The Ultimate Thru-Hike (Paperback)
A thru-hike is a very long-distance hike. For example, the Appalachian Trail runs from Georgia to Maine for roughly 2,100 miles of trail. Starting at one end and walking to the other is called a Thru-Hike. So, doesn't it make sense to use hikers to perform a planetary survey on a new planet?
The hikers can survey, inspect, learn, and report what they find. They experience something new, something extraordinary. The result is an insight into this new world and the ability to quickly create a viable colony while allowing the planet to flourish.
While hiking, some of the contracted hikers develop new skills, and these advanced or enhanced, humans become a part of this new world, and the world has become a part of them. They have a connection to the planet, the creatures.
It is not this group who needs to be watched, but it is their children, for they are the future of humanity.