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N2BACKPACKING PODCASTS

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EPISODE 1: THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL

Helmet & DoughgirlIn Episode 1 (the inaugural episode) of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Glenn and Susan about their adventures on the John Muir Trail (JMT) in 2006. The Helmet and Doughgirl talk about their preparations, planning, logistics, gear and favorite stops on the John Muir Trail which traverses a portion of the High Sierra in Northern California.

EPISODE 2: THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL (GORGES SECTION)

Toxaway River Suspension BridgeIn Episode 2 of the N2Backpacking.com podcast series, I speak with John about the Gorges Section of the Foothills Trail in western North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina. The Kidd talks about our 2001 Foothills Trail hike (and the 10th anniversary of the trip) which took us through a 45 mile section of the 76 mile trail over the course of three days in the Spring of 2001.

EPISODE 3: EASE IN TO BACKPACKING

Steve Cobb At Lake JocasseeIn Episode 3 of the N2Backpacking.com podcast series, I speak with Steve (aka White Lightening) about how he migrated from camping in his youth, to hiking with kids in his 30’s, and eventually wilderness backpacking as he reached his 40’s.

EPISODE 4: THE CHILKOOT TRAIL

Chilkoot TrailIn Episode 4 of the N2Backpacking.com podcast series, I speak with Roger (aka The Camel) about The Chilkoot Trail which is a 33 mile route that starts in Dyea, Alaska (near Skagway) and ends at Lake Bennett, British Columbia. If you read the book “White Fang” as a kid – this is it, the Trail to the Klondike. A great adventure to say the least…

EPISODE 5: THE CHATTOOGA RIVER TRAIL

The Chattooga RiverIn Episode 5 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Ken (aka The Weasel) discusses his experiences on the Chattooga River Trail which is a nearly forty mile route that borders the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and follows the banks of the Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River from Burrell’s Ford to US 76.

EPISODE 6: EARLY 90’S BACKPACKING

Linville Gorge WildernessIn Episode 6 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Kirk (aka SoulGlo) and John (aka Hawkeye) talk about their introduction to backpacking in the early 1990’s. In the show, we discuss trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and hikes from Newfound Gap to Ice Water Springs Shelter, Charlie’s Bunion, Peck’s Corner Shelter, Mt. LeConte, and Kephart Shelter. Kirk’s fear of bears is quickly diverted to fear off the aggressive Smoky Mountain shelter mouse and he offers some strategies for dealing with them.

EPISODE 7: BACKPACK AROUND THE WORLD

Phillip (World Wide Wanderer)In Episode 7 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Phillip (aka the World Wide Wanderer) talks about growing up with his family on military bases around the world and his post-college travels around the globe. The interview offers insight in to places like Nepal’s Anapurna Circuit, Peru’s Machu Pichu, Greece’s Samaria Gorge, and Egypt’s Mount Sinai (the pilgrimage site of St. Catherine Monastery).

EPISODE 8: A CONVERSATION WITH DAD

The Appalachian Trail w/ DadIn Episode 8 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with my father about how he introduced me to the outdoors and how he served up a steady dose of hiking, camping, and fishing before I reached elementary school. We talk about the early years, of catching my first fish, of car camping in Ohio, and about the Appalachian Trail – where he joined me for a few days in June during my 1994 thru-hike.

EPISODE 9: NORTH & SOUTH CROCKER MOUNTAIN – PART ONE

In Episode 9 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Jim (aka Country Club) and Roger (aka The Camel) talk about our recent hike along the Appalachian Trail near Stratton, Maine. This is the first of a two part series that recaps our October 2012 backpacking trip in New England.

EPISODE 10: NORTH & SOUTH CROCKER MOUNTAIN – PART TWO

In Episode 10 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Brett (aka Therm Rider) talks about our recent hike along the Appalachian Trail near Stratton, Maine. This is the second of a two part series that recaps our October 2012 backpacking trip in New England.

