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Out and Back
56 minutes | 9 days ago
22. Bluebird Backcountry (w/ Erik Lambert)
Learn more about Bluebird Backcountry and book tickets by visiting Bluebird's website. Remember, you get a free Gaia GPS premium membership when you buy a pass to Bluebird Backcountry!Also make sure to check out Bluebird on Instagram, and while you're there, make sure to check out the Out and Back page, too!Learn more about avalanche safety at avalanche.org. Find and sign up for an avalanche education class with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights3:45: What even is Bluebird Backcountry Ski Area? Erik Lambert says it’s a small ski area with zero chairlifts — a first of its kind.5:30: The idea to create this educational, risk-controlled backcountry ski environment emerged when one of Bluebird’s partners took a family member on his first ski tour. 6:20: Bluebird Backcountry aims to tear down the barriers that can make learning to backcountry ski and snowboard feel insurmountable.8:50: You only need to be an intermediate skier/snowboarder to enjoy all that Bluebird has to offer. But all levels of backcountry experience are welcome, from never-evers to experts looking for a chill social backcountry setting.10:30: Bluebird is located on private property on the Continental Divide and about 30 minutes outside Steamboat Springs, near Kremmling, Colorado.16:50: Bluebird’s mountain is mostly aspen glades plus a mix of steeper terrain and even some couloirs in mostly north and east facing terrain, which will hold snow.19:00: You can hire a guide to take you outside of the ski area boundary.20:00: There will be seven skin tracks leading the way up — you don’t have to break trail! The whole mountain is un-groomed so you can learn how to ski in variable conditions, like what is found in the backcountry. 21:15: Get the breakdown on the percentage of types of terrain: green, blue, black, and, yes, even double black zones.23:00: Bluebird backcountry offers educational courses in both backcountry skiing instruction and avalanche safety. Check out the introductory three-step courses, plus a women-specific Avalanche I course. 26:00: Get daily clinics and ski with a mentor to get you started in the backcountry. 28:20: Learn how Bluebird Backcountry mitigates risks of avalanches inside the resort boundaries by managing terrain. Ski patrol also monitors the area for medical emergencies. 37:00: Get a free Gaia GPS premium membership when you buy a pass to Bluebird Backcountry, because “maps are an essential part of the kit“ to your backcountry gear. Erik has been using Gaia GPS for his backcountry adventures for 10 years. 42:00: Bluebird limits visitor counts to 200 guests a day, and is naturally conducive to social distancing. 43:50: What does a day pass cost? And what do you get for that? Listen to find out! 45:00: “Part of our goal is to make sure people have a big friendly face on the mountain.“
28 minutes | 25 days ago
21. Caught in an Avalanche - Bruce Tremper
To reap more of Tremper’s wisdom, check out his books, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Avalanche Essentials, and Avalanche Pocket Guide (Mountaineers Books). Listen to episode 20 to hear Tremper explain how to use each book in your progression about avalanche safety and snow science. Learn more about avalanche safety at avalanche.org. Find and sign up for an avalanche education class with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Make sure to go to your local avalanche center for area forecasts. And finally, don't forget to check out Tremper’s “Know Before you Go” video on YouTube!Make sure to check out the Out and Back Podcast page on Instagram!Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 4:10: Tremper was almost literally born with skis on his feet. 5:15: Skiing is a religious experience for Tremper.7:20: Tremper got a job in 1978 installing and building the Pierre’s Knob lift at Bridger Bowl, Montana.9:15: Before the lift opened to the public, Bruce had to ski the line by himself and it was a stormy, snowy day.10:20: This is the story of how “Tremper’s Run” at Bridger Bowl got its name. 11:00: Tremper made a terrible mistake: “oops, I forgot." 12:10: Tremper decided to cut across an avalanche chute. He thought he could outsmart the avalanche.13:00: He put his skis on and went zooming across the top of the starting zone. 14:00: The snow fractured 40 feet above Tremper. 15:45: Tremper grabbed onto a tree as he was getting pounded by the avalanche, but lost his grip and went rocketing down the slope.16:35: He went more than 1,000 feet and snow was everywhere. Tremper couldn’t breathe.17:35: “I’m going to die.”18:00: Bruce started swimming for the surface. He started slowing down.19:20: It felt like concrete. 20:00: Both skis were completely broken. 20:30: This was a huge wake up call to Tremper. 21:44: Tremper was a cocky young kid and green with avalanches — a typical avalanche victim. 22:50: He wanted to know everything about avalanches and he spent his life studying them. 23:45: Tremper is blown away by the overwhelming power of avalanches.25:00: Avalanches have grabbed ahold of Tremper, and have never let him go.
