At some point in the distant past I posted about the hiking videos I watch. My watching has expanded considerably since then, so I thought I'd give you an update.
My evening caregivers usually arrive by 8.30, so I'm into bed by 9 - but I don't usually nod off until 11, in time to get my 8 hours. So I've got an hour and a half or more to keep occupied while lying flat on my back and I've got into the habit of watching hiking videos on my phone. That works better for me than trying to read.
Camp among the pines
I've never hiked a huge long distance trail like these backpackers; most of my memorable trips were canoeing trips. So I'm going to illustrate this post, which would otherwise have no pictures, with pix from a canoe trip in 2010 on the French River in northern Ontario, going east from Hwy. 69.
I believe the last time I wrote about this I referred you to Abbie Barnes, in the UK. She's posted a lot of videos of trails in England. All of the people I mention below can be found simply by searching under YouTube, I'll refer to them by their UTube handle to make it easy to search for them.
So over the past few months I have followed five long-distance hikers, three on the Appalachian Trail (AT) and two on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Here they are:
Kelly Hays Hikes - Kelly has just finished posting the videos of her AT hike, generally one/per day for 183 videos. That can keep me watching for a long time! Kelly is planning to hike the PCT this year, starting soon.
MeanderingMeganB also just posted her final video, though both of these young women finished their actual AT hikes back in October. Megan took 231 days to finish.
Taylor the Nahamsha Hiker was considerably faster, starting earlier and finishing last May in only 121 days. She kept up posting videos daily as she hiked, unlike Kelly and Megan who finished off posting videos after they got home. She's from New Hampshire - get it?
Yep, that's me, day pack open in front of me and big pack waiting for the next portage.
Becca Little Skittle posted 33 videos covering her hike of the PCT in 2019, often covering several days hiking in one video. Because she posted those videos in 2019 I didn't have to wait for any videos to appear. She is proposing to hike the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) this year. The AT, PCT and CDT make up the 'Triple Crown' of long distance hiking in the USA.
Mary Mansfield, a UK hiker who flew to the States to hike the PCT in 2019 has posted 190 videos documenting that hike. I'm still watching those and hoping she'll finish before it gets too cold (she finished in October 2019), but of course I know she will, since the videos are all up there already for me to watch whenever I like. I like her style, so those are a favourite of mine, and she's still posting walking videos back in the UK.
Time to portage
I'm now moving on to choose a new group of hikers to follow during 2022. Hikers start on the AT as early as January, though the bulk start in March or April. Since a hiker who goes by 'Dixie' posted her videos on her UTube channel 'Homemade Wanderlust' several years ago, posting videos has apparently become the thing to do. So I have well over a dozen hikers to choose from and it's still only February. It still gets pretty cold in the mountains of western Georgia in late February! A Texas group were amazed at the sight of icicles!
A little whitewater
There are several things I look for in choosing a hiker to follow. I do like to follow 2 or 3 hikers for the whole trail rather than sampling 10 or 20 for little bits of the trail. I first look for varied camera views, some selfie style, featuring the hiker talking to the camera. some views of the trail ahead as you hike, and the valleys below, and some close-ups of interesting things like bugs, frogs fungi and plants.
I also look for good audio quality (which requires a good wind-dampening microphone), and some info about where along the trail the video was taken (videos are often posted a week or two late once hikers get to a town where they can find wifi). The best might actually have a map or elevation diagram - there's a lot of up and down on the trail. And I guess I look for a friendly enthusiastic attitude.
A consultation - after lunch?
So based on that, here's a list of hikers I'm currently sampling to pick a few I'll probably follow this year.
Em's Outdoors is posted by a Canadian hiker, short videos but good style.
KNA Outdoors is an older mom with a quiet style, but she's well on her way already.
Crunch hikes is a young couple who are hiking together and sound enthusiastic.
The Gallivanting Hikers are an older couple hiking the trail together.
Travelling with Tonya is a single woman who is hiking with her small dog.
Trekking along is a family of 3 girls and their mom, posting a video once a week.
Hiking with Nat is a mom and daughter hiking together.
And that's probably enough for now. I'll be following Kelly Hays on the PCT and Becca Little Skittle on the CDT as well. And there's one other UK hiker I'd like to mention. Athena Mellor lived in the Peak district and actually wrote a guidebook for hiking there, then moved up close to the Lake District. She and her partner have recently had a baby, Aife, but they're determined to keep up the hiking. Their style and content has changed a little, but excellent photography and commentary. I really enjoy Athena's videos.
That's all for now!