The Trek Writers

The following list of super humans are the Writers of The Trek.  They are former thru-hikers.  They are experienced backpackers.  They are Appalachian Trail / Pacific Crest Trail / Continental Divide Trail / enthusiasts.  Quite simply, they’re the awesome people who make this site the wonderful backpacking party palace that it is.

Apply to Become a Trek Writer!

Perks include: Exposure in front of a large and growing community, writing for USA TODAY’s Top Hiking and Outdoor Blog, being a part of a fun and knowledgable team, opportunities for new gear testing, a monthly Google Hangout video chat, and the opportunity to get direct blogging feedback from Appalachian Trials author and editor-in-chief, Zach Davis.

To read the journeys of our current and future thru-hikers, check out the The Trek Bloggers.


Owner / Editor-in-Chief at AT (2011) + PCT (2017) thru-hiker. Author of Appalachian Trials and Pacific Crest Trials, resources focused on mentally preparing people for a thru-hike. Named The Top Hiking and Outdoor Blogger by USA TODAY. AKA Badger or the Good Badger. Will dance if provoked.If you're planning on thru-hiking in the future, I encourage you to check out my Personal AT Coaching Page.

The Editors

We are the word nerds of The Trek who want nothing more than to infuse some hiking and backpacking joy into your day.

Kelly Floro

Oh hey there! I'm Ibex, managing editor of this site. I mostly spend my spare time scheming new adventures and inadvertently setting my hair on fire while cooking. Thru-hikes: Appalachian Trail 2018 | Wonderland Trail 2019 | Colorado Trail 2020 + 2021 | Wind River High Route 2022 | Pyrenean Haute Route 2023

Owen Eigenbrot

Above all, Owen(he/him) loves burritos. They are the reason he wakes, the reason he hikes. His hunger drove him the length of the PCT in 2015, the CDT in 2019, the ECT in 2022, and scatters him to wild places worldwide. An engineer sometimes and hiker trash always, he lives to experience, understand, and help the Earth.

Ariella Nardizzi

Ariella Nardizzi is an adventure journalist based in Colorado. She's had a myriad of opportunities to live and play in stunning destinations around the globe, ranging from the jagged peaks of Glacier National Park to the remote hills of Albania and beyond. Most notably, she's climbed Mount Rainier, hiked a Rim-To-Rim of the Grand Canyon, and is hooked on trail living after thru-hiking the John Muir Trail.A rock climber, backpacker, thru-hiker, mountaineer, and journalist with an unfettered curiosity for new experiences and unique cultures, she's turned to creative storytelling as an outlet for adventure. She is always in search of Type II fun, deserves an award for her campfire-cooked quesadillas, and has an ever-growing collection of plants.Ariella writes for various platforms, including The Trek, Elevation Outdoors Magazine, Exit 205 Magazine, and more. She has big plans to thru-hike as many long trails as possible in her lifetime.

Trek Vloggers

We are the adventurous souls who will be sharing our treks in video form. See all of . The Trek's vloggers on YouTube.

Guest Post

Do you have a story to tell or advice you'd like to share with on this site? Submit your story here.

Colleen Goldhorn

Hi! My name is Colleen, but I'm better known on the trail as Spot. I am a PA native who now calls the mountains of Colorado her home. My days are spent as a graphic designer and photographer, but I spend every available minute of my free time outside. A few years back, I discovered the AT and since then it has been the #1 thing on my mind. Since 2016 I have hiked over 1,000 miles of the trail, with plans to some day stand on top of Katahdin with all 2,200 miles under my belt. You can usually find me somewhere in the mountains either hiking, skiing, or rock climbing. Happy trails!

Kenny Howell

My name is Kenny but you can call me Bottle Cap. In 2013 I came down with a bout of Springer Fever and left my job to wander the Appalachian Trail with my fiance (now wife) Fun-Size. Since leaving the trail Fun-Size and I find ourselves trying to make life work in southern California while still maintaining our love for long-distance hiking. So many trails, so little time.

Maggie Wallace

My name is Maggie, but I'm known on trail as Chuckles. Against better judgment, I've toured across America on a ramshackle mountain bike, spent six months working as a trail maintainer on the Pacific Crest Trail, and eaten way more granola than any human should. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013 and the PCT in 2016, but I am currently living in New Hampshire, where I eat real breakfast and sleep indoors most nights. You can reach me at maggiethewall [at] gmail [dot] com

Elise Ott

Elise is a copywriter who prefers time outdoors to time spent behind a screen. Because of this she planned her first thru-hike—the PCT in 2019 and shared her journey the way she knows best (through writing). Now, she acts as the production assistant for The Trek's flagship podcast, Backpacker Radio, an occasional Trek contributor, and a 2021 Trek ambassador.

Katie "Oats" Houston

I am a solo thru-hiker with over 3,000 miles under my belt, making me a passionate conduit for culture, lingo, and other backcountry knowledge. Through my work, I am able to educate audiences on good trail ethics and strive for an outdoor community where everyone feels like they belong. Check out my adventures with Thru the husky on my website, and Instagram @oatshikes.


I was ten years old when my love for the Smoky Mountains first inspired my dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Twelve years later, I made that dream a reality when I completed my NoBo 2014 thru-hike. I am now getting my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), with an Interdisciplinary Statistics minor. In addition to hiking, I try to maintain some semblance of sanity through crafts, piano, fantasy/sci-fi books, beer, and bacon.

Joal and Jenny

Hello! We’re Joal and Jenny, a British couple who love spending time outdoors any which way we can. We first learnt that we liked hiking in Nepal where we made up our own route through the Annapurna mountain range. From here we’ve done a fair few in the United Kingdom steadily becoming more self sufficient. In 2018 all this culminated in us hiking Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Now we’re hooked, always keeping an eye out for our next adventure.Currently hiking: Te araroa in New Zealand

Gary Sizer

I'm Gary Sizer, a.k.a. Green Giant, backpacker, amateur astronomer and writer. I am the author of Where's the Next Shelter?, the story of my 2014 thru hike and all of the incredible people I met along the way.

Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt is a native New Yorker. A Western Kentucky University dropout, he holds degrees from the University of Louisville and Spalding University. His writing has appeared in print or online in River Styx, The Louisville Review, the Prose Poem Project. After years of weekend hiking in the Ohio and Tennessee valley regions, Joe (aka "Triton") hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2011. He also hiked a 500 mile section of the AT in 2014.


Hey y’all! Stubbs here! I will be making my second thru-hike attempt with my husband and best friend, after a pelvic fracture forced me off trail in 2016. I made it over halfway to Boiling Springs, PA and have every intention of conquering the trail in its entirety this time if the odds are in my favor! It’s go time!

Samantha Olthof

You can call me Samwise (or Sam). I attempted to thru-hike the PCT in 2017, but it turned into more of a LASH (long-ass section hike). I am a proud Canadian, and I revel in spending time in the woods with my partner and over-exuberant labrador mix.

Madison Dragna

I'm a freelance writer and devoted yogi. I completed my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and have been missing trail life ever since. I might not be the nomad I once was, but my current home in Colorado isn't a bad place to rest. I dream of the day all my belongings can fit in a backpack again. Until then, I am here to lend a hand to all the gear junkies, hiker trash, and outdoor lovers alike. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @madidragna

John Edward Harris

I am a thru-hiker wannabe who has hiked sections of the AT in NH, NJ, PA, VA and NC. I fell in love with hiking and backpacking over forty years ago. Yes, I am that old! Along the way I took a NOLS Outdoor Educator Course, a LNT Master Educator Course, and two Wilderness First Aid Courses. I also like cycling and flat-water kayaking. I have worked part time as a Guide in an EMS Store and a Customer Service Specialist at an REI store. In other words, I love the outdoors and adventure.

Kate Richard

I'm Kate, aka Stickers on the trail. After growing up in New England, the Appalachian Trail was on my bucket list and I completed my thru hike of the AT in 2017. That got me hooked on the hiking lifestyle and I thru hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019. Nowadays, I'm a weekend warrior living in Portland, OR getting outside and traveling all over the West as much as possible.

