Thru-Hiker Clara “Redfeather” Hughes

In Canada, Clara Hughes is a household name.

A legend, she won multiple Olympic medals in both Summer and Winter Games — 6 medals total. The only person ever to have won multiple medals in both.

BUT she met her husband, Peter Guzman, on the AT.

And went on to become a legendary thru-hiker.

#113 | Rachael "Rabbit" Delano: Triple Crowner and Yogi Backpacker Radio

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Rachael "Rabbit" Delano. Rabbit is a triple crowner, yogi, trail junkie, and currently in an ongoing battle with the Colorado Trail.  We learn about how the discovery of thru-hiking was a true fork in the road for Rachael, as the other path was leading toward a very dark place (much like our episode with Second Chance, for those who are triggered by talks of suicide, we encourage you to skip to about 15 minutes into the interview).  We talk about the highs and lows of each of Rabbit's triple crown hikes.  We learn which yoga poses she most recommends for hikers and backpackers.  And why the Colorado Trail keeps kicking her ass! We wrap the show with a discussion on why backcountry campfires might need to become a thing of the past, at least in the West, we do a triple crown of things that ruin a day hike, and introduce a new segment- Hiker Trash Board Confessionals.  But first. Organifi: Use code "backpacker" for 20% off at Enlightened Equipment: Save 10% off off Enlightened Equipment's Stock Revelation Quilt or Stock Torrid Jacket with code "trek10" here. Path Projects: Go to and let the know BPR sent you. [divider] Interview with Rachael “Rabbit” Delano Instagram  Website Youtube CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of suicide  00:05:08 – QOTD: What are your upcoming backpacking plans? 00:08:23 – Wisconsin Hiker Meetup on Wednesday, October 13th @ Delafield BrewHaus 00:09:30 – What is your thru-hiking resume?  00:14:36 – Can you put a finger on what about your life was not satisfactory? 00:16:40 – did you go straight from New York to the AT? 00:16:50 – What was the timeline from being at your lowest to starting the AT?  00:17:13 – And all you had seen at that point was a Katahdin photo? 00:17:32 – Did you have a feeling hiking would be your salvation? Or were you just willing to try anything?  00:18:12 –  Do you experience being just done with hiking? Or are you just ready to go again?  00:19:42 – What was the experience like going back home after the AT?  END CONTENT WARNING 00:21:30 – How fat is Zach’s baby’s cheeks?  00:22:39 – Do you do morning yoga on the trail?  00:23:31 – What does the process of becoming a yoga instructor look like?  00:24:49 – How much of yoga teacher training is the movement and how much is the origin of yoga? 00:26:43 – Is it hard to memorize the names of all the different yoga positions?  00:28:10 – What are the core tenets of being a good yoga teacher? 00:29:07 – Have you ever laughed at someone farting in your class?  00:31:40 – Are there good poses for helping with digestion? 00:32:53 – Do you have a series of go to moves for hiking?  00:35:34 – Are there good movements that can help you sleep?  00:37:50 – Can you tell us about breath work?  00:42:40 – Any more moves for backpackers?  00:46:58 – Do you have a go to yoga sign off?  00:48:35 – Does it matter what color you imagine (based on color psychology)?  00:54:31 – Can you talk about the intersection of breathing techniques and managing anxiety? 00:56:48 – Is there a resource or tool you’ve found for different techniques for managing anxiety? 00:58:28 – Were there any major themes you took away from your three big hikes?  01:00:37 – What happened with your near death experience on the PCT?  01:10:02 – Did you sleep through the night?  01:10:41 – Did the snow melt the next day? What was the trail like?  01:13:15 – Can you tell us the story of you getting swept away during a creek crossing in the Sierra in 2017?  01:19:00 – What were you thinking when this was happening? 01:19:21 – What did you do after you got back to the bank you came from? 01:22:19 – PCTA has a good resource for water crossings and formations for different group sizes Stream Crossing Safety 01:23:28 – Was it hard for you to put ego aside?  01:25:26 – If someone is planning to do their first thru-hike on the PCT in an average to above average snow year, what advice would you have for them?  01:30:23 – What were your takeaways from the CDT?  01:33:54 – Why would you stay on the CDT if you could?  01:34:36 – Where were the mosquitoes the worst?  01:34:55 – What percent of the CDT do you think you did by yourself?  01:37:11 – Was it challenging to not see many other people?  01:40:05 – Do you think more people stick together because the CDT has much fewer hikers? 01:41:29 – What is Hadrian’s Wall like? Is it social?  01:42:28 – Did you want to do something longer since you were going so far?  01:43:26 – Did you still do big days or did you go slower since it was shorter?  01:46:36 – How tall is the wall?  01:47:44 – Anything else about Hadrian’s Wall? 01:56:14 – What is the goal of redoing the Copper – Breckenridge section over and over? 01:58:00 – What is the significance of your trail name?  SEGMENTSTrek Propaganda  Backcountry Campfires: A Relic of the Past by Paul Magnanti Triple Crown of Things That Will Ruin Your Day Hike Chaunce: forgetting sunscreen, not leaving early enough, lack of vigilance (because you’re almost done) Rabbit: air quality, calf cramps, creepy dudes  Zach: thunderstorms above tree line, running out of food/being hungry Hiker Trashboard Confessional [divider] Check out our sound guy @Paulybooyshallcross. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)!  Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Support us on Patreon to get bonus content. Advertise on Backpacker Radio Follow The Trek, Chaunce, Badger, and  Trail Correspondents on Instagram. Follow The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube. Follow Backpacker Radio on Tik Tok.    A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Brent Stenberg, and Patrick Cianciolo. A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Cynthia Voth, Brandon Spilker, Emily Brown, Mitchell, Dcnerdlet, Jeff LaFranier, Peter Ellenberg, Jacob Northrup, Peter Leven, TraskVT, Lindsay Sparks, Liz Seger and Lisa Douglas.
  1. #113 | Rachael "Rabbit" Delano: Triple Crowner and Yogi
  2. #112 | Beginner Backpacking Mistakes
  3. #111 | Second Chance Hiker
  4. #110 | Alison Young: Thru-Hiker, Producer, Podcaster, and Classic Music Aficionado
  5. #109 | The Real Hiking Viking on The Hayduke

