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  1. When Randy Forrest reached out to me so that he could tell his own story of hiking the Appalachian Trail as a member of the Class of 2018, I knew straight away that I’d found a man changed by the experience. Like many people, Randy came to the trail via YouTube, comments made in passing, and the end of his career. The challenge appealed to him, so he planned accordingly. We all rely upon good fortune to get us to the end and most of us fear a hike-ending injury. A fractured ankle would normally fall into that category but Randy wasn’t to be denied. Ignoring his doctor, Randy hurried back to the trail to pursue his dream and made it all the way, seven months after setting out. You can follow some of his journey on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTUWYqN3qb_kQgaE8zG5lg, as well as Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/randy.forrest.79 and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rforrest719/. In my preparations for my upcoming hike, you’ll hear that I’m still second (sometimes third) guessing myself and making about as much progress at this stage as I’d always expected to make, ie, very little. View the full article
  2. Dawanna Blue is a self-confessed high-maintenance hiker. She is a member of the Class of 2018 and her hike was five years in the making. Having arrived at the trail, she soon discovered that she preferred a hotel or a hostel to her tent or a shelter. Despite this aversion to one of the main parts of a thru-hike, Dawanna shaped her walk to make it the best experience for her. She embraced slackpacking and found all the other elements of the hike to be a joy, with new friends to be found throughout her journey. The picture above shows her with previous Mighty Blue guest, Chrissy Funk. Dawanna had many moments of doubt, often leaving the trail, always to return when the Appalachian Trail called her back. A flip-flopper, she shared the finish of Katahdin with others, aware that she still had about 900 miles to go. Feeling broken by the effort to get to Katahdin, she was revitalized when she returned to Shenandoah to head south, finishing her hike with her son at Springer. You can see more pictures from her journey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/wyld_blue_wander/ Don’t forget to help Steve prepare for his second Appalachian Trail thru-hike by suggesting gear that he may like. Email him at steve@mightyblueontheat.com or go to https://mightyblueontheat.com/contact/ to leave a voice message for him. View the full article
  3. This month, Jonathan and Mark chat it out with Lance Smith of the Outlan Channel, a YouTube channel and blog. Lance is an active vlogger, documenting his trips and activities hammock camping with friends and family. He also discusses using this platform for education, and speaks out strongly against lightweight “gear shaming”. After that, everyone discusses how they became hammock camping advocates in the community (hint: we love it!). After the interview, Mark and Jonathan discuss getting out and what holds us back. In the new segment, “Hangin Out with Gresh and Spiguyver”, the guys try to answer a listener’s question about women’s safety on the trail. Show Notes: If you’d like to see the boys’ destroyed tarp, check out Spiguyver’s video here. If you’d like to check out or purchase the bombproof whisperlite, you can check it out here. Click here to listen the Ladies’ Roundtable episode. References for the Hangin Out segment: Click here to read the Backpacker’s Magazine article about trail safety. Click here to read the Adventure Journal article about trail safety. Click here to read the Artemis Hikes article about trail safety. As always, we are always inviting comments and suggestions on our Facebook page – like us there at https://www.facebook.com/hyohpodcast and join the conversation – we love the questions we have been getting for Mark and Gresh. You can listen to or subscribe to the podcast from a link on our home page online at https://www.hyohpodcast.com or give us a review on our page in iTunes. If you’d like to buy Mark and Jonathan a cup of coffee, go to https://www.hyohpodcast.com/donate to make a one-time donation, or you can donate monthly to our Patreon Campaign at https://www.patreon.com/hyohpodcast. As always, thanks so much for hanging around! Gå til artikkelen
  4. Dan Harris spent many years in the CIA, little suspecting that he’d one day use those problem-solving skills to take on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He has battled cancer and stood at Springer Mountain with just one lung. Undeterred, he pushed forward with a never-say-die attitude that was tested when he sustained a knee injury in the Smokeys. Dan adapted his hiking gait to accommodate both his knee and his lack of lung capacity, pushing on and accumulating friends and experiences along the way. He shares some of those observations and experiences in our conversation. Given the treatment he had received in battling cancer, Dan also chose to use his hike to raise funds for the Cancer Research Institute. If you’d like to donate post-hike, head on over to https://fundraise.cancerresearch.org/fundraiser/1578411 Dan also started a YouTube channel to share his story. You can find that here. https://www.youtube.com/c/ThruHikingwithScars. When he reached Maine, Dan was joined by his wife, Random, and the two of them were able to share the sweet moment of climbing Katahdin together. This week, I started a short middle section that is going to be an interactive section that helps me accumulate my gear and prepare for my 2019 hike. Please join in and send me a message, preferably through SpeakPipe. Find it here. https://mightyblueontheat.com/contact/ View the full article
