Backpacker Radio 88 | Dr. Alan Carpenter

Today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, features Dr. Alan Carpenter.  Dr. Carpenter is the ultimate testament that age is just a number, as his entry into the long distance backpacking world didn’t begin until the ripe age of 65.  Since this time, he’s accumulated somewhere in the vicinity of 11,000 miles on foot, and another 7,000 miles on his bike, with many more to come. His stories are gold, he’s an injection of inspiration extract, and is as nice as could be.

We also share how we would end relationships with our culinary skills, get some horse facts on octopuses, do a triple crown of white elephant gifts, and answer some burning listener questions.


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Interview with Dr.Alan Carpenter

00:04:32 – QOTD: What is the most unhealthy thing you’ve done on a hike? 

00:10:30 – Intro to Dr.Alan Carpenter

00:11:27 – Is your book about healthy choices? 

00:16:26 – How did you first get into backpacking?

00:19:06 – Did you know that the long-distance trails were around?

00:20:11 – How old are you?

00:20:28 – How old were you for your first backpacking trip?

00:20:38 – Can you walk us through your experiences getting ready for the JMT?

00:21:38 – How was the JMT with a heavier pack?

00:22:37 – What was your training regimen for the JMT?

00:23:01 – Was it more cardio stuff or weights?

00:23:26 – Did you feel like your training was sufficient?

00:25:36 – Did you spend time at high altitude to prepare for the JMT? 

00:26:31 – Did you have a mantra or a plan that helped you decide you could hike the trail as an older person?

00:28:45 – What does your big three look like today?

00:30:36 – Did you know you would continue thru-hiking after the JMT? Or did you think it would be a one-time thing? 

00:32:03 – You hiked a couple of trails in between the JMT and the PCT, right? 

00:33:46 – When would you say ultralight gear became more ubiquitous? 

00:35:20 – Do you have an athletic background? 

00:35:45 – Did the previous hikes lead to your improved fitness in your subsequent hikes?

00:36:15 – You got injured on the Colorado Trail? 

00:37:33 – Were there any long-lasting effects of your foot injury? 

00:37:52 – Did you have any hesitancy for hiking the PCT after that injury?

00:38:45 – What year did you hike the PCT? 

00:39:53 – Did you start on 4/20 on purpose? 

00:40:20 – Are you calling mosquitoes zombies? 

00:41:26 – What was the aftermath of your fall? 

00:43:23 – What was going through your head when you were sliding down the ice bank? 

00:43:55 – Can you explain what NLP Is? Neuro Linguistic Programming? 

00:44:44 – What was the specific practice your friend did for you to help you get rid of your nightmares? 

00:45:06 – Are there any resources on NLP you recommend? Steve Andreas

00:45:34 – Were there long-lasting physical repercussions from your fall? 

00:46:42 – So you still decided to take on the rest of the PCT? 

00:47:43 – Why would you consider that injury the best thing that ever happened to you? 

00:51:33 – 22.5 mile average is a big accomplishment!

00:52:43 – Can you tell us about the cold weather you dealt with through the Glacier Peak Wilderness? 

00:58:30 – Did you know Mermaid before this? 

00:59:31 – Do you think she could tell you weren’t joking and that you really needed help? 

01:00:10 – Did you really use the word snuggle? 

01:00:23 – Were you talking during this situation?

01:00:58 – Are you surprised she wasn’t more nervous?

01:01:22 – Do you have a trail name? 

01:02:41 – How did your injury transformation translate into your second PCT hike? 

01:03:11 – What does your trail diet look like? 

01:04:37 – Did you have a favorite part of the PCT? 

01:05:58 – Was it weird to go back to where you had injured yourself previously?

01:07:15 – Did the fall make you religious or spiritual in any way?

01:08:46 – Are you naturally an early riser?

01:09:10 – Do you have tips for ways to get yourself up?

01:11:52 – The Appalachian Trail was next? And was that supposed to be a section hike? 

01:13:06 – Are you a social hiker? Do you typically hike with other people? 

01:13:37 – Do you prefer to hike solo? Or would you like to hike with someone? 

01:14:15 – Why did the AT not pan out as a thru?

01:17:58 – So you got to your cousin’s place in Portland and went back to CO there? 

01:18:35 – What does your wife think about you doing all these adventures? 

01:19:55 – Was the Northern Tier your first long-distance biking trip? 

01:20:24 – When did your long-distance biking trips start?

01:21:08 – So you didn’t buy any specific bike for this trip?

01:21:47 – How did you go about researching for a long-distance cycling trip?

01:22:40 – If you had to pick between a long-distance backpacking trip and a long-distance bike-packing trip which would you pick and why? 

01:23:50 – Can you hit on the conclusion of the AT and the CDT? 

01:26:27 – Did you wait out the bad weather?

01:26:43 – Where does the CDT play into this mix? 

01:28:45 – Have you always been a persistent person? 

01:29:50 – Where do you keep track of acts of kindness? 

01:31:19 – Do you have any recommendations for older people wanting to thru-hike? 

01:32:30 – Can you tell us about working for the Nature Conservancy? 

01:34:10 – What would you like to plug? 



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