74 minutes | a month ago
20. Bruce Tremper - Avalanche Science and Safety
To reap more of Tremper’s wisdom, check out his books, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Avalanche Essentials, and Avalanche Pocket Guide (Mountaineers Books). Listen to the podcast to hear Tremper explain how to use each book in your progression about avalanche safety and snow science. Learn more about avalanche safety at avalanche.org. Find and sign up for an avalanche education class with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 5:30: Tremper grew up skiing and got his first lesson in avalanches at the age of 10 from his ski patrol father.9:50: Tremper got his start in the ski industry as a lifty at Bridger Bowl, Montana, and worked his way up to ski patrol and avalanche forecasting.19:40: Tremper has been caught in two avalanches.20:30: Tremper talks about avalanche fatality rates, and the demographics point to the “new kids on the block.”23:20: Avalanche risk broken down by region...Colorado, Utah, Montana, Washington, California...and why it’s so tricky in the cold regions far away from the ocean. 26:20: The backcountry is shaping up to be busy and Tremper is worried about people in the backcountry who don’t know the basics of avalanches. Here’s what you can do even if you can’t get into an avalanche class. Watch the “Know Before You Go” video. 30:00: You need a backcountry system to stay safe. Copy Tremper’s system to create your own. 30:40: Tremper talks about how he uses Gaia GPS as part of his system. 34:10: Avalanche risk varies greatly with slope angle. North facing slopes can be dangerous in early season conditions.35:20: Pick your backcountry ski and snowboarding partners wisely and don’t bring too many! 45:10: Systematic and confirmation biases plays into poor decision making in the backcountry; don’t trust your beliefs because it can lead you astray. Rely on the data and observations. 50:00: Tremper busts common avalanche myths: skied slopes are not always safe, avalanches can happen in the trees, and lower angle slopes are generally safer but no guarantee.55:30: Tremper runs through his “low risk travel ritual.” A list of safety protocols he learned from ski patrol over the years. 1:00:35: Here’s what you should do if you’re caught in an avalanche.1:04:15: The avalanche risk scales used in the United States are not linear ratings; each level doubles the risk of avalanches.1:07:20: Here’s what Tremper says first-timers should do to stay safer in the backcountry this year.1:11:30: Tremper continues his snow safety work with creating more books and videos on the avalanches.
57 minutes | 2 months ago
19. Charles Pitman - Summit County Search & Rescue
Learn more about avalanche safety at avalanche.org. Find an avalanche education class with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Learn more about Summit Country Search and Rescue and donate to your local search and rescue organization.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights4:30: The pandemic made the backcountry around Denver busy this year and many skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers were ill-equipped for safety.8:15: This year has been a record setting rescue season in Summit County, Colorado.12:00: Search and Rescue is preparing for a busy winter season.13:15: Here’s how COVID-19 has changed search-and-rescue missions in Summit County.17:00: Practice your avalanche transceiver skills at a beacon park.18:15: More people are taking avalanche classes, but these classes are limited and filling up quickly this year.19:00: Get search-and-rescue’s tips to avoid avalanches: get the avalanche forecast, check the weather, and stick to low-angle slopes if you aren’t sure about the danger. 25:25: Avalanche forecasting is not an exact science and sometimes you can do all the right things and still get into trouble.26:15: A case study about five people who died in an avalanche: what went wrong?27:00: Is technology giving people a false sense of security and too much confidence?32:00: Colorado typically has a weaker snow pack and experiences more avalanches than other areas of the country.36:00: A GPS mapping app on your phone, like Gaia GPS, would reduce the number of rescue calls because people could see exactly where they are on the map and easily find the trail if they get lost. 39:00: Two-way satellite communication devices helps search-and-rescue crews to understand the help you need, plus Pitman tells us what happens when you press the SOS button. 42:00: Pitman says call for help sooner rather than later; it could save a life. 48:40: Make a plan for your backcountry adventure, but don’t succumb to summit fever; be flexible and willing to adjust plans when you get out on the mountain because conditions may change rapidly. 53:00: Most search-and-rescue crews are volunteer and they do it for the heart warming stories with happy endings.
85 minutes | 2 months ago
18. Courtney Dauwalter (w/ co-host Abby Levene)
Follow Courtney on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with her physical, psychological, and gustatory adventures. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 3:55: How Courtney went from being an elite cross country skier to an ultramarathon runner.6:52: Courtney’s first 100-mile race did not go according to plan.9:00: That first 100-mile race flipped a switch in Courtney’s brain. 10:07: Courtney thinks of her brain as a filing cabinet filled with experiences to draw out and use as needed.13:35: How Courtney made the leap to quit her job as a high school science teacher to pursue running full time.18:00: What drove Courtney to jump from racing 100 miles to 240 miles at the Moab 240.22:35: Things unravel at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in 2019.26:35: How Courtney bounced back mentally and physically from Western States leading up to UTMB.35:30: Courtney’s legs were not prepared to win UTMB. How she managed to do so, anyway.39:10: The role Courtney’s husband Kevin plays in Courtney’s success.41:05: Why Courtney thought running the 500-mile Colorado Trail sounded like a good idea.44:00: The sleep game of ultra-long distance events.50:15: Unbeknownst to Courtney, things go horribly wrong on the Colorado Trail.54:35: The inside-scoop on Courtney’s most recent win at Big’s Backyard Ultra.1:13:35: Why Courtney exclusively runs in basketball style shorts.1:15:35: Courtney’s life-saving food on the trail.1:16:50: The one endurance event Courtney would love to spectate.