Jim Rahtz

My name is Jim, though on the trail I'm occasionally known as Simba. When I retired a few years ago I returned to backpacking and found, for me, the sweet spot is long trails, but not that long. In the past few years I've thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, Long Trail, JMT, Tahoe Rim Trail, Sheltowee Trace and others. To me, these 200-500 mile trails can be life changing, without taking so long that I have to change my life to accomplish them. I think they're a great alternative for those that don't have the time, ability, circumstances, or need to hike one of the Triple Crown. I'm a Past President of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and through the years have written other articles and a few books about backpacking. Much of my local hiking is covered at

Jessica Tinios

You may know me from the trail as Ruby Cosmo. I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2017 and completed 1,400 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019. A native of New Hampshire, I finished hiking all of the state's 48 peaks above 4,000 feet in 2018 and now that I am based in Steamboat Springs, CO, I am hoping to start chipping away at 14'ers as well. In addition to very long walks, I enjoy skiing, drawing, painting, eating every kind of cheese except blue cheese, and blogging for the Trek ;)

The Stones

Hello friends! We are Josh and Maranda Stone, a happily married couple from North Georgia who had big dreams of completing the AT in 2016. We dreamed about a thru hike for some time, and we were finally able to make it happen this year! From March to August, we walked our way from Georgia to Maine and had the time of our lives! We hope to continue to share our wisdom and crazy stories with you here, so stay tuned!

Ruth Nasrullah

I'm a journalist, a backpacker, a master naturalist, a certified interpretive guide, and a lover of trails and travel. On April 26, 2023, I'm setting out on an interpretive section hike of the AT, highlighting the natural and cultural history of different points on the trail. Keep an eye out for updates right here on The Trek! My husband and I also manage, a website dedicated to memorializing people who have died of COVID-19 in this country and to educating and informing people about the disease.

Paul "BigTex" Bunker

I am a late starter to long-distance hiking (50 years old) and my first introduction was a 5 1/2 month hike of the AT, with my son! Talk about hitting it hard. Trail folks call me "BigTex" which as I am neither big nor Texan confuses me, but I guess they just smoke too much green stuff. I miss the trail, I miss my trail family and I hope to be a part of your hiking success!

Jeff Vreeland

I currently hold titles of a father, husband, geek, aspiring outdoorsman, storyteller, and BBQ Cook. I am a section hiker who is breaking the trail up in chunks as time allows.

Jenna Ivey

Hello! I'm Jenna. I probably know more about thru-hiking than I should considering I have only thru-hiked the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail. I was fully prepare for a PCT 2019 thru-hike when health issues swooped in last minute and kept me off trail. I still enjoy reading and writing about thru-hiking and any outdoor adventures and have high hopes of stepping on the PCT one day.

Emmi Laakso

Bonafide hiker trash trying to pass as a respectable adult. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015, and now I'm just biding my time until the next adventure.

Kayla Carter

I'm an Appalachian Trail thru hiker from class 2014! The Appalachian Trail lead me on to a new life path and gave me the skills to navigate through it. I serve on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Next Generation Advisory Council. I'm also a volunteer trail maintainer with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Appalachian Trials. Feel free to contact me about anything via email — [email protected].

Jean Taggart

2014 PCT LASHer, 2015 Long Trail Thru-Hiker, 2018 AZT Thru-Hiker, 2019 AT LASHer. I grew up in the NH White Mountains. I'm the proud owner of a 1991 Toyota Hiace retired Japanese Ambulance named Yakushi with whom I adventure. Read about my adventures at

Kate Waite

I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, answering to the name of First Gear. Rarely the first up or down a mountain, it suited me well. As a school-based speech language pathologist, there are no more half year forays in my near future. Still, my work affords ample vacation time compared to your typical 9-5er. I capitalize on summer vacations, spending large chunks of time ticking off the shorter long distance trails while I scheme about one day attempting the PCT.

James Cape

My name is James - I grew up in Wisconsin, and now I live in Denver, CO working as an engineer. In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail as Autodraft.

Juliana Chauncey

Hi, I'm Chaunce, and I like walking and making a fool of myself on the internet. I'll also post a blog once every blue moon (or several years). Don't bother reading my gear list unless you want to know what I thought I'd bring with me on the PCT in 2017. One day I'll update it.

Silent Bob

Don't ever thru-hike; you'll lose any sense of purpose or hope for a relatively normal life you once had. All of your money will magically disappear from your bank account. For some reason I hiked all three triple crown trails. I didn't find myself, and now I have this grotesque disease where I need to hike far and as often as my wallet will let me (preferably in a state of dehydration, hunger, and malaise).If there's anything redeeming about me, it's that I gave 900 hours of my time to maintaining the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017. I would definitely do it again. So, at least I'll basically work for free (and enjoy it).

Kori Feener

In 2012 I went on a walk, and so my story began. In the process I made a documentary called Hard Way Home while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and that changed my life forever, for the better. I am a teacher, filmmaker, writer and most importantly a wandering hiker. Find me on twitter, google or facebook to keep up with new projects and adventures.

Kyle O'Grady

My name is Kyle (Nar Nar) O’Grady, and I like to walk around getting sweaty in the woods. I’m a Vermont Long Trail end-to-ender, I’m currently 60% done peak-bagging the Northeast 111, and I make a mean mozzarella stick. I’m going to thru-hike the AT in 2019, and spend most of my time until then working on my undergraduate in Computer Science and Digital Art at Clarkson University. So in addition to repeatedly climbing over steep hills, I can probably do your math homework.

Jessica Porter

I'm a 2014 thru hiker trying to figure out how to navigate the real world from a fresh pair of eyes. I only planned on hiking from Springer Mountain to Harpers Ferry, but was still having a blast and decided to keep hiking. I learned what it meant to be a thru hiker on the fly and it was the best choice I ever made. I live very close to Harpers Ferry and am lucky to have the trail right in my backyard.

Kat Ignatova

Sporadic section-hiker of the Appalachian Trail (1,500 miles done!). Outdoor photography enthusiast and amateur park historian. Still can't settle on a trail name. Follow me on Instagram @katignatova.Colorado Trail '16


I'm a 15- year volunteer for the A.T. in Mass and a regular section hiker. I'm a bit of an old fart, but working on the Trail and chatting with hikers keeps me solid. You can find out about what we've been up to on the Trail here:


Born in raised in Milwaukee, WI, which I wholeheartedly blame for my obsession with Packer football and good beer, I moved to Colorado for school and they haven't kicked me out yet. I spent almost a month of my summer from 10 years old to 15 at an Adventure Camp on the North Carolina / Virginia border, which inspired my love of backpacking. When I returned there last summer to work as a counselor, I was reconnected to the wilderness I had grown to love as kid. In addition to the outdoors, I enjoy writing and photography. I'm also the messiest popcorn eater you'll ever meet, can quote entire Disney movies without much effort, and am part of the 1% of the human population that can lick my elbow. The only other person I've ever met who could execute this feat is my boyfriend. I'm so excited to be working as the marketing intern for App Trials and reconnect to the trail anyway I can!

Nicole and Alex Docta

We are a hiking/ traveling/ blogging team from Milwaukee, WI. We started our A.T. thru-hike in 2013 as a belated honeymoon. Alex succeeded (because he is a crazy ultra-runner) but Nicole lost too much weight and has NH and ME to complete. Nicole now has old-lady knees, and Alex continues to to get better at long-distance running!


Hey all, my name's Cori, but you can just call me Raven, and I'm a 2014 AT thru-hiker and 2015 Long Trail end-to-ender. I just moved from Connecticut to Oregon via an awesome cross country road trip. I'm on a current hiatus from full-time work, enjoying what adventures life has to offer.

Jordan Bowman

If you yelled "Yo Teach!" on the A.T. in 2014, it wasn't long before I showed up to give a lesson. As a writer, teacher, hiker, and general know-it-all, I'm happy to talk your ear off about movies, books, running, Star Wars and, of course, hiking the A.T. I enjoy writing almost as much as a brisk mountainside afternoon and have professional experience writing for websites, magazines, and old-fashioned newspapers.

Laura Johnston

My name is Laura Johnston. I'm an east coast native from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. I'm a conservation, outdoor and creative professional, a people person, and a trail correspondent for the "Sounds of the Trail" podcast.I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2016 and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2017. My trail name, "Hey Girl!," was given to me by fellow hikers on the AT because of how I say "hi," to women on (and off) trail. Visit me online on Instagram @heygirlhikes or my website

Aubri Drake

Hi y'all, I'm Aubri ('Data'). I'm a queer, nonbinary hiker, backpacker, and trail runner (they/them pronouns, please). I've thru-hiked the AT ('13-'17), the Tour du Mont Blanc ('18), the Vermont Long Trail ('18), the John Muir Trail ('19, '21), the Tahoe Rim Trail ('19), and the New England Trail ('12-'17, '21), and summited all of the Winter New England 67, and completed the New England Hundred Highest and the Northeast 115 peaks. I've also run multiple 50ks, three 50-milers, and one 75-miler. I'm about 50% done with the PCT. This summer, I'm hiking the JMT with my partner, and section hiking more of the CA PCT. This winter, I'll be working on hiking the New England Hundred Highest. I'm hoping to thru-hike the Walkers Haute Route in Switzerland and section hike the rest of the PCT next year.At my day job, I'm a data-crunching research nerd, researching everything from medical outcomes for hospitalized patients to social determinants of health. During the week, I'm trail running, reading, and doing trapeze, and on the weekends, I'm generally out hiking some mountain somewhere. You can find trip reports and ramblings at

Connor Adams

I'm Connor, but you can call me Wiseguy. I grew up in Pawling, NY, a stone's throw away from Appalachian Trail, and finally completed my dream of a NOBO Thru-Hike in 2014, with my brother and his dog.These days you'll find me in the Rocky Mountains working with the Montana Conservation Corps and the US Forest Service, writing, adventuring, cooking, and building and maintaining those hiking trails that we all love and need so much!

