Backpacker Radio #202 | Anna McKinney on Finding Her Fiancé on the AT, Guiding in the Smokies, and Battling Imposter Syndrome
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Anna McKinney. Anna is an AT thru-hiker (where she met her fiancé), a hiking guide in the Smokies, a Trek Writer, and an all around giver of good vibes. We get the full scoop on how her budding trail romance evolved to impending wedding bells- and Chaunce gives us a detailed breakdown on the stages of love on trail, we learn about some of the more interesting flora and fauna in the Smokies, battling imposter syndrome, and her recent LASH on the Arizona Trail.
We wrap the show with me getting angry about spiders and octopi, a triple crown of things serious thru-hikers don’t compromise on, and also other stuff!
Download this episode.
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Interview with Anna McKinney
Time stamps & Questions
00:06:07 – QOTD: Excluding water, what’s the difference between spiders and octopus?
00:09:35 – Introducing Anna
00:10:35 – What’s your trail name and origin story?
00:12:53 – Do you have any standout trail magic stories?
00:15:06 – What got you into the outdoors?
00:16:30 – What was your big girl job?
00:17:30 – What was it like going through your own backyard on the AT for the first time?
00:20:20 – How steep was your backpacking learning curve?
00:22:23 – Discussion about losing people on the trail
00:24:29 – Did a zero degree bag with a liner prove to be excessive?
00:26:11 – What was your process of working your pack weight down?
00:29:00 – What’s your base weight nowadays?
00:32:35 – We love love – tell us about meeting your fiance on the AT!
00:36:45 – When you’re into someone, how do you let them know without creeping you out?
00:39:27 – When did the physical aspect come into play?
00:41:27 – How did he ask you to be his girlfriend?
00:44:08 – What was finishing the trail like for your relationship?
00:45:50 – Did you ever feel like the relationship was in jeopardy after the trail?
00:47:09 – What did you learn about him off-trail that you didn’t learn on-trail?
00:49:19 – Ask your on-trail romance these questions!
00:52:43 – What are the stages of a trail relationship?
00:54:07 – Chaunce’s stages of a trail relationship
00:59:22 – Tell us about working with Blue Ridge Hiking Company
01:01:53 – Tell us about caretaking the AT bunkhouse in Hot Springs
01:04:05 – What was the vibe when it’s not only thru-hikers but some thru-hikers?
01:05:31 – Tell us about your experience with imposter syndrome
01:08:38 – Tell us about underrated sections of the AT
01:12:50 – What is it like to guide in the Smokies?
01:15:55 – Discussion about interacting with thru-hikers within the National Park on guiding trips
01:19:14 – What are some fun facts about the Smokies flora and fauna?
01:23:21 – What are some trail highlights in the Smokies that aren’t on the AT?
01:25:57 – Tell us your engagement story!
01:29:13 – Where did you get your rings made?
01:31:32 – Tell us about the Arizona Trail!
01:35:22 – Discussion about the snow on the AZT
01:38:00 – Did you know at the beginning things could change due to the snow?
01:39:19 – Tell us about how your travel plans changed
01:41:01 – Which day of your National Parks trip would you revisit?
01:42:11 – What differences did you notice hiking with a partner between the AT and AZT?
01:44:45 – Did you get in any major fights?
01:46:54 – Have you lost any fights?
01:49:44 – Where can people go to follow you?
01:51:45 – What’s next?
- Italian Hiker Discovers 2,000-Year-Old Buried Treasure by Rachel Shoemaker
Triple Crown of things serious thru-hikers don’t compromise on
5 Star Review
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