Backpacker Radio #162 | Arlette “Apple Pie” Laan: the First Woman to Hike All 11 National Scenic Trails

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Arlette “Apple Pie” Laan. Apple Pie is the first woman to hike all eleven of the National Scenic Trails in the United States, which frankly only scratches the surface on her hiking and backpacking career. We chat about some of her favorite stories from her tens of thousands of miles on trail, her favorite and least favorite of the National Scenic Trails, how she managed to become the backpacking legend that she is today despite not starting until she was 30 years old, and much more. Arlette doesn’t hold back in her answers, we think you’ll get a kick out of this chat.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of talents most people don’t know that we possess, a story of how I ended up at the ER after the Golden Hiker Meetup, and Chaunce has COVID!

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Interview with Arlette “Apple Pie” Laan

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:35 – QOTD: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done this week?

00:12:18 – How was the Golden hiker meetup?

00:14:02 – Shoutout to the Blue Sky Fund!

00:15:03 – Introducing Arlette

00:15:48 – How did you get into long distance backpacking?

00:17:34 – How did you get your trail name?

00:19:04 – How many miles have you hiked?

00:20:14 – What trails have you done other than the National Scenic Trails?

00:20:51 – How did you experience backpacking in Europe after getting into it in the US?

00:24:22 – Is there any particular reason you left the Ice Age Trail for last?

00:27:47 – At what point did you realize you wanted to do all the National Scenic Trails?

00:31:38 – What were your 3 favorite and 3 least favorite trails?

00:34:14 – Give us your best sales pitch for the CDT.

00:38:00 – Discussion about changing navigation technology.

00:40:27 – How does homesickness play into your long trails?

00:46:53 – Discussion about the Florida Trail.

00:48:16 – Discussion about the Pacific Northwest Trail.

00:49:32 – Tell us why the AT isn’t at the top of your list.

00:51:21 – What are the best 3 states and worst 3 states in the US in your opinion?

00:57:58 – What do you do when there’s no good camping?

00:59:00 – Do you have any standout wildlife stories?

01:01:00 – Have you always been an adventure-seeker?

01:04:03 – Were you pushing your physical limits prior to thru-hiking?

01:08:56 – Now that you’ve done so many long trails, what do you wish you knew when you started?

01:10:24 – How do you think being a woman has impacted your backpacking?

01:12:49 – How have you been able to financially and logistically do all of these hikes?

01:15:18 – Tell us about doll making!

01:18:45 – Tell us more about the guiding you do.

01:21:56 – What words of inspiration do you have for someone reluctant to get into backpacking?

01:23:10 – What’s your most embarrassing hiking story?


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