Every year, hundreds of people set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast, Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast, and the Continental Divide Trail running between Mexico and Canada. Some are out to break records, some are completing the third trail in what’s known as the Triple Crown of hiking, and all are finding out what they’re capable of. So along with some of your favorite outdoor brands, we’re providing gear to 28 hikers as they take on one of the most ambitious endeavors in all of hiking.
My name is Aaron. I'm 20 years old from Indianapolis, Indiana. I'm setting out to hike the Appalachian Trail in early March, I can't wait! I recently graduated High School last spring and decided to take a gap year before I head into the "adult world" (whatever that means...). I'm a photographer, skateboarder, and adventure enthusiast. Along the way on my hike I will be photographing my trip along the AT, in hopes of creating a photo book of the AT as well as the people that help the AT both on and off trail.
I'm Ash! A Georgia Peach who loves carrying my life on my back for days at a time. Lover of adventure, live music, winter, and lists. In June of 2016, I will embark on the ultimate adventure of thru hiking the Appalachian Trail SOBO.
Hello my name is David Shiling. I am a Pediatric Registered Nurse in Orlando, FL. I enjoy traveling and trying new things with my friends and family and inspiring others to get outdoors. I’m excited for the challenges that I will be facing throughout the AT and I look forward to building long lasting friendships with my fellow hikers along the way.
I am a recent college graduate from Buffalo, New York, currently trying to make the most out of my gap year before beginning chiropractic school in 2017! Some of my favorite things include dogs, coffee, mountains, and The Office.
Heather Machelle Smith
I grew up in a small country town in East Arkansas moving to Memphis, Little Rock, & currently Bentonville, Arkansas. I've revolved the majority of my life around music, photography, my dog, keeping an open ear to a stranger, and being spontaneous in any way. This hike is to reflect, heal, let it take me where It will in life, and in memory of my daughter who passed in 05 and my Dad in 2015. I cant wait to take you on the journey with me.
My name is Nathan Bauman, and I'm a 22 year old creative from Northeast Ohio. Among many things, I enjoy backpacking (obviously), playing drums, and writing. Thru-hiking the AT is something that I've looked forward to for the last two years straight, and I am extremely ecstatic to have this opportunity!
Nicollette (Niki) Legac
Hello! My name is Nicollette but I usually go by Niki. I am a recently graduated Environmental Studies student in Knoxville, Tennessee. I am a southern adventurer with a northern accent and a lover of mountains, books, strong coffee, healthy food, and all things wild. I am unbelievably excited to hike the Appalachian Trail, in a place full of experiences and adventures waiting to be had – I just have to take them.
Tyler is currently on a massive thru-hike adventure. He thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015, New Zealand’s Te Araroa in 2016, and has plans to complete both the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide in 2016 as well.
Continental Divide Trail
Brad is a passionate Australian hiker and explorer of the most amazing places on the planet. In 2015 he successfully completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. It ruined his life in the best possible way and inspired him to take on the hardest thru hike in the world, the Continental Divide Trail. In June 2016 he will hike from the Canadian Border to the Mexican Border.
My name is Francisco Miller and I am originally from Central Ohio where I grew up with a love of camping, canoeing, and hiking. Over the last two years I have thru hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails and this summer am planning on completing my Triple Crown on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail). Currently based in Asheville, North Carolina.
Katie “Wilderness” Brown
Katie Brown was born and raised in Connecticut, but now calls the great state of Utah her home. In 2009, Katie earned the name ‘Wilderness’ on the most poorly planned winter camping trip of all time. In 2015, Katie finished her 3-year section-hike of the Appalachian Trail, but she decided to just keep on walking because she was really good at it. Besides walking, Katie enjoys choreographing dances to Hotline Bling and has been told she has a nice smile.
Endurance sports is what I love the most. I have participated in an Ironman, ultrarunning races, ultrabiking and multi-day adventures. I found the solitude of being out there on my own for several hours gives me a sense of peace and comfort. I like the dark times when my mind just wants to quit but I tell my body to keep charging. I take that as a metaphor to my daily life, so when the tough times come I know I can always count on that mental strength to keep me pushing. I am a dog lover and my best buddy “XABI” , my Stafford Terrier is also my trail running partner. .
As an avid adventurer, outdoor steward and van dweller on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, I am amidst a transition from being a lifeboat driver for the U.S. Coast Guard to a Civilian life of awesomeness. In order to maximize the experience of thru-hiking the CDT, I'll be hiking beside my Adventure Buddy and Partner in Crime. Stefani and I are both incredibly excited for this adventure and the countless places we will go doing the things that we love. We hope you enjoy following along as we Adventure Together!
Not only do I find peace in the mountains and in the forest, but I love the empowerment I get from being in the wild, to have the courage and knowledge to tackle obstacles as they’re thrown at me. Hiking the CDT will be a true test, both physically and mentally, that I am excited to embrace with my adventure buddy as we tackle this journey together. Leaving behind the confines of society will be a breath of fresh air, literally, and I’m excited for all the new experiences to be had during these 6 months.
