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February 4, 2021

EP 22: THE CALENDAR YEAR TRIPLE CROWN – THE PCT, THE AT, & THE CDT WITH AUTHOR OF “FREE OUTSIDE” JEFF GARMIRE

In this episode, record breaking speed hiker, Calendar Triple Crowner and author Jeff Garmire shares his love for the wild and his time in the wilderness during his epic 8000 mile hike completing the three of the most famous American thru-hikes – The Appalachian Trail (AT), The Continental Divide (CDT), and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in one year through all 4 seasons!  I got the pleasure to hear about where his passion for the thru hiking started, an encounter with a grizzly bear, and many more interesting stories along this epic adventure.

  

MY THOUGHTS:

Before our interview, I started to read Jeff’s book “Free Outside” and right from page 1 of the introduction, I was hooked.  It made me even more excited to have the chance to pick his brain about his life and his love for the wild. It’s weird.  You talk to an extreme athlete like Jeff and he almost feels surreal.  Now I know Jeff isn’t some kind of Hiking God, but he kinda is.  To this date, only 10 people have completed the 4 season Calendar Triple Crown and that is insane.  It takes a lot of physical endurance but I think most of all (and Jeff can correct me if I’m wrong), emotional and mental endurance.  I’ve heard many thru hikers who’ve done the PCT and the AT share how hard it really is to keep going because it can get overwhelming. Yet, here’s this guy who does’t just have 2,650 of the PCT or the 2189 on the AT, etc… at the very beginning. Here’s a guy, who at the beginning of his journey was looking at 8000+ miles.  That is literally walking the length of the US from East to West and then turning around and going… let me do that again.  Jeff is a hiking god.

After our conversation, I was left with so much belief not only in Jeff but also myself… he definitely inspired me to believe in the boundless possibilities living in each and everyone of us. He reminded me of my own love for the wild and my own desires for the lack of everyday noise.  My heart sang as I heard all of these incredible tales and I just pictured myself enjoying every minute of that suffering, the fulfillment, the sadness, the happiness, and all of the emotions of what it feels like when you push yourself beyond what you thought you could do.  Thank you for that Jeff.  Thank you for the lessons.  Thank you for sharing you amazing life and journey with everyone.  It is much appreciated, my friend.

Find Jeff Garmire on

www.freeoutside.com

www.facebook.com/freeoutside

www.twitter.com/thefreeoutside

www.instagram.com/thefreeoutside

www.backpackingroutes.com

Show Notes:

00:00

  • Jeff Garmire reads an excerpt from his book “Free Outside”

1:30

  • Drea introduces Jeff Garmire and his impressive biography

2:50

  • Jeff talks about the excerpt he read which talks about crossing a cold, nearly frozen river in Maine swimming across naked during the winter season.
  • Jeff talks about stripping naked, using a dry bag to get across the river.

8:07

  • Jeff defines the meaning of thru-hiking

8:56

  • Jeff tells us what travel means to him.  He explains what he believes is the difference between a vacation and travel.

10:00

  • Drea asks Jeff if he goes on vacation.

11:19

  • Jeff and Drea discuss why they love traveling “uncomfortably”

14:15

  • Jeff tells us why he began this journey to backpack and thru hike the Triple Crown (The Appalachian Trail AKA the AT, The Continental Divide AKA the CDT, and the Pacific Crest Trail AKA the PCT in one calendar year.
  • He talks about the beginning of it all the progression to attempting the Triple Crown
  • He talks about meeting people who were doing the PCT when he was younger.
  • He took off Spring Term of college and decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  He talks about the lessons he learned during the PCT when he was a very novice. This became his obsession
  • He talks about the transition into attempting the Triple Crown – All of the “Stepping Stones” to get there.

17:55

  • Jeff elaborates on meeting those initial PCT hikers that introduced him into the world of thru hiking.
  • He talks about his perspective on how hungry they were.  He tells the story of watching one of the PCT hikers slab a ton of mayo.
  • Jeff now related to the PCT hikers he met when he was younger.  He talks about a time when he got kicked out of an All You Can Eat Buffet that he stopped at while he was trying to complete the Appalachian Trail.

21:07

  • Jeff talks about some of the fears of doing the Triple Crown

22:25

  • Jeff talks about getting charged by a Grizzly Bear. Jeff shortly after the near bear attack, encounters Mules he decided to become momentary friends with.

25:45

  • Jeff discusses some of the additional challenges he faced while on the trail.

26:58

  • Jeff tells a story about losing gear on the trail

28:41

  • Jeff used a tarp as a Shelter for much of the Appalachian Trail which some people due to decrease the weight.  The Appalachian Trail has shelters but many times they are filled up so it was a risk – He discusses that experience.
  • Jeff talks about switching to a tent because of the cold and also because of mosquitoes
  • Drea talks about her experience in Big Pine, CA and the attack of the mosquitos.

32:00

  • Jeff talks about the importance of DUCT TAPE!

33:57

  • Jeff talks about the 2 most valuable things he learned during his travels

35:43

  • Drea asks about Jeff’s mental endurance

38:20

  • Drea asks Jeff what his most fulfilling moment was during his treks

40:00

  • Jeff shares with us the most meaningful he met while he went traveling.  He talks about this man “Little Buddah” he met at 20 years old on the PCT that helped him on the trail. He fell in love with the community because on the trail, “people take care of one another.”

42:53

  • Jeff talks about the most valuable thing he learned – Flexibility and the balance of Rigidness.

46:16

  • Jeff shares his favorite hike or trail
  • Nolan’s 14

48:17

  • Tips and Tricks to do the Great Western Loop or the Nolan’s 14

49:45

  • Jeff shares the journey of writing a book from a blog to writing a book

53:56

  •  Jeff’s advice to a “jeff” out there who would like to do the PCT

54:22

  • Jeff shares some of the sacrifices he’s made to pursue his dream

55:29

  • Jeff shares his next goal – The Barkley Marathon

59:22

  • Jeff shares the one thing he takes with him when he travels

60:00

  • Jeff shares the one piece of advice he would share to a younger him.

61:00

Find Jeff Garmire on

www.freeoutside.com

www.facebook.com/freeoutside

www.twitter.com/thefreeoutside

www.instagram.com/thefreeoutside

www.backpackingroutes.com

 

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