Backpacker Radio 49: Matt “Pretzel” Mason on Shaking Down New Thru-Hikers, Gear Advice, Wildland Firefighting, and Also Everything

Matt “Pretzel” Mason is a triple crowner, trail runner, sober hiker, former Mountain Crossings employee, wildland firefighter, gear snob, and all around character. His beard game is strong, and his opinions are stronger. If you liked the Pony episode, we think you’ll really enjoy this one as well.

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Comments 1

  • Clay Bonnyman Evans : Oct 19th

    That was fun. I feel a certain kinship to Pretzel, as I’ve been introduced to him on the podcast, almost as if he’s a cooler, younger, more accomplished version of myself. Very funny, open guy.

    I also appreciate his attitude toward the trail. In the end, it’s all about the trail, and all of us who love “the trail” — pick a trail, any trail — have, IMO, an obligation to give back in some way, whether it’s volunteering on a trail crew, fighting wildfire or just giving a few hours of time to our local parks or open-space program.

    BTW, the interview with Legend in #48 may have left a mistaken impression in some listeners’ minds: Not faulting Legend, as he was just having a casual conversation, but at some point he speculated that because of a federal government shutdown trail conditions had suffered. Actually, despite the fact that America’s long trails are governed by various federal and state agencies, virtually all of the work of maintaining them is done by volunteers working with non-profit organizations such as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Pacific Crest Trail Association or local and regional trail-maintaining groups. The operative word there is “volunteer,” and government employees provide only a miniscule amount of the work on the ground.

    A great show. The kind I wish I could have been in the room for.

    ~Pony

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