Backpacker Radio LIVE with Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva (BPR #253)

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we’ll do it live! That’s right, we are once again joined by backpacking legend, Ryan Sylva aka Dirtmonger, to learn more about his ridiculously extensive backpacking experience from around the world, but this time we are joined by 60 of our best friends at the Skylark Lounge in Denver, Colorado. Although many beers were consumed during the making of this podcast, we feel confident this live episode stays in bounds, at least relative to the first go around, which we no longer speak of.

We wrap the show with a QA from attendees of this event, a triple crown of the best sports movies, Chaunce gives us the full rundown on her engagement, and we finally introduce our highly anticipated new segment, Trail Confessionals.

Banner photo credit: Rolf Asphaug

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Live Podcast

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:17 – Reminders: Submit feedback to [email protected], sign up for the Trek’s newsletter, and reach out to us if you know a venue that would like to host us!

00:06:27 – Introducing Dirtmonger

00:13:20 – Tell us about your Poop Loop Bikepacking route

00:15:36 – Was this the start of a new chapter in your life?

00:19:20 – Does bikepacking scratch the same backcountry itch as backpacking?

00:22:58 – How do you develop and feel confident in your philosophy about backpacking?

00:26:54 – Tell us about your backstory

00:31:12 – Have you ever done something you wouldn’t want to do again?

00:34:15 – Sell us on bikepacking

00:37:28 – Discussion about using other activities to heal while still adventuring

00:44:15 – What’s the longest day you’ve had on a bike?

00:46:30 – Tell us about the Salkantay Trek, Ausungate Circuit, and Cordillera Real Traverse

00:50:59 – Do you learn things when you hike with Swami?

00:54:02 – What do you mean by hiking at your level?

00:59:56 – Discussion about hiking alone versus with people

01:01:52 – How did that inform the hiking decisions you made afterwards?

01:02:35 – What appeals to you about the desert?

01:04:40 – Tell us about the Oregon Desert Trail

01:06:50 – Tell us about the Altiplano Traverse

01:11:35 – Are there outdoor conditions that you don’t enjoy?

01:14:23 – Has there been a scenario where you turned back because the conditions were bad?

01:17:20 – What’s your mentality about proving yourself to other people?

01:23:50 – Tell us about the Whatever Route

01:28:25 – Discussion about planning and developing the Great Basin Route

01:37:20 – What’s your most controversial take on thru-hiking culture?

01:40:05 – What’s your median base weight?

01:45:30 – Discussion about down jackets and rain jackets

01:48:00 – Kumo Question: Do you think visors will ever come back around?

01:49:06 – Audience Q&A: Is there anything you want to hike in Asia?

01:50:00 – Audience Q&A: Bidet?

01:51:00 – Gossamer Gear Giveaway 1

01:55:30 – Audience Q&A: If you had to do one trail for the rest of your life, what would it be?

01:56:40 – Audience Q&A: Do you ever mentally struggle without seeing people around?

02:00:10 – Audience Q&A: How do you mentally balance creating a new trail with LNT?

02:03:08 – Audience Q&A: What trail made you fall in love with thru-hiking?


Chaunce’s Engagement Story

QOTD: How much money would it take for you to live in a dumpster for a month?

Triple Crown of sports movies

Trail Confessions

Two Star Trail Review

Mail Bag

5 Star Review

Check out our sound guy @my_boy_pauly/.

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Our theme song is Walking Slow by Animal Years.

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