This year, Gaia GPS started a podcast to help inspire your backyard adventures and beyond. Here are the top five episodes according to our listeners. Stories range from unexpectedly becoming a world class athlete, to surviving a bear attack.
The history of thru-hiking is rooted in “walking off the war.” After returning from World War II, veteran Earl Shaffer became the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Many veterans have followed in his footsteps, including Marine Corps veteran Sean Gobin. This life-changing experience inspired Gobin to found Warrior Expeditions, which enables fellow vets to follow suit. Learn how thru-hiking provides a magical recipe for mental and physical health.
Special Out and Back co-host The Real Hiking Viking joins Shanty to chat with hiking legend Zach “Badger” Davis. Badger shares how meditation and mental preparation helped him complete thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail despite having zero backpacking experience. He shares how that thru-hike changed his life, leading him to write Appalachian Trials and found The Trek. Plus, Viking and Badger share wild stories from their joint PCT thru-hike.
The longest thru-hike in the US is currently being created and tested. Join American Perimeter Trail mastermind Rue McKenrick from a town stop in western Michigan on this episode of the Out and Back Podcast. McKenrick shares what inspired this 12,000-mile project, his vision for the trail, and his crazy encounters along the way.
Thru-hiking Africa, the Himalayas, and the Pacific Crest Trail in Winter with Justin “Trauma” Lichter
Get the inside scoop on Justin “Trauma” Lichter’s ground-breaking thru-hike adventures on Out and Back this week. Trauma delves into getting stalked by lions in Africa, hiking 2,000 miles across the Himalayas, and thru-hiking the PCT in winter. He shares his trove of knowledge about international resupply logistics, winter navigation, and finding what it takes to push your own limits.
Tune into the Out and Back podcast for a talk with Liz “Snorkel” Thomas about thru-hiking budgets and urban backpacking. As a pro hiker, author, and expert gear reviewer, Snorkel shares her tips on how to cut costs on the trail and unearths the secret costs no one thinks about. The Queen of Urban Hiking also talks about creating and completing thru-hikes through 14 US cities. Tune in to hear about her weirdest trail food cravings, and her favorite thru-hike ever.
Fidgit and Neon have spent the past five years traveling backpacking, biking, and paddling their way across South and Central America, Mexico, and the United States on a non-motorized tour. In this episode of the the Out and Back podcast, get the inside scoop on their trip, Her Odyssey. Learn how they dreamt up the trip, how to navigate foreign cultures, and tips for staying safe while backpacking abroad. They also share heart-warming stories about locals they’ve met along the way and how their contrasting personalities serve their expedition mission in unique ways.
Tune into the Out and Back podcast for a talk with Will “Akuna” Robinson. An army vet and the first Black man to complete the thru-hiking Triple Crown, Akuna shares how hiking helped him recover from PTSD and depression. He opens up about hate he has experienced on social media, how outdoor brands can be better allies to people of color, and how he handles an overwhelming number of media requests during this time of racial reckoning.