Julia Drachman

Julia is a co-founder of Bad Cat Media - a multi-media company that makes podcasts and board games. She also hosts and produces "The Attempt," a podcast about her brother's 2019 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Paul Bronco Fuzinski

My name is Paul "Bronco" Fuzinski, Appalachian Trail 2015 Thru-Hiker turned environmentalist and blogger. Besides having an obvious passion for backpacking, I also enjoy traveling, writing music, making travel videos, cycling, paddle sports, strength training, eating (excessively) and being weird.

Jamie Ratchford

Hello, my name is Jamie and my trail name is Glorious Laughter. In 2014 I accomplished a life long aspiration, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. In the years leading up to my hike I spent a lot of time planting trees, flowers and vegetables in my backyard and on the farm where I worked. I guess you could say I just really love playing in the dirt.


I have a wide range of experience in the strangest of fields, including extensive work in historic sites and museums. My writing focuses mainly on shorter trails, recurring series on specialized topics, and atypical gear reviews. Having grown up in the back-country of New England, I prefer cold mountains to hot swamps.

Katie Polemis

On the trail I'm known as Lobo. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, and I'm always up for new adventures!


I'm the mother of a 25-year-old 2014 NOBO woman, and I'm trying to contribute meaningfully to her hiking experience via yummy food. I have written award-winning cookbooks but ALL of them require the use of a full kitchen. So this is a new experience for me. Invite your moms (and dads) to join me and let's share recipes and experiences!


I'm Sprout - an avid hiker/adventurer, farmer, flute player and people person. I grew up in Catawba, VA right near the AT and decided to thru-hike it in 2011. Since then I daydream constantly about which trail to hike next (or maybe bike or kayak!) - some have become a reality including the Colorado Trail, most of the Mountains to Sea Trail and the John Muir Trail this summer. I spend a lot of time getting my hands dirty in the rich earth of western North Carolina where I live nestled up against the blue ridge parkway and am always down to meet a fellow explorer.

Hannah Lewis

Things that I love: Jesus (thanks for everything), my husband (thanks for the companionship and all that), my kids (Auttie is a four-year-old fairy-mermaid, and Abe is a one-year-old potato), hiking (obviously), aaaand sugar.

Stephen Eren

500 miles by dog sled, 500 miles by kayak, 4000 miles by trail, and dozens of Chinese buffets in between. NoBo (duh) AT thru hiker class of 2014 with a prodigious pack made in my basement. 3 seasons as a Wilderness Ranger from the Sierras to Shining Rock. Founder of Deep South Mountaineering; makin' a little gear and swag on the side. Bojangles chewin', Mate sippin', Hokie. Pride of Durham, NC. My two Huskies call the shots. Most call me Lorax, FlugelHorn, or Ranger Reynolds (if ya nasty).

Shannon Goosebumps Roland

I fell in love with backpacking in the canyons of southern Utah and haven't been able to quit since. After getting my degree in Kinesiology with an option in Outdoor Education, I hit the Pacific Crest trail in 2014. Totally addicted, I decided to try the Appalachian trail in 2015. Now i'm off to New Zealand to see what a thru-hike is like overseas before heading home to finish my triple crown on the Continental Divide trail!

Krista Diamond

Krista Diamond lived and worked in Death Valley National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and Big Bend National Park before relocating to the wilderness of Las Vegas. She has created content for Osprey, Marmot, Superfeet, KOA and also contributes to Desert Companion and Eater Vegas.

Jamie Byarlay

Aloha! Jamie here. I'm from the Pacific Northwest but most recently lived in Hawaii. My move back home consisted of walking. On April 28, 2016, my thru-hike began at the Mexican border and the PCT led me back home. Life was as simple as seeing the sunrise to my right and watching it set to my left. Take me back to when eating a Snickers every meal was normal!


I'm an author, a mother of 3, an Army veteran, a Diet Coke addict and an Appalachian Trail section hiker! I live in Florida and can only get out on the AT typically once a year but my goal is to eventually complete a thru hike! Here at home I enjoy getting out for some camping and hiking on the local trails whenever I can! My motto is: "Georgia to Maine, One Step at a Time!"


My name is Sriracha (Sir- ah-cha!), and I took the crazy long walk known as the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Since my successful thru-hike, I've been passionate about sharing as much as I can about my experiences. These gems can sometimes elicit eye-rolls from those who are close to me and are tired of hearing about it. I'm excited to finally be able to reach an audience who genuinely cares as much about hiking as I do!


Kmeg is both experienced and a beginner in all things hiking and camping. If there's something new to tackle, she's first in line. She fits backpacks for a living and is obsessed with her dog, The Millennium Falcon. The one thing she misses most on the trail is a good slice (or three) of quiche.

Heather Newman

Heather is a barefoot hiker and lover of the outdoors. She lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and works as a professional ghostwriter. She’s a not-so-dirty hippy and a damn vegetarian with strong philosophical beliefs when it comes to umbrellas, romance, and shoes. She loves wine, cheese, and tiny mountain towns where no one knows her name. One day, she'll hike the entire AT. One day. Follow her adventures at

Grayson Cobb

I am a long-distance backpacker, triathlete, adventurer, climber, kayaker, and lowly medical student currently living in Norfolk, VA attending Eastern Virginia Medical School and getting out for adventures on weekends. Check out my website at

Patrice La Vigne

My name is Patrice. Some call me Steadee. Writer by trade, adventurer at heart, I live a life less ordinary with my husband, Justin. With an address of Everywhere, we are most often found either on the trail or being professional nomads in the hospitality and outdoor industry. Chips and salsa, chocolate, horror movies, the smells of rain, fresh grass and garlic … these are a few of my favorite non-hiking things. Hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or my blog, all of which can be reached via my website,

Faren MacDonald

In 2007, when I was 20, I attempted a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I made it 1500 miles before running out of time and money. I rehiked the Trail in 2009 and completed my thru-hike on Springer Mountain. In 2010 and 2011 I was a Ridgerunner for the PATC in Maryland--I kept my hiking legs strong while I saved up for my next hikes. I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013. I returned to the AT in 2014 working as the Ridgerunner Coordinator for the AMC in Connecticut. This is my first summer off trail since 09 and adjusting to an office job is not easy.

Megan Maxwell

My name is Megan (a.k.a. Hashbrown) Maxwell, and I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012. I graduated from the Ohio State University in 2011 and have been trying to use my English degree ever since. My dearest ambition is to become a writer and editor, but I also like to snowboard, bake cupcakes, and try to blend in with the Coloradoans. You can check out my how-to hiking blog for women at Appalachian Trail Girl.

Kevin Elens

Kevin likes to see new things and has an affinity for red hats. In 2016 for no particular reason he decided to go for a big walk. With eyes on walking clear across the country he set out on the PCT where he was affectionately known as Gump.

Jeremy Scroggins

My name is Jeremy, or Timber due to a lost bet--I fell first--and the irrefutable fact that I can make you a fire. I learned about the Appalachian Trail in my third year of military service and decided to start walking in 2013. I have since taken advantage of the get-paid-to-go-to-school military gig they call the Post 9/11 GI-Bill and have learned how to acquire a bachelor's degree. Time to get back to walking.

Elise Mann

Giggle monster seeking adventure, joy and impact. Love coffee and sunshine. Colorado Native. I grew up spending weekends and summers in the mountains, and just thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015. The experience only confirmed how much mother nature sets my soul on fire. After living in Washington DC for a few years, I'm back in Denver and hoping to climb all of the 14ers in the years to come. Here's to many more adventures and all the stories in between.

