Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
When you do things most people don't, you get asked a lot of questions.
Why do you do it?
We'll start with a hard one. I'm still working on the answer to this myself.
Part of it is to challenge myself. Part of it is because when my time is up, I'll want to have lived my life in a way that makes me proud. And part of it is because I like it; what's wrong with that??
Even then, it's a question I still ask myself from time to time. Something closer to a full answer can be found here and here.
What's the farthest you've ever run?
100km, in the Bandera 100k. Arguably the hardest thing I've ever done, though I was well-prepared and had a surprisingly good race!
What's the farthest you've ever biked?
In a single day, 305 km, in Argentina. There was a good tailwind.
The longest tour I've ever completed was from Deadhorse, AK to Ushuaia, ARG. From the Arctic to Antarctic Oceans. Roughly 24,000 km in total.
What's the farthest you've ever hiked?
Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is my longest single hike. The Pacific Crest Trail is longer, and I've completed half, but that means it'll be stitched together in two separate long hikes. I'd like to complete the Triple Crown by hiking the Continental Divide Trail, which is longer still, but again, it'll have to be split up into multiple summers.
How do you have time to do this?
I'm a teacher. There's a lot you can do with two months. It's still not nearly enough.
Where do you sleep?
It depends on the surroundings. On backpacking trips, which are usually on public land, it's more common that you can simply pick a spot in the woods and set up a tent.
When bike touring, you usually can't simply pull over next to the road and camp there. It's kinda sketchy, would be loud at night with cars going by, and almost all land next to a road is private and fenced-off. Usually, it's best to get into a town and start asking around. Some of the more common arrangements including camping in city parks and sleeping on the floor of a church. Every so often I'm lucky enough to get taken in by friendly strangers, which usually means a hot shower!
The strangest place I've slept is probably an outhouse in Alaska.
What do you eat?
For one thing, a lot!
A full article on trail food will be coming soon, but oatmeal, fruit, nuts, tortillas, peanut butter, and instant rice, beans, and potatoes are staples.
How do you train?
I run and bike a lot.
Seriously, that's it. If you want to get good at anything, do it a lot.
I hear you're a pretty good runner.
I'm a good endurance hiker/biker, but running is the only thing in which I've been competitive.
How much does your pack weigh?
For hiking, a typical skin-out base weight would come to around 7 kg (~15.5 lbs). For bike touring, about 9 kg (~20 lbs), including everything but the bike.
What gear do you take?
It depends where I'm going and the nature of the adventure, but a good packpacking gear list can be found here. Stay tuned for a packing list specific to bike touring, and yet another for bikepacking.
I'm more curious about what specific bike/tent/shoes you use.
I like the gear I use, but I'm not endorsing anything for free.
Are you looking for sponsors?
I'll continue hiking/biking/running whether I'm sponsored or not. But if anyone's interested in having a year-round spokesman, full-time in the summer, for a fraction of what a commercial costs, I could be interested.
Are you doing it for charity?
I used to, but charitable efforts got less effective as my friends and family got tired of donating to something every time I went on another adventure. It's still a possibility in the future.
I'm not a sponsor, but I'd like to help out.
If you're like to make a donation, you can do it here.
Aside from donating money, there are lots of other ways to help out. For example, there's almost always some piece of gear I need, if you'd like to provide that.
One of the things I can always use is a place to stay. If you live in the area where my next adventure takes me, or you know a friendly person who does, a hot shower and good company would make my day.
Are you one of the guys who writes the articles on the front page?
I'm the only guy who runs this site at all.
How can I contact you?
What's your favorite place you've been?
My favorite hiking was in the Sierra and Sawtooth Ranges.
For bike touring, it's too hard to decide. Fortunately for me, one of my favorites is where I live now.