Backpacker Radio Episode 25: Bethany “Fidgit” Hughes on Trekking the Length of the Americas
A life changing adventure is merely a decision away. That’s the takeaway lesson from today’s interview with Bethany Hughes, who just a few years ago, was running the books at her local H&R Block and miserable for it. Fast forward to December 2018—she just completed trekking the length of South America—just the first piece of her goal of traveling the length of the Americas by non-motorized means. We learn all about this adventure and all the the incredible stories and lessons that come with it. We also get into some Trek Propaganda featuring the top footwear amongst 2018 Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, the triple crown of under-appreciated gear items, and a fan enlightens us about Norwegians preferred alcohol.
Subjects discussed in today’s show include:
- Gossamer Gear Anniversary Video
- Sawyer Micro Squeeze vs. Sawyer Squeeze
- Her Odyssey Website
- Missions statement: “Traversing the length of the Americas by non motorized means, connecting stories of the land and its inhabitants.”
- Beagle channel
- Tierra del Fuego 300km practice
- Greater Patagonia Trail
- Qhapaq Ñan – ancient Incan road system – took this all the way up to panama
- Current task: figure out how to safely cross Central America
- Fidgit to hike the CDT through USA and Neon bikepacks Great Divide Trail
- Possibly paddling McKenzie river up to Alaska then following the pipelines to the northern most point
- How she got this idea – back to Kansas City working at HR Block and had moment reading where it came to her – grew up and was raised in the mountains of South America, spent time in North America running sled dogs in Alaska
- Stories that have stood out to her
- Man with bread on horse at Christmas
- Family giving them coffee and took off their socks to dry in Patagonia
- Long distance journeys and having / letting go of plans
- Being a white woman in South America and the privilege that comes with it
- Advice: Trust your instincts and listening to your gut
- Scary stories and their “rules” to not look vulnerable
- Reasoning to bike Mexico
- Highlights thus far
- Ratio trail to road to route finding
- Stealth camping
- Coca leaves leaves in Columbia
- Dealing with concerned family members
- Financials and funding
- Big 3:
- Hyperlite Southwest Pack
- Hyperlite shelter (prototype)
- Feathered Friends crossover sleeping bag quilt
- Prior backpacking experience
- South America growing up with her dad taking her into mountains
- Guided for Boy Scouts
- How the outdoors helped her mental health and replaced medications
- How she got her trail name
Trek Propaganda: The Top Footwear on the Appalachian Trail
- Top brands:
- Top Models:
Mt Rushmore of under-appreciated gear items
- Gossamer Gear shoulder strap pocket
- Asian street market spoons
- Vargo Bot
- Ziplock bags
- Nail clippers
- Caffeine supplements
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Pods
- Honorable mentions:
- Extra socks
- Zpacks stuff sack with fleece lining “Pillow Bag“
Have any praise, questions, praise, comments, praise or praise for Backpacker Radio? Reach out to [email protected].
Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)! Download this podcast. Find us on Stitcher and Google Play.
Support us on Patreon!
A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Sawyer Products and Tama Lama Ding Dong.
A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Gregory Gardner, Andre Oosthuizen, Randy Harter, and Peter Leven
Follow Her Odyssey, Backpacker Radio, The Trek, Chaunce, and Badger on Instagram.
Follow The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube.
Follow The Trek on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.
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.
What Do You Think?