Deirdre D Rosenberg

Hi there! I am Deirdre- or as some of you know me, Nikon. I am a conservation photographer and writer specializing in alpine wildlife and mountain biomes. I live in an extremely rural part of the San Juan Mountains on a tiny homestead with my husband and our dog Bivy. I have extensive experience (roughly three decades) in the outdoors and have spent a ton of time on the CDT and CT which are both right out the door! I have also spent a lot of time on the SHT and NCT. In the coming year I'll be spending time on the AZT. And of course, the long trails right near home. I have been a professional outdoor gear tester/reviewer for almost a decade and I must say, I love gear. My favorite items to test and play with and try out are backpacks, jackets and anything photography related as I do backpack with my full wildlife setup. When I am not out adventuring, or typing away at the computer, I am likely planning adventures and thinking about how on earth I can work out a month long AZ trip! I love reading and in another life was a librarian. You can learn more about me and my work here: hhtp://

Gray Barrett

Political science Ph.D. student, outdoor enthusiast, aspiring AT/PCT thru-hiker. My outdoor interests began in the Smokies and have subsequently been cultivated in Norway, North Carolina, and Vermont. Skål!

James Townsend

James Townsend is a photographer, writer, and experiential educator. His photojournalism work has been featured in The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and more. In the experiential education field, James has led outdoor adventure and international trips for over a decade, working with companies like National Geographic Student Expeditions and New York Times Student Journeys. As an avid traveler, he has visited nearly 50 countries, and 46 US states. James thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2021, and the Arizona Trail in 2022. He is the Social Media Coordinator for The Trek. For his stories and photos of meaningful travel and outdoor escapades, follow him at @jamesgoesplaces on Instagram.

Kelly Anderson

My name is Kelly Anderson. I live part time in Boulder, CO, and part time in my Jeep. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Geography and Psychology, I decided to pursue a live of climbing, hiking, and traveling. I have yet to hike the A.T., but have spent months camping throughout Montana, California, and Colorado. I look forward to new adventures, that will, no doubt, include the A.T.

Julianne Roth

Hi there! My birth name is Julianne, but my trail name is Wonderland (this has nothing to do with the song, however I wish it did). I thru-hiked nobo April 2015 - October 2015. I'm technically 24-years-old, residing in Southern California. I plan on hiking a large portion of the PCT in 2017.


Hi, I'm Spencer, but my trail friends call me Sass! I had the privilege to call the AT my home for 2 months in 2013 and have been trying to find my way back there ever since. I'm equal parts environmental attorney, mountain enthusiast, and gear nut, and I'll be mashing all three perspectives into articles for you guys to enjoy. Happy Trails :)(All views my own... etc.)

Maggie Slepian

I have a cat named Heisenberg who only calms down when he wears clothing, and that's not even the worst thing about me. Writing clips and contact info at

Becky Booroojian

Hi, I'm Becky. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2017 and write for The Trek because my friends and family are tired of hearing me talk about it. In 2019 I'll be attempting a southbound thru-hike of the PCT because I don't know how to stop.

Hugh Owen

Editor, writer at The Trek. Passions: hiking, snowshoeing, bicycling, craft beer. After 42 years in the crucible of daily and weekly journalism, working for The Trek from home in my sweats and a with cup of coffee brings me great pleasure.

Pox & Puss Podcast

The Pox & Puss Podcast is a monthly show focused on Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers, Long Distance Hikers, Adventure Travelers, and Explorers of all types.

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Clay Bonnyman Evans

To paraphrase Steve Miller, I'm a writer, I'm a runner, I'm a long-distance hiker, sure don't want to hurt no one.... I got my trail name, Pony, in 2015 when I hiked the Colorado Trail. In 2016, I hiked the Appalachian Trail; 2018, Foothills Trail and Alabama Pinhoti Trail; 2019, Great Plains Trail pilot trail in South Dakota and Nebraska; I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from April 7-Aug. 7, 2021; I completed the ~240-mile Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland in May 2023; I hiked the first 1,060 miles of the Continental Divide Trail in 2022 and will start SOBO to complete the CDT on July 6, 2023. My most recent books are "Bones of My Grandfather: Reclaiming a Lost Hero of World War II," "The Trail is the Teacher: Living and Learning on the Appalachian Trail," Adrift on the Pacific Crest Trail," and "I See by Your Outfit: An Unexpected Cowboy Odyssey."

Chris Guynn

Chris G.(Two Speed) is a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. He hiked the AT in 2017 and PCT in 2018 and the CDT in 2021 in a hammock.He owns Two Speed Hammocks(etsy: twospeedhammocks) which makes hammocks and accessories.Contact @ clguynn AT gmail DOT com.

Brandon Chase

Brandon is a guide, writer, and endurance athlete from Maine. In a previous life, he was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State and had the opportunity to explore over 60 countries while serving at U.S. Embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.  Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.S. While abroad, he picked up an affection for endurance athletics and regularly competes in ultramarathons at 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile distances around the globe.In addition to leading wildlife and rafting trips in the Pine Tree State, he is a guide and instructor forAndrew Skurka's backpacking trips and Plan Like a Pro course.He writes about his adventures here on TheTrek as well as and his personal blog, Fit For Miles

Penina Crocker

I'm Penina, known on trail as Pastor. After COVID-19 hit in the middle of college, I decided I needed the polar opposite of Zoom school, so I spent the summer outside. In the summer of 2021, I did a PCT LASH through the desert and Sierra sections, followed by a bike tour across the western United States and down the Pacific coast.

Katie Kommer

Hi! My name is Katie (Gallon Smash) Kommer. I recently completed the John Muir Trail, and am already hungering to find my way back to my truest, stinkiest self.On the trail, I'm known as gallon smash for my exceptional ability to fall headfirst into a bush or a river, and in the "real world" I'm known as the recent grad who's trying her best, okay?


I was living a comfy-but-unfulfilling life in 2015 when I met my first thru-hikers, my heralds, my calls to action. They said it was "never too late," and even though I didn't think I was too close to death's door, I saw they had a point. So nine months later I quit my job, put my furniture in my parents' basement, and started my NOBO thru-hike, which, when a stress fracture grounded me 675 miles later, turned into a LASH.But the trail taught me what I needed to know about myself, which is that although I will never like lashing rainstorms on mountainsides, I can survive them.This fact gave me the courage to start a freelance life, one that is breathtakingly more authentic than the one I had before.If you're on the fence, leap.If you want to read more of my writing, check out www.mathinacalliope.comHugs, Notebook. Twitter: @mathinacalliope IG: mathinacalliope


Aloha! My name is Goda, trail name Freyja! This year, I will be setting out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail which will be my completion of my Triple Crown!I have been a long-distance backpacker and blogger since 2019. I am in the process of writing my first book about what life is like on trail. Alongside that, I will be sharing my experiences of hitchhiking as a solo woman across the United States!When I’m not backpacking, I make high-end sustainable macramé rope dresses and decor all around the world. You can check those out on my website: GoodVibeGoda.comIn celebration of a life-changing feat of thru-hiking the PCT in ‘19, 2% of each purchase price will be donated to the PCTA for maintenance and improvement of the Pacific Crest Trail for backpackers and hikers.

Carlie Gentry

After getting a Fine Arts Degree in Photography, I set out and thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Upon my return, I landed a job where I got paid to nerd out about gear all day (Thanks REI). A year later I took it one step further into the outdoor retail world and started working for Mountain Crossings at mile 31.7 on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. Now I get to live and breathe the AT every single day!

Carl Stanfield

I'm Carl "Professor" Stanfield, and I love backpacking. I studied Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education at Brevard College in North Carolina, then spent about 3 years living and working at a camp in Leavenworth, Washington. After my time there ended, I decided to attempt a thru hike, and in April 2018, I set out on my adventure on the Appalachian Trail, finishing at the end of August 2018. I fell in love with the wondrous life of thru hiking and decided to make it a priority. I had another successful adventure on the PCT in 2019 and, after a few years of saving up working in Outdoor Retail, took on a Calendar Year Triple Crown in 2022. I’m now living the hiker trash dream as a part time writer and full time hiker.

Rebecca Sperry

Hiker based out of New Hampshire working on a single-year redline of the White Mountains in 2020.

Andrea Davis

Hi there! I am an avid hiker, blogger, and adventurer from a small town in Massachusetts.Last Fall, I fell in love with hiking – particularly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And, I have set a goal to crush all of the 48 4,000 footers in under a year. I may be new to the hiking community, but since October of 2017, I have summited over 200 peaks, spent countless hours in the darkness of the wilderness, trekked hundreds of miles in unfavorable terrain, and found myself in the process.