88 minutes | 3 months ago
17. Buzz Burrell - "Father of the FKT"
Learn more about Buzz Burrell and FKT records at fastestknowntime.com. Listen every Friday to the Fastest Known Time podcast, featuring the rising stars in speed records around the globe. You can also follow the FKT community on Instagram.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 4:15: Buzz defines “fastest known time“ and how that term became popular over time. 6:40: Buzz talks about some of his own FKTs on the John Muir Trail and the Colorado Trail. 13:00: Fastest known time action is off the hook this year, filling a hole for cancelled races due to COVID. 15:00: FKT doesn’t have a leader board; only the winners of the FKT gets a mention on the website.16:15: FKTs of the season, including Jeff “Legend” Garmire’s unsupported FKT of the Colorado Trail. 31:00: The Wind River High Route created by Buzz and Andrew Skurka has been a popular FKT objective in the last couple of years for both men and women. 34:00: FKTs have gender categories and recently added a non-binary category. But there are no age categories for FKT and a 20-year-old competes against a 60-year-old. 37:10: You have to submit a GPX file to verify a fastest known time.39:30: Top athletes pursue an FKT to push themselves beyond organized races and to put their backcountry skills to the test.45:15: FKTs are not just about mountains; fastest known time routes exist in the deserts, across states, and on paved roads. 50:10: Nobody has tried to lay down a speed record on the Continental Divide Trial, and Buzz explains why. 55:05: All the FKTs that got away from Buzz over the years. 1:01:00: Buzz’s favorite route crosses the three districts of Canyonlands National Park: Maze, Needles, Island in the Sky. 1:03:00 You can do Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) like most people on the Kaibab Trail, or you can take the more obscure Bass Trail and swim across the river (like Buzz did when he was 65 years old). 1:06:10: Don’t try using your Therm-a-Rest Neo Air as a packraft — it doesn’t work. 1:09:25: Buzz has the engine at age 69, but the parts have worn out. 1:11:05: Buzz is mad about aging and is going down kicking and screaming. 1:11:15: Learn Buzz’s 4-step program for dealing with the effects of aging. 1:15:00: Buzz is a multi-sport athlete; he competes in ballroom dancing and likes swing dancing — it’s athletic. “The body is born to move!”1:25:00: The FKT is a community. What’s on tap for Buzz, the FKT podcast, and the FKT website.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
16. Grizzly 399
Learn more about Griz 399 by visiting her Instagram page. Read her Wikipedia page and Mangelsen and Wilkinson’s glossy-paged book: The Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek. See Mangelsen’s photography by visiting his gallery in Jackson, Wyoming or follow him on Instagram. Read Wilkinson’s non-profit Mountain Journal to discover public interest issues facing the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and for a greater understanding of the inter-relationships between people and nature in the American West. You can also see Maureen Matsen's photography by following her on Instagram.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 4:00: Wildlife watcher and amateur photographer Maureen Matsen grew up looking for wildlife when she would take long roadtrips with her family to Grand Teton National Park. To keep them entertained, Maureen’s dad would pay her and her siblings cash if they spotted an animal. This helped Maureen develop a keen eye for animal spotting. 5:15: Maureen seeks out wildlife as a way to process the stress of her job as an ICU nurse. 5:45: Maureen seeks out all kinds of wildlife in the park but bears, because they are not an everyday sighting, are the piece de resistance. 6:10: Grizzly Bear 399 has very distinct markings: a heart-shaped face with blonde coloring down her snout.7:05: Grizzly Bear 399 lives along the roadside in the Pilgrim Creek area of Grand Teton National Park. 7:20: Hundreds of people line the roads just to get a glimpse of 399. But on Maureen’s first outing this year — she missed the chance to see her and her cubs.8:30: The pandemic has been heavy and these animals have brought so much hope and joy in such heavy times. 9:20: Maureen went back a few weeks later and Grizzly Bear 399 popped out of the sagebrush trailing four little cubs behind her. And the crowd goes wild. 11:28: This bear is being stalked by hundreds of tourists and professional photographers just trying to get a glimpse of 399’s glory. The joy when she appears is palpable. 12:50: Professional Wildlife Photographer Tom Mangelsen describes the return of Grizzly Bears to Grand Teton National Park. A grizzly bear showed up on his back porch in 2006. That was his introduction to Grizzly Bear 399.14:30: Tom recalls that last year, Grizzly Bear 399 was fatter than ever before. He speculated she would have triplets.14:45: Grizz 399 surprised everyone when she came out of hibernation with four tiny cubs. 16:50: Todd Wilkinson has written about Grizzly Bear 399 for National Geographic magazine and then collaborated with Tom Mangelsen to publish a book: the Grizzly Bears of Pilgrim Creek. 17:25: Grizzly Bear 399’s life has been more dramatic to watch as the years go on. 18:00: Bears are not these fearsome creatures, they only want to protect their young. 18:50: Lives along the road because it’s safer for her babies, and she does all of her bear business with a grandstand of people around her. 20:20: The front country has turned out to be the perfect habitat for Grizz 399, who has raised 7 litters along the roadside over the years.21:43: Grizz 399 has exuded amazing tolerance for human beings; she can navigate cars and hundreds of people without “losing her cool.” Tom says Grizzly Bear 399 has become a master at navigating the crowds.23:45: But not so fast. Grizzly Bears are dangerous and wildlife officials advise to keep your distance, stay in your car, and never feed a bear.25:00: Dennis Van Denbos was at the wrong place at the wrong time in 2007. He was mauled by Grizzly Bear 399 and her then-yearling triplets. He lived to tell us about it. 28:21: Grizz 399 jumped out of the bushes about 20 feet away and charged at Dennis. Three “teddy bear shapes” stood in the background. 29:25: Dennis saw this striking image with the sun shining on her — a sight Dennis will never forget. Dennis started to back away but stumbled off the road. 31:10: Dennis is face-to-face, eye level with Grizz 399. And she charges. 31:50: Dennis hits the deck and Grizz 399 and her three cubs bite him in the back and backside. 32:50: “They’re just going to eat me.” Dennis contemplates the end of his life. 33:00: People intervened and Dennis survived. Dennis understood why she attacked, she was feeding on a carcass and was stressed. He would have been very disappointed if the park had decided to kill Grizz 399 because of the attack. 37:30: The decision to let Grizzly Bear 399 live after the mauling of Dennis turns out to be a pivotal moment in grizzly bear recovery in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Grizz 399 went on to have multiple sets of cubs.38:40: Grizzly Bear 399 displays emotions humans can relate to. 40:00: After the death of her cub “Snowy,” Grizzly Bear 399 “bawled” and grieved her baby’s death. Tom describes how distraught the bear was. 41:00: Grizzly Bear 399 is 24 years old, and that makes her a grandmother bear who isn’t expected to live much longer. 41:50: Todd explains how Grizzly bears face many dangers in the world: human encounters and traffic.42:00: We have this homegrown nature safari in the Yellowstone ecosystem.42:15: Todd describes how the story of Griz 399 brings us all together.
