Backpacker Radio #196 | Dora the Explorer on 15,000+ Self-Powered Miles and Managing an Eating Disorder

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Felecia Moran, known on trail as Dora the Explorer. We talk about Dora’s many thru-hikes, including the PCT, Wonderland Trail, Colorado Trail, CDT, AT SOBO, and more. We touch on what it’s like to backpack with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. Dora is especially candid about this subject and we hope it provides value to others who may be battling the same or similar issues.

We wrap the show with a quick overview of some of the best down jackets for thru-hiking, a triple crown of hipster baby names, a premature gear evaluation of a popular hiking boot, and more.

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Interview with Dora the Explorer

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:01 – QOTD: What’s the appropriate celebration for spring equinox?

00:10:30 – Introducing Dora

00:11:47 – What got you into the outdoors?

00:14:16 – What made you pick the PCT instead of the AT?

00:15:26 – What went wrong in 2012?

00:16:30 – Have you had different trail romances?

00:19:31 – Was it love at first sight with thru-hiking?

00:20:20 – What hardships did you go through on the PCT?

00:21:20 – Tell us about hiking in sandals

00:25:30 – Discussion about treating water

00:27:08 – What gear have you added back in that you might have trimmed in the beginning?

00:30:05 – What gear do you still want to upgrade?

00:35:27 – Did you know right after finishing the PCT that you’d thru-hike again next year?

00:36:32 – How do you make thru-hiking sustainable from a job perspective?

00:41:48 – Tell us about the Wonderland Trail

00:44:15 – Tell us about the Timberline Trail

00:45:50 – What were your experiences like with the water crossings?

00:46:40 – Tell us about the Colorado Trail

00:47:33 – How would you differentiate the Colorado Trail from the CDT?

00:48:30 – Tell us about your section hike of the PCT in 2015

00:49:08 – At what point did you move into the minivan?

00:51:30 – Discussion about going back and forth from the trail to nannying

00:53:22 – Tell us about your relationship with Instagram in the context of backpacking

00:58:40 – Tell us about the Continental Divide Trail in 2016

01:01:40 – How do eating disorders and body dysmorphia interact with backpacking?

01:04:00 – In what way has thru-hiking been helpful?

01:07:19 – Do you have any advice for someone who struggles with eating disorders?

01:09:57 – Anything else you want to share on this subject?

01:10:44 – Is the binging culture on trail potentially triggering?

01:13:10 – How did the spirit of your hike change once your partner joined you?

01:15:50 – Why did you need to upgrade your mental game on the CDT?

01:18:22 – What do you attribute to the Colorado Blues?

01:19:08 – Tell us about the AT

01:23:40 – How many bugs did you experience?

01:25:13 – How did you feel about completing your Triple Crown?

01:26:30 – Why do you think you’ve gotten less social while hiking?

01:28:00 – Tell us about the bikepacking routes you’ve done

01:31:35 – Talk someone into bikepacking

01:33:52 – What parting messages do you want to share?


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Triple Crown of hipster baby names

Premature Gear Evaluation

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Comments 1

  • Michelle : Apr 12th

    Guys! I’m obsessed with the pod – even though I’ve never backpacked. I’m a big hiker, though – best hike to date was Half Dome in 2017, up and back in one day. It was THE SHIT. I live on California’s Central Coast, so Yosemite and the Sierras are less than 3 hours away. I spend all of my free time in the mountains – camping, jeeping and fishing (I love when you have fellow anglers on).

    Anyway, you two are so much fun to listen to. The banter, the questions, the drinking…all of it! I do have one major request, and I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us freaks out here: we want to hear about the sketchy shit!! Specifically for me: hitchhiking. Some of your guests have talked about their spooky encounters (like Quadzilla’s drunk-racist-handsy dude!) and I want to hear them all, every single detail. I’ve obviously never hitched before, I consume far too much true crime garbage – but am fascinated by those of you who do. I know, most of it is safe and boring yada yada…but there have to be A TON of close calls or weird ones out there. You should bundle them all up and make an entire episode about it. Use clips from previous interviews, find shit online, ask listeners to write in theirs or leave voicemails. You could sprinkle in other equally sketchy shit like on-trail dangerous animal encounters, near death experiences and creepy hikers/trail towners. I swear, it will be PURE GOLD. Bet me.

    Keep up the great work!
    Michelle Woll Endris (@michelle.w.e) • Instagram photos and videos


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