Q&A #2: Backpacking with a Gun, Crush It Syndrome, Overrated Gear, Emotionally Draining Trail Experiences, and More (BPR #242)

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are bringing back another edition of Q&A. Today we’re joined by our pal and chronic thru-hiker and adventurer, Steven “Twinkle” Shattuck to answer your burning trail-related questions. Today’s episode covers a wide range of topics, including the feasibility and necessity of carrying a gun while backpacking, the dangers of “crush it syndrome” in light of Christopher Roma’s recent tragic passing, Twinkle’s top trails from around the world, the most overrated piece of gear, how we prevent blisters, and much more. Simply put, if you like your Qs being A’d, you have stumbled upon the right episode.

We wrap the show with the top sleeping bags, quilts, and pads from the AT last year, the top home theft suggestions to mildly inconvenience your victim, and the triple crown of foods that are way better or worse when homemade.

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Panel with Steven “Twinkle” Shattuck

Time stamps & Questions

00:02:50 – Bid on our Tyvek wall until February 29, apply to be a blogger, and support us on Patreon!

00:05:22 – Introducing Twinkle

00:08:30 – Crush It Syndrome – check out Skurka’s article, Christopher Roma: Learning to turn back

00:28:17 – Backpacking with a gun

00:53:45 – Twinkle’s top 3 trail recommendations in the world

00:57:11 – Twinkle’s favorite international hikes

01:00:40 – What’s the most overrated piece of gear?

01:14:53 – How do you stay safe from ticks while outside? How much do you worry about them? (Check out episode 200 to learn more about Lyme disease)

01:22:50 – If you had to do a medium length trail (100-500 miles) this year, which one would it be? (Check out Eloise Robbin’s article, The Best Time of Year to Hike These 23 Popular Long Trails and Swami’s website, The Hiking Life)

01:29:51 – As a future dad, how do you instill both an interest and a respect for nature in young kids? (Check out episode 152 to hear Nancy East discuss this topic)

01:37:48 – What is your daily routine for foot care to prevent blisters while doing big miles?

01:42:30 – Can you tell us about your most emotionally draining experience on trail?

01:52:11 – What brand of instant coffee will help you poop the best?

01:53:58 – How does someone get into canyoneering? Where do you begin?

01:55:56 – What is the best 311 song or album?


Trek Propaganda: The Top Sleeping Bags, Quilts, and Pads on the Appalachian Trail: 2023 Thru-Hiker Survey by Kate Richard 

QOTD: You’re a burglar but you can only steal things that mildly inconvenience your victims. What are you taking?

Triple Crown of foods that are way better or worse when homemade

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