Backpacker Radio #152 | Nancy East on her Smokies Map FKT, Search and Rescue, and New Book “Chasing the Smokies Moon”

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio, presented by The Trek, brought to you by goodr, we are joined by peakbagger, author, search and rescuer, and all around awesome human, Nancy East.  We go through Nancy’s impressive list of thru-hikes, how she manages all the backpacking with a family who only sometimes joins her, we chat in depth about her search and rescue experiences and what advice all hikers can glean from the perspective of someone trying to rescue you, and we learn all about Nancy’s book “Chasing the Smokies Moon: An audacious 938-mile hike fueled by love, loss, laughter, and lunacy”. As recent guest Caet Cash put it, Nancy East is a beast. On the trail, this is 100% true.  In talking with Nancy, the opposite is the case- Nancy is one of the nicest people you’ll ever encounter and we had a great time chatting with her.

We wrap the show with some more highlights from Trail Days, the triple crown of board games, and that the first and biggest magazine for Backpackers is significantly scaling back its operations. 

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Interview with Nancy East

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:38 – QOTD: What was your personal highlight on the last day of Trail Days?

00:16:02 – Introducing Nancy

00:16:43 – What’s the origin story of your trail name?

00:18:55 – Was that event particularly stressful since you had your kids with you?

00:19:32 – How does Chaunce know Nancy?

00:20:22 – At what point did you learn of Nancy’s legendary status?

00:21:54 – Tell us your trail resume.

00:23:56 – What advice do you have for someone who’s looking to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail?

00:26:40 – Tell us about the Bartram Trail.

00:28:37 – Tell us about the Tour de LeConte.

00:29:38 – Do you leave your pack at the top or carry it the whole time?

00:30:51 – Tell us about setting the FKT on the Tour de LeConte.

00:31:54 – Is there a strategy to which trails you go up and which trails you go down?

00:34:05 – Bloody Mary check-in.

00:35:07 – Tell us about the Foothills Trail.

00:37:10 – How old were your kids when they hiked with you and how did they like the trail?

00:39:30 – Tell us about the Four Pass Loop.

00:42:14 – Tell us about the West Highland Way.

00:44:20 – Tell us about your blog. 

00:45:36 – Tell us about the Tour du Mont Blanc.

00:48:10 – Tell us about the Trans Catalina Trail.

00:53:10 – Tell us about the Wonderland Trail.

00:54:39 – Tell us about the Timberline Trail.

00:56:05 – Tell us about the Palmetto Trail.

00:59:31 – Tell us a synopsis of your new book.

01:06:35 – Tell us more about how you got into search and rescue and lost person behavior.

01:10:08 – What are some of the most memorable rescues you’ve done?

01:14:14 – What are the most common traits of lost person behavior?

01:16:30 – Do you have strong thoughts about Gerry Largay?

01:18:40 – Give us some of the highlights and lowlights of your Smokies map hike.

01:23:04 – Did you know before the hike that you would write a book about it?

01:25:49 – How did you plan the hike?

01:28:18 – What food do you pick to bring to a lost person?

01:30:13 – Has anyone flirted with you during a rescue?

01:31:02 – What’s the strategy for making kids love backpacking?

01:35:32 – What are the essential skills you’ve ensured your kids know?

01:37:30 – Are they proficient with navigation?

01:38:42 – Where can people find you?

01:39:16 – What adventures do you have coming up?

01:39:54 – Where can people find the book?

01:40:38 – Thank you!


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