EPISODE 11: A WOMAN’S TAKE ON THE TRAIL

Katie (aka Wild Turkey)In Episode 11 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, Katie (aka Wild Turkey) talks about her ventures in to the wilderness – hiking and backpacking with both friends and family in the Southeast. Topics include the weather and its impact on the experience, the gear you need for the Trail, and hiking with infants and young children.

EPISODE 12: THE VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

Trail workIn Episode 12 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Amy (aka Mrs. Weasel) in a Banner Elk interview about her experiences on the trail. These include volunteering, hiking, and even camping solo in the backcountry along the Appalachian, Benton MacKaye, and Pine Mountain Trails in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

EPISODE 13: THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

30-PackIn Episode 13 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I have a phone interview with KC (aka 30-Pack) about his 2012 thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail that began at Springer Mountain in March and ended nearly 2,200 miles later at Mount Katahdin in September.

EPISODE 14: THE ULTIMATE SUMMER ROAD TRIP – PART ONE

The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip - Part OneIn Episode 14 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with The Ox about a 38 day cross-country road trip that took place in the summer of 1998. We spent most of the tour in the western United States and Canada (Alberta and British Columbia) where we went backpacking and fishing in the Rockies, Cascades, and on the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

EPISODE 15: THE ULTIMATE SUMMER ROAD TRIP – PART TWO

The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip - Part TwoIn Episode 15 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Mackie about a 65 day and 17,000 mile cross-country road trip that went down in the summer of 1996. On the journey, we hiked sections of the Appalachian, Continental, and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails and visited some treasured American wilderness including Isle Royal, Glacier, Mt. Ranier, Redwoods, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon National Park.

EPISODE 16: THE LONG TRAIL

Long Trail AleIn Episode 16 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Glenn (aka The Helmet) from his historic 1858 schoolhouse in Barton, Vermont. The topic is the 272 mile Long Trail which in 1930 was the first major long distance trail to be completed in the United States and it set the standard for the other major long distance hiking trails in America.

EPISODE 17: THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL “EMBRACE THE BRUTALITY”

CDT Movie "Embrace The Brutality"In Episode 17 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I have a phone interview with Jester about his 2013 DVD release “Embrace The Brutality” which documents his 3100 mile thru-hike on the Continental Divide Trail. Jester also offers some general advice to those that plan to hike the CDT and gives great insight for those that are contemplating a major hike through the Rockies.

EPISODE 18: THE TRIPLE CROWN

Troubadour-1In Episode 18 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Troubadour about thru-hiking the Triple Crown: The Appalachian Trail (in 1994), The Continental Divide Trail (in 2002), and The Pacific Crest Trail (in 1999). In the podcast, Troubadour compares the three major U.S. long distance hiking trails and talks about some favorite sections on each. He also gives a nod to great trail towns, hostels, and trail angels on these three epic trails.

EPISODE 19: THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL – BONUS AUDIO

KC-at-PCT-EndIn Episode 19 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with 30-Pack about his recent thru-hike on the 2,663 Pacific Crest Trail. This is the bonus material from the initial interview, so make sure you listen to Episode #20 first. In this bonus podcast, 30-Pack talks about his first day on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), trail romance, hiking with dogs, favorite trail towns, and interesting hitches. He finishes with some final thoughts on thru-hiking and how it has changed his life over the last two years.

EPISODE 20: THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

PCT CalendarIn Episode 20 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with 30-Pack about his 2013 thru-hike on the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Over six months, he hiked 420,880 feet of elevation walking from Mexico to Canada along the western mountains of the U.S. This after he completed the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast in 2012 (see Episode #13). Will the Continental Divide Trail and coveted Triple Crown follow in 2014? Listen and find out.

EPISODE 21: GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

In Episode 21 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with JD (aka Trail Hard) about his passion for hiking and backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park – the most visited in the United States.

On the show, we discuss his quest for a third map in the “Smokies” – or the completion of every trail in the Park. While a “map” is technically ~900 miles, a hiker walks roughly 1500 miles to complete it. And JD is on his third map – dang! Fewer than 400 can even claim one!

