Backpacker Radio 84 | India Wood on her Transect Hike of Colorado

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by India Wood.  India, despite having no backpacking experience, decided to hike diagonally across the state of Colorado, from the southeast to the northwest corner of the state.  Along the way she had an encounter with a bear, had soft threats of being shot by rangers, and learned the importance of digging a cat hole the night before.  We learn how India went about planning her route, the challenges associated with doing such a hike during COVID, and what advice she has for others who want to create their own unique hiking routes.

We have a triple crown of halloween candy, dive into our favorite youtube videos, get into an impromptu debate about wearing leggings in ranch country, and get a horse fact about moose.

apple podcasts backpacker radio


Download this episode.

Backcountry discount code: Use code: Backpacker15 for 15% off your first purchase at

Gossamer Gear discount code: Use code: PoopStory for 15% off your entire cart at (does not apply to sale items). 

Zpacks discount code: Use code: BPRPLEX for $25 off any plex tent at

True Thru-Hiker Shirt & Mug

00:06:17 – Why did you decide to hike across Colorado? 

00:07:27 – Can you talk about drawing up your route? 

00:08:11 – Take us deep into the specifics of the route? 

00:11:09 – When you were talking to the person that helped you with maps, did he think you were crazy? Did he pry about your hiking experience? 

00:16:05 – How many road crossings did you cache water at? Did you have it buried? Tell us about water logistics!

00:20:04 – Are you staging your car and then doing an out and back? 

00:20:58 – What was it like getting hitches? Did you get hitches? 

00:22:54 – Tell us about your time in the prairie section of Colorado? 

00:25:20 – Did you know all the types of grasses in the prairie? 

00:26:23 – What’s the most interesting turd you saw? 

00:27:27 – Do you have any grass or prairie facts? 

00:28:27 – Can you talk about your family?

00:29:44 – What’s the name of your daughter’s documentary? 

00:30:24 – What did your family think of you taking on the hike? 

00:33:09 – What happened with your bear encounter? 

00:43:30 – Can you talk about the transition of hiking through the prairie and then through the mountains? 

00:45:00 – Was Bear Peak in your training regimen? 

00:46:44 – Where did you go from Minturn? 

00:48:04 – What went wrong with your maps? 

00:52:47 – Were you ever tempted to turn down a private road? 

00:54:59 – Where did you run into the man who was wanted? 

00:56:14 – Do you have a detailed outline of your route anywhere? 

00:57:47 – Why did you choose southeast to northwest? 

00:58:36 – What kind of dinosaur did you find? 

00:59:25 – Do you think the southeast corner is more beautiful than where you come into CO on 70?

01:01:17 – What’s a good town to go to in the southeast corner? 

01:05:02 – Did this hike give you the adventure itch? 

01:06:05 – Would you stay in a hotel if you did a transect of metro Denver?

01:06:28 – Did you carry anything to protect yourself on your hike? Was your safety something you were highly concerned about? 

01:08:23 – Were there ever political debates that ensued when you said you were from Boulder? 

01:10:09 – What do you think would happen to Chaunce if she was hiking through ranch country in leggings? 

01:11:40 – Is the area you primarily saw other people through the Breckenridge area?

01:11:56 – Do you have any general pieces of advice for people wanting to develop their own hike? 

01:12:55 – Will India’s talk be on Youtube? Yes, the link is here. 

01:13:00 – Any last pieces of advice? 

01:14:10 – Where should people go to learn more about you and your hike? Your books?  


Debate: Is it safe for women to wear leggings in ranch country? 

Triple Crown of the Best Halloween Candy 

Triple Crown of the Worst Halloween Candy 

Ask ??? > Send us your favorite videos!

1 Minute Gear Reviews 

Mail Bag 

5 Star Reviews 

Comment _____ to win a sticker!

Message Backcountry, send us screenshots!

Hiking from Home by Chaunce and How to Afford a Thru-Hike by Kelly Floro

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)!  Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Support us on Patreon to get bonus content.

A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Jason Lawrence, Austen McDaniel, Thomas Fullner, Christopher Marshburn, S11N, Sawyer Products

A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Brandon Spilker, Emily Brown, Jeffrey Miller, Mitchell, Zoe Jenkins, DcNerdlet, Jeff LaFranier, Peter Ellenberg, Jacob Northrup, Peter Leven

Follow The Trek, ChaunceBadger, and  Trail Correspondents on Instagram.