Father of the FKT – Buzz Burrell

The poster boy for Fastest Known Times is Kílian Jornet Burgada.

As I post, Kilian holds the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of MatterhornMont BlancDenali and perhaps Everest.

But it’s  Buzz Burrell who really popularized the concept, co-founding with Peter Bakwin and Jeff Schuler.

Buzz Burrell

Those three run the site on a voluntary basis.  And it’s a ton of work.

Buzz himself had been racing routes for decades. He set the FKT on the Colorado Trail in 1999.  The FKT on John Muir in 2000. 

This interview with Buzz will fill you with respect.  Buzz co-hosts his own audio show called the FKT Podcast

35. Jenny Jurek – Bikepacking in Japan (with toddlers!) Out and Back

Jenny, who is of Japanese descent, describes the joy the family felt connecting with her ancestors’ homeland as her family bike-packed 600 miles across Hokkaido, Japan (The kids didn’t want to leave!). She gets into the shame she experienced growing up with a different sounding last name from her classmates, and how she’s come to cherish her ancestry as an adult.Jenny describes how she went from working in finance to landing her dream job as a designer for Patagonia. She keeps it real with her and her husband Scott’s challenges of getting pregnant, including two miscarriages; how Scott's Appalachian Trail record-setting run in 2015 injected new life into their relationship despite her sometimes harrowing task of driving around the east coast backroads by herself to support Scott; and the struggle of balancing two young children with starting her own business. Keep on eye out for Jenny’s new business, Always Up. (We’ll link to it once the website goes live!) It’s a gear company for active families, and her debut product is a first-of-its-class maternity belt for runners. Get some visuals from the Jurek’s Japan trip by watching a short film Jenny and Scott made about their family trip. Follow Jenny on Instagram for an inside view into Jenny and the family’s busy and beautiful life.While on Instagram, also make sure to check out the Out and Back podcast page. And remember, podcast listeners get a Discount on a Gaia GPS Membership!
  1. 35. Jenny Jurek – Bikepacking in Japan (with toddlers!)
  2. 34. A Wedding Proposal
  3. 33. Emily Ford – The Ice Age Trail
  4. 32. Alan Adams – 2.5 Million Vertical Feet
  5. 31. The Packraft Handbook with Luc Mehl

Barney (Scout) Mann’s Pacific Crest Trail book

In Journeys North, legendary trail angel, thru hiker, and former PCTA board chair Scout spins compelling tales of hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 as they walk from Mexico to Canada.