90 minutes | 4 months ago
15. Zach "Badger" Davis and The Trek (w/ co-host Real Hiking Viking)
Go to TheTrek.co for all the resources you can imagine for long-distance backpacking as well as learn more about Badger. Follow his adventures on Instagram, and tune into his podcast, Backpacker Radio. You can also hear more hilarity from Viking on his first Out and Back appearance. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights0:45: Zach “Badger” Davis is one of Shanty’s favorite people in the outdoor community.1:30: Shanty explains how backpacking with the Real Hiking Viking led to getting Badger (and Viking once again) on the show.5:20: Zach did not grow up super “outdoorsy.”6:50: Thru-hiking the AT was Badger’s first backpacking trip.7:20: Badger did everything wrong on the AT—including setting his socks on fire.8:30: Badger explains why relying on free gear isn’t always the best move for a thru-hike.9:30: The trio discusses how social media has impacted thru-hiking.12:00: How thru-hiking has changed over the past decade.15:45: Badger accidentally fell into backpacking because he was miserable working 70 to 80 hours a week.17:30: Norovirus on the AT.18:50: Badger’s AT thru-hike was deliberately solitary and introspective.19:30: Badger recounts his most cathartic moment on the AT.21:00: The person who went into the AT and the person who came out were two entirely different people.26:30: Badger explains how repeating the mantra “Why are you here?” on the AT helped inspire him to write a book.27:30: Writing Appalachian Trails was a reprieve from the post-trail blues.29:30: Badger gives his explanation of the “Virginia Blues” — it’s not what you may think!33:00: How making sense of the Virginia Blues led to Badger starting a blog, which led to writing a book.34:00: The origin story of The Trek.37:40: Badger and Viking tell the hilarious story of how they met.41:00: Badger and Viking hike the PCT together. 42:00: Different challenges of the AT and PCT.45:30: Why Badger changed the name of Appalachian Trials to The Trek.48:40: Why you should mentally break your thru-hike down into a series of section hikes.52:30: How Viking decided to attempt a last minute winter thru-hike of the AT.55:00: How sleeping in an outhouse saved Viking and Badger’s lives.1:05:15: Badger’s vision for the future of The Trek.1:13:00: Badger’s next goals.1:15:00: Badger’s favorite off-the-beaten-path trail.1:16:40: Badger recounts watching Viking eat an enormous mid-hike meal.1:19:15: Badger and Viking hitch a ride with a bachelorette party bus.
59 minutes | 4 months ago
14. Scott Turner: National Parks and Day Hikes
You can learn more about Turner and find his guidebooks on his website. Follow Turner’s adventures on Instagram, and connect with him on Facebook.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights3:20: Scott has written hundreds of trail descriptions.3:45: Scott’s upbringing planted the seeds for his hiking and writing passions.5:50: How a book sitting on his girlfriend’s shelf inspired him to learn how to hike safely.8:00: Scott starts exploring the diverse landscapes of San Diego county.12:00: Scott starts writing for LA-based Modern Hiker in 2014. He’s written 300 articles since.13:30: Scott revises Afoot and Afield, which entailed hiking all 250 hikes, plus another 250 hikes.15:30: How to write a trail description.19:00: Scott works with Mountaineers Books to write pocket-sized guidebooks to national parks.20:40: Scott’s guidebooks contain itineraries for people visiting national parks for one to several days.21:25: How to get the most out of your one-day visit to a national park. (Prep and planning are key!)22:10: Why to get to the park early.22:50: Pick an area within the park, and hike to the best spots in that area.23:15: Scott’s one-day itinerary for Sequoia National Park.24:30: Scott’s one-day itinerary for Kings Canyon National Park.27:00: The benefits of an interpretive hike, and why stopping in the visitor’s center is worthwhile.28:00: Scott’s favorite hike in Zion National Park.30:00: Scott’s tips on how to enjoy Joshua Tree National Park.33:25: Why Scott starts hiking really early. 35:00: Scott’s books contain the deep cuts, less busy trails that you may have never heard of.36:35: Scott shakes down his pack, laying out everything he brings on a day hike.38:30: Why Scott avoids wearing cotton.39:25: Scott’s favorite snack to take hiking.40:15: Why Scott almost always prefers trail running shoes to hiking boots.41:25: The “10 essentials” you need to survive an unplanned night outside.42:45: Scott’s books also contain activities for people who don’t hike.43:53: Scott shares an insider secret about where to hike in the fall.45:00: Scott is enduring a record fire season in California. 46:25: Scott divulges his next guidebook.48:10: How hiking helps Scott at his day job as a marriage and family therapist. 50:30: Scott’s favorite national park.51:10: Scott’s favorite place to go hiking that isn’t a national park.53:00: Scott and Shanty break down the best Pop-Tarts flavor for hiking.
