UL Hiker Prepares for Moral High Route
Portland, Ore - Local hiker Mitch McDouglas recently announced via Instagram that he is trying to become the first to thru hike the Moral High Route in 2020.
“It’s a unique challenge”, says McDougles - commonly known by his trailname ‘Smug’ - “it is not enough to be faster or lighter than anyone else - you have to make sure that you actually feel superior to all the people you meet on trail. That may be easy when you walk up to a shelter full of boy scouts or into a bushcrafters camp. I usually just pull out one of my recycled, biodegradable flyers with the latest LNT guidelines and firecodes, and am on my way.”
“The fascinating thing is, that the Moral High Route is not a geographical challenge, but a social experiment. It’s not going from point A to point B as in regular hiking. I have to actually engage all the people on trail in order to elevate myself above them. I don’t think this has been done before. I am proud to say that I am the first one to take on such a project.”
“For section hikers and weekend worriers I have a mixed arsenal of gear comments, small lectures and just plain advice ready. That works best when I cruise past people, but once I had to hunt down a couple that had left early in the morning. It took me 16 miles to catch up to them to give them a lesson about campsite selection. Those days can be draining. I have to not only carry my gear but also the burden to know better than anyone else.”
Mitch went into detail about his extensive preparations: Among other things he spent an entire week researching what the best premium ultralight ethically sourced down jacket on the market is and studied data on the ecological impact of different fabrics for trail clothing. “I feel like I have to study for a TV quiz, like Jeopardy or something. You never know what obscure knowledge you need to take down a veteran hiker, it’s like a boss fight at the end of a level, you know? Those triple crowners really don’t like hearing that they do hiking all wrong!”
Asked about the announcement a local Super-/Ultralight Facebook hiking group declined to comment. “Not that asshole again!” said a moderator.