That year terrible snow storms rocked the Canadian border starting the last days in September.

Barney (Scout) Mann hiked with wife Sandy (Frodo) Mann, and recounts fascinating stories of others they traveled alongside that season.

For me, Blazer was the most interesting.

The book is unusual.  Not your standard step-by-step trail journal.

Instead the time line jumps forward and back along the trail, using PCT anecdotes to illustrate bigger life lessons.

If asked to recommend just one book on the PCT, Journeys North would be it.  The best starting point for a hiker considering it. 

Other excellent and inspiring reads include:


Barney Scout Mann has hiked the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails. He has been board chair of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and is president of the Partnership for the National Trails System. Mann has been recognized with a Lowell Thomas Journalism Award and is the coauthor of The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail and author of The Continental Divide Trail: Exploring America’s Ridgeline Trail. He and his wife, Sandy, live in San Diego and have hosted more than 7,000 PCT hikers. Visit him online at



super hiker Mary Cochenour

Tune in to this week’s episode of the Out and Back podcast as Mary tells a thrilling tale about her early days as a wilderness ranger in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Hear about her first night spent alone in the wilderness and what happened months later when she discovered that a man had been following her around the backcountry. …

Mary … is the Out and Back podcast producer and a writer and editor at Gaia GPS.

When she is not in the office, Mary works as a guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures in wild places around the west, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite, and the Brooks Range in Alaska. …

Click through to listen to the story online:

Solo Backpacking with a Stalker

The American Perimeter Trail

Planned is a a 12,000-mile loop of existing trails, roads, and off-trail travel.

Something like this.

Rue McKenrick, a triple crown veteran, walked away from his home in Bend.  And is inventing the route as he goes along.

When COVID-19 hit, Rue kept hiking — but

no longer resupplied in towns, relying on a 7 day resupply box which was sent to remote post offices. I utilized lesser known trails and continued up the east coast on the avoiding the popular, but closed Appalachian trail. …”

It’s a work in progress.

Click through for details:

I learned of this project via the Out and Back podcast interview – episode 10 – Rue McKenrick and the American Perimeter Trail

Andrew Skurka interview

Andrew Skurka is without question one of the most accomplished hikers in history.  A legend.

  • Alaska-Yukon Expedition (6 months, 4,700 miles),
  • Great Western Loop (7 months, 6,875 miles), and the
  • Sea-to-Sea Route (11 months, 7,775 miles).

He’s run a 2:28 marathon, as well.

The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail, was published by National Geographic – over 125,000 copies sold.

Today he and his team lead people to exciting destinations, teaching skills along the way: planning, gear, fitness, food, navigation, responding to emergencies, etc.

In a recent podcast interview Andrew explains why he still prefers map and compass, using electronics as a back-up.  And you have to believe him since it was sponsored by the Gaia GPS app.

Click PLAY or listen to it clicking through via Twitter.







Out There: A Voice from the Wild by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend (born 1949) is the hiking author who’s influenced me most.

He’s written over 20 books, including Cicerone guidebooks,  and countless articles

I started with High Summer: Backpacking The Canadian Rockies (1989).

He’s most famous for The Backpacker’s Handbook.

But If you’ve never read Chris Townsend, I’d recommend you start with Out There: A Voice from the Wild. I recently read the Kindle edition while hiking on Vancouver Island.

Chris reflects back on the takeaways from all those trips.

Drawing from more than forty years of experience as an outdoorsman, and probably the world’s best known long distance walker who also writes, Chris Townsend describes the landscapes and wildlife, the walkers and climbers, and the authors who have influenced him in this lucid and beautiful book.

Writing from his home in the heart of the Cairngorms he discusses the wild, its importance to civilisation and how we cannot do without it.