EPISODE 22: WALK IN THE WOODS, LIFE AS AN EXTRA

In Episode 22 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Ken aka “The Weasel” about our experience as extras in the soon to be released movie Walk In The Woods. It is based on the best-selling 1998 book by Bill Bryson, and stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte – both who were on set for our scene in the movie which was filmed at Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta, Georgia.

EPISODE 23: HARD WAY HOME

In Episode 23 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Kori “Rocket” Feener about her recently released film Hard Way Home which documents her personal journey on the ~ 2200 mile Appalachian Trail in 2012.

In the movie, Kori talks about her physical and emotional struggles on the A.T., the healing powers of long distance hiking, and what it’s like to film and produce a film while hiking the Appalachian Trail. She also gives us some insight in to the film industry and talks about her recent trips to various film festivals in the U.S.

EPISODE 24: BACKCOUNTRY 101-ROOKIE MISTAKES

In Episode 24 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, we satisfy a listener request for a show on backcountry basics. Recorded at a remote campsite on the Chattooga River, I speak with Therm Rider and The Camel about some of our rookie mistakes in the backcountry and smart things that we’ve done since our first ventures in to the wilderness.

“Backcountry 101” is the first installment in this mini-series where we sit around the campfire and discuss the fundamentals of backpacking. In this episode, we talk about the times when we’ve taken too much, hiked too far, or put members of our group in terrain that was way above their skill level. Enjoy the show and have a laugh at our expense. And yes, this is a photo from the hike with “Bob”!

EPISODE 25: FLIP FLOP FLIPPIN’

In Episode 25 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Scott “Squatch” Herriott about his three part series Flip Flop Flippin’. The films were shot on the Appalachian Trail during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2014 and they follow the thru-hiker community as they make their way along the nearly 2200 mile trail.

In the show, “Squatch” talks about his first ventures in to the wilderness, some of the thru-hikers and trail angels that he met on the A.T., and his experience as a filmmaker in the backcountry. His skills as a stand-up comedian come across in his videos and on the podcast. So I am sure that you will enjoy both.

EPISODE 26: BLIND COURAGE

In Episode 26 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Director Clint Ross who is hard at work with Producer Paula O’Neal on the film adaptation of the book Blind Courage, which is based on the 1990 Appalachian Trail thru-hike of Bill Irwin – the first legally blind hiker to complete the entire Trail within a single year.

In the show, Clint discusses the first draft of the screenplay, the trailer, and the upcoming plans to film the movie. He also give us some personal insight in to Bill Irwin and how he overcame alcohol and tobacco addiction through faith in God and by heeding the call to hike the A.T.

EPISODE 27: SUPERWOMAN

In Episode 27 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Niki Rellon. You think you’re tough? Well she just might have you beat! Niki’s sports pursuits include professional kickboxing, ski instructing, cross-country cycling, thru-hiking, and currently a six month journey on the Appalachian Trail. Did I mention that she is doing it on one leg? Well now you know.

In the podcast, Niki talks about her first ventures in to the outdoors, her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the event that changed her life – a 60′ fall that nearly ended her life (and made her an amputee). Niki is now a week in to her A.T. thru-hike and took time from a rest area in North Georgia to speak with us.

EPISODE 28: THE BENTON MACKAYE TRAIL

In Episode 28, Sprinkles and NoKey discuss their ultimate summer: Thru-hiking 1400 miles on four major trails along the East Coast – including the Benton MacKaye, Finger Lakes, Northville-Placid and Long Trails.

Forewarning, we spend the majority of the podcast discussing their 20 day, ~290 mile hike on the Benton MacKaye Trail – a great alternative to the Appalachian Trail in the South – but there’s lots of great tips on backpacking and thru-hiking in general.

EPISODE 29: SOBO

In Episode 29, we discuss the expected surge of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers this spring and why a southbound hike might be the right decision for you in 2016. On the show, Popeye talks about his southbound (SOBO) thru-hike and we debunk many of the myths of walking south from Maine to Georgia: dealing with the weather, the insects, the lack of community, the lack of services, and the immediate challenge of terrain.

