupplied/Thru-hikes on 05/02/2008 01:38:54 MDT Print View

I simply cannot understand why he was carrying 130lbs. At 2lbs of food a day thats 80lb for 40 days, + maybe a max of 10lbs of gear is 90lbs. 90lbs seems doable considering that is definitely a normal load for infantry. also, The outside article talked about taking a sleeping bag to keep his food warm????? I dont understand how something which does not produce heat can be kept warm with a passive insulation system. Any explanations?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Unsupported / Unresupplied - Long Hike on 05/02/2008 06:18:30 MDT Print View

"opinion" answer:

No.

In theory, why not repeat a ten mile loop 63 times.

In this case you leave your food and gear at the same spot you came around to each loop.

: )

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Unsupported / Unresupplied - Long Hike on 05/02/2008 07:54:15 MDT Print View

Bill,

I think "where" matters quite a bit, particularly when it comes to making an extreme distance unsupported/unresupplied hike newsworthy. I think this type of extreme distance trek is most interesting when it allows someone to get somewhere more remote than they would otherwise be able under their own steam. The Arctic 1000, alpine style mountaineering come to mind.

I think it's different when one makes a trek as a personal challenge, and in that case, who am I to judge what someone feels is the best way to challenge themselves. So that part of Coup's trip that was a personal challenge, I whole heartedly supported. That part that was targeted at publicity, I was more ho-hum about.

My own take - Where resupplies are difficult, it's a balancing test - on one hand, there's the hassle of arranging for a resupply, and the intrusion into one's wilderness zen; on the other, the ever increasing oppression of extra pounds. Which ever burden is "lighter" on one's state of mind seems like the best choice. A 130 lb pack would have to take me straight to Xanadu, to win out under that standard.