An Introduction to a Marine Army Veteran (MAV)
Hello! I am Jason “MAV” Brocar. Excited to be a blogger for The Trek this 2022 thru hiking season. I grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and have always liked being in the outdoors. With the Black Hills National Forest right in my backyard there were a lot of opportunities to go camping and hiking. After high school I joined the Marine Corps and started my travels around the world. After 13 years, I left and went to college, but it wasn’t too long before I transitioned into the Army. My Army experience was a decade of deployments which rounded out my 23 years of military service, onwards to retirement!
So, what does a 23-year retired veteran do when he gets out of the military?
I pondered this for quite a while before transitioning out. Researching so many careers that I thought I wanted to do based on my military service. Then one day I was asked about outdoor jobs. This piqued my interest and I started looking into any outdoor related career I could find. But the weird thing was my research into outdoor jobs turned into outdoor activities, which landed on long-distance hiking. I never even heard of long-distance hiking, didn’t even know it was a thing. I had gone hiking and camped many times in my life, but not multiple days and miles on end. So, upon retirement I set out on my first long distance hike, the Appalachian Trail in 2014 as a SOBO.
What just happened?
I thought I had researched enough information that I was very confident at the start of my hike. Found out the first week that everything I thought I knew about hiking was not what I planned on. Learning so much from other hikers on the ins and outs of long-distance hiking was the key for me. My stubbornness of a military background to persevere through the tough times and thoroughly enjoy the fun times. The overall experience was amazing, and I ended up catching that hiking bug and continuing hiking more trails.
- Scottish National Trail
- GR-11 Spanish Pyrenees
- River to River Trail
- South Dakota Centennial Trail
- Arizona Trail (Southern Half)
- Continental Divide Trail
Heading into a new year, what does 2022 bring?
Since 2014, I have had a routine of working 2 years, then hiking a year. 2022 is that hiking year. To get back into that hiking “beast” mode in preparation for a PCT SOBO hike, in March, I will hike South Carolina Palmetto Trail and SC Foothills Trail, then move on to the Triple “O” in the Ozarks by May. The Triple “O” is the Ouachita Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, and Ozark Trail. I am positive this will get me warmed up to start the PCT in July and thus finishing my Triple Crown.
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