Backpacker Radio #229 | Ruth Morley on Section Hiking vs. Thru-Hiking at Age 70 and Eating Plant-Based

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Ruth Morley. Ruth, in addition to being a Trek Blogger, is an avid backpacker, having trekked the GR5 through the south of France all the way through the Netherlands, the Florida Trail, the AT, the Buckeye Trail, and most recently a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail at the ripe age of 70! We learn about Ruth’s affinity for section hiking and how it compares to thru-hiking, we get an indepth run down of her time trekking the GR5, and Ruth dives deep into her passion for her whole food plant based diet, in which she adds zero salt, oil, or sugar to. Zach and Chaunce’s dietary guilt is at an all-time high in this episode.

We wrap the show with an overview of the guy who hiked the AT and PCT carrying a 20-lb log over his shoulders, activities we didn’t realize would consume so much of our time as adults, the triple crown of jingles, taglines, and mottos, and more.

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Interview with Ruth Morley

Time stamps & Questions

00:06:35 – Reminders: Check out our new website, support us on Patreon to see exclusive content, and come to the Denver hiker meetup THIS FRIDAY, December 1st!

00:10:10 – Introducing Ruth

00:11:11 – How did you originally get interested in the outdoors?

00:15:27 – What is the Mediocre Golf Association?

00:18:45 – Tell us about your son’s racing career

00:21:07 – Tell us about the GR5

00:24:36 – What are the basics for an American looking to hike the GR5?

00:29:20 – What was your favorite section of the GR5?

00:30:40 – What’s the northern section like?

00:33:25 – What are the other can’t-miss cultural experiences along the GR5?

00:35:39 – What percent of the time did you spend camping versus staying in hostels?

00:39:22 – Any standout stories from the GR5?

00:42:18 – Tell us about section hiking the AT

00:49:22 – Can you talk about sharing a motel room with other hikers?

00:52:10 – What set of injuries inspired your change in diet?

00:56:30 – What was your diet like before going plant-based?

01:00:30 – What are examples of common meals you eat?

01:08:20 – What are your go-to dehydrated recipes?

01:13:15 – What do you recommend for people interested in dabbling?

01:17:42 – What kind of wet foods work with your diet?

01:22:30 – What are the advantages of section hiking versus thru-hiking?

01:25:34 – What other tips do you have for older backpackers?

01:27:23 – Discussion about training methods

01:30:35 – Tell us about your first section on the Florida Trail

01:36:30 – Did you see any alligators?

01:37:33 – Did you consider skipping the road walk?

01:39:11 – Can you give us a sales pitch for the Buckeye Trail in Ohio?

01:43:55 – What were your favorite moments of the Colorado Trail?

01:47:33 – Did you deal with altitude sickness at all?

01:48:37 – What are your parting messages?


Trek Propaganda: Meet Shawn Mahoney, aka Log Man: The Thru-Hiker Who Carried a Log on the AT and PCT by Krysia Caldwell

QOTD:  What’s something you didn’t realize was going to consume so much of your time as an adult?

Plug Me: Barney “Scout” Mann and Shayla “Kiddo” Paradeis

Triple Crown of jingles, taglines, and mottos

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