George Turner (Old Growth)

I’m a retired teacher. I hiked over 2000 mile of the Appalachian Trail. While I only have 105 miles left, after tearing my rotator cuff scrambling over some slippery rocks in New Hampshire, I felt my once loving relationship with the AT had turned abusive. Still I’m hiker trash for life and plan to walk at least a month a year until it’s a joke. Real life kept me from going back to Colorado for another shot at the Colorado Trail, but this year I’m planning to walk from Atkins, Va to Harpers Ferry

Alexa Bonsai Shapiro

Alexa here, better known on trail as Bonsai. I'm a Minnesota transplant living in the beautiful driftless region of Winona. It was there that I first fell in love with backpacking after attempting a thru hike of Missouri's Ozark Trail. Since then, I've completed the Pacific Crest Trail (17') and have plans to attempt a solo hike of the Superior Hiking Trail in the fall of 2018. When not backpacking, I'm trying my best to overcome my fear of heights by rock climbing, practicing yoga, and searching for the best burrito in the Midwest.. so far with no luck. You can follow my adventures here on The Trek or on Instagram @alexamshapiro. And... seriously... if you know of a good burrito place... hit me up.

J. Taylor Bell

j. taylor bell (he/him) is a wildland firefighter and an extremely enthusiastic birdwatcher. He also has a collection of poetry titled HELLO CRUEL WORLD (Wendy’s Subway, 2021) and will be starting PhD research at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia whenever it’s safe. Peep some extremely occasional twitter banter, or wave hello @jtaylorbell1 @disco_steww

Brian Cornell

Greetings everybody! My name is Brian (trailname: Knots) and I am addicted to mountains. I first caught the thru-hiking bug on the AT in 2014 and have since hiked the CDT in 2018. I will do anything outside, including but not limited to, hiking, running, skiing, biking, writing, reading and sitting. Favorite writers include Abbey, Thoreau, Kerouac and Hoff.


Hi, I'm Arnold "Bloodhound" Guzman, an avid trail angel. I became connected to the A.T. through my sister, Maria, who owns Standing Bear Farms Hiker Hostel. I like taking my Bloodhounds, Caroline and Beau Diddley, adventuring deep into the backcountry shelters all up and down the A.T, where I surprise hikers with fresh food and drink while looking for stories. When I'm not doing this, I sometimes join my local Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and do trail maintenance.

Diane Duffard

Hi! I'm Diane, but I also answer to Firefly. I discovered backpacking in college and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2016, followed by the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018. If I'm not hiking, I can usually be found writing, gardening, or hanging out with my dog, Theo.

Mary Beth Skylis

Hi, I'm Mary Beth (Mouse). I'm a Freelance Writer who specializes in personal narratives, gear reviews and adventure stories. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015, part of the Annapurna Circuit in 2016, and the Colorado Trail in 2017. I am now destined to life as a trail urchin.

Rachael (Outlaw)

Setting out on a hike I promised myself I'd do 10 years ago, I'm a neophyte backpacker with grand dreams of making it to Katahdin in one piece and in one go. Biological anthropologist, (visiting assistant) professor, marathon runner, and avid reader, I'm looking forward to leaving the Ivory Tower behind to explore the trail and meet some great people.


Moonshine here! 2016 AT Thru-hiker and twenty-something taking on adventures after life on the trail. See where my hiking and fundraising efforts for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention take me! Aspiring dehydrating food connoisseur.

Josh Johnson

I discovered backpacking and this wonderful hiking community on the Florida Trail in 2015 and haven’t looked back since. I aim to positively impact other people making every step on the trail count for something more than my own enjoyment. The overall effect of hiking for something bigger than my own personal experience is what I call #HikeWithHeart. Part of that journey includes joining the 2019 Granite Gear Grounds Keeper team! I’m passionate about practicing Leave No Trace ethics so I can leave the outdoor spaces I visit a little cleaner than when I came. I’m also usually hiking for a good cause – charity! I hope to see you on the trail and share some of my adventures with the world. Cheers, Josh "Pace Car" Johnson – Instagram: @HikeWithHeart

Anne K. Baker

Gear geek and long distance trek enthusiast; occasional climber and paddler, aspiring mountaineer, avid runner and yogini. When I'm not adventuring, I'm a neuroscientist and psychotherapist currently based in North Carolina.

Brian Lewis

Long distance backpacking is my "thing". I've thru-hiked the big three trails in the U.S. and my sweet spot now is 4 - 6 week trips, "chunk" hiking my way through other trails.

Caet Cash

I hiked solo from Maine to Georgia in 2014 and from Denver to Durango in 2015. I continue to log miles and slay summits in Asheville North Carolina. Come take a hike with me at Blue Ridge Hiking Company!

Audrey Payne

After bouncing back from a debilitating spinal injury, Audrey Payne quit her dream job working for World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C. to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. She loved (almost) every second of it. From there, she moved to beautiful Boulder, Colorado, where she works in public relations for a scientific research organization and spends her free time hiking, backpacking, skiing, paddleboarding, and learning to play the guitar. She has gone on to hike the Colorado Trail, Foothills Trail, Wonderland Trail, John Muir Trail, Trans-Catalina Trail, and more, and she hopes to thru-hike another long trail in the not-too-distant future. Check out her AT memoir, “Where the Rhododendrons Bloom,” on Amazon and Kindle.

Lisa Slutsken

I'm a passionate hiker and educator based in the Pacific Northwest. I started thru-hiking to help me battle mental illness and prove to myself just how amazing I am. Over the last few years I've section hiked about 40% of the Pacific Crest Trail and countless other trails up and down the West Coast as well as part of Te Araroa in New Zealand Much of my hiking is covered on my website -

Eloise Robbins

I'm a triple crowner (PCT 2016, CDT 2017, AT 2018) with over two decades of backpacking experience. On trail, I go by Fun Size. In 2019, I hiked Vermont's Long Trail with Chester the nine pound dog, and I'm planning on thru-hiking the Great Divide Trail in 2021. You can read more of my writing at

Alexandria Cremer

Hi. My name is Alexandria, trail name Soulshine. I hiked over 1,750 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017. I'm the one on trail who brings far too much first aide gear, eats produce almost every day yet ALWAYS has bags of sugar-y candy. Being out in the wilderness for over five months changed my life in the most positive ways, and I'm yearning to find ways to bring that positivity into society. Let's connect!

Effie Drew

Writer + social media @ The Trek -- Probably playing outside somewhere.Since 2014, Baby and Luna pup have logged over 8,000 miles on long-distance adventures together, including the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Cohos Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Ashli Baldwin

My name is Ashli aka "Katniss Neverclean" and in 2014 I completed a NOBO thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I love being outside and going on adventures! Check out my website .

Alex "GPS" Brown

I've hiked thousands of miles, some on trails you've heard of (CDT '21) and some you might not have (Nolan's 14 '21, Pfiffner Traverse '22, Skurka-Wind River High Route '23). I'm currently on the Haute Route Pyrenees and hopefully having a great time.

Danny Strayer

Danny “Crazy Horse” Strayer: Growing up in the Midwest, I spent five years as a civil engineer before calling it quits. Since then I have hiked the Appalachian Trail and New Zealand's Te Araroa. Other adventures include exploring South Africa, Samoa, Europe, Australia, and more! I blog about my travels at with videos at

Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis has amassed 14,000 trail miles, held the Appalachian Trail supported FKT, the Long Trail unsupported FKT, and has subsequently made a career out of her passion for the outdoors. She is the author of multiple hiking books, most recently The Pursuit of Endurance. She's here to answer your most pressing questions about life on and off the trail.

Tina Mullen

East coast-based writer and backpacker trying not to get lost in the woods.

Evans Prater

My name is Evans Prater. My trail name is Jukebox, because I can't hike without music. I completed a thru-hike in August 2014. The trail is my happy place. I also founded The DoNation, a non-profit dedicated to helping the modern generation donate to charity quickly and effortlessly (


Hello my name is Gillian! I was raised in the redwoods near the northern coast of California. I am a class of 2023 NOBO PCT hiker. Currently I am living in my favorite trail town in central Oregon! When I’m not waking long distances I am probably riding my mountain bike, trail running, or trying to find out where to get the best breakfast burrito. I have a degree in Outdoor Leadership and love any opportunity to get others stoked about moving their bodies outdoors!

Alison Young

Alison Young is a professional speaker, writer and host of Blissful Hiker™ Podcast, which has over 100,000 downloads. She has blissfully walked over 12,000 miles on six continents and brings her extensive artistic training communication skills, lessons from the trail, as well as research-based practices, tools, and technique to challenge, inspire and teach audiences to be creative and more effective.

Ariel Black

Ariel previously served as the associate managing editor and writer for an outdoor sports publication before making a switch to marketing. She still enjoys writing about the outdoors, as well as playing in it. And no, she hasn't yet hiked the AT, but it's on her bucket list. You can find more of her work at and on Twitter, @ArielCBlack.

Bennett Travers

Hi! I'm Bennett "Tandem" Travers, a 25-year-old University of Georgia alumni. Despite working in Digital Innovation now, in 2014 I left technology behind and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with my dad.

