The Art of Pink Blazing

Pink blazing is Appalachian Trail slang. White blazes mark the trail; pink blazing follows the trail to sexy hiker ladies and gentlemen, or both. I explained pink blazing to a confounded day hiker once. He said, “A girl can be hot and all, but like, if she hasn’t showered in ten days, I’m not going near her.” I appreciate the day hiker’s logic and respect for hygiene, but after living in the woods a while, you learn that humans are still attracted to each other without the help of Bath & Body Works’ products. Long distance hikers are often in the best physical shape of their lives, albeit the smelliest. Hikers may find they have more in common with their fellow hikers than with friends they’ve known for years. Trail love is only natural. Guidebooks that proclaim sex doesn’t happen on the trail are probably written by hikers who weren’t getting any.

Here is my advice about how to be a seductive, but not creepy, pink blazer.


Trail Days Parade

Court, Don’t Stalk

Unfortunately, pink blazing is sometimes compared to stalking. Indeed, Appalachian Trail hikers must follow thousands of people by default. Hikers often know where their hiking peers sleep at night, too. If you’re interested in a fellow hiker, it’s especially important not to act like a stalker. It may be tempting to camp near your crush and resupply in towns together. An orchestrated encounter or two isn’t harmful, but leave the majority of your meetings up to chance. Don’t interrogate your crush about their intended mileage and camping plans every day. Be especially careful not to alienate solo hikers. If someone seems like they’re not interested in you, then stop your advances. For instance, if they don’t make eye contact, use negative body language or do not reciprocate your advances, they’re not interested. Don’t waste your energy on this person. 

Be Their Friend, not Their Servant.

A favor or two is a sweet way to win someone’s affections. But don’t start giving your crush all your energy bars, purifying their water and bear-bagging for them, unless the bear-bagging and other favors are mutual. Don’t be a chivalrous creep. If a friend started showering you with favors and acting like they wanted to be your butler, you might feel a little confused.  Being too helpful can make your crush feel like you’re trying to guilt them into liking you. Or your crush might lose respect for you and take advantage of your generosity/desperation. Keep the labors of love to a minimum unless the love and favors are mutual.

Pink Blazers in Damascus

Consent is Sexy?

Consent is mandatory! If consent is sexy too, excellent. Specifically, consent is a verbal acknowledgment of how and when someone wants to engage in a sexual activity. An enthusiastic “yes,” in other words, and the absence of  a “no.”  But only a sober adult human being can give consent. If you have to ask if a person wants to have sex with you, then you should probably ask if that person wants to have sex with you.  Remember, consent is not a contract. Humans change their minds. If someone changes their mind at any point, stop immediately. Don’t use pressure or guilt, accept someone’s choices. If you feel you’ve made someone uncomfortable, then apologize. If consent is mutual, congratulations, you are an authorized pink blazer. Respect other pink blazers, too. It’s not cool to shame anyone about their sexuality. In my opinion, consent is the golden rule of sexual morality. If it’s mutual and no harm is done, then the rest of civilization’s rules about romance are open for interpretation. 

The Other Mile High Club

I once read in a guidebook, there simply aren’t any good spots for sex on the Appalachian Trail. But the AT is about 2,180 miles long and intersects countless blue blaze trails. The International Appalachian Trail extends across several continents. I’m sure you can find a spot. Do remember, though, a tent creates only the illusion of privacy. Don’t give a peep show at a public campground, unless the other campers consent. Pitch your tent or hammock somewhere private, or cowboy camp and let nature be the setting, get creative. Climb a mountain together, but don’t let your passion damage rare alpine plants.

Pink Blazing Dog Style

Love is the Best Trail Magic

Even if you don’t join the “other mile high club,” boundless love can be found on the trail. Appalachian Trail hikers have the chance to experience active love nearly every day, like getting and giving trail magic. Merely choosing not to be a tool-bag is a great start. A lot of people hiking the Appalachian Trail are healing and you can offer them support. Before hiking the trail, I’d never been exposed to such a compassionate community. Whether it’s romantic or platonic, there is infinite love to blaze in the woods. And mother nature has definitely given her consent.

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Comments 23

  • GumbyGAME11 : Feb 12th

    I feel there should be some consideration giving to the possibilities of ‘townies.’ I know it isn’t pink blazing but it’s related and the odds are better.

  • Nathan Remy : May 27th

    Disgusting. Trash like this gives hikers a bad name

  • Jon : Mar 22nd

    , “only a sober adult human being can give consent”
    I guess my wife has raped me countless times. Even though I was aware of our mutual actions my slight buzz has somehow nullified my consent. So I no longer have free will or personal responsibility & my wife is a rapist.

    • Kimberly Furuya : Nov 9th

      The line is usually drawn at the same place where you would take a friend’s keys. If you still have your wits about you then you can still give consent to your wife. 😛

    • Kyle : Feb 14th

      Your wife is very different from a stranger. You and your wife know each other and how intoxicants affect yourselves. You have no clue how intoxicants affects a stranger, hence the idea of sober consent. Always better to be safe than sorry.

