Backpacker Radio #189 | Christine Reed on POTS, Hiking with Grief, and Her Book: Alone in Wonderland

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Christine Reed.  Christine is a backpacker, climber, runner, and author.  Her book, Alone in Wonderland, is a memoir covering not only her thru-hike of the Wonderland Trail, but also the emotional and gripping story of her life and foray into backpacking.  Today’s subject matter is vast, including but not limited to Christine’s mom unexpectedly passing during her attempted AT thru-hike, polyamory, van life, logistics of thru-hiking the Wonderland Trail, and how Christine deals with POTS- a medical acronym that I refuse to butcher but it pertains to reduced blood volume and makes exercising much more challenging.  

We wrap the show with advice from AT ridge runners, a triple crown of old people’s names, a fresh stupid thing of the week, and more!  

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Interview with Christine Reed

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:05 – QOTD: How’s dry January going?

00:12:24 – Reminders: Check out our Stay Feral shirts!

00:16:07 – Introducing Christine

00:17:55 – How and when did you get interested in the AT?

00:19:42 – What was your preparation strategy?

00:20:44 – What were the circumstances in your life at that time?

00:22:10 – How did you handle your parents not being supportive of your hike?

00:26:11 – What did the right gear look like in 2013-2015?

00:28:18 – Did your parents eventually warm up to the idea?

00:30:52 – What was it like to get back on trail after that?

00:33:00 – Tell us about the end of your hike and how you felt about it.

00:37:23 – What did your life look like after the AT?

00:39:33 – Have you ever considered going back to hike more of the AT?

00:41:05 – What was the inspiration to hike the Wonderland Trail?

00:43:45 – How many caches do you need for the Wonderland Trail?

00:44:34 – Tell us about the themes of isolation and loneliness in your book.

00:47:28 – Tell us about polyamory.

00:56:30 – How did polyamory interact with your hiking experiences?

00:59:25 – Were you always good at setting boundaries?

01:00:12 – Is there a difference between perceptions of men and women in polyamory?

01:01:52 – Tell us about the process of getting a walk up permit for the Wonderland Trail.

01:04:23 – Discussion about the Wonderland Trail campsites

01:06:10 – What led you to make this hike the subject of a book?

01:10:00 – Tell us about getting your spine fused.

01:13:21 – Is the PT all you needed to hike without issue?

01:14:34 – What is POTS and how does it affect your hiking?

01:18:36 – Does POTS put you at higher risk for a cardiac event?

01:21:57 – Are there any medications for POTS?

01:26:00 – How did the Ouachita FKT attempt go?

01:31:26 – Can you compare and contrast the physical experience of doing a FKT or a 50K?

01:33:13 – What are some of your favorite hiking foods?

01:35:23 – What should someone know about vanlife who’s considering it?

01:37:40 – What challenges often catch people off guard?

01:42:08 – Do you have any other vanlife hacks?

01:44:03 – Do you have any simple products you recommend for vanlifers?

01:46:06 – What’s on the horizon for you?


Backcountry Meal Critics: Bushka’s Kitchen

Stupid Thing of the Week

Trek Propaganda

Triple Crown of old person names

Mail Bag

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