54 episodes

Trail Correspondents is a teleportation machine to the trail- in audio form.

Every other week, a select handful of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the American Discovery Trail, give us a glimpse into the world of long distance backpacking. Through their eyes and vocal cords, we learn all about the highs, lows, and nitty gritty details that go into a half-year, cross-country trek. Trail Correspondents is the next best thing to being on trail yourself.

Trail Correspondents The Trek

    • Sports
    • 4.7 • 161 Ratings

Trail Correspondents is a teleportation machine to the trail- in audio form.

Every other week, a select handful of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the American Discovery Trail, give us a glimpse into the world of long distance backpacking. Through their eyes and vocal cords, we learn all about the highs, lows, and nitty gritty details that go into a half-year, cross-country trek. Trail Correspondents is the next best thing to being on trail yourself.

    S4 Episode #15 | Interview With Your Former Self

    S4 Episode #15 | Interview With Your Former Self

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents!
    This is the final episode of season 4: an interview with your former self. 
    Traditionally, this episode is formatted such that we pan back and forth between the present and the past as the Correspondents ask and answer questions they posed to themselves prior to leaving for their journeys; however, as I started to dig into putting this episode together, I was struck by the stark difference in tone between these two chronologically distant clips. 
    So I made a unilateral, editorial decision to mostly change the formatting of this episode in order to preserve its potency. Rather than split each question up with its associated answer I’ve elected to present both in their entirety so that you as the listener can really hear the doubt, uncertainty and honestly fear of the unknown give way to courage, confidence, and acquired knowledge.
    So, for the most part I’ve abandoned tradition. If you’ll grant me one final indulgence, I present to you now our concluding episode. 
    Let’s get into it, one more time.
    One final chance to send us your questions about anything and everything here:
    https://www.speakpipe.com/TrailCorrespondents
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbey Turnbull
    Harking from the South Coast of the UK, Abbey, aged 26, is swapping the rolling hills of the South Downs for the mountains of the Pacific Crest. A thru-hike of the JMT last year confirmed what she thought to be true – hiking from Mexico to Canada was her destiny for 2023. Loves good food and wine, Taylor Swift, American hospitality, and mountain vistas. Hates steep downhill slopes, her own unfortunate susceptibility to altitude sickness, and oatmeal.
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, nerd, and jokester. In his free time he enjoys taking selfies with wildlife, and thinking of spirit animals the represent his current mood.
    Eddie Arriola
    Eddie is a travel PTA, physical therapist assistant, who’s been dreaming of the PCT for four years. In his spare time he enjoys photography, karaoke, and has other eclectic hobbies. He’s originally from southern Arizona, Tucson, and is excited to get back to his primary partner and dogs after the trail.
    Elke Pabst
    Elke comes from Germany and wants to thruhike the AT with her dog Tilli. It is her first stay in the USA und doesn t hiking before. She has 3 nearly grown up sons and a husband who take care of everything while she is hiking with

