N2BACKPACKING PODCASTS

This is a summary of the N2Backpacking podcast series with a quick link and brief summary of each episode.

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Episode 96: Above The Ashes (P1)

In Episode 96, Kevin Conley is back on the show after a six year hiatus to tells us about his last few years as a wildland firefighter, his subsequent battle with mental illness, and his 3500 mile ride across the country to beat it. This journey helped Kevin overcome one of the darkest moments of his life which he details in his recently published book “Above The Ashes” – a powerful memoir of his journey with dog Rocky.

EPISODE 95B: FIRST TIMERS

In Episode 95B, we are deep in the backcountry at a campsite on the Benton MacKaye Trail where we sit around the campfire and discuss some”first time” experiences in the wilderness.  Therm Rider, Beer Run, & Sons all share the first time they found themselves offensive, took a crap in the woods, got a car vandalized, and were scared shitless on the Trail – among other things.

Episode 94: Ticks!!!

In Episode 94, Brian Anderson (aka “The Tick Terminator”) joins the show to educate us on your biggest danger in the backcountry – TICKS!!!  In the podcast, we discuss the tick lifecycle, when and where they are most likely to find you, how to prevent ticks, and what to do if one embeds in your skin.

Episode 93: Ocean To Lake Trail

In Episode 93, John Phillips joins the show to talk about the Ocean To Lake Trail in Central Florida. This 61.4 mile spur of the Florida Trail starts at Lake Okeechobee and heads due east to Hobe Sound Beach where it ends at the Atlantic Ocean. In the show, John tells us what it’s like hiking all day in ankle deep water, about finding rest areas and campsites in the swamp, and how he frequently encountered wildlife on his hike – including poisonous snakes, stealthy alligators, and over 50 wild hogs.

Episode 92: Florida Trail (Suwannee River)

In Episode 92, the Camel joins me in the studio to discuss the Suwannee River section of the Florida Trail which we hiked this winter. If you are not familiar with the Suwannee, it is a 246 mile river that begins in the Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia and ends at the Gulf of Mexico in the northern panhandle of Florida.

Episode 91B: Boyz In The Wood

In Episode 91B, Matt from the “Boyz In The Wood” tells us about his 1994 northbound thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail in a limited N2Backpacking bonus edition. This is the fifth release in a special series to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our hike, and it was recorded at Trail Days on May 13, 1995 in Damascus, Virginia.

Episode 90: Party Foul!

In Episode 90, we are in the mountains near Hays, North Carolina to discuss “party fouls” or bad hiker etiquette on the trail. In the show, we discuss some of the bad behavior that was frequently mentioned in online articles, posts, and videos. We comment if we’ve been guilty of it, witnessed it, or agree that it IS indeed bad hiking etiquette. We also suggest what you SHOULD do on the trail and close the podcast with some gear fails that can ruin your day.

Episode 89: Stuffsack

In Episode 89, we flashback to 1995 for an interview with StuffSack about his thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail the previous year. StuffSack and I stayed in contact after our summer together and were able to connect for this interview when he visited Charlotte, N.C. about four months after we completed our thru-hike. In the interview, StuffSack talks about his first week on the Appalachian Trail, good and bad days, hitchhiking, and his most favorite State on the Trail.

Episode 88: A Look Back (And Forward)

In Episode 88, we break from the typical format to take a look back at 10 years of podcasting.  The N2Backpacking podcast launched a decade ago this Spring, so Therm Rider joins me in the studio to talk about some of the original podcasters, the evolution of backpacking shows these last ten years, and the origins of the N2Backpacking podcast.  We also discuss our favorite episodes and play a few clips from them.

Episode 87: 10th Anniversary Show

In Episode 87, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show by speaking with Glenn (Helmet) & Susan (Doughgirl) who were in the inaugural N2Backpacking podcast – recorded just over 10 years ago.  We last spoke with them in April 2011 when they detailed their thru-hike of the John Muir Trail, but they are here tonight to update us on their adventures this last decade – including caring for their 3 kids, visiting the National Parks, and raising an outdoor family.

Episode 86: Trust The Trail

Trust The Trail Hosts

In Episode 86, I welcome fellow podcasters Scott and Ariane to the show. They are the hosts of the popular backpacking podcast “Trust The Trail”, and despite living within 15 minutes of each other these last few years in metro-Atlanta, we chat long distance from their retrofitted 1976 Airstream camper in Arizona.

