Wandering Daisy wrote:Thru-hiking is a specific style of hiking and their equipment is targeted for that. Thru-hikers, although solo, are essentially in a larger unorganized group. Safety margins can be squeezed because there usually are others coming along within a few hours, if you get into trouble. And due to their long mileage days, they can usually camp at lower elevations (milder climate).
That's a very narrow definition. It's really a statement about a sub-set of individuals instead of about the activity itself.
I think an unfortunate byproduct of the popularity of the activity is that it has garnered a critical and often biased reaction.