Backpacker Radio #210 | Lyla Harrod: Thru-Hiking while Trans, Sober, and Queer

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Lyla Harrod. Lyla is is a sober, queer, transgender woman currently on the last leg of her triple crown and has accrued an absurd amount of trail miles in just the last 2.5 years. She swings by the studio in the midst of her CDT thru-hike to share her journey of coming out as trans, how that’s interfaced with her many thru-hiking miles, establishing the FKT on the Bay Circuit Trail, her love affair with the Hayduke, setting the women’s White Mountains Direttissima FKT, her hikes on the AZT, Florida Trail, and much more.

We wrap the show with some tips on scoring a walk-up permit at some of the most high-demand backcountry destinations, how we’d waste our money if we were billionaires, a very old guy centric stupid thing of the week, and the triple crown of failed candle scents.

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Interview with Lyla Harrod

Time stamps & Questions

00:01:50 – Reminders: Support us on Patreon!

00:02:48 – Introducing Lyla

00:03:08 – What got you into backpacking?

00:04:41 – Tell us your trail name origin story

00:08:55 – What got you into thru-hiking?

00:10:20 – What was the AT like in 2021?

00:12:31 – What would you like to tell us about your background pre-transitioning?

00:19:10 – What was the reaction when you started to come out?

00:21:41 – Where did you get information from after you came out as trans?

00:23:47 – Did you ever fear you were wrong or would regret your decision?

00:24:58 – What was your mindset like before starting the AT?

00:26:53 – How did your on trail experience compare with your expectations?

00:28:35 – Did anyone use slurs at you?

00:32:00 – Did you experience a difference between hikers and people in towns?

00:33:41 – What are the most common things people get wrong?

00:35:45 – How do you interact with someone who has transphobic views?

00:37:09 – How often do people not believe you when you say you’re trans?

00:38:28 – How do you handle always having to have a positive front and decompress?

00:41:33 – Do you have a general piece of advice you offer to people who reach out to you?

00:43:42 – If you had an FAQ page, what would the top questions on that page be?

00:47:47 – Are hormone medications difficult to manage on trail?

00:49:04 – Are there any other modifications you made that make hiking easier for you?

00:50:54 – Are you still hurt when someone makes a mistake you can tell was unintentional?

00:54:08 – At what point did you know that thru-hiking was your new thing?

00:56:03 – Tell us about doing FKTs as a trans woman

01:00:00 – Tell us about the Bay Circuit Trail

01:03:00 – Tell us about doing the White Mountains Direttissima FKT

01:05:37 – How well did the PCT prepare you for the White Mountains?

01:06:41 – How do you train for something like that?

01:07:29 – How did you handle the rules about camping in alpine zones?

01:09:08 – Any advice for someone looking to set an FKT on the Bay Circuit Trail?

01:09:57 – What was your biggest newbie mistake on the AT?

01:11:44 – What 3 day stretch of the AT would you like to go back and relive?

01:12:55 – Have you ever shit your pants?

01:13:55 – Tell us about going from the AT to the AZT

01:16:34 – Tell us about your social experience and interactions on the PCT

01:20:00 – Why did you start the PCT in mid-March?

01:22:30 – What differences have you noticed in the continuous footpath mindset across the three Triple Crown trails?

01:25:49 – Can you define redlining?

01:27:00 – Tell us about the increasing popularity on the CDT and whether you’ve noticed it

01:28:38 – Do you think your PCT struggles enhanced or detracted from your experience?

01:29:55 – What were your highlights from the Hayduke?

01:32:24 – What’s the most difficult aspect of the Hayduke?

01:37:20 – What are your top moments from all the trails you’ve done?

01:46:30 – How have the San Juans compared to the Sierras in April?

01:49:01 – What’s making people decide to flip up to Glacier on the CDT this year?

01:52:08 – What will it mean for you to finish your Triple Crown?

01:54:56 – Tell us about your gear

01:58:50 – What parting message do you have for our listeners?


Trek Propaganda

QOTD: If you woke up tomorrow morning a billionaire, what’s the most extravagantly lavish thing you’d waste your money on?

Stupid Thing of the Week

Triple Crown of failed candle scents

5 Star Review

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