    • 1 hr 56 min
    S4 Episode #14 | The Finish

    S4 Episode #14 | The Finish

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents!
    We’ve finally come to it: the finish. 
    Send us your questions about anything and everything here:
    https://www.speakpipe.com/TrailCorrespondents
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbey Turnbull
    Harking from the South Coast of the UK, Abbey, aged 26, is swapping the rolling hills of the South Downs for the mountains of the Pacific Crest. A thru-hike of the JMT last year confirmed what she thought to be true – hiking from Mexico to Canada was her destiny for 2023. Loves good food and wine, Taylor Swift, American hospitality, and mountain vistas. Hates steep downhill slopes, her own unfortunate susceptibility to altitude sickness, and oatmeal.
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    Iris Hartshorn
    A queer Alaskan, Iris, aka Panther, strives to build adventure into their life. The last years have been filled with world travel, skiing, packrafting, hiking, backpacking, vanlife, and epic trips across Alaska. This year’s highlight is to walk from Mexico to Canada. Or, at least, just to keep walking somewhere.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, nerd, and jokester. In his free time he enjoys taking selfies with wildlife, and thinking of spirit animals the represent his current mood.
    Eddie Arriola
    Eddie is a travel PTA, physical therapist assistant, who’s been dreaming of the PCT for four years. In his spare time he enjoys photography, karaoke, and has other eclectic hobbies. He’s originally from southern Arizona, Tucson, and is excited to get back to his primary partner and dogs after the trail.
    Elke Pabst
    Elke comes from Germany and wants to thruhike the AT with her dog Tilli. It is her first stay in the USA und doesn t hiking before. She has 3 nearly grown up sons and a husband who take care of everything while she is hiking with her 9 year old dog Tilli.
    Jake Landgraf
    Jake is currently on the AT attempting his first thru-hike. A proud Wisconsin resident, he enjoys beer, the outdoors, and the Green Bay Packers. On trail, Jake is known as “Radioface” and is obsessed with cosmic brownies. Follow Jake on his own, daily podcast at whereisjakeat.com.  
    Summer Midyett
    Summer has had an adventurous spirit since she was young, having spent her most of her childhood traveling around the world with her family. She’s been dreaming of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail since 2020, when she moved to Oregon and fell in love with the mountains of the PNW. While it’s certainly shaping up

    • 1 hr 15 min
    S4 Episode #13 | Last Week On Trail

    S4 Episode #13 | Last Week On Trail

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents! I am your host moron and this is episode 13 all about the last week on trail.
    There are a lot of complex, possibly mutually exclusive and contradicting feelings that can arise on the last week of trail. You’ve found a groove, have your gear and resupply system fine tuned and have all of the intellectual, emotional and physical momentum you could need to reach your destination. But then, there you are at the sign or monument signifying your journey’s conclusion. 
    While the contents of each day on trail are usually unknown at the outset and are filled in by the the whims of fate as you make your daily mileage, as you approach nearer and nearer to what you’ve been chasing for so many weeks and months, it’s hard to grasp what the end of the experience will mean for the near future. 
    There’s no doubt that the end of a journey like a long-trail is a hard pill to swallow and it’s uniquely individualized for each person. 
    Send us your questions about anything and everything here:
    https://www.speakpipe.com/TrailCorrespondents
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, nerd, and jokester. In his free time he enjoys taking selfies with wildlife, and thinking of spirit animals the represent his current mood.
    Eddie Arriola
    Eddie is a travel PTA, physical therapist assistant, who’s been dreaming of the PCT for four years. In his spare time he enjoys photography, karaoke, and has other eclectic hobbies. He’s originally from southern Arizona, Tucson, and is excited to get back to his primary partner and dogs after the trail.
    Elke Pabst
    Elke comes from Germany and wants to thruhike the AT with her dog Tilli. It is her first stay in the USA und doesn t hiking before. She has 3 nearly grown up sons and a husband who take care of everything while she is hiking with her 9 year old dog Tilli.
    Jake Landgraf
    Jake is currently on the AT attempting his first thru-hike. A proud Wisconsin resident, he enjoys beer, the outdoors, and the Green Bay Packers. On trail, Jake is known as “Radioface” and is obsessed with cosmic brownies. Follow Jake on his own, daily podcast at whereisjakeat.com.  
    Mary Garcia
    Mary is a boring woman who likes to make various things, especially her hiking gear. She also has problems completing a thru hike. She did half the PCT in 2017 and a month on the CDT in 2022.  
    Summer Midyett
    Summer has h