113 minutes | 4 months ago
13. Her Odyssey: An Adventure Across the Americas
Learn more about Fidgit, Neon, and Her Odyssey on their website. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook. You can support their mission, or just simply buy them a meal, by visiting their Patreon. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights1:00: Fidgit and Neon started their journey over 5 years ago.5:25: Fidgit and Neon met on the PCT in 2010.8:25: The idea for Her Odyssey came to Fidgit on a drive home from work in Kansas City.10:50: Fidgit’s belief system led to her reach out to Neon to be her travel partner.14:30: Fidgit and Neon pull each other toward’s the center of emotion and logic. 19:50: Fidgit spent three years planning this trip. 22:30: Accepting that they didn’t know what they were doing was essential.23:30: Neon uses her power of observation to help them navigate.25:00: Fidgit and Neon tell an illuminating story about getting lost. 27:00: How sharing knowledge about routes and trails differs in Latin America and the US.30:00: Learning some of the local language is an important display of good will and respect.34:00: Fidgit and Neon share pointers for interacting with locals and being respectful of local culture.41:40: Gaging threats and avoiding dangerous situations internationally. 45:35: Self-defense strategy for staying safe overseas.52:00: Women’s bodies were found cut up in bags while they were in South America.59:50: How Fidgit and Neon dealt with water in South America. (Their strategy didn’t always work!)1:05:50: Fidgit and Neon go separate ways for part of their journey.1:12:00: When a region got too “murdery,” they moved on.1:21:10: How COVID has impacted their travels. 1:29:30: Fidgit and Neon are focusing on the storytelling and community building components of their journey.1:30:20: The ultimate goal of their trip is to reach the Arctic Ocean within the next two years.1:33:00: Balancing structure and letting the journey unfold.1:33:30: Advice to those looking to go on their own odyssey. 1:36:30: The grossest things Fidgit and Neon have eaten on their trip.1:43:00: The one luxury item Fidgit and Neon can’t travel without. (You will never guess!)1:49:00: How Neon and Fidgit got their trail names.
46 minutes | 4 months ago
12. Solo Backpacking with a Stalker
Mary is a former journalist and trial lawyer, both experiences she drew upon in order to give you a narrative account of this unnerving event. Today, she is the executive producer of the Out and Back podcast as well as a writer and editor at Gaia GPS. When she is not in the office, Mary works as a guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures in wild places around the west, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite, and Alaska. Learn more about Mary by following her on Instagram. Read Mary’s bio on the Gaia GPS’s team page and view her hiking credentials on Andrew Skurka’s guide roster. Read her tips on how to plan your first solo backpacking trip. Episode Highlights 3:00: Mary did not grow up in an outdoor family. She grew up in the Detroit area. 4:25: Even in the suburbs, Mary was drawn to the outdoors. 7:30: Mary’s sister dropped her off at Lake Tahoe when she was 17 so she could pursue outdoor jobs. 9:40: Mary lands her dream job as a wilderness ranger in the Desolation Wilderness on the western crest of the Lake Tahoe Basin. 11:00: There was one major problem: solo backpacking!12:20: Mary’s first night out in the wilderness alone. 15:50: Mary became the resident expert in Desolation Wilderness and finally got comfortable solo backpacking. 17:15: Mary meets Carl at the 90-foot wall, a popular climbing crag in Emerald Bay.19:20: Mary runs into Carl in the backcountry. 21:00: Carl shows up at Mary’s house.23:45: Underwear goes missing. 26:10: Mary is camping at her favorite backcountry campsite and Carl shows up right as the sun is going down. 27:15: Mary freezes. 32:26: Mary is constantly looking over her shoulder for Carl.32:50: Mary sees Carl again on the trail. 34:00: Mary was mad at Carl for interrupting her dream job in the wilderness. She decided to stay in Desolation Wilderness and was ready mentally and physically to confront Carl if she ever saw him again. 39:00: Mary understood victims of violent crime and how they could freeze in the middle of an assault. 43:10: Solo backpacking is magic and a cathartic way to sort out issues for Mary.
47 minutes | 4 months ago
11. Backcountry Foodie - Aaron Owens Mayhew
Check out Backcountry Foodie’s website and Instagram for backcountry cooking tips and inspiration.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights:2:40: Backcountry Foodie is an online meal planning service for backpackers — a go-to science-based resource for ultralight backpacking food. 3:45: Aaron’s first backpacking meals were MREs! 4:30: Aaron fell in love with the outdoors and backpacking. 5:10: Backcountry Foodie started with a PCT thru-hike and a mid-life crisis.7:10: Meal planning for a 5-month hike was overwhelming and her initial meal planning became the inception of Backcountry Foodie.8:00: Shanty comes clean with his thru-hiker menu plan: Pop-Tarts, summer sausage, a block of cheese, and ramen. 8:15: Aaron talks about what she ate on the PCT: quinoa, beans, hummus. 8:45: She brings her home diet into the backcountry because it makes her body feel better.9:15: Two pounds of food per day can be a myth; you can go lighter with more calories!10:08: Aaron often packs a pound and a half food per day. 12:05: You don’t have to eat processed food while backpacking, here’s how.12:20: Aaron definitely packs Snickers in her backpack though! 13:15: You need a balance of protein, carbs, and fat to keep that engine running all day! 14:30: Aaron is a “nerdy dietitian” who loves to crunch numbers for proper calorie densities and weight. 15:27: Eating healthy is more expensive, no getting around the fact that processed foods are cheaper, but good health is worth the money. 16:20: A popular meal that is not too expensive is Aaron's spruced-up ramen recipe.19:40: You don’t have to buy a dehydrator, you can just use all dry ingredients from the store. 22:00: Here are some foods that Aaron doesn’t think you should dehydrate.25:00: Check out the ultimate ratios for carbs, fat, and protein on a backpacking trip. 33:00: Sugar will make you crash.36:50: There's something for everyone in Backcountry Foodie meal planning: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free.40:15: Aaron loves getting emails from clients saying that her meals have made them feel better and hike better.41:00: Backcountry Foodie Phase 2 includes packaged meals but they are having trouble finding a kitchen to work in during COVID. 42:00: Van-life is Backcountry Foodie’s lifestyle with no desire to go back to a standard lifestyle.43:00: Aaron has almost a full kitchen inside her home on wheels.
