In 1995, Ryan Brooks started the Appalachian Trail Mailing list, to give AT hikers and trail enthusiasts a way to talk trail. AT-L grew and became a thriving community and a great resource for folks planning a thruhike. However, sometimes the cyber world just does not suffice. A guy named Phil wanted to actually see a Stephenson's tent. He voiced his desire to the AT-L and thus was born "Ruck Zero". A small group of experienced hikers and other AT-Lers met in Harper's Ferry to check out each other's gear, ask and answer questions and a good time was had by all.
This event is open to all hikers, not just AT-Lers. One of the greatest things about a Ruck is the ability to get up close and personal with people whose combined trail mileage numbers in the tens of thousands. It's a smaller, more intimate atmosphere than other hiker events, and really encourages one on one time for the newbies to get all their questions answered, meet other newbies and lots of trail veterans, check out all sorts of gear in person to help with gear choices, see slideshows of other hikes, eat, laugh, learn. You'll find people who are considered "Triple Crowners" (those who have hiked the AT, the CDT and the PCT), people who have hiked the AT or other trails more than once, and people who have never hiked who are looking for information, and everyone in between. It's a diverse group of people from all walks of life, with one thing in common - love of the Trail. If you're planning a thru hike or a long section, it's a must attend event as a planning tool.
That 50/50 mix of each one, teach one and having a helluva good time has proved such an enduring formula that 2003 will be the sixth annual Ruck. Poke around the Ruck site and you'll find out what Rucks are all about. Hope we see you at a Ruck this year! For information on upcoming Rucks, just click on the Future button below.
If you'd like to meet the folks that started all this RUCKus, join the AT-L. To join the list, click on the AT-L logo. AT-L is just one part of the Backcountry.net community. To learn about the many other Backcountry.net sites, just click on the National Scenic Trails logo.
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