The Appalachian Trail @ 25 Years

It's been 25 years since I set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.  Time has moved exponentially since then, and I now appreciate that there are a few pivotal years in your life. 1994 was the year for me. In the winter of 1994 I lived in Chicago.  I moved to Illinois from North Carolina and as a 20 something enjoyed the conveniences of this large city - walking to restaurants, bars, friend's houses, and taking the short train rides to Cubs and Bears games.    … [Read more...]

Tough Times & Sassafras Mountain

Russell Bridge Trailhead 9-15-01

There was a period nearly 20 years ago when times were tough.  Airlines stopped flying, people stopped working, and the media spouted doom and gloom on cable TV for 24 hours a day.  It was 9/11/01, and my first impulse was to get to the wilderness.  So when the weekend came, that is exactly what we did.  Here we are at the Chattooga River trailhead in 2001. Tough times are here again – albeit in a very different scenario.  Stay at home orders are in place, schools are … [Read more...]

Episode 72: Right On Trek

In Episode 72, Victoria Livschitz tells us about "Right On Trek" a website to help hikers and backpackers plan their multi-day backpacking trips.  Victoria did her first thru-hike on the John Muir Trail only a few years ago but has since embraced the sport and logged recent ventures into Patagonia and the Grand Canyon. She joins the show this evening to tell us about her introduction to backpacking, how it changed her life, and why the serial entrepreneur was motivated to create other … [Read more...]

Best Hiking Places In The United States

Hiking is often considered to be a source of healthy exercise, both for the mind and the body. As we hike through the rough terrains, the uphill trails and the obstacles of mother nature, we exert physical exercise on our body, but at the same time, it's also about wandering the beauty of this earth and uncovering this beauty in various places where one might not expect to find it. Discovering the earth is the base human desire, it is simply something we're all born with. While spending some … [Read more...]

Episode 65: Dream Job

In Episode 65, Johnny Malloy tells us about his passion for hiking and backpacking and how it led to a 30+ year career as a guidebook author. Johnny graduated from the University of Tennessee in the 80's with an economics degree but decided to never work a 9-5 job. He is now an accomplished outdoor writer and columnist with over 70 camping, fishing, hiking, and padding guidebooks to his credit - covering 26 States in the U.S. with many in the heart of Dixie. We recently met at Trail Days … [Read more...]

Episode 62B: Backpacker Feud

In Episode 62, we discuss a dozen ways to die in the backcountry - based on an article published in Backpacker magazine and recently updated on their online website. In the show, Beer Run and Therm Rider join me for a "Backpacker Feud" (patterned after the TV game show) to name the top ten killers in the backcountry. Not to make light of the top dangers in the wilderness ... but they are worth knowing and you'll most certainly be surprised by what is NOT on the list. This podcast was … [Read more...]

The Best Packs For Backpacking

We spend a lot of time recommending to each other the best hikes to head out on. When we do it, we give a lot of advice about things to see and do on the walk. We talk about the difficulty of the terrain, and the scenery to look out for on the way. We point out all the landmarks that will help us stay on track, and all the great places to eat or drink when we’re stopping for refreshments. We might even impart a little wisdom on the best gear to take along for the journey; what kind of clothing … [Read more...]

Episode 46: Renegade Camping

In Episode 46, we continue the conversation with author Bryan Snyder who talks about Renegade Car Camping in North America.  In the podcast, we discuss how to find free campsites while you are on the road.  Bryan also tells us how to leverage some public and Internet resources to maximize the experience and save some money in the process. Bryan is an educator, hiker, backpacker, climber, car camper and all-around adventurer, and he has logged over 350K miles in his Jeep Cherokee, code … [Read more...]

Episode 39: Hiking News 2016 (Grand Canyon)

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.  … [Read more...]

Episode 33: Backpacking 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, … [Read more...]