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Backpacking and Blisters

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A podcast for newbies to grizzled veterans of the trail. Each week a new themed episode is released addressing a range of camping, hiking, and backpacking topics.

A podcast for newbies to grizzled veterans of the trail. Each week a new themed episode is released addressing a range of camping, hiking, and backpacking topics.
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A podcast for newbies to grizzled veterans of the trail. Each week a new themed episode is released addressing a range of camping, hiking, and backpacking topics.






Episode 66 - The Summer Challenge (Season Finale)

Derek and Carl wrap up Season 2 reflecting on takeaways big and small. The Most Ridiculous Backpacker of All Time vote has concluded and the winner is announced (much to Carl's displeasure). Carl shares a blister story that he's been hanging onto for two seasons. And both guys throw out a video challenge for each other for the upcoming trip. Might this inspire others to create their own trip video challenge? We hope so. Thanks to everyone for becoming part of the Backpacking and Blisters...


Episode 65 - The Death Hike FKT Attempt

This is an episode about embracing the challenge. Do you ever try to stretch yourself to your physical limits? Is there a high probability of disaster potential? "The Death Hike" is an event that Carl is attempting this July with a couple of guys from his backpacking crew -- Jared and Rocky. This episode discusses the details surrounding this Fastest Known Time (FKT) attempt. This includes training, gear, general strategy and putting this event together. Will telling somebody that they won't...


Episode 64 - The Most Ridiculous Backpacker of All Time & Trip Report

Many of us have brought items into the backcountry that are regrettable. But some do this intentionally. Derek and Carl share the nominations for the Most Ridiculous Backpacker of All Time Award. Carl discusses his trip report from Capitol Reef NP -- highlights, challenges and, of course, fails. Carl has poked fun at Derek for making a silly mistake last summer. But did he make the same blunder? You be the judge. Please check out Mohawks and Mustaches on our Youtube Channel! To react...


"Wisdom" for Thru-Hiking the Loooooong Trail (Rebroadcast)

It's Easter weekend! Derek and Carl are rereleasing one of the more popular episodes from Season 1 with legendary backpacking filmmakers Chris Smead and Jason Fitzpatrick. There is one new release this week though...a video mockery of the podcast performed by Rocky and Jared out in Yosemite... Mohawks and Mustaches on our Youtube Channel! Please check out Youtube Page. To react publicly or privately to any of our episodes post/message either our Facebook page. or email:...


Episode 63 - The Trail Name Generator

Where did trail names come from and how does one get one? Derek and Carl explore the idea of trail names and then really dig into the results of a quiz they put out a few weeks back by plugging them into a newly designed "generator" to give a few folks some of the strangest names you've ever heard. Also, Carl shares some surprising (in a bad way) backpacking news about an upcoming trip. Does Derek have a good solution? Please check out Youtube Page. To react publicly or privately to any of...


Episode 62 - Fit to Get Packing OR Packing to Get Fit?

Are the big trips your way to get your fitness on? Or do you train to dominate the trail? And which one will make for the better wilderness experience? Carl has made fun of Derek's lack of fitness over the last couple of years so Derek has upped his game. But is he simply spinning his wheels or making significant increases in his fitness goals? These are a lot of questions that this episode will answer. Thankfully we have Rowan Smith, an Australian expert trainer who specializes in fitness...


Episode 61 - Just Rub Some Dirt On It

There's a fine line between foolish decisions and straight up adventure. When should we play it safe and when should we just go for it. No equation has all the answers but Derek and Carl weigh in on a few scenarios. Also, what's in your first aid kit (if you have one). Purchased kits range from a few ounces to multiple pounds. Derek and Carl each share items they feel are essential and items most people can ditch. One of Derek's items causes some major confusion for Carl. Will you think what...


Episode 60 - The Ursack Strikes Back!

Green Beret, Ultimate Survival Alaska Star, Dual Survivalist and now, Ursack representative, Grady Powell joins the show to give a different perspective concerning proper food storage. He also shares his experience of throwing salmon at a Kodiak bear to stop it from chasing him. Derek and Carl follow up with their takeaways from the interview including What would it take to get an Ursack away from a bear? and How would a bear logically decided between attacking a canister or a bag? To react...


Episode 59 - Is Celebrity Bushcraft a Joke?

No doubt many of these celebrities know their stuff, but are some of them giving straight up bad advice? Derek and Carl weigh in on a couple of these types of situations. Also, how do you respond to falling through the ice on a pond, or being cliffed out during cross country travel, or having to descend a steep Mesa after a helicopter drop-off (one of Derek's ideas)? And finally, is backtracking the best solution to many of our survival dilemmas? To react publicly or privately to any of our...