    • 1 hr 4 min
    S4 Episode #12 | Lessons Learned

    S4 Episode #12 | Lessons Learned

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents!
    You’ll certainly find a noticeable theme throughout these clips - especially with those who are completing their first long trail, that it’s difficult to sum up in words what’s been learned. 
    The duration of time a thru hike requires is definitely enough to cause a thorough change within a person - it’s so all-encompassing and transforming that it’s hard to nail down exactly who and what you were before embarking on your journey. It requires re-acclimation to the life you left in order to reorient who you’ve become. 
    On that note, let’s get into what our correspondents have to say on the matter. Their closeness to the essence of this kind of experiential change is sure to be captivating…
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbey Turnbull
    Harking from the South Coast of the UK, Abbey, aged 26, is swapping the rolling hills of the South Downs for the mountains of the Pacific Crest. A thru-hike of the JMT last year confirmed what she thought to be true – hiking from Mexico to Canada was her destiny for 2023. Loves good food and wine, Taylor Swift, American hospitality, and mountain vistas. Hates steep downhill slopes, her own unfortunate susceptibility to altitude sickness, and oatmeal.
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, nerd, and jokester. In his free time he enjoys taking selfies with wildlife, and thinking of spirit animals the represent his current mood.
    Eddie Arriola
    Eddie is a travel PTA, physical therapist assistant, who’s been dreaming of the PCT for four years. In his spare time he enjoys photography, karaoke, and has other eclectic hobbies. He’s originally from southern Arizona, Tucson, and is excited to get back to his primary partner and dogs after the trail.
    Elke Pabst
    Elke comes from Germany and wants to thruhike the AT with her dog Tilli. It is her first stay in the USA und doesn t hiking before. She has 3 nearly grown up sons and a husband who take care of everything while she is hiking with her 9 year old dog Tilli.
    Jake Landgraf
    Jake is currently on the AT attempting his first thru-hike. A proud Wisconsin resident, he enjoys beer, the outdoors, and the Green Bay Packers. On trail, Jake is known as “Radioface” and is obsessed with cosmic brownies. Follow Jake on his own, daily podcast at whereisjakeat.com.  
    Mary Garcia
    Mary is a boring woman who likes to make various things, especially her hiking gear.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    S4 Episode #11 | The Mental Game

    S4 Episode #11 | The Mental Game

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents!
    This is Episode 11 which is all about the mental game required to attempt a thru-hike. 
    Denial is not just a river in Africa and it’s the stories we tell ourselves that frame our experience as heavenly or hellish.
    Now some relevant quotes: 
    Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”
    Sapiens author, Yuval Noah Harari, "Homo sapiens is a storytelling animal that thinks in stories rather than in numbers or graphs, and believes that the universe itself works like a story, replete with heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions, climaxes and happy endings. When we look for the meaning of life, we want a story that will explain what reality is all about and what my particular role is in the cosmic drama. This role makes me a part of something bigger than myself, and gives meaning to all my experiences and choices.”
    And one more from our very own Zach Badger Davis on the topic, "What we call “reality” is really just an interpretation of events based on prior life experiences. So if reality is a byproduct of our perceptions, it’s our job to rewire how we perceive tough times. We need to look at the glass as half full.” - from Appalachian Trails
    A thru hike is hard and not just in the ways that are obvious. Success requires a unity of the body, the spirit and THE MIND. 
    Today we focus-in on the vital role that 3-pound mass of worn-weight between our ears plays in managing one of the most arduous tasks a person can assign themself. 
    Let’s get into it.
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbey Turnbull
    Harking from the South Coast of the UK, Abbey, aged 26, is swapping the rolling hills of the South Downs for the mountains of the Pacific Crest. A thru-hike of the JMT last year confirmed what she thought to be true – hiking from Mexico to Canada was her destiny for 2023. Loves good food and wine, Taylor Swift, American hospitality, and mountain vistas. Hates steep downhill slopes, her own unfortunate susceptibility to altitude sickness, and oatmeal.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Iris Hartshorn
    A queer Alaskan, Iris, aka Panther, strives to build adventure into their life. The last years have been filled with world travel, skiing, packrafting, hiking, backpacking, vanlife, and epic trips across Alaska. This year’s highlight is to walk from Mexico to Canada. Or, at least, just to keep walking somewhere.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, ner