Episode 85: The Arizona Trail

In Episode 85, “The Man Who Hiked It All” is back on the podcast to tell us about one of his favorite long distance trails – The AZT.  The Arizona Trail is a nearly 800 mile path that runs from Mexico to Utah and Bart Smith thru-hiked it all in 2009 – the year that it was first designated as a National Scenic Trail.  In the show, Bart tells us about his walk through the lowlands of the Sonoran Desert, his climbs to the sky islands of the San Francisco Peaks, and his traverse of the majestic Grand Canyon.   We also discuss some logistics of his thru-hike on the AZT – including getting to the trailheads, resupply, permits, and timing the seasons to get the most out of your hike.

Episode 84: The Shikoku Pilgrimage

In Episode 84, Paul Barach tells us about his 750 mile and 42 day backpacking trip on the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan.  In the show, Paul shares the history of this religious Buddhist route, talks about hiking in traditional pilgrim clothing, and shares some of the challenges that he faced – including heat, hunger, injuries, and infections.

Episode 83: The Longest Straw

In Episode 83, Samantha Bode joins the show to talk about her 338 mile and 65 day hike along the Los Angeles aqueduct in California.  In the show, we talk about this unique and rarely attempted route, some of the challenges that Samantha faced, and how the ranchers, native Americans, and Los Angeles water personnel viewed her hike.

Episode 82: Backcountry Thanksgiving

In Episode 82, we offer up a “Backcountry Thanksgiving” – just in time for the Holidays, and cooked fresh and right outside our studio this evening.  In the show, we deliver not 1 but 2 four course Thanksgiving meals that are lightweight, inexpensive, and ready for you to take into the wilderness.  And we pack the studio with a record six people to taste each of them – sampling hot drinks, appetizers, a main course, and desserts.

Episode 81: Tahoe Rim Trail

In Episode 81, Jennifer “Sprinkles” Kelley is back on the show to share some great information on how to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail – which runs nearly 170 miles along the border of Nevada and California.  If you work full time and dream of a thru-hike, then this is the show for you.

Episode 80: Hiking With Kids

In Episode 80, Dan Kreesberg joins the show to talk about raising an outdoor kid.  Dan is a naturalist, teacher, and a writer with numerous books, articles, and newspaper columns to his credit – many focused on teaching children how to appreciate the wilderness.  So in the podcast tonight, we discuss camping, hiking, and backpacking with kids – whether they are a toddler, child, or teenager.

Episode 79: Summer In Spain

In Episode 79, Phillip (aka 3 Dub) joins us again to talk about his summer backpacking ~2400 miles in Spain and Portugal via multiple routes on the Camino de Santiago in 2019.  We last spoke with Phillip two years ago in Episode 56 when he talked in detail about his first hike on the Camino.  There’s great information on how to hike the trail in that podcast, but he returns to the show tonight to talk again about the historic routes and why he did multiple thru-hikes of the trail last year.

Episode 78: Brooks Range

In Episode 78, Sarah Histand tells us about her three week traverse of the Brooks Range in Northern Alaska.  She is a native Alaskan who has done multiple packrafting and backpacking trips across the Brooks Range and throughout the State.  So Sarah talks about the logistics of the summer trip – including trailheads, resupply, the wildlife, and how to maintain communications across this vast wilderness that stretches ~700 miles across northern Alaska into Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Episode 77: Scottish Highlands

In Episode 77, Philip Werner shares his experiences with the TGO Challenge which is a ~200 mile sea to sea crossing of the Scottish Highlands in the United Kingdom.  The event draws close to 400 people each year and requires a pre-approved route across the mountain ranges and bogs of Scotland.  Philip has completed two TGO backpacking trips and tells us the basics about the 15 day event.

Episode 76: Backcountry Eats

In Episode 76, Aaron Owens Mayhew joins the podcast.  She is a registered dietary nutritionist, long distance hiker, and entrepreneur that offers some tips on eating healthy and feasting like a King or Queen as you explore the backcountry. In the show, Aaron provides some tips on meal planning and offers some suggestions for inexpensive, tasty, and lightweight meals. She also tells us some common misconceptions and mistakes that backpackers make on the Trail.

Episode 75: Harrison's Pierce Pond Camps

Harrison's Pierce Pond Camps

In Episode 75, Tim Harrison snowmobiles to the top of Bates Ridge in northern Maine to catch up after our visit to Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camps last fall.  The camp is 1/10th of a mile off the Appalachian Trail and is coveted by thru-hikers for the hearty 7am breakfast – served to backpackers in the scenic backdrop off Pierce Pond Lean-To and 16 miles from the nearest township.

Episode 74: The Pandemic Podcast

In Episode 74, we record at a historic time.  Coronavirus has caused a worldwide pandemic.  The governor of Georgia just cancelled school for the year and ordered a “shelter in place” mandate across the State.  So tonight we skip the studio interview, record with a combo of Skype, Join Me, and Zoom, and embrace the social distancing guidelines of the CDC.

