Brandon “Horsepower” Weis on the Calendar Year Triple Crown and Arizona Trail (BPR #256)

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek brought to you by Sawyer Products, we are joined by Brandon “Horsepower” Weis. With minimal prior backpacking experience, in 2021,  Brandon successfully completed the calendar year triple crown plus a thru-hike of the Arizona Trail. The next two years were not any more laid back, as he accrued more than 15,000 miles worth of backpacking over a three year span, including treks of the Benton MacKay Trail, Pinhoti, Oregon Desert Trail, Bigfoot Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, Colorado Trail, Hayduke, and the Sheltowee Trace Trail. In addition to giving us an overview of these treks, Horsepower delights us with fun stories, including a terrifying encounter with a grizzly, sleeping in countless pit toilets, being asked to leave a restaurant due to his odor, accidentally drinking deet, and more. 

We wrap the show with an overview of the first half of trail days, including how Badger is the world’s biggest moron, the triple crown of our short section hike on the AT, and how many drinks constitute drinking.

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Interview with Brandon “Horsepower” Weis

Time stamps & Questions

00:07:30 – Reminders: Support us on Patreon for exclusive bonus content and suggest a guest for us to interview at PCT Days!

00:08:54 – Introducing Horsepower

00:09:40 – What’s your trail name origin story?

00:11:11 – What was your background in weight lifting prior to backpacking?

00:12:45 – Where did your interest in thru-hiking come from?

00:14:37 – How long were your section hikes prior to the CYTC?

00:14:55 – Tell us about being a big Lil Wayne fan

00:16:34 – Tell us about being a partier

00:18:26 – Tell us about deciding to hike the Calendar Year Triple Crown

00:20:29 – In what other ways have you gone all in on something you’re interested in?

00:22:21 – Tell us about starting the Calendar Year Triple Crown

00:24:30 – How much did your pack weigh when you started?

00:26:35 – Did you keep to a regular hiking schedule?

00:28:11 – At any point did you think it might not have been a good idea?

00:30:27 – Did you factor in zero days or town vortexes?

00:36:00 – What were your lowest points on the AT?

00:40:42 – What was your low point on the first CDT section?

00:43:47 – What drew you to The One tent?

00:44:28 – Discussion about switching over to the PCT

00:46:30 – Were you too tired to talk to other hikers?

00:47:08 – What were the high and low points on the PCT?

00:48:54 – How did you mitigate injuries?

00:50:52 – Tell us about your back injury

00:55:00 – Are you glad you have already done the Calendar Year Triple Crown?

00:56:02 – McDonalds bathroom story

00:57:44 – Too smelly to be in a restaurant story

00:58:36 – Was the AZT always the plan?

01:00:12 – Discussion about getting off the Buckeye Trail

01:01:00 – Burnt shoes story

01:03:10 – Pit toilet connoisseur 

01:05:48 – Savage mice and rats

01:07:30 – Kind of maybe saved a guy’s life 

01:09:10 – Held at nonthreatening knifepoint in a car 

01:10:22 – Accidentally drinking DEET 

01:10:53 – Accidentally holding a lovely couple hostage 

01:12:26 – Hearing the song Roxanne 200 times in a night

01:15:30 – Tell us about going back to smaller trails after the CYTC

01:19:09 – Tell us about the Oregon Desert Trail

01:24:30 – Tell us about the Bigfoot Trail

01:30:48 – What’s your rationale for doing so many miles?

01:31:56 – Are you frugal when out on trail?

01:33:44 – What was your biggest pigout moment?

01:35:05 – What’s your favorite meal on trail?

01:36:37 – Eating so much peanut butter he became allergic

01:39:10 – Did you supplement at all on trail?

01:39:35 – Tell us about the Pacific Northwest Trail

01:48:15 – Plug your book!


Trek Propaganda: Authorities Investigating Fish Hooks Stuffed In Dog Treats Along Appalachian Trail by Ariella Nardizzi

QOTD: How many drinks constitutes “drinking”?

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