Eve of a Thru-Hike

Posted by: Sarah Fischer

Former Kammok marketing + creative lead, Andrew Glenn, left behind his home in Texas this month to find home on the trail once again. A seasoned thru-hiker, Andrew completed the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017 and John Muir Trail in 2018. This year, Andrew is on a mission to link the Continental Divide Trail to the Great Divide Trail. He'll be testing a new 20º Kammok quilt and repping our Kuhli Ultralight tarp all the way to Canada. Along the way, we'll be sharing his gear insights and stories, but you can follow his trek more closely on Still Outside. Before he headed out on trail, Andrew wrote these words of encouragement for the Kammok community.

Dear Campers,

I am currently writing this en route to the southern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail! Tomorrow morning, I begin a solo 3,800 mile, 5-month expedition to Kakwa Provincial Park in central Canada. The gratitude is real, and I’m stoked to share the journey.

Mexico to Canada 

My route exists in the link of two scenic trails, the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and Canada’s Great Divide Trail (GDT).

Together, the 3,800 mile route hugs the spine of the Rockies through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alberta. If all goes as planned, I will also add an alternate on Wyoming’s Wind River High Route.

Those familiar with any of the above places understand the grandeur I’m heading into - this is truly the crème de la crème of alpine Wilderness.

If you’d like to follow the journey, you can catch real-time action on Instagram, and longer updates on my website, StillOutside.com.

Gear for the Journey

3,800 miles is a TRIP. To go the distance, my gear has evolved from a 28 lb base weight to one that’s sub-10.

To make this happen, I got creative in 3 main ways:

  1. Ditched the Tent. I’ve traded a tent for Kammok’s latest UL Tarp. Even with those temperamental Rocky Mountain showers, this tarp is the way. to. go. It’s only 10 oz (a whopping 2.5 lb lighter than my starting shelter for the PCT).
  2. Got strategic with insulation. As an alternative to a traditional sleeping bag, I’m gear testing a 20 oz, 20°F UL quilt due out this fall. This will be Kammok’s third addition to their Trail Quilt lineup. It is AWESOME, and it will be even better after trying it out on trail.
  3. Convinced myself cold ramen is A-OK. A cringe-worthy move for those wanting steaming coffee or a hot dinner, I’ve (purposefully) left my stove at home. I will be cold soaking all of my meals - a rehydration method used by some hikers to save weight. Lukewarm couscous, let’s go!

Time Outside

In choosing to thru-hike the CDT to the GDT, I kept a steady pulse on my motivation. Am I seeking the Triple Crown of hiking (PCT/AT/CDT) or the completion of a cool project? Am I trying to recreate my experience on the PCT? Do I even want to do this?

Here’s where I’ve (currently) landed:

The world of long-distance hiking gathers all types of individuals on trail. While thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, my community was diverse, reflective of the uniting force of choosing wilderness. My new friends consisted of lawyers and climbers. Grandparents and teens. Those seeking life-change and others welcoming it with open hands, all migrating north on a 2,650 mile journey to Canada.

For me?

Trail just feels like home. Time slows, and suddenly simple activities such as walking and sleeping become catalysts for growth and reflect my decision to actually live outside for 5-6 months.

Parting Thoughts

Tomorrow morning I will push off from the Mexico border to hike 27 miles North. I’ll do the same on Tuesday, Wednesday, and every day after, until October.

This season, I invite you to spend time outside with me. Get the feet muddy, and then rub some dirt in it. Bike to work. Sleep somewhere new. Hang your Roo in a dream spot. Camp on a week day. Take pride in every mile and minute spent outdoors this summer, and invite others in to experience it with you.

And let’s have some fun, yeah?

Happy trails,
Andrew “Peanut” Glenn