Trail Correspondents is a teleportation machine to the trail- in audio form. Every other week, a select handful of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the American Discovery Trail, give us a glimpse into the world of long distance backpacking. Through their eyes and vocal cords, we learn all about the highs, lows, and nitty gritty details that go into a half-year, cross-country trek. Trail Correspondents is the next best thing to being on trail yourself.
Although a half year backpacking trip is a physical grind, this is not the most challenging part of a thru-hike. This title belongs to the psychological side of this journey.
Our hikers chime in on whether they agree with this sentiment, what coping mechanisms they use to overcome their challenges, how the challenges have evolved over the course of the hike, and what advice they would offer to their pre-trail selves on how to better handle these hurdles.
Grab a seat next to the rocking chair because today's show will feature some stories from the backcountry. We instructed our hikers to share a standout tale from their journey. It can be a highlight, lowlight, or something in between. The submissions are a delightful mix. We hear about one of our AT hikers who completed the 4-state challenge, one of our correspondents who played a part in rescuing a lost hiker, and another correspondent who had to use their SOS to save another hiker. Murphy's law.
WILDCARD II. Today's episode comes from the PCT and CDT, and with it being a high snow year on both trails, much of the subject matter of these recordings will stay within a much tighter confine. Given a blank slate, the vast majority of our correspondents felt compelled to share how the high snow has impacted their hikes.
Today's episode brings us our second wildcard, and our first from the trail. The previous wildcard episode was a listener favorite, and I'm guessing today's will also follow suit. We hear about a wide range of subjects, from hammock camping to finding romance on trail , to game changing trail magic, to hiking the Sierra in a high snow year, and beyond. This grab bag of subjects will without question keep you on your toes.
In our previous episode our Group 1 hikers gave us insight on how their hiking groups have evolved over the course of their hikes. Today, we hear from our remaining PCT & CDT hikers on this same subject. 2019 has been especially interesting for group dynamics given the high snow levels on the PCT & CDT as this plays a large role in fragmenting the hiker bubble. Some groups forge through the risky conditions, some skip sections, some flip to the northern terminus, while others abandon the trail altogether.
There are many fascinating components to the thru-hiking lifestyle, none more so than the social dynamics a hiker will encounter during the course of this trek. Today our hikers give us a glimpse into the ways in which hikers group up on trail. We learn if they're hiking solo, with a partner, in a group and why, how the dynamics have evolved since the early days of their journeys, the friendships they've formed, how it's compared to their pre-trail expectations, and much more.
We hope you've got enough appetite to stomach another show about trail food, because today's edition is an all you can eat buffet of hiker fare. Our remaining PCT & CDT hikers weigh in on what their favorite trail foods are, their current relationship with hiker hunger, how their food systems have evolved over the course of their hikes, and more. For anyone who's curious about how long distance backpackers manage their diets, this episode will provide ample food for thought.
Food. It's is a subject of endless fascination to just about everyone. Even the most experienced hikers stand room for improvement with their backcountry menus. Rarely do I go a long stint on trail without picking up some sort of tip for how to enhance my hiker fare. This episode will be appealing to those who want to improve their on trail culinary skills or who are simply curious about what a hiker eats, what the vaunted hiker hunger is all about, and how tastes evolve over the course of a thru-hike.
Gear. For some people it's their favorite topic in the world, for others, it results in a shoulder shrug and an eye roll. But whether you love or gear talk, there's no way around it: what you carry on your back, plays a big role in how much you enjoy your hike. More precisely, getting it wrong the first time, can be emotionally and financially draining. Today our hikers give us an overall glimpse into their gear systems thus far.
-Check out the full list of what our hikers changed in the show notes-
To prepare for a thru-hike is to spend months reading blog posts, watching videos, and following social media accounts trying to absorb as much information for your forthcoming journey as possible. But even the most type A person can't completely envision what lies ahead on the trail- and thank god for that. That is precisely the premise of today's show. Today our hikers let us in on how the journey has deviated from their expectations.
At the beginning of the season, we outline the subjects in which we want our hikers to share with you. Today's show was not on that agenda. This episode is in response to the news of the murder that occurred on the Appalachian Trail. In the very early hours on 5/11, a pair of hikers were attacked by a man with a machete. One of them survived, albeit with very serious wounds, the other, Ronald "Stronghold" Sanchez known, did not. Today our AT hikers reflect on how this news has impacted their experience.
It's the subject which most aspiring thru-hikers dedicate the most time, energy, and money toward. Yes, let's talk gear. We get an early look into our how our crew's gear is treating them. They share what they've sent home (if anything), if they've added anything new, if they have any regrets- really just an overall glance into their packs a few weeks into their treks.
In episode 5, we got our first updates from the trail. Today we get our first trail update from our second group of hikers. We first get a taste of where our hiker's minds are the night before they embark on their treks. And the second recording comes from the end of their first day on trail, where they're given a blank slate to talk about whatever most inspires them.
To prepare for a thru-hike is to spend months reading blog posts, watching videos, & following social media accounts trying to absorb as much info for your forthcoming journey as possible. But even the most type A person can't completely envision what lies ahead on the trail- and thank god for that. That is precisely the premise of today's show. Today our hikers share how the journey has deviated from their expectations. We hear from Frozen, Katharine, Missy, Kenneth, Melissa, Nancy, Sarah, Zack & Jaz
The shows leading up to today's served a necessary role. They introduced us to our 2019 Trail Correspondents. We got to meet the vast array of personalities trekking across the country, and learn a good deal about the motives behind these epic journeys. But, I like to think that these recordings were just this season's hors d'oeuvres. Today's show begins our main entree. Today's show features our first updates from the trail.
This is our first wildcard episode of season 2. The most prominent theme you will discern from today's show is the sacrifices our hikers had to make to pull their thru-hikes together. As you can imagine, taking a half year off to walk is no simple task. We also learn about our hiker's biggest fears prior to embarking, their finances, life on the home front, and much more.
Preparing for a thru-hike can be a maddening experience. When it comes to overhauling your life to spend upwards of a half year, on foot, in the backcountry, where does one even begin to make sure they're crossing all of their ts and dotting all their i's prior to stepping foot on trail. That is precisely the subject of today's episode. How are our hikers going about this process? Let's find out.
In episode two, we are introduced to our Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail thru-hikers. We learn all about why they're hiking, what they're most excited about, what they're most nervous about, and what they hope to get out of this experience.
We're back! After a few month-long hiatus, Trail Correspondents presented by The Trek is storming back into your world like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Instead of running through Backpacker Radio, Trail Correspondents has found a new, dedicated podcasting home.
This is the first episode of the new show. Today you will meet our Pacific Crest Trail hikers, and Lucas, who's hiking the American Discover Trail from Iowa to California. Enjoy.