Episode 44: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

In Episode 44, we delve in to The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly - our best and worst experiences from the Trail.  Recorded live in the Black Hills of South Dakota, I sit "lantern-side" in the backcountry with long-time hiking friends BeerRun, The Camel, Therm Rider, and the Weasel.  Each signed up to accompany me on a quest to complete 50 hikes in 50 States - which ended this month near the defunct goldmines of Lake Sheridan in the Black Hills National Forest. We only scratch the surface of … [Read more...]

Episode 42: Most Significant Backcountry Gear Of All Time?

In Episode 42, we discuss a March 2017 article that appeared in Outside Magazine titled "The 40 Most Significant Tools & Toys Ever Designed".  In honor of the magazine's 40th anniversary, the editors choose 40 products that "stood out for their sheer inventiveness" and their general impact on the outdoor community. Tonight we sit fireside on the South Carolina side of the Chattooga River and debate the merits of some items on the list.  Our group rarely reaches a consensus on each … [Read more...]

Episode 41: Trail Days 1995

In Episode 41, we revisit Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia on March 13, 1995.  The town has hosted the biggest event on the Appalachian Trail for over 30 years and most of these interviews were recorded live at the annual festival.  If you have ever wondered what it was like to thru-hike the A.T. in the early 90's - now is your chance.  The podcast is a remix of interviews that I did with ten hikers that were on the Trail in 1994. Yes there were far fewer backpackers on the Appalachian … [Read more...]

Episode 39: Hiking News Review (Grand Canyon Show)

In Episode 39, Therm Rider and I do a live winter show from the Yavapai Lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  After a day hiking on the Arizona and Rim Trails, we kick back a cold one and discuss some of the major hiking news events of 2016. In the show, Therm Rider and I recap and debate some of the U.S. news events that were heavily publicized in the outdoor community last year - including epic fails with drones, lost lives from selfies, and wildlife issues and encounters.  We are … [Read more...]

Episode 37: Thirty At Thirty – Part Two

In Episode 37, we continue the conversation with 30 Pack.  During the second hour of our interview, we discuss his summer rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon, the resulting hallucinations, ultra-marathons, and working with troubled teens in Utah.  30 lived out of his car for 2 1/2 years and tells us some of the craziest things that happened to him during this time - including hiking with the Navajo and hearing and seeing ghosts on the trail in Arizona. You might recall 30 Pack from Episode … [Read more...]

Episode 34: Pacific Northwest Trail “A Sense Of Direction”

Alex Maier On The Pacific Northwest Trail

In Episode 34, Alex "Money Shot" Maier talks about his film "A Sense Of Direction" which documents his travels on the Pacific Northwest Trail in the summer of 2015.  Alex chose the PNT for his first thru-hike (and first hiking film) to explore one of the newest trails in the National Scenic Trail system - which earned the status in 2009.  Only a few hundred backpackers have thru-hiked the 1200 mile trail to date, and all have had the fortune to experience the PNT while it is still in its … [Read more...]

Episode 32: Backcountry 201 – Advanced Rookie Mistakes

In Episode 32, the conversation on Rookie Mistakes continues as we sit fireside on Justus Creek along the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia. In this discussion, Beer Run, PokeyBo, and Therm Rider talk about some classic rookie moves: taking the wrong gear, hiking above your skill level, and taking too much. “Backcountry 201” is the second installment in this mini-series where we sit around the campfire and discuss the fundamentals of backpacking.  In this episode, we go "off trail" a … [Read more...]

Episode 31: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

In Episode 31, we discuss the life and legacy of Emma "Grandma" Gatewood, who at 67 years old was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.  Author Ben Montgomery gives us an intimate look at this extraordinary lady who overcame financial hardship, survived domestic and sexual abuse, and had 11 children and 23 grand children when she left a small town in Ohio to walk the A.T. in 1955. The book, Grandma Gatewood's Walk is now a New York Times best seller, and Ben gives … [Read more...]

Return Of The Dana!

In the mid-90', Dana Design was the backpack for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  I liked mine so much that I bought a second one two years after my thru-hike despite the steep price of $400+ And Dana Gleason, founder of his namesake Dana Designs, has returned to the market!  After selling his company and watching a series of outdoor companies fumble with a once dominant brand - Dana is back (and so is the Terraplane). The U.S. Military and U.S. Forest Service "hot shot" … [Read more...]

Showers Bring Waterfalls And Flowers For Our Summer Backpacking Trip To Panthertown Valley

Panthertown Valley is one of my favorite hiking spots in North Carolina. It is located near Cashiers, NC in the western section of the State and was purchased by the Nature Conservancy from Duke Power in 1989. Panthertown is now part of the Nantahala National Forest and has been growing rapidly in popularity - especially over the last ten years. Schoolhouse Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Panthertown. When we first visited Panthertown in 2001, there was only the occasional … [Read more...]