Badlands National Park Traverse

Cam Honan:

Last month I hiked the length of Badlands National Park from Ben Reifel Visitor Center to White River Visitor Center. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time that such a traverse had been completed. …

Distance: 90 miles approx.

Time: 5 days

badlands bonnie-tyler-and-buffalos bighorn-sheep

Read the excellent trip reportBadlands Traverse – Trip Report

independent trek – Huayhuash Circuit, Peru

Megan “Hashbrown” Maxwell did Huayhuash alone and independently. She’s one tough hiker.

Still … she felt Huayhuash was the toughest hike of her life.

The Huayhuash Circuit is a beast of a trek. I would only recommend it if you have done a trek before and have an idea of what you’re getting into. I would only recommend going guide-less if you are at a confident level of backpacking experience, have taken the time to acclimatize, and are physically fit and able to carry a pack loaded with a week of food.

The guidebook for this trail is Peru’s Cordilleras Blanca & Huayhuash, available on Amazon. I found this to have all the information I needed …

This circuit goes over a pass everyday, ranging from 15,400 to 16,500 feet (4,690 to 5,050 meters). This means you will be hiking slower than usual, due to the altitude, and the walking itself is physically taxing. This also means that you will have spectacular views of the Andes every single day. …

Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit: Planning and Preparing

Huayhuash

Huayhuash

Huayhuash map

That adventure was the best hike of my life. If you want know more, click over to our Huayhuash information page.

Greater Patagonian Trail update

My last day in Chile I was lucky enough to meet up with Jan Dudeck and his partner at the Santiago bus station.

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We carbo-loaded on ice cream while I got a personal update on what happened on this their 3rd season on the long distance hike. Carrying an Alpacka packraft on sections.

Greater Patagonian

Once back in Europe, Jan will be updating the wikiexplora page with new data. New alternative routes.

The Greater Patagonian is not an official trail but rather 1500km or more of connected best routes in Chile and Argentina. You’ll be lost for sure unless you have KMZ and GPX files downloaded from wikiexplora.

As they research possible new options Jan actually starts with cached Google Earth images. Then looks for the faint trails he sees there to mark waypoints on their GPS. They don’t bother carrying heavy topo maps.

I tried and failed on section 1 of the Greater Patagonian in January. But am very tempted to go back next Jan/Feb to try other sections.

Greater Patagonian Trail

Cam Honan – off-trail hiking

Great interview.

Are there extra safety precautions you take when you hike an unmarked route?

I generally leave a more detailed description of my proposed route with friends or family before setting out. For someone that is relatively new to off-trail backpacking, I would recommend erring on the side of caution in regards to food, water, sufficient layers, distance estimates, etc. You may also consider carrying a personal locater beacon, such as a SPOT or Delorme inReach. …

What kinds of maps do you use? What Scale? Have they been difficult to get? How much do you study the maps before starting?

In western countries such as the United States, it’s easy to find great topo maps (e.g. USGS 1:24,000 series). In developing nations, it’s often a very different story. Over the decades I’ve made do with everything from 1:250,000 overview sheets to a sketch map on the back of a napkin from a waiter in Arequipa, Peru (Volcan Misti hike, 1996). …

HIKER Q & A – CAM ‘SWAMI’ HONAN ON CREATING ONE’S OWN HIKING ROUTES

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related – Cam’s 2015 – The Year in Pictures