Pacific Crest Trail
I am 24 years young from the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Washington). I have always had an undying love for the outdoors and hiking has had the most amazing impact on my life since my first step on the trail. I am a fun loving blondie that always comes with a smile!
I work at Riverside State Park in Washington State. I am volunteer coordinator who majored in outdoor recreation and has a passion for the outdoors. My hobbies include hiking, backpacking, trail running, snowboarding and mountain biking. For the past 4 years I have worked in the outdoor industry and it has impacted my life immensely. I love seeing people outside having fun!
Ed is always looking for the next adventure. After graduating from college with a degree in Biology/Ecology, his career seemed to be destined to be behind a desk. Unhappy about this turn of events in his life, he decided to quit and pursue his passion for the outdoors. He went backpacking through Central America and then returned to thru-hike the JMT. Besides backpacking/hiking, Ed’s outdoor interests also include rock climbing, scuba diving, and surfing. He also enjoys photography and landscape painting. Ed is hoping his thru hike of the PCT will inspire others to step outside their comfort zones and attempt something that seems impossible.
My wife, the likeable Morgan Hodge, and I live in Chattanooga, TN with our dog children, Tucker and Ava. I am a photographer and rock climber. I currently am in school for a degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Morgan and I are both travelers and have promised each other to spend our lives together experiencing life.
2014 Appalachian Trail thru-hiker aspiring to complete a triple crown. Born and raised in New Hampshire and will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science in 2016. Once hiked three days with a live goldfish. Trail name: Chispa (aka Cheesepuff).
Growing up in a tiny country without any mountains, where the trees in our woods are aligned and our largest wild animal is a deer, must have tricked some kind of craving for the world surrounding Denmark. The years went by and I got educated as a Graphic Designer, as an Art Director and taught my self to become a photographer. I got more and more interested in the outdoor living and became curious for places regular people wouldn’t seek. It might have something to do with my roots going back to the age of the Vikings – I don’t know, but my curiosity went for the Nordic countries. My passion for photography grew with my outdoor adventure and has now become the main part of my way of living.
Jonathan Payne is a writer and marketing consultant living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is avid outdoorsman and spends his weekends in the Wasatch Mountains or at his favorite national park, Capitol Reef. While in nature, Jonathan spends most of his time hiking and photographing landscapes and stars.
Born in a small town along the foothills of the Appalachian Trail in Eastern Tennessee, the thought of one day completing a thru-hike of the AT had been a dream of mine since I could remember. On March 29th, 2015 I began that dream. Four and a half months later I summited Mt. Katahdin which would be the end of the greatest experience of my life. The Appalachian Trail is now a part of me. Hiking is a part of me. My love for nature grew to amounts I couldn’t imagine. I emerged with a new understanding of myself, nature, and society. It is because of this that I have decided to continue the adventure and undertake a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. See you in Canada. Cheers!
I'm Linda Akerberg, a 30 year old from Sweden. I have always wanted to try to live a life in the wild, but until about six months ago I had never taken a step on a longer hiking trail. Now I'm preparing for my first long distance thru-hike. I believe that nothing is impossible and that you should take the opportunities that life gives you. By hiking the PCT I want to show people that if I can walk from Mexico to Canada, they can make their own adventure happen too!
Born in Alaska and brought up along Colorado's Front Range, I was raised to be outside. I spent my childhood skiing and snowmobiling throught the Rockies and have since taken quite the liking to hiking and camping. I'm always on the prowl for the next big adventure and as soon as I read WILD, I knew thru-hiking the PCT was something I had to experience for myself. Why stay in a hotel rated with five stars when you can sleep in a world engulfed by millions of stars? --- I'm Lydia, a twenty-something from Colorado and I will be completing my first thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016.
After living in Chattanooga, TN, for 5 years, and traveling to so many amazing places during that time, I’ve really grown to appreciate all the outdoors has to offer. I recently graduated with a degree in English from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and hope to become a full-time writer in some way. Some of my favorite things to do include traveling, eating tacos, playing with my dog, and spending time with the people I love.
I was raised in AT trail town of Front Royal, VA, this is where my love for the outdoors blossomed and I eventually obtained an environmental studies degree from Randolph College to follow that passion. My brother and I completed the AT in 2014 after 131 days and took no zero days. Since then, i've been traveling and working seasonally in different parts of our beautiful country. However I have been missing the hiker trash lifestyle and heard the PCT calling my name.
I am a video editor based in Vienna, Austria, and I love to travel and experience the world. After living in San Diego and Paris for a while I am looking for a new adventure. I love all kinds of sports, being outdoor and photography – I think the PCT will give me a great opportunity to connect my passions.
My name is Tyler Underwood; I was born and raised in Hewitt, Texas where I work as a Relationship Manager for a national bank. I have had a lot of experience in the outdoors through Boy Scouts of America which I obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. I love hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking but most of all I just love being in the wild. In April I plan on leaving everything behind to head out on an adventure of a lifetime, thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.