Episode 73: Tunes For The Trail?

In Episode 73, we discuss the most appropriate hiking & backpacking songs for the trail.  The assignment was to come to the studio with 3 songs that relate to hiking/backpacking – in either the lyrics or song title.  In the show, we listen and debate each song and give honorable mention to some others that didn’t make our list.

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.

Epiosde 71: It's Your Camino

In Episode 71, Ken Strange joins the show to discuss his recent book It’s Your Camino which documents his ~500 mile hike with wife Aurora through the countries of France and Spain.  In the podcast, Ken gives us some history of the Camino, talks about working with Martin Sheen (who starred in the movie The Way), gives us some tips on how to publish a book, and tells us about his chance TV interview on the Camino about the disappearance of childhood and family-friend Anne McCarrick.

Episode 70: Backpacker Christmas

In Episode 70, we talk about some great hiking and backpacking gift ideas for the Holidays.  Cardiac and Drone Boy are back on the show to talk about outdoor gear for beginners, weekend warriors, long-distance hikers, and kids – and just in time for the Holiday shopping season.  We also offer up some backpacking gifts for $50 or less, and review some not so wonderful gift ideas from Christmas past.

Episode 69: A Dozen Ways To Die

In Episode 69, Cardiac and Drone Boy are back after a nearly two year hiatus to discuss a “Dozen Ways To Die In the Backcountry” – an article that first appeared in Backpacker Magazine in 2008 and was recently published online.

Episode 68: Teenage Thru-Hiker

In Episode 68, “IronWill” Callahan joins the show to tell us what it’s like being a teenage thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail.  In February of this year, Will left Springer Mountain at the age of 17 and hiked northbound to Woods Hole in Virginia where he discovered he had a fractured tibia.  After taking a break to heal, he returned to the trail to finish his hike – completing the Vermont to Virginia section southbound.

Episode 67: Jotunheimen National Park

In Episode 67, Kaylee (aka “Smiles”) is back on the show to tell us about her summer hike across Jotunheimen National Park.  The park is recognized as one of Norway’s premier hiking and fishing regions and it has 250 peaks that rise above 6,000 feet – including Northern Europe’s two highest peaks, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind.

Episode 66: Motor City Ramblers

In Episode 66, the Motor City Ramblers tell us about their 1994 thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. This is the third release in a special series to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our hike, and it was recorded at Trail Days on May 13, 1995 in Damascus, Virginia.

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.

Episode 64: Trail Days 2019

In Episode 64, Gary “Drone Boy” Vaughan returns to the show to discuss our May trip to Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia. He recently chauffeured me to the annual event where I joined the Class of 1994 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our thru-hike.

Episode 63: Black Sunshine

In Episode 63, I speak with Black Sunshine about his 1994 thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. This is the second release in a flashback series where we speak with 11 prospective thru-hikers about their attempt to complete the A.T. in a single year. It was recorded in Charlotte, N.C. on March 5th, 1995, and is part of a series to honor the 25th anniversary of our ’94 thru-hike on the A.T.

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.

Episode 61: The Hayduke

In Episode 61, Alex “Money $hot” Maier returns to the show to talk with us about his recent film and adventure on the 812 mile Hayduke Trail which starts in Arches National Park and finishes in Zion National Park – traversing the slot canyons, desert washes, and mountain ranges that make the deserts lands of Southern Utah and North Arizona some of the most scenic landscapes in North America.

Episode 60: Troubadour

In Episode 60, Troubadour tells us about his 1994 thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. This is the first release in a special bonus series to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our hike, and it was recorded at Trail Days on May 13, 1995 in Damascus, Virginia.

Episode 59: The Man Who Hiked It All

In Episode 59, I speak with Bart Smith (aka Infinite Dust) who was recently featured in Backpacker Magazine as “The Man Who Hiked It All”.  Since 1992, Bart has hiked nearly 35,000 miles on 30 of America’s National Scenic and Historic Trails – completing the last of the Trails by October 2nd, 2018 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act.

Episode 58: Havasu Falls

In Episode 58, Michael and Tim tell us about their recent hike to Havasu Falls in Northern Arizona.  You’ve likely seen the iconic photos of the Falls – the turquoise water set against the desert canyon walls, the idyllic swimming holes surrounded by sunbathing backpackers, this oasis in the middle of a barren Grand Canyon.  And you’ve probably thought about hiking here … but these guys have actually done it.  And they backpacked to the Falls at the ages of 10 and 12!

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