  5. One of our sister shows on the Hiking Radio Network, Returning to Katahdin, featured Bruce Matson’s successful attempt to fulfill his 44-year dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Greg Behrens accompanied Bruce for much of the last two states in this journey. Each man had a significant impact on the success of the other man’s hike. Greg felt called to the trail and discovered much, not only about himself but also the trail. He formed new friendships, strengthened an already strong faith, and was able to get to the end through a combination of both. You can see more of Greg’s AT adventure on his YouTube channel, GBolt on a Trail, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik_4AcN_NPHW7vu3vhRBGA/videos?view_as=subscriber. You can also read his Trail Journal at http://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/577754 Carlton Johnson is the last of our Class of 2019 adventurers. His journey has already started, in that he attempted a thru-hike in 2016 which came to an unhappy end. Read about that as he prepares for the second attempt next year. http://www.trailjournals.com/vagabundo As you’ll hear in the main interview, Greg is a spiritual man, so let’s leave him in silent prayer in front of Katahdin’s iconic sign. View the full article
  6. Choosing what to eat on the trail normally ends in Snickers, ramen noodles, or pasta and rice sides. While these certainly give you instant energy, the long- and even some of the short-term effects aren’t exactly optimal. What if you had a healthy alternative that gave you more and longer-lasting energy, weighed less, and gave you a sense of well-being, rather than a bunch of highs and lows? Jessie Greger believes that she has found that alternative. Jessie was living on a ketogenic diet and found that it suited her so well that she decided to hike the PCT on that diet. While she knew that it would be difficult to do it logistically, she enlisted her boyfriend as her supply buddy and set out. It worked like a dream. Apart from an irresistible pancake challenge, her keto diet proved to be not only possible but in many ways preferable. She didn’t experience those sugar rushes and lows and she found that her energy lasted longer than most other hikers. She probably needed it when she ran into scenes like the one below. On her return home, she started Next Mile Meals, which provides some of the meals that she took with her, as well as information and recipes for keto eating. You can check out her website at http://nextmilemeals.com/ while she can be found on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/nextmilemeals/ If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of hiking on this diet, read her blog post on the subject https://www.nextmilemeals.com/blog/keto-and-ultralight-backpacking The latest member of the Mighty Blue Class of 2019 is Katy Amphlett. Katy has quit her job as a kindergarten teacher and has been preparing carefully for her journey. We wish her the best of luck. Last, let’s finish with Jessie and the contrasting pictures of her at the beginning and the end of her PCT journey. View the full article
  7. Michael Duncan completed his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2017. Since the time he touched the brown sign on the top of Katahdin, the sadness of that moment has never left him. By that, he means that he knew his journey was over and he has yearned for that feeling again. He has always been comfortable in the outdoors, with the AT a target for several years. He prepared assiduously, watching YouTube videos of Dixie and Darwin to work out the logistics of thru-hiking, then finding a buddy, Austin, to start the trail with. As every hiker discovers, relationships are fluid on the trail and when his buddy had to quit, Michael saw it as an opportunity to discover more about himself as a hiker, finding a new “tramily” in the process. You can follow Michael through his Instagram account at adventureswithduncan. We also met another young man–a member of the Mighty Blue Class of 2019–Matthew Ansart. Matthew possesses a strong streak of determination to complete his hike and I’m looking forward to catching up with him on the trail next year. Finally, we’ll finish with a shot of Michael and his girlfriend (now wife), Cameron, together at the top of Katahdin. View the full article
