PBP Episode 54 – The Unseen Africa

The Unseen AfricaThis episode features an intercontinental talk that I had with Francis Tapon.  Francis is in the midst of a 4-year adventure in which he will visit the 54 countries of Africa.  Part of his mission involves creating a television show that will depict unique features concerning life, culture, and experience throughout Africa that might otherwise be missing or is seldom presented in mainstream programming.

Wilderness hiking, car camping, and travel backpacking are essentially the ways in which Francis immerses himself into The Unseen Africa.  Along the way, he’s actively working on his goal to climb the highest mountains in each African country. He’s experiencing Africa life like the locals – eating bread baked in the desert sand and bathing in urban rivers.  Francis is full of stories of adventure that you are likely to hear only from him. Each country he visits will bring a wealth of things for him to share.

Listen in to discover more about his journey and some of what he’s experienced so far.

There is also a bonus audio available for download on the Practical Backpacking™ Podcast website titled Adventure Financing in which Francis shares how he funds his trips.

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    PBP Episode 53 – Tell it on the Mountain

    Tell it on the MountainIn this episode Shaun Carrigan, producer of the long-awaited Tell it on the Mountain film, talks about the inspiration, experiences, and challenges behind producing this adventurous tale that follows the journeys of several hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Tell it on the Mountain entertains everyone from the casual hiker to the mileage-minded goal setter. Listen in to get some behind-the-scenes 411 on the making of this two-hour film that is now available via digital download and DVD.

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      PBP Episode 52 – Brunton Solar Power


      This episode is all about power in the backcountry.  Chris Currah, Product Line Manager for Brunton, talks with me about solar and portable power options to charge everything from headlamps to laptops.

      Chris explains some basic terms associated with solar panels including amperes (amps), volts, watts, and photovoltaic cells.  Various power solutions are discussed to keep electronic gear going for longer adventures in the wilderness.

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        PBP Episode 51 – Hiking Goals

        Kolby KirkIn this episode, Kolby Kirk (Condor) talks with me about his hiking goals, journaling, trail adventures, and creative projects.

        Kolby speaks candidly about his hiking experiences and shares his personal approach to getting the most out of his time spent in the wilderness.  The Hike Your Own Hike mentality is alive and well in Kolby’s feelings regarding trail mileage and gear selection.

        Kolby has led many new adventurers on their first hikes into the wild, and his down-to-earth passion and sense of creative adventure that shines in this interview will, undoubtedly, inspire many more to head into the backcountry.

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          PBP Episode 50 – Eric Ryback Hiking Legend

          Eric Ryback 1970This episode features my talk with hiking legend Eric Ryback.

          Eric hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1969, the Pacific Crest Trail in 1970, and the Continental Divide Trail in 1972.  He is recognized as the first person to thruhike the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. And he was the first person to achieve what is now referred to as the Triple Crown (for hiking all three of these national scenic trails).

          At the young age of 17, Eric kicked off these ambitious journeys with a zealous yearning for personal discovery and high adventure.  Because theses trails were also young, this presented Eric with sparse trip-planning resources and an opportunity to help establish some trail routes sections as we know them today.

          Anyone interested in hiking and backpacking will certainly be enriched amd inspired by Eric’s legendary hiking adventures.


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            PBP Episode 49 – Outdoor Research Handwear

            Outdoor ResearchIn this episode I interview, Ammi Borenstein, the Director of Design and Development for Outdoor Research.

            Ammi answers use-specifc questions regarding the company’s wide-ranging line of gloves and mittens.  He provides thorough details regarding the technical materials included in various handwear models, for protecting the hands in a variety of wilderness situations.

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              PBP Episode 48 – Eddie Bauer First Ascent

              First AscentThis episode features details regarding cold-weather insulation clothing in the First Ascent line from Eddie Bauer.

              To get the facts on layering, insulative clothing, and insight into the history and outdoor gear offerings of Eddie Bauer, I speak with the company’s Director of Technical Outerwear and Technical Sportwear: Andrew Turner.

              Andrew has extensive knowledge of Eddie Bauer products and the technology that goes into making them. He’s both experienced in and enthusiastic about getting out into the backcountry.

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                PBP Episode 47 – Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder

                Trail DesignsIn this episode, I talk with Russ Zandbergen about the Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder stove system and inferno wood-burning insert.

