The Joys of Hitchhiking

Once upon a time, before Uber and Lyft, there was a FREE method of car-sharing based solely on trust, kindness and curiosity. Hitchhiking isn’t for everyone, but it’s taught me one of the most important lessons of my life—that you can choose rational caution over irrational fear when making decisions and taking risks.

pct northern terminus

The Pros and Cons of Flip-Flopping

2,100 miles down, 500 to go! Flip-flopping (a.k.a. hiking a long trail in large, non-contiguous sections) is a style of thruhiking that really works for me because I like doing things my own way. However, flip-flopping does have its drawbacks…

A Second Chance at Mount Whitney

Back in May, after walking almost 800 miles north on the PCT from the Mexico border, I got to the base of Mount Whitney during a snowstorm. Realizing that a Whitney ascent wasn’t going to happen for me then, I sat in my tent and cried. The next day, I bailed out of the High Sierra, vowing that I would come back to do the John Muir Trail section (which extends from Yosemite to Mount Whitney) in the summer. I was determined to finish hiking my home state atop Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. The mountain had evaded me once but it was going to happen, dammit…

The Worst Day of the Rest of Your Life

When you’re working towards a big goal, you will inevitably experience trials and tribulations. Life doesn’t always go your way—and that’s a good thing. If it did, you wouldn’t innovate and grow. You wouldn’t appreciate the little victories nearly as much. So this is just a reminder that whatever you’re struggling with right now on your path is part of a bigger story. Zoom out and take a deep breath. You’ll make it through.

Surviving the “Halfway Blues” on a Long Hike

The “halfway blues” is a common malady for long distance hikers. The middle of a thruhike can be tough. The honeymoon phase has long since worn off and our days on the trail feel defined by routine and monotony.
It’s at this point in our hikes that we have to remind ourselves of why we wanted to do this crazy journey in the first place…

“Bro Culture” in the Outdoor Community

There’s been a lot of talk recently about “bro culture” on long trails and in the outdoor industry in general. Last week, I experienced it firsthand on the Pacific Crest Trail—and the outcome wasn’t what I expected.

It’s OK to Need People.

For the past two days, I’ve hiked completely alone for the first time on my Pacific Crest Trail thruhike. Sure, there are lots of other hikers around—but I know none … Continue reading It’s OK to Need People.

How a Rattlesnake Reminded Me to Be Present

There is nothing quite like a rattlesnake to snap you out of your head and into my body. On Sunday, April 1st, I had my first encounter with an enormous Western Diamondback while hiking out of Scissors Crossing on the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m grateful for this snake for reminding me to pay attention to my surroundings and get out of my head. Being in your body means being present. At any moment, you could be challenged to take swift and immediate action in order to stay alive.

It’s Your Body—Start Living in It

Feeling your best doesn’t just mean “looking good.” It means, first and foremost, cherishing and nurturing the body that you’re in. It means, instead of holding yourself to some standard of external beauty, holding yourself to a certain standard of self-care. Is there something you can do this year that will get you out of your head and into the “soft animal of your body”—even just for a moment? If so, my friend, I urge you to do it. The world around you will be better for it.

What I’m Giving Up to Hike the PCT

When choosing any path in life, what you are actually choosing is how you are willing to struggle. Without struggle, you couldn’t fully appreciate the beauty of every little victory you experience along the way. So here’s to ritualizing our reverence for the good things we are about to give up for the great things we are about to gain.

hiker feet

How to Prepare Your Feet for a Thru-Hike

Feet are arguably the most important part of the body when it comes to hiking. Apparently, you will take 5 million steps over the course of a 2,000-mile through-hike. That’s no small feat! (Pun intended.) So here are a few things long distance hikers can do to prepare their feet for the journey ahead!