  8. This podcast is about trekking poles. Trekking poles are a surprisingly contentious piece of gear in the UL world. Their utility and usefulness is endlessly debated, and the science that backs up manufacturer claims is all over the map. It’s a murky world, but Andrew and Ryan jump in with both feet (and two poles each) to help you make some sense of it. The guys kick things off by interviewing Rob Shaul, founder and owner of the Mountain Tactical Institute. Rob makes a living training mountain athletes and military service members deployed in mountains regions, so he knows his stuff. MTI has conducted a few studies that measure the effectiveness of trekking poles on athletes under load. The interview covers those studies: how they were constructed and what they ultimately prove (or don’t prove). In the second interview, Ryan and Andrew chat with James Marco, a longtime Backpacking Light member and experienced UL backpacker. James provides some context to some of the most well trod trekking pole questions and shares his tips for MYOG poles. After the interviews, Ryan shares several scientific studies in an attempt to shed light on the big trekking pole questions: do poles make you faster? Improve your balance? Save energy? Reduce strain and impact? Next, the guys chat about the most contentious trekking pole statements the internet has to offer. If you’ve ever been in a forum fight about trekking poles, chances are you’ve heard a few of the things they cover in this section. This episode’s Gear section is a brief overview of BPL’s recent Trekking Pole Gear Guide. Ryan shares a few of his favorite poles, including a few that surprised him! In the Hiker Hack’s segment Ryan talks trekking pole field repair, and Andrew has a question for listeners concerning a common thru-hiker trekking pole breakdown. Click here for show notes This podcast is brought to you ad-free by the subscribing members of backpackinglight.com. Please leave us a review and rating, it helps other people find our show! View the full article
  9. I interviewed Dave Paumen at 5:30 in the morning as he was about to enter the 100 Mile Wilderness. I was struck by his calm intelligence and his story. A Vietnam Veteran, he had demonstrated a cold-eyed determination in his life and brought that personality trait to the trail. He had been injured in his first attempt in 2017 but returned to complete his hike this year. Dave’s solid common sense shines through in both the interview and his journals of the two, linked hikes. Read the journals at http://trailjournals.com/davepaumen17 and http://trailjournals.com/davepaumen18 Our Mighty Blue Class of 2019 continued with the introduction of an experienced hiker, Tina Dunaway. Tina has had the AT on her bucket list for several years and is ready to get at it. We’ll be checking in with Tina from time to time while we’re both on the trail. Let’s finish with the triumphant Dave at the top of Mt Katahdin. View the full article
  10. This month, Jonathan and Mark chat it out with Chris Haramoto, director of the East Canyon State Park. The East Canyon State Park has embraced hammock camping by installing official hammock camping sites. Jonathan and Mark discuss this with Chris, and then learn a thing or two about how to talk with administration for the state parks that you camp in if you have issues hammock camping. Finally, after learning about some amazing places to camp in Utah everyone discusses their own amazing camping experiences. After the interview, Mark and Jonathan discuss the benefits of having a bugnet, even in the winter. In the new segment, “Hangin Out with Gresh and Spiguyver”, the guys answer a listener’s comment about tree selection. Show Notes: Here’s a link to the Goblin Valley State Park: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/ If you’d like to learn more about the 50 states project, here’s the link in the Hammock Forums: https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php/70866-The-50-State-Project-US-State-Parks-amp-Hammocks As always, we are also inviting comments and suggestions on our Facebook page – like us there at https://www.facebook.com/hyohpodcast and join the conversation. You can listen to or subscribe to the podcast from a link on our home page online at https://www.hyohpodcast.com or give us a review on our page in iTunes. If you’d like to buy Mark and Jonathan a cup of coffee, go to https://www.hyohpodcast.com/donate to make a one-time donation, or you can donate monthly to our Patreon Campaign at https://www.patreon.com/hyohpodcast. As always, thanks so much for hanging around! Gå til artikkelen
  11. As I’ll be hiking the AT myself in 2019, I won’t be able to follow one hiker as closely as I did with Jessa in 2017 and Bruce this year in the Returning to Katahdin podcast. So, in an effort to still follow some of these adventurers, I’m starting a new series of five interviews with members of this incoming class. The segment will normally support the main interview, but this we have a full interview with Nate Ferguson as the first member of the Class of 2019. Nate and I are fellow, members of the Fat Guys, and Gals, Back in the Woods hiking group. What originally started out as a ten- to fifteen-minute chat turned into a full-on interview and I thought it would be a great way to introduce the new series. Nate is fun to be around on a hike and, along with the other members who we’ll be featuring, I hope to be able to get some of their early–and perhaps later–thoughts on the trail once their hikes get underway. Dan Wowak is back with what he refers to as the four critical survival priorities in the wilderness. As before, his clear guidance is really worth listening to. If you’d like to contact Dan for further information or tips, reach out to him at danwowak@coalcrackerbushcraft.com You can also check out his YouTube channel under Coalcracker Bushcraft or click on this link. View the full article
