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Thirty-five years ago hikers and backpackers on the Appalachian Trail hiked in jeans and tee-shirts. Today if a backpacker wears jeans they are gently pulled aside by friends who tell them that cotton kills. Cotton increases the chance of getting hypothermia because it absorbs moisture and retains it, cotton socks give people blisters, cotton underwear chaffs, anyone who wears cotton while backpacking is ignorant becuase everyone knows that wool and sythetics are best. What forces drove outdoor enthusiasts to throw off cotton with a rant on its evils? And what other fashion trends hit the Appalachian Trail since its creation.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190 mile long hike that covers fourteen different states stretching from Georgia to Maine. Thru-hikers, the tough backpackers that challenge themselves to completing the A.T in one hiking season are tested mentally, physically, and sometimes spiritually. With their gear strapped on to their backs, they mount up to follow the white blazes marked on trees and surround themselves with nature's blueprints. Well-experienced hikers are known to meticulously count the weight of each item they bring along. Despite careful weight consideration, hikers are still known to bring additional items that add unnecessary weight and take up already limited space.