From the Georgia to Main blog, kept by a thruhiker named Dirt Diva, somewhere in Virginia:

Examples of sensations that bring dread: (1) the smell of damp, dirty socks in the morning (putting them on is a must no matter how musty they smell. (2) a drop of temperature by 10 degrees with a slight breeze to boot (rain within 15 minutes for sure). (3) the sight of a completely filled shelter when we’ve just hiked 20 miles in the cold rain.

I like to focus on the sensations that bring joy and elation. I can’t say I always focus on these, but I do try my hardest to overcome the feeling of dread that sometimes sneaks into my being. Examples of sensations that bring joy: (1) the smell of pine needles as you enter a pine forest at high elevations. (2) the smell of laundry detergent on newly washed clothes (this one doesn’t last very long – an hour tops). (3) the glimpse of the sun through a small hole in the gray covered sky or the sight of my shadow for a brief moment before the clouds swallow up the sun once again. (4) the sound of cars on a highway in addition to the barking of dogs.

Lots more fun stuff from the Diva. Another choice excerpt:

It had been days since we had seen the sun, annoyance and depression were overcoming us ever so swiftly. The shelter that we had planned to stay in on Wednesday was full. No room in the “inn”, so to speak. We trudged on, trying to locate a campsite. The rain set in. We found a campsite, not optimal, it was on a slight slope, which proved to be a huge mistake. I should know better, but when you are tired, hungry, and wet, sometimes the “grey matter” up yonder, doesn’t really function very well. We set up the tarptent in the pouring rain (mind you the tarptent has no floor), we put down our plastic sheeting that we use as the floor of the tent and within minutes the runoff from the slope was washing into our tent. Megan says, “What are we going to do?” Good question. I remember my mom telling me how you can sometimes trench around a tent to direct the flow of water away from it. Bright idea for groggy mind, eh? I step out into the downpour, which has now become a festival of lightning and thunder. I take our tiny little, bright orange trowel and begin to dig a trench from the slope toward the side of the mountain, directly in front of our tent. I build up a little dam along the front of our tent and direct the runoff toward the steep cliff to our side. It seemed to work much better than I thought. I’d like to say we stayed dry that night, but though my trench worked wonders, we managed to get about everything we were carrying wet and muddy.

Yes, people do this because they want to.