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JMT Aug-Sept 2013 hiker survey (a work in progress)

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  • John Ladd
    On my recent Northbound JMT hike, I met many of you Southbounders who volunteered to complete a survey of Aug/Sept 2013 JMT hikers that I was to e-mail to you
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 20, 2013
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      On my recent Northbound JMT hike, I met many of you Southbounders who volunteered to complete a survey of Aug/Sept 2013 JMT hikers that I was to e-mail to you at the end of our overlapping trips. Unfortunately, half of the e-mail addresses are in a Rite-In-the-Rain notebook that is still awaiting mailing back to me in my Flat Rate Postal Box from Muir Trail Ranch. (They are having trouble getting things out because the lake is too low for the boat and too muddy for the truck). 

      If you were hiking the trail in early September and did offer to complete the survey, I'd be VERY appreciative if you would e-mail me (off the group) using the address JohnLadd (at) gmail (dot) com or at the "Respond to sender" link that Yahoo will add to the bottom of this posting.

      That way I'd have your e-mail if the MTR delivery remains slow or if I can't read the email address that you or I wrote down in my little notebook/notepaper. 

      Also - I met a guy who works in consumer research who kindly offered his help on survey design. If that's you, your e-mail is in the missing box coming (I hope) from MTR and I'd especially like to hear from you soon. 

      The survey is still in the design phase and it will probably be a month or so before I get it out to those who offered to complete it. In order to get a representative cross-section of JMT hikers (rather than just the obsessive over-preparers who use this group) I am not directly recruiting Yahoo members as such -- other than those who were on the trail in the designated period -- as I fear that they will skew the survey populations toward the overly compulsive. (I'll be discussing with Roleigh and the other moderators whether to adapt the survey for the wider population of Yahoo members who hiked earlier in the year than the population that I intend to focus on the survey I was recruiting for.)

      I also appreciate any of you who completed the Beta version of the survey on the trail itself (Sept 1-2 - people I met just North of Crabtree). You were very generous with your time. Your responses to that preliminary version of the survey will be very helpful in designing the final version. 

      If you have questions about your eligibility for the survey, also send me an off-group e-mail off-board at the address above and I will let you know if you fit the limitations of the initial survey population. 

      The purpose of the study is to quantify things that we don't know about the trail - things like

      male-female ratio
      numbers of solo vs group hikers
      countries of origin (I met people from at least 15 countries)
      gear failures (e.g., Steripen or ceramic filter failures)
      gear under-performance (e.g. the sleeping bag nowhere near its rated warmth)
      unexpected difficulties (my fuel canister leaked)
      what gear you'd take next time that you left home this time
      what gear you took but wouldn't take again
      reasons for bailouts
      prevalence of problems like blisters, infections, tent condensation, excess weight loss, food boredom, lack of appetite, excessive hunger, footwear sole delaminaton, footwear seam splits, mice ate my sunscreen, etc. etc. -- the things we know happen, but don't know how often

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
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