                Russ is the President and Co-Founder of Trail Designs LLC and maintains the innovative manufacturing company along with fellow-founders Lee Zandbergen and Yosemite-resident Rand Lindsly.

                With detail and pride, Russ explains the Ti-Tri’s multi-fuel capabilities and function.  I ask him questions regarding the use of alchohol, solid fuel (Esbit), and wood in this unique stove system.

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                  PBP Episode 46 – Exped DownMat

                  Exped DownmatThis episode presents a conversation that I had with Kaj Bune.  Kaj is the Director of Marketing for Exped LLC in North America.

                  Our talk centers on the company’s DownMat – Exped’s popular goose-down backcountry sleeping mat that features an integrated pump.

                  Kai shares detailed information about the DownMat’s design and its wide range of practical benefits – including its superior ability to protect the user from conductive heat loss.

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                    PBP Episode 45 – Hammocks 101

                    Warbonnet OutdoorsThis episode is all about hammocks.  I’ve asked Brandon Waddy of Warbonnet Outdoors to help answer some basic, introductory questions regarding camping hammocks and hammock accessories.

                    Brandon and I discuss the types, benefits, and features of hammocks. And offer some practical tips for the use of hammocks in the backcountry.

                    Whether you’re a curious beginner needing a little more information, or a seasoned hammocker who just loves talk about hammocks, this episode is likely to capture your interest.

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                      PBP Episode 44 – RailRiders

                      RailRidersThis episode features my conversation with John d’Arbeloff – the President and Founder of RailRiders.

                      Our talk focuses primarily on the company’s popular VersaTac pants and Eco-Mesh shirt.  However, there’s a generous overview of several other RailRiders products.

                      John tells us about the fabric, features, and function of his tough and practical outdoor clothing line.

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                        PBP Episode 43 – Blue Mountain Heritage Trail

                        Blue Mountain Heritage TrailIn this episode I talk with Dick Hentze. Dick is the Chairman of the Board for the Blue Mountain Heritage Trail Association [501(c)(3)].

                        Dick amd others are working hard to establish a new, long trail for backpackers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy year-round.  The Blue Mountain Heritage Trail (BMHT) is a loop trail of approximately 870 miles of remote, scenic wilderness located largely in northeastern Oregon.

                        The BMHT provides a footpath through one of America’s greatest treasure troves of majestic scenery – complete with a wide variety of wildlife such as antelope, elk, moose, and wolves.  Dick presents an open invitation and an exciting opportunity for listeners to get involved in the beginnings of a wonderful new wilderness trail.

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                          PBP Episode 42 – Walking the Amazon

                          Walking the AmazonThis episode features my interview with former British Army Captain Ed Stafford.  Ed is in the midst of an expedition of a lifetime – backpacking the entire length of the Amazon River.

                          Driving himself through constant obstacles and denying fear’s hold on him, Ed’s spending over 2 years trekking thousands of miles of dense jungles, wading chest-deep swamps, and experiencing interesting encounters with various insects, reptiles, fish, indigenous tribes, and more.

                          What drives him to do this?  What gear does he use? How dangerous is this expedition?  Listen in for answers to these and other probing questions.

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                            PBP Episode 41 – Backpacking Couple

                            Disco and PODIn this episode Lawton Grinter (Disco) and Felicia Hermosillo (P.O.D.) share what it was like to backpack as a couple for over 5,000 miles.

                            In recent years, the couple hiked both the Continental Divide Trail (see Walkumentary) and the Pacific Crest Trail, living on love, patience, trial and error, and whatever they could fit into their modest backpacks.

                            Having spent nearly every minute and mile after mile with mere paces between them, the two learned a lot about each other, themselves, and even how to yogi a thing or two.  Listen in to laugh, learn, and dream as this adventurous duo shares their memorable journey.

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                              PBP Episode 40 – Backpacks 101

                              Backpacks 101This episode is all about backpacks!  Those with questions such as “Which pack should I get?” or “Is this pack big enough?” will be provided a wealth of information to help them with their decision making process.

                              Brian Frankle of Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) in on board with me to talk about a full-range of topics related to backpacks.  Listen in for a generous overview of pack attributes, usage tips, and problem solving.

                              Whether you’re planning a dayhike or a trek across country, this episode is likely to touch on something that will be of interest and practical application.

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