77 minutes | 5 months ago
10. Rue McKenrick and the American Perimeter Trail
Check out the American Perimeter Trail website and follow McKenrick’s journey with real time updates on his Instagram and Facebook pages.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 0:50: What is the American Perimeter Trail?3:50: How Rue got into backpacking. 4:50: Rue grew up near the AT in PA and enjoyed spending time alone.5:20: Rue got lost at summer camp.7:10: Rue talks about his first long-distance hike: the AT.8:00: Rue’s motivation to get into long-distance hiking.9:30: What Rue learned about himself while pursuing the Triple Crown.10:30: Hiking the AT redeemed Rue’s faith in humanity.11:15: Hiking deepened Rue’s empathy towards others.12:45: Aligning personal and professional values.13:20: Rue lives a leave no trace life, even in the front country. He hasn’t driven a car in 10 years!14:30: Rue hiked the PCT in 2005.14:50: Rue hiked the CDT in 2007.15:30: Rue felt like his life was taking a more domestic turn, but it never happened.16:30: Existential introspection led Rue to create the APT.17:40: Rue’s desire to explore the US before he goes back abroad. 18:30: The now-or-never reckoning moment that led Rue to start hiking the APT.20:00: Goal of the APT is conservation through recreation.22:30: Backpacking is like sandpaper. It’s smoothed out a lot of Rue’s edges. 24:00: The APT is not a finished product. 26:00: No long-distance trail is ever complete.28:30: How Rue started building the APT.30:00: A lot of Rue’s route decisions are day-to-day on the trail.31:00: Rue doesn’t like to plan, but he prepares.35:40: How Rue got through the waterless stretches of Death Valley.39:00: How Rue is navigating the route.40:20: Importance of staying found.40:50: How Rue sees a 3D world when he looks at a map.42:30 More of the APT is off-trail than on.43:30: How Rue got through Texas, a state where only 4.2% of the land is public.46:30: Challenge of thru-hiking through terrain without long-distance trail communities.46:50: Someone shot at Rue.47:00: How Rue navigated having guns pulled on him in a store.52:20: The most discouraging thing Rue has encountered multiple times on the trail.56:50: How Rue picks up essential items while on the trail.57:00: Social isolating: Rue’s COVID-19 coping strategy while out on the trail. 58:30: The challenges of thru-hiking during a pandemic that you may not have considered. 59:45: Thru-hiking requires both soft and hard skills. The APT takes both to the max.1:00:25: Funding the trip while on the trip.1:00:30: How many times Rue will re-up gear on this project.1:05:30: The one luxury item Rue can’t hike without: an open heart.1:06:40: The best trail magic Rue has ever received. 1:08:10: The people who inspire Rue.1:11:00 How people can support the APT.
59 minutes | 5 months ago
9. Justin "Trauma" Lichter
To learn more about Lichter, check out his website: www.justinlichter.com. Tap into his knowledge by reading one of his many books, including: Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker’s Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking and Survive: Mountains.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 3:20: Trauma talks about nearing his goal of traveling to all seven continents. 4:20: Trauma has hiked over 40,000 miles. 5:00 Trauma grew up skiing and day-hiking with his parents. He loved running to see what’s around the corner.6:30: Trauma discusses an eye-opening trip to southern Utah that inspired him to thru-hike the AT. 8:30: Why the AT?9:45: Trauma talks about why he decided to pursue an outdoor adventure lifestyle. 11:15: Trauma reveals how he earned his trail name. (It’s a crazy story!)12:30: Ravens dive-bombed Trauma on his first wilderness trip.14:00: Trauma’s first major trip was a 1,500 mile adventure through eastern Africa.15:30: Wildlife encounters forced Trauma to cut his trip short.17:30: Trauma spooked a lion and got chased by an elephant. 19:00: People are not on the top of the food chain in Africa.21:30: Learning to navigate African cultures.23:30: Trauma was careful with water sources and vaccinations to avoid sickness.26:00: Trauma’s second major trip took him to Katmandu, Nepal, for the Great Himalaya Trail.28:50: Tricky resupply strategy for the Great Himalaya Trail.31:30: Trauma ate a lot of convenience store food.32:00: Altitude is draining.33:30: Trauma and Pepper become the first people to complete the PCT in winter.34:30: Trauma talks about his motivation to embark on a winter PCT thru-hike.35:30: Trauma and Pepper indirectly spent a decade preparing for their winter PCT trip, dialing in their gear and skills.36:30: Gear isn’t made for this type of trip. Trauma had to find the balance between winter gear weight and functionality.37:45: How Trauma and Pepper met.39:00: Trauma and Pepper have adventured thousands of miles together.39:30: Pros and cons of having an adventure partner.41:00: Trauma and Pepper lucked out with avalanche danger on the PCT.42:50: Trauma and Pepper got frostbite. 45:00: Winter navigational challenges you probably haven’t considered.47:00: What keeps Trauma going.48:45: Trauma’s work for National Geographic Maps.49:30: Trauma’s work on ski patrol.53:50: One of Trauma’s hiking presentations turned into a full barroom brawl. 55:10: Trauma’s favorite hiking gear.55:50: Trauma’s favorite hiking food. 56:05: The psychological differences between a zero and a “nearo.”