High Five

In 2011, I had 2 months of joblessness and decided to try my hand (foot?) at long-distance hiking. After 49 days and 500 miles, I was sold. I met my future husband two weeks before driving to Springer, and we've spent the intervening years hiking, climbing, kayaking, and adventuring as much as possible. We finished the AT in the fall of 2014, hiking from Katahdin to the VA/TN border and, two days later, our wedding. Immediately after, we hitched a Uhaul to my Honda and moved to Colorado's Western Slope. Six years later, we thru-hiked the Colorado Trail in 2020 and now dream of the PCT, CDT, and beyond. Our fur-kid's name is Jake, and he's famous for giving high fives and puppy kisses.

Sara Leibold

I've been ruined for normal existence ever since thru-hiking the AT in 2011. I find that I am never fully satisfied with life so I am always looking for a new challenge, adventure, or goal to work towards. Add my tendency for self-suffering and you've got the makes of a long distance hiker, cyclist, and rower. I've lived and worked all across the country, thru-hiked the Arizona Trail, Hayduke Route, Long Trail, Camino Frances, Annapurna Circuit, and Pinhoti Trail, section-hiked the Camino Portugues and Benton MacKaye Trail, biked the Natchez Trace, and rowed the Mississippi River from source to sea. I was privileged to give back to the trail as an AT ridgerunner in 2016, 2021, and 2022. Happy Trails! For adventure travel posts, videos, and more check out my website:; YouTube-; Instagram- @saratidewalker

Kayla Carter

I'm an Appalachian Trail thru hiker from class 2014! The Appalachian Trail lead me on to a new life path and gave me the skills to navigate through it. I serve on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Next Generation Advisory Council. I'm also a volunteer trail maintainer with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Appalachian Trials. Feel free to contact me about anything via email — [email protected].


Hey y'all! I just graduated from college and instead of doing the normal things.. I'm going to be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2019. You'll find me flipping through Backpacker Magazine when I'm supposed to be bartending.

Carla Robertson

I’m Carla (trail name Zipper) and I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009, almost entirely by myself. It was an incredible, empowering journey. Now, I've created a resource for women to gain support for their hikes through conversations with successful women hikers. I'm a life coach and I live in New Orleans. I love leading silent walks in the local wetlands and I make a pilgrimage to somewhere on the AT every year.

Chuck McKeever

My name's Chuck, but it's "Stoic" to my trail friends. In 2016 I quit my teaching job and thru-hiked the PCT, losing 40 pounds, a good deal of fear, and various pieces of equipment along the way. Now I'm back in Seattle and teaching again, and the teenagers in my class tell me I look like "Tom Hanks from that movie with the offense."I'm the author of "A Good Place for Maniacs: Dispatches From the Pacific Crest Trail," which you can find online through your favorite independent bookstore. You can find me on Instagram @mckchuck and Twitter @crowcialist.

Amber Redfield

Hello, folks, and welcome to my little basecamp here at The Trek. My name is Amber and I'm just a crazy Adventurer, Photographer, and Naturalist always looking to experience and document my explorations around the world as I go. When I'm not backpacking, I clean dinosaur fossils and teach Earth Sciences at a Natural History Museum. Get ready for some beautiful scenery and Steve Irwin-esque wildlife videos! And please feel free to ask questions and connect with my during my hike. Cheers!

Adam Ryan

Hi. I'm Griz. I have bilateral optic neuritis and have less than 5% of my visual field remaining. My passion is hiking. Over the course of 2015-16' I completed hiking the Appalachian trail. In 2017, I completed 650 miles of the PCT. This year, I'm hiking the Appalachian trail again!

Ken Nail

I've done an Ironman, run the Boston Marathon, and lost on Jeopardy! Currently, I'm an ultrarunner, AT section hiker, and nearly 60-year-old survivor of Adult Onset Athletic Syndrome.“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau

Elise Wallace

I'm a NOBO '18 AT Thru-hiker. I completed 700 miles of the trail after college (Wake Forest University) in 2012. I've been aching to get back and finish ever since so here I am. The six years since hiking last I've developed myself as a writer, barista, non-profit arts advocate and dog-mom. My pup, Sadie, is hiking along with me. Follow my hike more on Instagram, or at my website [] for my A.T. story-collecting project.

Heidi Nisbett

My name is Heidi but you can call me Sketch. I hail from Charlotte, North Carolina and this summer I am hiking West Virginia's Allegheny Trail. I fell in love with the world of long distance hiking on my thru hike of the AT in 2018, and since have hiked a number of other trails including the Pinhoti, Superior Hiking Trail, The Foothills Trail, and parts of the CDT and Mountains to Sea trail. I work as an artist creating trail inspired watercolor paintings, and guide backpacking trips on the side.

Lance Ness

Howdy. I’m Backwards Hat aka Lance Ness. In 2018, I hiked over 1500 miles from Springer Mt to CT/Mass border in 90 days. This season, I'm back to finish those miles! Mt K, here I come!If you followed my journey via Instagram, then you know more about me than this blog displays. I am the worst blogger in 2018 but my IG was updated daily! Since I am off trail, I have some veteran insight while still pursuing my goal of completing the AT.Im currently living in Tucson AZ, in a 28' camper with my fiancé and our 2 rescue dogs (Carter and Ruthie). I am section hiking the Arizona Trail and other local trails in my down time.

Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN

Hello hikertrash foodies! My name is Aaron and I'm an ultralight long-distance backpacking, cookbook writing, registered dietitian that LOVES to talk about trail food. You may know me as the Backcountry Foodie. My posts are dedicated to trail nutrition and meal planning for adventures. Check out for upcoming meal prep and cooking demo videos, an adventure nutrition podcast and blog posts including some of my favorite trail worthy recipes.

James Aguilar

47 year old. Currently applying to nursing school after working for around 20 years in retail. I do not have a lot of hiking experience, but I do have a good bit of marathon experience. The nutritional needs of marathoning and hiking seem to be pretty similar. I have lived in Texas, where I am currently, Oklahoma, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio

Ben Barrett

Intern for the Trek. New Englander in Arkansas. I hike, run, paddle, bike, and do things - sometimes with a beer, usually with a beard, always with my bride.


Known on trail as Cinderella. I'm an Adirondack 46er and an Appalachian Trail SOBO thruhiker. Constantly considering selling our house and pitching a tent in the city's park, but then where would I get my Amazon Prime packages delivered?

Katie Gerber

I'm Katie aka Salty. My love of long trails began on the AT in 2009, and grew deeper while thru-hiking the PCT in 2014, the CT in 2016, and the CDT in 2019, among several shorter routes. I currently call Colorado home. As an online wellness + nutrition coach, I have the satisfying job of helping outdoor enthusiasts create strength, resilience, and endurance for the long haul. Connect with me at and get free access to my Healthy Lightweight Backpacking course.

Kevin Arsenijevic

Hey all! I'm Chaco, your friendly class of 2016 thru hiker. I love all things outdoors and sharing them when I find the time. At the moment, I split my professional life between guiding and touring as an electrician on different shows across the nation. I like climbing, running, and meeting new dogs. Hope you too can enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. Remember, support and visit your public lands whenever you can.

Marina Clementi

Hey all – I’m Marina, aka Librarian. Native Rocksylvanian, 2017 NOBO AT thru-hiker, 2018 TRT thru-hiker. In college, I studied creative writing and archaeology and ended up on some amazing projects in Tanzania, Mongolia, and Peru. (The nomad gene is a very real thing.) These days I'm an MFA candidate at Pitt, getting outside as much as urban life allows!

Troy Zohner

Hi, I'm Troy, AKA- TOMCAT. After I thru-hiked the AT in 1999, I never worked full time again. Since then I have hiked the Long Trail, Cohos Trail, parts of the PCT, much of the Colorado Trail, numerous other backpacking trips, and countless day hikes. I enjoy all things outdoors including hiking/backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, xc skiing, kayaking, and writing about my experiences. You can read about my adventures at . You can also check out Tomcat's Outdoor Adventures on Facebook here...

Scott Durkin

Scott is a life-long hiker, who in 2017 completed his first Appalachian Trail Thru-hike with his 14 year-old son. Being led by his 17 year-old daughter, he is currently an aspiring Adirondack 46er. He is always happy to talk hiking, or anything for that matter, with anyone who'll spare the time.

Ava Adoline

Hello! I am an avid adventuress, lover of alliterations and soon to be PCT hiker starting May 10. Nature fuels my zest for life and after dreaming of the PCT since I was 15, I am ready to be humbled by steep mountains, scrapes, bruises, and miles and miles of something larger than myself.