Popeye and I met at Tray Mountain when he was only three days from the southern terminus and we discuss his life on the Trail as a SOBO hiker, the new rivalry between northbound and southbound hikers, and the events that led him to the emergency room on his last day on the Trail.

EPISODE 30: CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

In Episode 30, Scott “Squatch” Herriott is back on the show to discuss his film Wayfaring and his jaunt along the Camino de Santiago (or Way of St. James). The trail starts in France and ends near the coast of Spain and was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages.

Starting in 1985, modern day hikers have increasingly followed the path – with over 200,000 “pilgrims” hiking the route each of the last few years. In the podcast, Squatch talks about his adventures on the ~518 mile trail and offers up some suggestions for prospective thru-hikers.

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 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 us a look at the life and legacy of Emma Gatewood through her photos and trail journals, from interviews with her surviving children, and by tracking down some of the folks that actually met and hiked with Emma on the Trail.

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 bit – so don’t take the show too seriously. We’ll get back on track in future episodes and hopefully this is worth a few good laughs as you commute to work, crank out some Trail miles, or do what you do when you are not on the Trail.

EPISODE 33: SURVIVING EVEREST

In Episode 33, Alex Staniforth talks about his recently published book Icefall which details how he survived two of the deadliest seasons of record on Mt. Everest during the 2014 and 2015 climbing seasons. Alex was picked on in his youth, but talks openly about how he channeled his energy in to outdoor activities – which eventually led him to raise funds and climb the tallest mountain in the world.

In my first international interview, we discuss backpacking in Nepal, hiking to base camp, life on the mountain, and how he managed to survive the avalanches and rock slides that took many lives over the last two climbing seasons. We also talk about his plans for the future – including where a 20 year old goes from here and how Mt. Everest still fits in to his future.

EPISODE 34: PACIFIC NORTHWEST TRAIL “A SENSE OF DIRECTION”

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 infancy.

EPISODE 35: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL HIKERS AND BACKPACKERS OF ALL TIME

In Episode 35, we discuss the most influential hikers and backpackers of all time as we sit by a campfire in North Georgia on an autumn night with coyotes running wild in the background. First, a shout out to the trail conferences, clubs, maintainers, ridge-runners, trail angels, and financial benefactors to Trail – because you are collectively more important than any individual for your contributions. But tonight we review some of the names that came up the most frequently in hiking and backpacking forums when we posted the question to the trail community.

EPISODE 36: THIRTY AT THIRTY – PART ONE

In Episode 36, 30 Pack is back!!! And he gives us an update on his wanderlust and travels over the last 2 1/2 years – including his post-PCT adventures with Outburst and their exploration of the wild canyons, hot springs and numerous Trails of the western U.S. 30 Pack then settles briefly in Seattle where he runs his first marathon and is attacked while raising money and helping the homeless on the streets of the City.

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.

EPISODE 38: DISTANT NORTH – THE KUNGSLEDEN

In Episode 38, Theo and Bee give us all a New Years gift and tell us about their adventures on the 273 mile (440 km) Kungsleden Trail in northern Sweden. The couple has lived out of their VW van for the last three years, but took time off from their travels to hike the Kungsleden in the fall of 2015 and release the film Distant North a year later.

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 paid a visit by two National Park Rangers during the interview, so tune in and find out what goes down in Grand Canyon Village.

EPISODE 40: HIKING NEWS REVIEW (GREAT SMOKIES SHOW)

In Episode 40, The Camel and I continue the discussion on hiking news from 2016 in a show recorded right before our annual Klondike hike on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Forewarning, we talk felonies, guns, and politics – subjects that get The Camel particularly fired up.

So listen in, and we’ll brace ourselves for the feedback! ‘Cause we talk arson, kidnapping, self-defense, and about the political leadership of our country. And if that doesn’t make you smile (or cringe), click here for some photos from our Klondike hike and get a look at why we head in to the backcountry in the first place.

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