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...]

REI Alpharetta – Over 800 people waiting in line at 10am

  REI opened their 5th store in the Atlanta metro area today in Alpharetta, GA and clearly their marketing folks have figured it out.  There were over 800 people waiting in line at 10am when the doors opened. Yeah .... people love free stuff, and REI delivered.  The first 200 in the door received a water bottle with a $25-100 gift card inside.   I opted to head back to work rather than line up as shopper #804.  How in the world did so many people get off work mid-morning … [Read more...]

A Thru-Hiker Looks At 20

It’s been 20 years since I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.  There’s no doubt, it was a different Trail back then – fewer thru-hikers, no cell phones, and no websites to research the A.T. prior to heading out.  Thru-hikers today are better informed, better connected, and significantly better prepared than when I hiked in 1994.  That said, here are some tips for the Class of 2015 as you start the A.T. this Spring:     Create, then ditch your itinerary. It’s … [Read more...]

Walk In The Woods premieres to mixed reviews

Walk In The Woods premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week to mixed reviews.  Here's a sampling... The Guardian "Plenty of silly little incidents ensue along the way, with lots of jokes about advancing years. Most of these episodes are far too low-stakes to carry a movie and the bigger picture, about two men past their prime trying to figure out what to do in their dotage, is handled far too simply to have real impact. The result is something that is just fine. It’s … [Read more...]