What’s a “Kelsy”? Why Katahdin?

Hey folks!

My name’s Kelsy, and I’m about to start my wildest adventure yet.

      Until now, Photography has been my primary form of expression. Although a picture is truly worth a thousand words, I’ve decided that I want my time spent hiking the Appalachian Trail to push my creative limits to the same edges that my physical and mental states will be living on. I want to try giving my visuals a voice through these entries and paint my perspective for those who yearn for the same kind of adventures.

The world is full to the brim with experiences. Experiences that we find happiness in having first hand, and again, in sharing them with others.

      As far as who I am at first glance, the first thing you’d notice is that I almost always have a camera in my hand. If not, it’s because I’m trying to get comfy in a yoga pose, or I’ve decided it’s more important to rub the belly of whatever dog I just met. Headphones are another technological extremity of mine. Music has the potential to add to any and every moment, and there are a few Podcast hosts who feel like old friends at this point. Beyond what the eye can see, I’m a person that loves people, and have dedicated the last decade to learning everything I can about what makes people healthy and happy. It’s been a winding road that started with running a Float Spa in Austin, Texas, and currently has me set for a license in massage therapy a week before starting the trail.

Aside from all that, I’m here for the same reason you are.

A love for what lies outside of our front doors. 

      My earliest years were spent scraping knees and scrambling up and down the mountains surrounding Colorado Springs. Weekends of hiking, camping, and motocross were often at the head of our family’s itinerary. Fast forward a few years, throw in a few life obstacles, cross a few state lines, and take away a few thousand feet of altitude. Now, my time has transitioned to wandering through the rivers and ragweed that make up the Texas Hill Country, working in road trips whenever a gap of more than 36 hours is spotted in work schedules.

Sharing these adventures, and by my side when we set out for Katahdin in February, is my partner in life and all it’s adventures, Conner. Our time together has been wild from the start, and shows no sign of winding down. Our first trip had us leaving town with no real plan or destination in mind.

We simply followed the road signs we liked the sound of.

      Over 36 hours 1,300 miles later, we came home with memories of the sunrise over windswept deserts, the sunset from the top of White Sands, camping under the full moon while coyotes circled our tent, and post-snowball fight stargazing on the side of snowy mountain roads.

      On the next trip, we had a plan. Let’s make it to Great Sand Dunes, Colorado before sunrise. Getting off work, driving 12 hours through the night, taking the turns sleeping in the back seat, and occasionally stopping to empty our bladders on the side of the road while admiring the glory that is a moonless West Texas sky. We made it in time to enjoy a 20min. nap in the parking lot before starting our sandy trek, and summiting just as the days first rays were coming over the mountain range.

      Our last outing had us hiking through rainforests, climbing waterfalls, jumping off sea side cliffs, kayaking through valleys of taro, and making friends with the roosters and hens of O’ahu’s North Shore.

      Now, after years of wandering, researching, and day-dreaming about all things thru hiking, we feel ready to soak in every moment, push every limit, and walk every mile of the Appalachian Trail.

Whether it’s out on the trail, or here on The Trek, we’ll see you later!


We’re officially walking for water. Check out our campaign over at Charity: Water.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Amber Redfield : Dec 11th

    So excited to follow your journey! I started in 2017 and had to get off trail due to a knee injury that required surgery. I’ll be back out – in some form – next year to finish my AT hike so maybe I’ll run into you guys! Love your photography (photography myself) and you will find how amazing the AT is at boosting your creativity and challenging yourself. What kind of camera are you bringing?

    • Kelsy Filler : Dec 31st

      Hey Amber!

      That’s so awesome to hear that you’ll be getting back on the trail next year! Really looking forward to seeing your journey and the shots you get.

      I’ve decided to step way back with my gear and see what I can create with the bare minimum, really playing off of that creative challenge you mentioned. I just made a post about switching to using nothing but iPhone lenses here: https://thetrek.co/camera-gear-fully-loaded-bare-bones/

      What camera set up works the best for you out on the trail?


What Do You Think?