Amie Spring

Hey guys, what's up? My name's Amie. I'll be thru-hiking the AT July 9th. SOBO style!Board game geek. I play scrabble in pubs and get too competitive in Risk -I'll defend Great Britain against my American buddies with my dying breath. Can you tell I'm British? Coke and Kinder addict. Biscuits and Gravy lover.

Erik Schlimmer

I'm a former backcountry ranger, trail builder, professor of outdoor education, and Appalachian Trail caretaker and ridge runner. Today I'm the founding member of Friends of the Trans Adirondack Route and founder and resident author of Beechwood Books. Now up to 1,000 nights camped out, 2,000 summits climbed, and 15,000 miles hiked. more:

Alexa Dunn

Hey, it's Alexa here! I am an aspiring long distance hiker and elementary school teacher currently planning a thru-hike of the AT in 2022. When I'm not outdoors, I am reading, teaching, or maybe bartending at your local brewery. Most of my days are spent planning my next adventure and wondering where it will take me.

Carly Moree

Left-handed. I grew out my sassy bangs, but I'm still sassy. I spent my senior year of high school in India. I lived in Chicago and worked in finance for a few years, before deciding to quit my job and hike the AT from April to September 2013. After having hiked the PCT in 2015, I'm back home in Asheville, N.C., planning a winter cycling trip.

Brian Garner

Hi, my name is Slurpee! After graduating high school in 2021, I hiked the Long Trail and decided I would never do another thru-hike. Exactly seven months later, I started the Appalachian Trail and completed it in July 2022. When I’m not hiking, I make sure to stay active by partaking in other sports such as eating and sleeping.

Andrew Murphy

Andrew, AKA "The Law", completed a NOBO Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2015, and has logged hundreds more miles whilst backpacking in the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom. This Raleigh, North Carolina native can be found in Denver, Colorado exploring the backcountry with his wife and two dogs.


2015 Appalachian Trail female flip-flop thru-hiker. Passions are dogs, good beer, my motorcycle, and my trail.Life is a journey full of ups and downs. You hold the map. Live - An A.T. site for newbies and oldies!

Alex Murphy

Alex Murphy is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast focused on hiking, climbing, and sleeping on the ground. He has hiked parts of the AT and explored trails all over the country, but spends most of his time in Texas.

Dami Roelse

Dami is a 50plus blogger and writer, who uses her travel and hiking experiences to inspire others to make life the best it can be no matter what your age. Dami chooses to see every day as an adventure in discovering the extraordinary in the world around her. Dami's book, "Walking Gone Wild, How to Lose Your Age on the Trail," explores and explains walking, hiking, and backpacking as a means to re-invigorating life for women as they age. Interlaced with stories of real women who have built confidence through walking, it presents a new model of aging with vitality, grace, and a deepened connection to life. You can read more of Dami's blogs at

Jacob Deutsch

Hey! I'm Iron Triangle and Ihave spent the last few years hunting for the best mountain overlook in America. Currently, that quest has me located in the Green Mountains. When I am not hiking or writing about hiking, you can find me playing video games with friends, traveling across the North East, and cooking up a storm.

Fire Breather

Hey everybody! My name's Ross, but you can call me by my trail name, Fire Breather. I'm from the East Bay Area but have spent a few years in the PNW. This last year I've been a coffee roaster. Now, I plan to roast miles on my NOBO PCT thru hike! I love to read, so feel free to drop book recommendations in the comments. Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram @its_firebreather_now. Looking forward to sharing some stories with you!

Andy Laub

Andy's birth certificate says he came into this world in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but it’s a damn lie. The truth is, he was born hiking the Appalachian Trail.A true son of the wild, he's spent years living on his wit, intuition, and pack on his back.5,000-miles later- Andy's created a style of filmmaking that uniquely captures the raw and inspiring stories within challenging journeys. The first chapter of his vision- As it Happens: Pacific Crest Trail.Before launching As it Happens TV Andy worked as a director, music composer & cinematographer for networks like Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Animal Planet & Ora.TV.'Life is the process of becoming something else. My goal is to capture that process, that story, As it Happens'

Hannah Storrs

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog and articles! I loved to write out on the trail with my partner and now during my post-hike depression I can be all nostalgic with writing about the trail! I first discovered long distance hiking on my 2015 thru-hike of the South West Coast Path. This instilled such a passion for this activity and the community surrounding it. I worked and saved up until my partner and I could start the Appalachian Trail in 2017. We finished after 165 days and a lifetime of memories. We hiked the trail r for CHaD Kids - an amazing children's hospital located right along the trail that I fully encourage everyone to support. I am now back in Montreal working as a freelance writer and dreaming of getting back on a trail as soon as I can.

Tucker Ballister

Tucker spent his childhood falling in love with the outdoors surrounding Lake Tahoe. A graduate of the Master’s of Tourism Management program at Colorado State University in 2014, Tucker has spent the last six years traveling throughout the United States (and Costa Rica). He works as a full-time freelance copywriter and guides hiking, backpacking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and mountain biking trips in the Tahoe area during the summers. He currently resides in Truckee, California and regularly shares new adventure stories on his website, 


The question that goes through my mind at least once a day is,"What is your purpose in life?" My answer - to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and dark places in life to achieve their goals. Getting outdoors, getting lost, and finding myself is the key attribute to who I am today. I'm an average dude doing epic stuff and I want to share these experiences with the world through words and photos. #catchmeatthesummit

Chris Arnott

My name is Chris also known as Cast Away. I am a full time hiker and vagabond who enjoys long walks in the woods, dinners by firelight, sporadic bathing, and an occasional town day. Via the Appalachian Trail I transplanted myself from Alabama to Vermont and spend every day planning next year's adventure.

Jesse Metzger

I'm "Sputnik" when on trail. I NOBO'd the AT in '15 and the VT Long Trail in '18, and have now joined the ranks of the many Appalachian-bred hikers looking toward western trails. I'm a current restaurant cook, a hopeful future media professional, an avid lightweight backpacker, and a lover of Bananagrams. These days, I am most proud of my small-but-growing tarp collection.

Tess Mullaney

Also known as Lotus. In 2017 I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I'm currently hiking around the Arizona desert, trying to figure out my next adventure. PCT 2019?

Caitlyn Cleary

Hi, my name is Caitlyn. I am a 2013 AT thru hiker, a future triple-crowner (PCT 2015, anyone?), a current middle school teacher, a dog owner, and a sometimes runner.I like to hike in the rain. There, I said it.

Carry-On Outdoors

I am Carey, also known as Carry-On from my 2012 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I live in southern Utah in an RV with my dog and two cats, work at an outdoor store, and spend my time blogging, taking pictures, obsessing over gear, backpacking locally, and section hiking the Arizona Trail. In the future I'm considering more thru-hikes, with New Zealand, the Grand Enchantment Trail, the PCT, and CDT on the short list.

Bill Powell

My name is Bill. I am a more "seasoned" hiker. I am section hiker and hopeful future thru-hiker. I am also a Master Naturalist in training and lover of the outdoors. Most importantly, I am a Dad of three great young men and husband to a really great woman.

Tara Ritchey

Hi my name is Tara Richey. During the summers you can find me on the trail and winters on the slopes trying to always maximize the fun. Hope to see you out there!

Dan Purdy

Hello! My hiking adventures have taken me from arctic Norway to Southern Patagonia and many places in between. When I'm not traveling abroad, I work as a backpacking guide and program assistant covering the White Mountains along with portions of the AT. My eclectic mix of experiences from engineering to guiding volcano tours provides ample fuel for my writing career, which I complete as a freelancer and through my company BestDraft LLC. My greatest passion is introducing others to the wonders of outdoor adventure, either through my guiding or writing.


PNW Hiker, Oregonian, PCT 2016, JMT 2014 & 2015.

Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...


Serial is an AT thru-hiker with over 6,200 miles of hiking under his belt. Minutes is an AT section-hiker who's enjoyed over 2,500 miles of hiking and trail running. Together we're raising our 3 year old Weimaraner, Rooney, and working towards our dream of living in the mountains. You can follow our adventures at

Andy Dischekenyan

Hi, I'm Andy to friends and family. On the trail I'm Shuffles. I dreamt of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for 8 years. In 2016 my partner Dribbles and I turned that dream into reality. It was the best decision we've ever made. Follow our adventures on Instagram @yogihiker and at

Sarah Karner

Novice backpacker turned AT thru-hiker, 2017. Registered Nurse, recreational writer, ultra-runner. Pushin' 30 and thinking about a PCT thru, like, errr day.

