Kelly “Ibex” Floro on the Pyrenean Haute Route, Budgeting for a Thru-Hike, and Being the Trek’s Managing Editor (BPR #244)

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by The Trek’s Managing Editor, Kelly “Ibex” Floro. We learn all about what it’s like to have Zach as a boss, Kelly’s top tips for how to afford a thru-hike, and she shares insights from her own thru-hiking adventures including the AT, Wind River High Route, and we dive especially deep into Kelly’s most recent thru-hike of the Pyrenean Haute Route through the Pyrenees, straddling the border between Spain and France. Kelly gives us an in-depth run-through of this epic route, including when to hike, which direction, navigation challenges, resupply strategy, the various geographic highlights, the culture surrounding the trail, and much more.

We wrap the show with useful smartphone apps for your next thru-hike, how Zach got concussed recording a podcast, and the triple crown of short off-season thru-hikes.

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Interview with Kelly Floro

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:15 – Reminders: Get your tickets for a live BPR podcast in Denver on April 23, support us on Patreon, and suggest a potential guest who will be at Trail Days this year!

00:09:15 – Introducing Kelly

00:12:27 – How do you like working for Zach?

00:17:55 – How did you start thru-hiking?

00:19:52 – At what point did you consider yourself a good writer?

00:20:30 – Do you have tips for someone who wants to blog their hike?

00:25:45 – Was the AT your first backpacking trip?

00:27:12 – What did you learn on that hike?

00:29:45 – What were you thinking about career wise when you hiked the AT?

00:32:40 – When did you realize you wanted to do more thru-hikes?

00:33:15 – What surprised you despite all the preparation you did?

00:36:20 – Tell us about dealing with poison ivy on the AT

00:41:27 – Discussion about flip flopping the AT

00:45:24 – Do you have tips for someone considering a flip flop hike on the AT?

00:51:00 – Would you recommend flip flopping the AT?

00:55:20 – Tell us about hiking the Colorado Trail

00:57:22 – Tell us about the Wind River High Route

00:59:23 – What are the differences between the two route options?

01:02:55 – What’s the most challenging part of the Adventure Alan route?

01:05:45 – What tips would you give to someone who wants to try backcountry navigation?

01:09:20 – What navigational resources were available for the route?

01:11:14 – How much did you enjoy this style of hiking?

01:12:38 – Any non obvious advice for the Wind River High Route?

01:15:00 – Tell us about the Pyrenean Haute Route

01:20:00 – Discussion about the refuges on the HRP

01:21:48 – How and why did you choose this route?

01:24:55 – Which direction do you hike?

01:27:11 – What were the standout towns?

01:32:09 – How crowded was the trail?

01:35:14 – What do the resupplies look like?

01:40:40 – Tell us about the wine you had along the HRP

01:41:42 – Are there any ‘must zero’ places?

01:43:27 – Can you describe the Pyrenean mountains?

01:45:53 – Tell us the story about throwing your phone off a cliff

01:48:22 – How did you manage the rest of your gear for your Europe trip?

01:50:20 – Tell us about Bulgaria

01:53:05 – Have you heard of the Peaks of the Balkans trail?

01:54:49 – What do you have for health insurance in Europe?

01:56:18 – What have you learned while traveling in Europe?

01:57:25 – What are your current big 5 gear items?

01:59:20 – What gear has surprised you recently?

02:00:20 – What goes into a standout gear review?

02:01:40 – What stands out to you about thru-hiking affordably?

02:04:27 – What are some of your favorite hidden gems in Olympic National Park?


Trek Propaganda: 13 Useful Smartphone Apps for Your Next Thru-Hike by Danielle Krolewicz

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Stupid Thing of the Week

Triple Crown of short thru-hikes you can do in the offseason

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