72 minutes | 5 months ago
8. Will "Akuna" Robinson
Learn more about Akuna on his brand new website www.akunahikes.com and follow Akuna on Instagram to catch a glimpse of his latest adventures. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights 3:50: Akuna describes his upbringing living in Germany as a military kid and coming back to New Orleans. 6:30: Racism is real; it is not a made up thing. 7:05: Akuna did not grow up backpacking and camping, but enjoyed being outside as a kid.8:45: Akuna’s dad told him that joining the military was out of the question.9:15: An Army recruitment officer diverted Akuna from going down the wrong path in 1999 when he was a young man.11:10: Akuna served in Iraq and was medically evacuated and sent home to New Orleans.13:45: Upon returning home, Akuna underwent a number of surgeries and struggled with PTSD.18:20: The military was not yet prepared to addressed the number of soldiers coming home with PTSD. 18:30: Akuna fell into a downward spiral, getting worse and worse. His room at home became a prison and he withdrew from social interactions.20:00: Akuna knew he had to do something drastic to get out of this situation. 20:20: He looked up at the TV and saw the movie “Wild” and it inspired him to hit the Pacific Crest Trail.21:20: Akuna thought “this is where I need to be” and two weeks later he was in Campo ready to start the trail. 24:30: Social interaction is the best part of Akuna’s thru-hiking experience. 27:15: Learn how Akuna earned his trail name. 28:20: Akuna loves the desert section of the PCT. 30:35: How thru-hiking helped alleviate Akuna’s PTSD and Depression symptoms. 39:00 Akuna is dealing with injuries on the PCT and has to leave the trail. 45:00: Akuna comes back and completes the PCT and goes on to nab the AT and CDT, becoming the first Black man to complete the Triple Crown. 48:00: Akuna shares his experience on each of the three trails and the benefits of each. 51:03: Akuna inadvertently completed the Triple Crown. 54:10: Akuna is proud to be first Black man to achieving the Triple Crown because it provides an example to other people of color that they can complete the trails too.55:40: The community response to his Triple Crown achievement was overwhelming. 56:00: Akuna is sponsored by Merrell. 57:00: Since George Floyd’s murder, Akuna and other Black and BIPOC athlete’s phones have been ringing off the hook.59:00: Akuna’s advice on how hikers and outdoor brands can be better allies to people of color in the outdoors.1:04:10: Akuna took a mental health break from social media recently.1:05:00: What’s on Akuna’s bucket list of hikes? You will NEVER guess.1:08:05: Favorite trail town food: milkshakes. 1:09:00: Shout out to Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop, California, Akuna’s favorite trail town stop.
58 minutes | 5 months ago
7. Liz "Snorkel" Thomas
Learn more about Liz Thomas and her urban thru-hikes on her blog and follow her on Instagram. Check out Snorkel’s latest adventure: Treeline Review, a comprehensive gear-review website that helps you find and buy the right equipment the first time around. Read her book Long Trails, Mastering the Art of the Thru-Hike and her recent Falcon Guide, Hiking Waterfalls Southern California: A guide to the Region’s Best Waterfall Hikes, released in November 2019.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights4:40: Snorkel explains how she got her trail name.6:05: Snorkel talks about her 20,000 miles hiked, including the Triple Crown.7:00: If she could only hike one trail again, it would be the CDT, and here’s why!8:00: Snorkel held the women’s speed record on the Appalachian Trail for five years before Heather “Anish” Anderson broke it. 9:30: Snorkel completed the first traverse of the Wasatch Range.13:40: Find out Snorkel’s motivation to keep hiking all these miles.14:35: Outside Magazine named Snorkel the Queen of “Urban Hiking.”15:45: Snorkel has thru-hiked 14 US cities. New York was the most intimidating.19:10: You can get the same benefits on an urban hike that you get on a wilderness hike. 27:08: Gear is about 40 percent of your hiking budget.28:20: All the expenses that people forget about when planning a long hike.29:40: Snorkel tells us what type of gear to invest in for your first long hike.30:35: Resupply in town versus mail drops. Liz says first timers should buy in town and for good reason.33:10: Shanty blew his budget on the Appalachian Trail. 33:50: The thru-hiking budget rule of thumb.34:20: Shout out to Paul Magnanti “PMags” for his super cheap thru-hike budget. 36:40: How to save money when you backpack into a trail town.43:00: Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses on your first trail hike.49:00: Liz is an ambassador of the American Hiking Society. 53:00: Liz talks about the motto of her new gear website, Treeline Review. “Buy right the first time.”55:16: Snorkel craves the weirdest trail food ever. There is seriously something wrong here.
51 minutes | 6 months ago
6. "Adventure Alan" Dixon
Check out Alan's website at www.adventurealan.com and follow him on his Facebook and Instagram accounts to tap into his gear reviews, backpacking trip reports, and expert backpacking tips.Also, check out Adventure Alan’s ultralight backpacking tips in the story on the Gaia GPS blog, which sheds light on how to reduce your pack’s weight without having to spend a dime on expensive ultralight gear.Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights2:50: Adventure Alan tells us a story about his disaster in the Tetons.8:20: “We’re going to die here.” 9:12: “I’m not going to die here; I’m going to die 100 feet lower.”10:35: “You know you’re dying. You known you're on a limited time frame and you can feel the life force leaving you.“13:45: Alan describes hallucinating as he and his climbing partner descend the mountain.14:50: Alan has no “off button.” 17:00: What happened was something bigger than the person; the mountain was guiding Alan down.18:05: Alan carries what he learned from this near-death experience into every trip he takes to the mountains, even on day hikes. 20:15: Adventure Alan’s parents were wild risk-takers, taking Alan deep into the Sierra when he was 4 or 5 years old. 23:50: A non-fear-based, controlled-chaos way of life was a huge gift to Alan from his parents.25:30: How everyone can get beyond the fear of going outside, whether it is backpacking or day hiking. 26:30: The outdoors is the perfect place to tap into your inner strength, let go a bit, and embrace the chaos.27:00: It’s okay to make mistakes if the goal is to learn from them.27:30: What is your intention when going to the backcountry? Control your thinking away from a fear-based approach.29:00: High routes defined, or maybe not.30:10: Roper's Sierra High Route misses the tallest peaks in the Southern Sierra, so Adventure Alan plotted the Southern Sierra High Route.33:50: The high route gives a rewarding experience that people with off-trail skill can accomplish in a week to ten days. 36:30: What is your intention and what do you expect to get out of your trip to the outdoors? Leave fear behind.37:35: Nature is a gift; be open to what happens and experience it rather than trying to do damage control.40:10: Ultralight backpacking and Alan’s 5 to 7 pound base weight on the Appalachian Trail. What?!42:10: People pack for their fears. Leave your fear behind and your pack will get lighter.43:30: Adventure Alan backpacked once with a 50-pound backpack, but only one time because he hated it. 46:10: There is no substitute for getting out. Our legwork is just to show up.47:00: Adventure Alan turns 60 this year, and his advice to people getting a late start in the outdoors is to just show up and do it. The first two steps on the trail are the hardest; it gets easier once you’re moving.