Nayt Boyt

Life is short, fragile, and absolutely beautiful. I want to live it intentionally, so I jumped at the chance to chase one of the most amazing experiences possible, which is - I presume - the reason you are here. This is now my lifestyle, and I'll gladly share it. When I'm not hiking in life, I try to live equally as intentionally, whether writing, teaching, or simply drinking tea.

Clayton Barker

A.T. SOBO '16 PCT SOBO '17Hello, just another thru hiker here. I walk fast and take the chance to eat unhealthy when I'm on trail. I recently graduated highschool. I'm attempting a triple crown before college.

Rob Dippel

New to Backpacking and excited about thru hiking the AT. Gus, my semi-trained, 7 year old Labradoodle - my best buddy - not so much. He'll continue to let me know his thoughts which I'll be sure to share. Hoping long distance hiking becomes our new life!

Madeline Newel

I'm Madeline, but my trail name is Photon. I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 and got to be a part of the inaugural group of Trail Correspondents for Backpacker Radio. I had such a great time that I kept the ball rolling and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2019. After living and working in Joshua Tree National Park and Mount Rainier National Park, and biking across Mexico, I somehow ended up in New York City.

Chris Bennett

Chris is a country boy at heart, was born and raised in the woods of Maine, has a degree in photography from RIT, once worked on the Appalachian Trail and lived in a tent for six months as a backcountry ranger, enjoys cycling and disappears during the month of July for the Tour de France, loves music and thinks he knows how to play the guitar. He believes the key to happiness is directly correlated to the number of adventures one has.

Dan Stenziano

Dan Stenziano likes to hike. He thru-hiked the CDT in 2019 and has also completed the PCT, the 46 Adirondack High Peaks, and sections of the AT, AZT, and SHR.

Julia Gladstein

Hey, I'm Julia, trail name Puma! I thru hiked the AT in 2019 and wish I knew how many bags of Fritos I ingested, but let’s just say it was a lot. It’s my goal to keep a more accurate account of Frito consumption during my future hikes.

Sarah Moss

Multidisciplinary creative interested in the space where design meets purpose. I create solutions for mission driven people and brands through thoughtful imagery, design, and language. I walk long distances too.

Jenna Oppenheimer

Spent my summer thru-hiking the PCT (Day-glo). If you want to read about my journey you can check out my blog I also love climbing, cooking, drawing and currently learning to ski. Recent transplant to Denver, Colorado and ready to explore my new state!

Michael Dax

My name is Michael but since my 2011 Appalachian thru-hike, some people still call me Stretch. I grew-up in the East, but have since lived up and down the Rocky Mountains, including in Yellowstone National Park. I currently live where the Rockies begin in Santa Fe, New Mexico and can't wait for my next big trip. I've also completed hikes on the John Muir Trail (2009) and Annapurna Circuit (2014).

Zacc Larkin

I am an environmental research scientist, currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. I grew up hiking, climbing, and canyoning in Australia's Blue Mountains. In a moment of inspiration - or madness, depending who you ask - my partner and I decided to hike the PCT in 2019. It was the most outrageous and life-changing adventure I could have hoped for.

Danielle Newton

"Little Momma" learning the ropes of the trail, with a newborn, one step at a time! AT section hiker and inspiring tru-hiker. My husband and I are currently mapping out our AT hike with our newborn, Patrick, to make him the youngest thru-hiker ever. Aiming to educate families looking to keep the sense of adventure alive one baby at a time.

Kimberly Scott

Teacher and blogger focused on making every day an adventure and embracing diversity in the outdoors.

Inga Aksamit

I'm a California-based author, thru-hiker, skier, paddler and lover of the outdoors. I've written three books for backpackers. "Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail" was named the Best Outdoor Book by the Outdoor Writers Association of California for 2015. "The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker's Guide to Meal Planning" was mentioned in the New York Times in "Upscale Food and Gear Bring Campsite Cooking Out of the Wild." My third book, "The Hungry Spork TRAIL RECIPES," was published in 2019. Find my books, info on hiking the JMT and more at Inga's Adventures ( For JMT info, join the John Muir Trail Facebook Group where I'm a moderator and we'll answer all of your questions.

Saoirse Ibarguen

Saoirse Ibargüen is a writer and performer from Florida’s Gulf Coast. She has spent the past seven years working at the happiest place on earth, while writing bleak and fairly unhappy stories. Saoirse holds a BA in literature from the University of South Florida and an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. While she enjoys writing fiction, she spends equal time having adventures and writing memoirs about them. Her most recent work tells the story of her six-month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. For Saoirse, writing and exploring go hand in hand.

Pierre-Yves St-Onge

In 2017, while thru-hiking the AT, I decided to also hike at home and ended up hiking the IAT (International Appalachian Trail) in the province of Québec. I fell in love with this trail, and since almost nobody thru-hike it, I decided to be a voice for this little known stretch of dirt.


Howdy! I'm Dragin (as in walking slowly and usually behind everyone else!)I'm in Virginia and backpack regularly in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.I'm able to get out west several times a year and have led backpacking groups to California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona. Always looking for new and beautiful places to hike. Currently integrating fly fishing into my trips!I have hiked and climbed extensively in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, as well as New Hampshire (the hardest backpacking I've ever done), and Alaska.Hiking out west has led me try to get away from the 'tree tunnels' of the east for the 360 degree views of the Rockies and Sierra.My favorite part of backpacking, aside from the views, is meeting new friends and enjoying tall tales (real and imagined) around a good campfire (a LNT campfire of course!).

Domonick Zanarini

My name is Domonick, but some may know me as Safety Officer. I'm a triple crowner with several other interesting adventures to my name, including riding my bike across the United States and canoeing the length of the Mississippi River. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others and can be found on my website:, Instagram: into_the_wide_open, and on my Youtube channel:

Comments 3

  • Horace Harvey : Apr 9th

    Hey my name is Horace ” Dance party” Harvey. I am not a thru hiker as of yet. I stopped my hike short at 1000 miles last year due to an injury. I went to the doctor and my hip was inflamed. After a perscription and advice to say off the trail for a few months i flew to Maine to tackle Katahdin only to continue my journey this year.
    After stopping last year and not being physically possible to continue i was sorta relieved. No more pain and inching up mountains while my friends passed me. A strange thing happened though. The trail began to grow in my heart. The amazing times i experienced and the wonderful people i had met. The generosity that poured out of people and the strange feeling that i belonged even though i convinced myself i was faking it from the beginning.
    It never let go and as i worked at my job it kept screaming ” what are you doing! You could be standing on a mountain, or washing in a waterfall.”
    I pushed it down obviously becuase only crazy people would miss the hell i had endured.Walking in storms ,skin pulled off your feet, chafing so bad that you cry when you put on your pack in the morning. Its all insane and normal people do not miss this! Yet i did. I missed not only the good things about the trail but the very worst.
    So here i am again about to pick up on the whole carnival and torture myself again for a reason i could never put into words. I will handle the heat and the climbs. The blisters and cramps. The hunger and rain,the heat and mental fatigue because in the end i only have one question to discern to make my soul complete. Can i get a big ass cheeseburger in the next town?

  • Davis Driver : Feb 18th


    I am a 70-year-old, married guy, with a modest photography/backpacking/flyfishing/hiking/river rafting career (fifteen Rim-to-Rim hikes in the Grand Canyon, a Mt. Whitney summit that kicked my butt up between my shoulder blades, a couple of raft trips (one in mid-winter) down the GC ( I’ve lived in Arizona for 30 years), another trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, a five-day trip half way around the Wonderland Trail, and a number of other miscellaneous fun adventures. I’m about to retire in the next couple of months after taking delivery of a new Earth Cruiser after taking delivery of a new Earth Cruiser Terranova. After a three-day shakedown outside of Bend, OR, where it is being built, and then getting it back to Scottsdale, we are taking off for Baja with my sister’s wife and her husband for a six-week adventure. Will be returning to Scottsdale to pack up our house and hit the road for real on June 1st. I hope to do some hiking but my doctors have told me that backpacking will hasten a visit to the operating room for a fusion of my back, so I may have to keep that down to a dull roar. In any event we are going to go around the American West if not all the way around the country having as many Adventures as we can. I have come up with possible unifying themes to give our travels some purpose and cohesiveness, and would like to write about them and develop an audience for the stories. What would you suggest?

    Many thanks,

    Davis Driver

  • David Shirley : Jan 27th

    1st off thanks for doing such a great job in the outdoor space. Wanted to ask about the list for best quilts for 2024. How do you come up with the best quilt ? It seems it almost a popularity contest and that’s why ee quilts usually win, I use a ugq quilt and I can’t find anything wrong with them, the warmth to weight ratio is great and on 15 to 20 multi-day trips have had zero issues with quality.


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