Follow The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 6

  • CK : Oct 28th

    I effing love BPR. It allows me to still think outside when I can’t always be outside. I always appreciate the diversity of thought and voice from the many people who have been interviewed. India’s perspective on ranchers and not-so-much-hiked places felt new to this podcast, and in ways hit close to home (Tolkien references included)! I really loved her story, I think it’s important for outdoor peeps to be open to all, and notably, show respect to all. I want to frame this as positively as possible: perspective is a very grey thing, and debate is important for that reason. Walks of life come in many stages, ages, and colors. I hope that in future podcasts the interviewee is respected and put on the show to hear their story and thoughts with compassion and understanding. As a millennial-aged woman myself, I cringed when Chaunce only spoke in length in the interview to combat India’s “hypocrisy”. Having worked for the Forest Service and in the outdoor industry for the better part of a decade and treated with sh*tty comments even *in* uniform-issued attire (it’s not cute), I would need to be blind and deaf to not notice that I’ve been treated differently. I’m generally not offended mind you, but this isn’t shocking or new – this is the world we live in, let’s be smart while trying to change it. I think it is crucial to remember that the world is full of diverse perspectives, and that they should all count for something, especially when invited to speak on that experience. With appreciation and gratitude, CK

  • SH : Nov 1st

    I also love BPR. It was disappointing to hear Chaunce react so defensively regarding your India’s (your guest’s) comments about her recommended attire along portions of her transect adventure, as she extensively traversed private ranch lands. India was simply offering a recommendation that it’s generally a good idea to be sensitive to your audience. I call this “cultural respect, or sensitivity”, a trait that most adventurers embrace when they travel abroad, or in areas with different cultural norms. Thank you for your efforts in producing a great podcast!!!

    • Lisa Manges : Nov 3rd

      Chaunce’s reaction and challenge to the guest’s comments about women in lycra leggings was the only reason I kept listening to the episode. And, Zach’s “devil’s advocate” mansplaining is the reason I will never listen to the podcast again. Five minutes into the interview, it became apparent that your guest does not play well with others and does not embrace the spirit of “hike your own hike.” The first time she commented negatively about women in lycra leggings was when she explained why she doesn’t hike on popular trails. For me, the potentially interesting story of a transect hike was ruined by the fact that the protaganist sounded like an annoying know it all. That’s OK – normally I would just move on to another episode or podcast. But, when the guest connected lycra leggings to the issue of women’s safety on trail, I got angry. I’m so tired of everyone blaming bad behavior by men on women’s clothing choices. I know that she didn’t specifically say this, but nobody ever does. It’s the same old story disguised this time as a need for “cultural sensitivity” or as Zach’s “devils advocate” position that literally regurgitated the status quo: “we are talking about reality and not whether things should actually be this way.” Zach, when you played devil’s advocate, and actually asked Chaunce whether she would wear a short skirt to a bar, you were preserving the status quo.

      Chaunce was right to call the guest out on her comments and I am disappointed that others haven’t stepped up to support her.

  • Tess Bjorgen : Nov 7th

    So I often pause episodes of BPR and pick them up later so I can enjoy it throughout the week, but this episode I had to pause because I got very upset with India’s comment about wearing conservative clothing in rural areas. I think about the same level Chaunce was after hearing her comment. I almost wrote a post about how upset I was but decided against it after some time passed. Then I picked up this episode again, and was refilled with anger to the point I had to write something. I think 25% because I’m a young female, but 75% because I grew up in rural Montana. I live in the NE Montana on the border or North Dakota, Montana, and Canada, about 300 miles from any major city. Legit in the middle of nowhere where there are fields of wheat and cattle. I don’t know this for certain, but I have to imagine where I grew up is pretty similar to rural Colorado. And the claim that wearing leggings in rural areas will effect your safety is just ludicrous. India also claims it’ll lower your chances of people getting to know you or help you, but the people in my community would give the shirt of their back to help a stranger, as long as that stranger wasn’t an ass hat. And I know we’re always a little behind with trends, but rest assure we know what leggings are. Yoga pants are very widely worn from high school kids to retirees. I wear them very often around town and am never worried about my safety. And I know it’s an interview and maybe India would’ve rephrased her answer if she had some more time to answer, but I am pretty insulted, not as a young woman, but as a rural citizen. If a young woman was to be backpacking through my area, regardless of what her attire was, people would be intrigued. They would ask about her journey, maybe offer some food/coffee, offer her a place to crash, and treat her with kindness and respect. That is if she showed respect to them in return. Her wearing leggings would have nothing to do with how she’d be treated or safety, at least in my neck of the woods. End rant.


What Do You Think?