Backpacker Radio #206 | Briana DeSanctis on Hiking the 6,800 Mile American Discovery Trail
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Briana DeSanctis aka Rocky Mountain High. Briana is currently hiking the 6,800 mile American Discovery Trail and upon completing this trail, she will be the first solo woman to ever accomplish this feat. We obviously swan dive deep on everything to do with hiking the ADT, including the specifics of the route, how much of it is on single track vs road, some of the highlight stops along the trail, how she manages resupply and water, what’s to love and hate about the trail, and more. Briana is a riot and has no shortage of fun stories from this very wild endeavor. Grab your popcorn, strap in, and enjoy.
We wrap the show with a story about a mom hiking the AT alongside her 15 kids, the triple Crown of people who ought to be on the first rocket to Mars, and we opine if people without inner monologues actually exist.
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Interview with Briana DeSanctis
Time stamps & Questions
00:05:04 – QOTD: Are people without internal monologues more likely to quit thru-hikes?
00:09:07 – Reminders: Check out updates from the PCTA here!
00:10:00 – Introducing Briana
00:11:15 – What got you into the outdoors?
00:13:40 – Where should people visit in Maine?
00:15:30 – Are you a lobster snob?
00:17:30 – Tell us about starting the AT
00:21:00 – Did you feel prepared for the AT?
00:23:07 – How did the hike compare with your expectations?
00:25:01 – What were your best meltdowns on the AT?
00:31:00 – How did you adjust your interactions with strangers after that?
00:31:57 – What are your tips for hitchhiking?
00:35:22 – Give us the highlights of what you did between the AT and ADT
00:41:05 – What are the basic fun facts of the ADT?
00:46:41 – What are the selling points of either the northern or southern routes?
00:50:57 – Discussion about walking through cities
00:54:39 – Tell us about how you navigate the trail
00:56:20 – What drew you to hiking the ADT?
00:59:50 – Will you be the first woman to thru-hike the ADT?
01:02:30 – What kind of carts do people push?
01:04:20 – How many people have hiked the ADT?
01:04:54 – How much of the hike is on road versus single-track?
01:08:19 – Why did you almost die from heat exhaustion?
01:13:02 – What is cell reception like on the ADT?
01:14:09 – Fill us in on your timeline?
01:16:39 – How often do you resupply?
01:18:20 – What keeps you motivated to continue on this trail?
01:20:40 – Are you taking notes or journaling?
01:23:00 – What’s a good story that will definitely be included in your book?
01:24:45 – Tell us about shitting your pants
01:32:05 – Zach’s AT poop story
01:33:05 – Briana’s creative shits
01:40:08 – Discussion about sleeping in bathrooms
01:42:35 – Discussion about planning mileage and places to camp
01:45:04 – Discussion about Briana’s interactions with police
01:50:00 – Discussion about people giving Briana things
01:52:22 – If you could pick one chain to eat at for the rest of the trail, what would you pick?
01:54:51 – What one town stands out to you?
02:01:30 – Fuck Marry Kill: the states you’ve been through thus far
02:05:55 – Fuck Marry Kill: road trails, rail trails, trail trails
02:06:53 – Is there one restaurant experience that stands out to you?
02:12:15 – Discussion about staying with people in towns
02:15:04 – Discussion about the common questions people ask
02:18:14 – What sort of takeaway do you think you’ll leave the ADT with?
02:19:24 – How has this experience changed your perspective on our country?
02:25:03 – What’s the deal with your flip flops?
02:31:30 – What’s your best elevator pitch for the American Discovery Trail?
02:34:05 – Where can people follow you?
Triple Crown of people who should be on the first rocket to Mars
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