64 minutes | 6 months ago
5. Lifestyle Overland
Follow the McCuistons on the Lifestyle Overland Instagram page, YouTube channel, website (which includes a great place to get Lifestyle Overland swag!) and listen to their brand new podcast Campfire Confessions. You can also join Lifestyle Overland on Patreon to get exclusive content. Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!Episode Highlights2:50 - Introduction to Kevin and Sarah4:32 - Regular life before becoming Lifestyle Overland8:25 - Kevin and Sarah describe the difference between overlanding, wheeling, and crawling. 11:10 - Getting their first rig, and why they’re not traveling in it right now14:00 - Why they decided to purchase a Toyota 4Runner instead of the vehicle they thought they wanted16:40 - How their rig “Silver” came to be. 17:40 - Making the transition to FULL-TIME overlanding19:00 - How their YouTube channel "Lifestyle Overland" unintentionally became a hit23:10 - Taking it next level to full-time overlanding29:15 - Advice for basic vehicle maintenance/modification understanding prior to getting into overlanding31:10 - Who drives the 4Runner most of the time? It’s not Kevin! 33:05 - Vehicle care and maintenance36:12 - How they use Gaia GPS to plan their adventures 36:52 - How the McCuistons keep their young daughter Caroline entertained on the road without screens40:50 - What Lifestyle Overland is doing during COVID-19 restrictions44:50 - The Enchanted Rockies Trail, Lifestyle Overland’s perfect long-distance route for beginners 49:08 - The North Country Loop — from the Grand Canyon to as far north as you can drive in Alaska51:00 - Favorite places to travel54:00 - Advice for people wanting to get into overlanding55:40 - The basic gear you need to start overlanding.58:10 - Favorite travel food58:55 - Craziest scenario they've ever been in1:00:10 - If they could anywhere right now, where would it be?1:00:45 - Where to find the best cinnamon rolls in the world!
58 minutes | 7 months ago
4. Daniel "The Blackalachian" White
Follow The Blackalachian on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also get exclusive content by checking out his Patreon.Episode Highlights7:08: White talks about what drove him to the Appalachian Trail.9:06: How White prepared for the trail even though he had no backpacking or camping experience. 11:46: White describes his first days on the trail.17:43 Learn why Maine was White’s favorite state on the AT.19:23: White recounts meeting the only other Black thru-hiker during his trip. 21:08 White describes a racist encounter when group of White men with dogs surround White’s camp near the Mason-Dixon line, forcing him to pack up and hike through the night to safety, 23:36: White taps into adversity and uses it as fuel to accomplish his goals.24:30: How White ended up taking up bicycle touring to pedal the Underground Railroad Trail.26:03: Daniel describes the powerful experience of visiting places where slaves hid in their journey north to freedom in the early-to-mid 19th century.29:48: White’s bike gets sideswiped on the highway, and the driver buys him a beer. 32:06: Communities along the Underground Railroad Trail were the best part of his trip. 33:43: White goes to Scotland, hikes across the country and meets the towns people. 36:05: White describes his trek on the Camino Del Norte in Spain and unexpectedly discovering a Black madonna in one of the villages along the route.47:00: White gives his opinion on the reason why Black people are underrepresented in the outdoor community, 51:40: White points to a number of resource that BIPOC can reach out to for support and inspiration in getting started in the outdoors. 53:20: You will never guess what his favorite piece of gear is. 55:08: Daniel gives a shout out to all the people who are helping to keep the foot on the gas in this movement against racism.
55 minutes | 7 months ago
3. Andrew Skurka
Check out Andrew Skurka's website, where you can buy a copy of his book, follow his blog, sign up for a guided trip, read his trip reports, or register for his backpacking planning course.You can also follow Skurka on Instagram and Facebook. Episode Highlights3:25: Skurka’s first backpacking experience on the Appalachian Trail.5:10: Why Skurka did not attack the normal Triple Crown progression but instead selected to embark on three never-before-hiked mega-adventures.8:10: Skurka’s Alaska-Yukon adventure involved skiing, packrafting and hiking.9:10: The appeal of long-distance backpacking for Skurka is learning and expanding his skill set.11:55: The Alaska trip made Skurka uncomfortable for 180 days, wondered if he would make it to dinner each day.12:20: Skurka was living on crumbs, and that lifestyle reached an expiration date for him.14:20: Skurka describes his guided trips, focusing on education of backcountry skills.16:00: Skurka says navigation is one of the most important backpacking skills, and definitely the most liberating. 17:25: The different grades of navigational competency.18:20: Skurka describes the number one navigational mistake.18:30: The navigational story is how Skurka teaches his clients to navigate in the backcountry.21:40: Learn what’s inside Skurka’s backcountry navigation kit.24:15: Reading the landscape in Alaska.26:20: Paper maps versus digital maps: find out how Skurka uses both. 28:00 Skills involved in reading a topographic map.31:10: Skurka’s favorite compass and watch from Suunto, but not everyone needs an expensive one. 38:15: Skurka describes the high routes of the American West.45:00 Skurka shines a light on that one piece of gear that’s been with him throughout almost his whole career.
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