Episode 58 - Can Derek Plan a Backpacking Trip?

Trip planning can be an art form. And it isn't for everybody. But is it for Derek? Carl challenges Derek to plan a specific trip for a group of people traveling to a popular area. Will he remember all of the key details for success? And if so, would Carl actually entrust him to plan a future trip? Also, how would Derek handle some specific examples of trip saboteurs? These questions and more will be answered. Please check out this week's video Trip Saboteur! To react publicly or privately...


Episode 57 - Can Bears Make Ice Cream?

Derek and Carl react to the information regarding bear canisters provided by Ranger Rick Sanger. They break down his arguments and provide "research" of their own to address a potential new course of action. Listener Todd also shares an mp3 that further challenges them to follow the rules. Will they humbly begin to carry the appropriate amount of bear canisters? Also, is there a way to take advantage of aggressive bears in camp by putting them to work making ice cream? Please check out this...


Episode 56 - The Ultimate Bear Discussion w/ Ranger Rick Sanger

Over the course of the first two seasons Carl and Derek (mainly Carl) have challenged some wilderness regulations--especially related to bears. This episode features a discussion with Ranger Rick Sanger that addresses all of these challenges. As a backcountry ranger, Rick Sanger was a key part of the search and rescue efforts for a lost colleague in Eric Blehm's book The Last Season. Does Mr. Sanger have a response to all of the B&B bear canister rhetoric? (Basically, can he shut down Carl's...


Episode 55 - Rite of Passage

How come America does not have rites of passage for men and women? And is it really all that important? Derek and Carl explore the journey from adolescence to manhood and why it matters. They each describe how a wilderness experience can play a critical role in this transition and, specifically, how they would set it up. Derek also wrestles with idea that becoming a man doesn't mean you can't have fun anymore. And Carl shares how a Snipe Hunt produces the exact opposite result. Please check...


Episode 54 - Don't Desert Dessert in the Desert

The desert is an oft overlooked wilderness area. But it's a place of real beauty and it can extend your backpacking season if you prefer warm weather. Derek suggests three reasons why you should consider heading to the desert this spring. Carl notes three things to consider when planning your trip as well as a few warnings. Dessert is also discussed in this confusingly named episode. And...Derek creates his own trail named based upon a Disney princess. Please check out this week's video...


Episode 53 - MORE Tips, Tricks & MORE Hijinks!

Can penny water keep bugs away? Can sheet metal screws help with traction? In this episode, Derek and Carl are joined by guest host, Steve, as they cover some interesting ground with more backpacking tips and tricks. In addition, they each share some really good and really questionable trail pranks. Please check out this week's video Bear Canister Hate. To react publicly or privately to any of our episodes post/message either our Facebook page. or email:


Episode 52 - Trail Characters...The Dark Side

This episode could also easily be called "Don't Be That Guy/Gal." Pulling from experiences (some of them personal), Derek and Carl identify a handful of trail characters and behaviors that simply violate trail social norms or downright annoy adjacent hikers. Also, Carl challenges Derek on his trail etiquette knowledge. Among the questions: is it okay to intentionally scare somebody who has music blasting through their earbuds? Please check out this week's video Jumping In! To react...


Episode 51 - Fastest Known Time

Trail legend Buzz Burrell joins Derek and Carl in this episode to discuss a growing movement based upon the Fastest Known Time website. Do average (or even below average) hikers have the opportunity to set trail records? What is the best GPS device to record our outdoor experiences? What happens when somebody pulls a gun on you when you're out on the trail? Buzz answers all of these questions and evaluates Carl's planned attempt at an FKT for later this year. Please check out our latest...


Quick Announcement (Less Than a Minute!)

If we describe the announcement here it will make the podcast announcement a moot point. But here's a couple of links mentioned... Trail Right-of-Way: Check out either of the items mentioned through our facebook page:


Episode 50 - The Backpacking Darwin Awards

While the real Darwin Awards involve poking fun at others' misfortunate deaths, the Backpacking and Blisters version pokes fun at others' misfortunate decisions (mostly). Derek and Carl share their own ability to earn this version of Darwin Awards as well as an assortment of experiences others have shared. Is there something to be learned from these ridiculous mistakes or are experienced wilderness travelers beyond reproach in this area? You be the judge. Derek also works in a motorcycle...


Episode 49 - Answers to Age-Old Questions

While philosophers and social experts ponder the chicken or the egg, nature vs. nurture, or where have all the Sasquatch gone, Derek and Carl come up with a list of backpacking related questions that are simply hard to answer. And both attempt to provide wise and reasonable answers for these questions. Derek also adds three terms to the English language. Please react publicly or privately to any of our episodes either through our facebook page:...