Backpacker Radio #190 | Brian “Buck-30” Tanzman on 45,000 Miles of Hiking, the Hot Springs Trail, Desert Winter Thru-Hike, Tracks in Australia, and More

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Brian Tanzman, known on trail as Buck-30. Buck-30 has amassed more than 45,000 trail miles since getting into backpacking two decades ago. We go through his immense trail resume, including all the trails you’ve heard of and some you haven’t such as the Bigfoot Trail, Israel National Trail, the Hot Springs Trail, Great Himalaya Trail, the Desert Trail, the Deseret Hiking Route, and more. Much like Buck-30 himself, this interview covers a lot of ground – if you love thru-hiking you will get some solid insight and entertainment from this conversation.

We wrap the show with the top sleeping bags and quilts used on the Appalachian Trail, the triple crown of features of a dream house, a new stupidest thing of the week, and more.

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Interview with Brian “Buck-30” Tanzman

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:24 – QOTD: What do you wish you knew more about?

00:07:28 – Reminders: Apply to blog for the Trek, check out our latest merch, and support us on Patreon!

00:09:00 – Introducing Buck-30

00:09:55 – How did you get into the outdoors?

00:12:05 – At what point did the appeal of long distance hiking sink in?

00:15:19 – Did 9/11 have anything to do with starting hiking?

00:16:58 – How do you make this lifestyle work with your career?

00:21:23 – What standout stories do you have from the Triple Crown trails?

00:24:30 – Why do you call yourself “old, grumpy, and opinionated”?

00:28:45 – Tell us about marrying and divorcing another Triple Crowner.

00:33:30 – Discussion about the Arizona Trail

00:35:17 – Discussion about the Australian trails

00:39:20 – Did you see any interesting wildlife in Australia?

00:43:20 – What does the terrain look like in Australia?

00:44:10 – Tell us about the San Diego Sea to Sea

00:46:23 – Did you hike both islands on the Te Araroa?

00:49:30 – Is there an exclusive group chat for people who’ve hiked all of the Scenic Trails?

00:50:32 – Backpacker Radio Missed Connection!

00:52:18 – Tell us about the Pacific Northwest Trail

00:55:22 – What did you hate about the Ice Age Trail?

01:01:13 – Tell us about your experience of the Hayduke

01:02:17 – At what point in your hiking career did you start using a GPS device?

01:05:50 – Tell us about the Bigfoot Trail

01:06:30 – Tell us about the Finger Lakes Trail

01:08:33 – Tell us about the Lowest to Highest Route

01:11:25 – Tell us about the Israel National Trail

01:14:42 – Tell us about hiking in Patagonia

01:17:35 – Tell us about the Hot Springs Trail

01:21:42 – Are the hot springs right along the trail or off-trail?

01:23:20 – How much nudity did you see on this trail?

01:24:40 – How much of the route is trail, road-walking, or route-finding?

01:25:45 – If someone wanted to do a 300-400 mile section, what would you recommend?

01:27:00 – Tell us about the Great Himalaya Trail

01:30:30 – Discussion about not treating water and getting sick in Nepal

01:33:45 – Tell us about the New England National Scenic Trail

01:35:26 – Ranking the National Scenic Trails 1-7

01:43:22 – Discussion about encountering angry dogs on trail

01:46:00 – Ranking the National Scenic Trails 8-11

01:50:29 – Tell us about the Mongollon Rim Trail

01:51:20 – Tell us about the Desert Trail

01:53:37 – Do you have any tips for people new to hiking in the desert?

01:56:02 – Tell us about the Oregon Coast Trail

01:59:45 – Tell us about the Desert Hiking Route

02:03:54 – Tell us about the Great Basin Trail

02:05:34 – Buck-30’s poop story

02:10:15 – Tell us about the Desert Winter Thru-Hike

02:13:37 – Buck-30 convinces Zach that thru-hiking is way better than cycling


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Comments 1

  • Bramble : Mar 3rd

    Dream house: What every backpacker needs is a sleeping porch. Sleep better on backpacking trips? You can sleep outside at home. Even better than all those windows! (Which is also a good idea.)


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