  12. Darwin is a relatively new thru-hiker, having hit and completed the Appalachian Trail in 2015. Yet his YouTube channel is hugely popular, with over 135,000 subscribers at the time of writing. His articulate, information-laden content is of great help to hikers old and new. Darwin and his wife, Snuggles, sold most of their belongings in 2014 and radically altered their lifestyle, preferring to travel constantly as they had adventures. While the two of them shared the Appalachian Trail thru-hike, for Snuggles it was a “one and done” deal. So now, with Darwin on various trails, Snuggles writes and takes the occasional road trip. You can connect with Darwin in several different ways. He’s on Facebook at http://facebook.com/darwin.onthetrail, on Instagram at http://instagram.com/darwin_onthetrail, while his YouTube channel can be found at http://youtube.com/darwinonthetrail He also has a website, which you can find at http://darwinonthetrail.com/ We had a nice chat with Bruce Matson as he told of his fund-raising venture for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Remember, Bruce has arranged $100,000 of matching funds, so if you contribute your donation will be worth twice that amount to fund the invaluable work of the folks at the Conservancy. To make your donation, please click on this link http://www.rtkchallenge.com/support/ View the full article
  13. For many people, hiking the Appalachian Trail is the culmination of a lifelong dream. There may be issues that they don’t want to face, they may be grieving the loss of somebody. For many, the trail is spiritual in nature. For Stephanie Lorenze, eating unlimited pizza was her initial motivation. Despite this unlikely catalyst, Stephanie grew to love the trail and everything on it. She faced doubters at the outset, yet she pushed on, confidence growing in her own abilities to complete the journey. She chose to define her own life and didn’t permit the negativity to deflect her from the goal of standing on that brown sign at the top of Katahdin. In the end, she had the perfect answer to everybody who doubted that she would be able to get to the end. If you’d like to contact Stephanie, her Facebook profile is https://www.facebook.com/steph.lorenze View the full article
  14. This podcast is about photography and filmmaking in the backcountry. It used to be that creating professional photography and video content in the mountains required thirty or more pounds of gear. Not anymore. An explosion of innovation over the last few years means that you can now tell stories and capture adventures with a high degree of quality while maintaining a low pack weight and a minimalist mindset. In this episode, Andrew and Ryan dig deep into the tools, skills, and philosophy you’ll need to enhance your backcountry photography and filmmaking skills. They get started by immediately jumping into the interview: an engaging and energetic discussion with filmmaker and ultralight backpacker Chris Smead. Chris’ film “Alcove” won the audience choice award at the inaugural Backpacking Light Film Festival in 2017, and he’s been creating non-stop ever since. After the interview, Ryan and Andrew take a deep dive into camera gear and content creation strategies. What makes a camera well suited for adventure filmmaking and photography? What are the different options? How do your choices affect the outcome of your final product? What is the most efficient way to improve photography and filmmaking skills? What are the best ways to spend a limited budget?All these questions and more are answered. The Gear and Hiker Hack sections are concerned with batteries and power sources—how to charge them, how to keep them charged, and which ones to use. Finally, Andrew and Ryan share what they’ve been up to lately. Ryan is making movies and Andrew is dressing for success Norwegian style. Click here for show notes This podcast is brought to you ad-free by the subscribing members of backpackinglight.com. Please leave us a review and rating, it helps other people find our show! View the full article
  15. With just two days and about 32 miles left, Steve and Emma just had to contend with the torrential rain to get to Santiago. While the journey proved to be a spiritual experience for many, the Pilgrim mass at the end was spectacular in its gravity and grave in its spectacle. The incense burner heightened those thoughts as it seemed to crash through the long aisles. After 32 days and nearly 500 miles, our two adventurers made it to their ultimate destination, cold, wet, but very happy with their achievement. If you’d like to contact Steve don’t forget to email him at steve@mightyblueontheat.com View the full article
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