In this episode I’m joined by Kristin, a scientist with a master’s degree in forest conservation and an avid hiker.
“Thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is to hike an established end-to-end hiking trail or long-distance trail with continuous footsteps in one direction.”Wikipedia
Cool Places Mentioned in this Episode:
Alberta Rocky Mountains
British Columbia, Canada
The Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail runs along the Western Coast of the United States through California, Oregon, and Washington from Mexico to Canada. The trail is 2,650 miles long (4264.76 kilometers). It generally takes about 5 months for hikers to complete, starting in April and ending in September. The trail goes through 25 of the United States National Parks some of which include Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Lassen Volcanic Park, and North Cascades. The trail also passes various different ecoregions. If you want to read more about the trail, find permits, when it’s open or more you can read more here at the Pacific Crest Trail Associations website.
Kristin and her partner hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey. This trail known as the A.T. is 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long. It goes along the Eastern side of the United States through 14 states through the Appalachian Mountains. You can find out more about this trail here.
The Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is 3,100 miles (4,988.966 km) and takes about 6 months to hike. It runs through 5 states going from Chihuahua and Alberta along the Rocky Mountains. You can find out more about the CDT here.
Due to the physical task of thru-hiking food high in calories and fat that has a longer shelf life and is in small portable portions are highly important. This leads to some weird food creations like Kristin’s tortilla’s filled with peanut butter and mayonnaise as well as her favorite creation called “elevated ramen” which is a packet of ramen, Thai chili tuna, and peanut butter. Which honestly doesn’t sound bad. I just can’t handle spice. So if you try it please let me know how it is. Or if you have any hiking meals you’ve made and enjoyed please tell me about it.
Tools of the Trade:
These things are what Kristin used and loved for her thru-hike. Which, if you’ve hiked for 5 months you’re bound to know what works and what doesn’t.
Tarptent– this company made the lightweight tent Kristin chose for her journey.
Fizan– This Italian brand of poles survived the whole PCT and then some and Kristin absolutely loves them.
Altra trail runners– There is possibly no item more important for a hiker than their shoes. The first pair Kristin took with her are not worth mentioning since they barely lasted a week, but the Altra brand ones got her through the trail. Though note she went through several pairs. Rule of thumb, trail runners last about 500 miles.
Darn Tough Socks– These socks have a lifetime warranty, which if you’re thru-hiking is probably a good idea. Just, you know, wash them before exchanging them if they’ve got a hole in them. Kristin also went through several pairs of these on her trip.
Zero Day Resupply– While currently on hold due to Covid, this company made by hikers for hikers will allow you to shop online and will send your packages to the post office in an upcoming town. The idea being so you don’t waste all day going around town in search of the things you need to resupply. Especially because some towns might not have what you need plus they weigh everything so you know exactly how much each item will weigh. They offer food a wide variety including food, medical supplies, and toiletries.
Caffeinated Hiker– Kristin (Glowworm is her trail name) shared her entire journey on the PCT on her blog. You can read more about her journey here, I’ve linked here to the first PCT post. Below are some of her other posts I think are helpful for those interested in the PCT.
Want to take the quiz Kristin did? You can do so here.
For more hiking, outdoors content, some science, and the occasional bunny photo you can also follow Kristin on Instagram here.
Do you like to hike? Tell me about your favorite trail or even your weirdest food concoction on twitter @wanderlustpod.
Below is an embedded podcast feed. The most recent episode will be at the top. To listen to the episode mentioned in this post you are looking for episode 5: Into the Wild. Otherwise you can listen at any of the above mentioned and linked places.