    • D : Jan 28th

      Shocking news isn’t it, I know I was horrified when I realized that my wife and I were both rapists in todays world. Thankfully our ticktock therapists helped us sort it out. Now my wife’s my husband and he’s pregnant and I realized even though he’s black I’m still deeply racist and I didn’t know it.

  • Ethan : May 23rd

    What a slut. Real hikers don’t behave like this whore.

    • Danger Dave : Jun 3rd

      Ethan, why don’t you tell someone who cares what you think a “Real Hiker” is. I am sure calling people whores on the internet makes you a real hiker.

      • Jabberwalkee : Sep 7th

        I care what Ethan thinks. Internet or not, he is expressing a legitimate view and I think your aggressive chastisement is hateful toward him.

      • Dret : Jun 12th

        I care what he thinks, too. Let him speak, and quit trying to silence people who have different opinions.

    • John : Nov 10th

      Gosh Ethan that’s quite a strong and angry statement. I won’t even attempt to address the “real hiker” statement. My guess is that you are one of the few hikers that I would never make eye contact with. Perhaps you have some Mommy issues you need to confront. Lighten up man!

      • Jabberwalkee : Sep 7th

        Ethan had a perfectly legitimate and rational response. I think you attacking him was more mommy-issued than his comment. Male machophobes, I swear.

        • Katie : Feb 24th

          Calling someone a slur and where is not calmly expressing a legitimate view point. That is significantly more offensive than saying someone is aggressive and responding strongly. Using derogatory and hateful language is not a good way to have a conversation

  • Treauth : Jan 13th

    Good article!

    Also, this isn’t trash, smut, nor does this make the author a slut.

    Shaming people for their sexuality is deplorable. Let people live their lives however they like as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.
    This is quite the opposite of hurting someone else.

  • J C : Apr 28th

    After thru hiking 4 times in my life.
    I’ve come full circle.
    The first time I paid no attention or even thought about trail romance.
    The second time I must admit a few attempts were made but I never creeped.
    The third time I was practically spent half my time snuggled up to a women that I had only know for less than a day, Maybe I had bear pheromone on my
    The last time I was so old and tired I paid no attention or even thought about trail romance.
    Full Circle

  • Ak old school : Nov 26th

    Great article. It sums it up perfectly. On the trail we make like. We like to be with each other at that moment. We act accordingly.

  • Susan Sunshine : May 10th

    NO. ‘Courting someone on the trail is Stalking. You’re encouraging a dangerous stereotype that it’s okay for men to creep on women hikers so long as they follow your guidelines. Well, mine are ‘leave me the hell alone, don’t even start with that crap’. I’m there to hike, not mate. ?

    • Kevin McGivens : Dec 27th

      Whoa there Sunshine. Let’s not go down the “one applies to all” logical fallacy just yet. Trail lesbians are FANTASTIC! Being stalked by a pair (one was bi-) for 4 days was BEYOND FANTASTIC! Well, after getting cleaned up and after a couple of beers in the AT trail town of Duncannon, it quickly got WAY BEYOND FANTASTIC! So I guess the second one was maybe “bi- for a night”, maybe? Anyway, sorry to digress. Bottom line, a lesbian can stalk me any day on the trail. Period. Except if she looks like Ellen. Then, no. Ewww.

  • Kevin McGivens : Dec 27th

    Sluts are AWESOME! I have banged many and most are quite experienced and enjoy the chance to show off skills honed via their many encounters. Please continue to point them out via Slut Shame so I can continue to enjoy the fruits of their many labors.

  • Shotgun : Feb 1st

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Walküre’s account. I’ve been told by some hikers that there’s no sex on the trail because of hygiene issues but that’s nonsense. Being in great shape from hiking long distances, green blazing, and most of all, being outdoors all the time make some people (like me) really, really horny. I love having sex with free-spirited, open-minded, sexually adventurous women on the AT. And don’t forget, most of this doesn’t actually happen on the AT but in the towns during zero days after taking a hot shower and soap, shampoo, toothpaste, floss, nail clippers, and moisturizer have been suitably deployed at the hotel room. Then it’s simply a matter of a text to your equally horny female hikers to come over for a glass of wine or a beer.

  • ambleve : Feb 27th

    I don’t care what people do on trails so long as it’s not heard or seen by people who don’t want to come across that behavior. Respect the fact that people don’t want to come across naked women oe men on the trail, regardless of their gender naked people make me feel very unsafe. Have respect for others. it’s not all about YOUR experiences.

  • James Espo : Mar 6th

    As a young in experienced hiker i can attest that this makes me feel good knowing some people know how to enjoy the trail. Keep trekkn !

  • Mark Martin : Mar 17th

    If I see someone attempting to initiate intercourse with me or any of my fellow trekkers I will incapacitate them with near-lethal levels of force. Anything less than a serious devotion to the act and art of the trek is grounds for extreme punishment, and I will dole out that justice as I see fit in the night.


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