Backpacker Radio #234 | Lauren “Long Way” Roerick on France’s New 1,900-Mile HexaTrek

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Lauren Roerick. Lauren has hiked both the Colorado Trail and Sunshine Coast Trail along with a solid chunk of the PCT, but the focus of today’s episode is her recent thru-hike of the nearly 1,900-mile HexaTrek across France. Lauren gives us an in-depth run down of her trek and the trail at large, including the HexaTrek’s specific geography, the resupply and vibe of the country’s quaint villages, the unique, French cultural quirks (including happening upon a nudist camp), the campsites, hitchhiking in France, the food and wine, camping next to castles and on ridgelines in the Alps, and much more. In a nutshell, this trail which you’ve likely never heard of is about to rocket up your bucket list. You’ve been warned.

We wrap the show with our predictions and hopes for 2024, the triple crown of things we hoard, and how an iconic point of the AT’s viewshed was saved by a former guest of the podcast.

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Interview with Lauren “Long Way” Roerick

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:45 – Reminders: Support us on Patreon for exclusive content, apply to blog for the Trek, and check out our merch!

00:08:24 – Introducing Lauren

00:10:07 – Tell us about living in Taiwan and Germany

00:15:10 – What is your musical experience?

00:18:27 – How did you get into backpacking?

00:22:42 – How did you decide to go southbound?

00:24:00 – What were the first few weeks of trail like?

00:27:00 – What was your mindset like?

00:30:40 – Rank the five sections of the PCT

00:32:58 – Tell us about the Colorado Trail and your favorite stretches

00:35:35 – Were you disappointed when you got home?

00:37:13 – Why did you finish the Colorado Trail with fewer people than you started with?

00:39:48 – Tell us about the Sunshine Coast Trail

00:41:55 – What other hidden gems are in British Columbia?

00:46:08 – What are the basics of the HexaTrek?

00:48:50 – Did you learn French prior to the hike?

00:51:06 – What was it like going from town to town?

00:52:30 – How did you learn about and decide to hike the HexaTrek?

00:56:25 – How did you determine how far to hike each day?

00:58:20 – Tell us about the other people you hiked with

01:00:56 – Were you or your parents concerned about you hiking in another country?

01:03:08 – Compare the backcountry experiences of the PCT and HexaTrek
01:04:48 – What kind of wildlife did you encounter?

01:05:45 – What were the resupplies like?

01:12:55 – Do you recommend carrying cash along the trail?

01:13:53 – What region of the trail had the best wine?

01:14:46 – How long would you recommend to complete the trail?

01:16:50 – Tell us about the route finding you had to do?

01:18:40 – If you could repeat a section of the trail, which would it be?

01:19:30 – Were there any sections of scrambling or exposure?

01:20:50 – Did you change any of your gear between the PCT and the HexaTrek?

01:24:45 – Tell us some of your notable stories from the trail

01:31:40 – Did you do any hitchhiking along the HexaTrek?

01:35:15 – What preparation would you recommend for people interested in the HexaTrek?

01:39:00 – Did you set up cell service?

01:40:00 – Discussion about budgeting for the HexaTrek

01:41:50 – What do you want to do next?

01:44:00 – Tell us your poop stories!

01:49:20 – Tell us about your video equipment and process

01:51:09 – Where can people follow you?


Trek Propaganda: Iconic Appalachian Trail Viewshed Officially Preserved After ATC’s Multi-Year Effort by Colleen Goldhorn

QOTD: What are your predictions or hopes for 2024?

Triple Crown of things you hoard

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