Backpacker Radio #172 | Carl “Professor” Stanfield on Hiking the Most Miles in a Calendar Year

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Carl Stanfield aka “Professor”. Professor is in the midst of attempting to hike the most known miles over the course of a single calendar year, including a calendar year triple crown. We of course dive deep into his journey including his Florida Trail hike in January, hiking through frigid temps on the AT, yet- how he’s gotten incredibly lucky with weather throughout his trek at large, we learn how he’s managed to prioritize the overall experience above making miles, the number of free beers he’s accumulated over his many miles, and much more. And, because Professor is a major gear nerd, we dissect his pack, his apparel, and what changes he’s made throughout the course of his journey. It was a ton of fun to have Carl in studio for this show, we hope you enjoy the chat as much as we did.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of non R-rated insults, Chaunce has her mind exploded about the proper way to use coffee ice cubes, and we get yet another update from our intrepid adventurer MG.

apple podcasts backpacker radio


Download this episode.

RTIC Outdoors: Shop at

Enlightened Equipment: Use code “trekit20” for a 2 day head start to 20% off and free shipping on November 3 and November 17 at

Gossamer Gear: Use code “takelesstrekmore” for 15% off at

Interview with Carl “Professor” Stanfield

Time stamps & Questions

00:03:26 – QOTD: What’s the proper way to use coffee ice cubes?

00:08:43 – Reminders: Shop the Trek’s shorts, apply to join the Trek, and support us by subscribing wherever you listen!

00:10:57 – Introducing Professor

00:11:53 – How tired are you?

00:14:00 – Define your hiking goals for us.

00:17:03 – Did you expect to complete your goal at the beginning?

00:18:33 – Did you reach out to the Guinness Book of World Records?

00:20:10 – What was your backpacking background prior to this year?

00:23:19 – What did you go to school for and what jobs did you aim to get afterwards?

00:25:10 – Discussion about Carl’s gear reviews for the Trek

00:26:05 – Tell us about the Florida Trail!

00:31:44 – What kind of mileage did you do on your first thru-hikes?

00:33:25 – Tell us about spending half your AT nights indoors.

00:35:11 – Are you socially or physically tired when staying with strangers?

00:37:11 – Have you had to scale back on the social events to meet your mileage goals?

00:38:19 – Do you have a standout social experience that stands out?

00:42:49 – Discussion about intense emotions on trail

00:46:28 – Let’s talk about cold and snow on the AT!

00:49:22 – Why wasn’t the cold too bad for you?

00:51:09 – Why was the AT physically harder than you expected?

00:52:14 – What advice would you give to someone who wants a similar indoor experience?

00:56:20 – How did the AT wrap up?

00:59:47 – Was it stressful or nice to take time off?

01:02:09 – Were there other people around when you started the Sierras on the PCT?

01:03:54 – Was there a shock level being thrust into the Sierra landscape from the AT?

01:04:42 – How many fires did you encounter on the PCT?

01:06:59 – Did the social element from the AT maintain on the PCT?

01:08:10 – What kind of food were you craving for dinner or in town?

01:11:09 – How did you save up to do this hike?

01:12:42 – Discussion about Carl’s frugality.

01:15:01 – Discussion about experiences with people and Quadzilla’s Quads.

01:19:54 – What happened after the northern terminus of the PCT?

01:20:50 – Breakfast buffet benders

01:24:25 – Tell us about the CDT so far.

01:27:43 – What types of things are you tracking?

01:31:18 – Have you had any grizzly encounters?

01:31:59 – What else has happened on the CDT?

01:33:47 – What remains of your hike now?

01:37:52 – What’s the bigger goal: the calendar year triple crown or the mileage record?

01:38:34 – What qualifies as miles that count toward your goal?

01:40:28 – What are your big 3?

01:46:42 – Tell us about your footwear.

01:49:17 – Fuck Marry Kill: your gear

01:51:06 – Tell us about your shirt.

01:54:24 – What else is worth talking about in your gear?

01:57:18 – Any other gear you want to talk about?

01:58:47 – What have been the major takeaways of your journey so far?


MG Check-In

Trek Propaganda

Triple Crown of non R-rated insults

5 Star Review

Check out our sound guy @headnodculture.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)!  Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Support us on Patreon to get bonus content.

Advertise on Backpacker Radio

Follow The Trek, Chaunce, Badger, Leah, and Trail Correspondents on Instagram.

Follow The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube.

Follow Backpacker Radio on Tik Tok. 

A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Patrick Cianciolo, Paul Packman Sealy, Matt Soukup, Jason Snailer, Greg Mac,  Tracy “Trigger” Fawns, Mike Poisel, and Kristina Diaz.

A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Liz Seger, Cynthia Voth, Emily Brown, Dcnerdlet, Jeff LaFranier, Peter Ellenberg, Jacob Northrup, Peter Leven.

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.

What Do You Think?