    • 1 hr 26 min
    S4 Episode #10 | Wild Card 3

    S4 Episode #10 | Wild Card 3

    Welcome back to Trail Correspondents!
    I am your host moron and this is the last installment of the wildcard episodes for this season of the show. No real need for introductions here as we all know the drill by now. So, settle in and prepare to hear a little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot in between. 
    Let’s get into it.  
    In today's episode we hear from:
    Abbigale (Abby) Evans
    Abby Evans (she/they) has a hankering to shave their head and hike the AT and now they will get to do both! They will be fulfilling their vagabond-dirtbag-poet dreams and aspire to one day become a creative writing professor. They’ll be listening to seventies folk music and reflecting on their life as they wander through all the states they grew up in: they were born in Maryland, grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Tech. Abby is excited for this Bildungsroman and hopes to celebrate their 23rd birthday (August 24) near Maine.
    Aly Pagano
    Aly is local to the southern Appalachians in western North Carolina. She has spent her life hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, and farming; she aspires to increase her own knowledge and awareness of traditional Appalachian folk medicine, music, and skills as in an effort to live harmoniously with the mountains around her. With a degree in Ecology, Aly focuses on seasonal changes, flora, and fauna while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
    David Firari
    David “Good Soup” is excited to be sharing their northbound Appalachian Trail with you! This is their first ever backpacking trip and they hope all the reading and shakedown hikes they did pay off. In addition to being a novice backpacker, Good Soup is also managing a schedule of recurring medical treatments back home in Wisconsin in order to make this trip happen.
    Derek Witteman
    Derek is a 37 years young Northern California native, presently thriving in San Antonio, Texas. In no particular order he is a physician, veteran, hiker, nerd, and jokester. In his free time he enjoys taking selfies with wildlife, and thinking of spirit animals the represent his current mood.
    Eddie Arriola
    Eddie is a travel PTA, physical therapist assistant, who’s been dreaming of the PCT for four years. In his spare time he enjoys photography, karaoke, and has other eclectic hobbies. He’s originally from southern Arizona, Tucson, and is excited to get back to his primary partner and dogs after the trail.
    Elke Pabst
    Elke comes from Germany and wants to thruhike the AT with her dog Tilli. It is her first stay in the USA und doesn t hiking before. She has 3 nearly grown up sons and a husband who take care of everything while she is hiking with her 9 year old dog Tilli.
    Jake Landgraf
    Jake is currently on the AT attempting his first thru-hike. A proud Wisconsin resident, he enjoys beer, the outdoors, and the Green Bay Packers. On trail, Jake is known as “Radioface” and is obsessed with cosmic brownies. Follow Jake on his own, daily podcast at whereisjakeat.com.  
    Mary Garcia
    Mary is a boring woman who likes to make various things, especially her hiking gear. She also has problems completing a thru hike. She did half the PCT in 2017 and a month on the CDT in 2022.  
    Summer Midyett
    Summer has had an adventurous spirit since she was young, having spent her most of her childhood traveling around the world with her family. She’s been dreaming of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail since 2020, when she moved to Oregon and fell in love with the mountains of the PNW. While it’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting year for the PCT, she’s excited to see whatever the trail has in store.
    FIND US ON ITUNES | FIND US ON GOOGLE PLAY | FIND US ON STITCHER Check out Appalachian Trials and Pacific Crest Trials.
    Have any praise, questions, praise, comments, praise, or praise for Trail Correspondents? Reach out to podcast@thetrek.co.
    INSTAGRAM: Follow Trail Correspondents, The Trek, and Badger.
    YOUTUBE: Subscribe to The Trek.
    FACE

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
161 Ratings

161 Ratings

PCT Someday ,

LOVE!

I love everything about this podcast and can’t wait to listen when each episode comes out. It is inspiring, informative and fun! I love listening to each person’s perspective while they’re on the journey. It makes me feel like I’m on the trail with them! I have been listening since the first season, and I am thrilled that it is back. Thanks to all who contributed to this wonderful podcast! The only thing that would make it better is having more episodes to listen to.

A B-O ,

Great resource for aspiring thru hikers

I hope one day I’ll be able to embark on a long distance thru hike. In the meantime I’m enjoying my short stints outside and doing a lot of research. This pod is a great resource to hear a wide variety of experiences. It’s quelling some of my fears (ie. town resupplies, hitching) and giving great gear tips on what works and what doesn’t. Helpful as I build up my systems. Hope it gets revived!

bretimus ,

Used to be really good.

It needs more variety. Different trails. Bikepacking. Something. All the stories and comments are redundant from years prior. If you’ve heard one season, you’ve heard them all.

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