After I mentioned the startup of yourclimbing.com and yourmtb.com, Tom Mangan at Two-Heel Drive took note and decided to ask the sites’ founder, Steve Outing, if there were plans to launch “yourhiking.com.”
Mangan says Outing replied, but questioned the viability of such a site.
“I’m a bit dubious about hiking, but maybe you can convince me I shouldn’t be. With MTB and climbing, people who are passionate about the sport really identify themselves with being part of a tribe, so they seem willing to join a community of people who share a common obsession.”
I find that response startling. Are hikers less passionate about their sport than climbers and mountain bikers?
They are if your sport is climbing or mountain biking and not hiking.
But take it from someone who’s been hiking and backpacking for more than 35 years, and who’s also been involved in mountain biking, climbing, road biking, whitewater kayaking, flatwater canoeing, and assorted other outdoor pursuits — there are people in every one of these sports who are equally passionate.
Mangan apparently doesn’t agree.
“Hiking doesn’t seem sexy compared to those extreme sports with their extreme hype. Not complicated enough, not difficult enough, not expensive enough.”
Yeah, it does have something to do with the money, doesn’t it.
But still, if you want to see passion, try getting in a simple discussion on pack weight in the BackpackingLight discussion group. Try complaining about cell phone use on the trail in the AT-L mailing list. Claim you have the best alcohol stove design at whiteblaze.net. Show up at a hiker gathering like Trail Days in Damascus, Va.
Or just get out on a trail and talk to another hiker.
There’s a tribe of hikers out there, all right.