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Backpacker Radio

Jul 22, 2021

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Rachael "Rabbit" Delano. Rabbit is a triple crowner, yogi, trail junkie, and currently in an ongoing battle with the Colorado Trail.  We learn about how the discovery of thru-hiking was a true fork in the road for Rachael, as the other path was leading toward a very dark place (much like our episode with Second Chance, for those who are triggered by talks of suicide, we encourage you to skip to about 15 minutes into the interview).  We talk about the highs and lows of each of Rabbit's triple crown hikes.  We learn which yoga poses she most recommends for hikers and backpackers.  And why the Colorado Trail keeps kicking her ass!

We wrap the show with a discussion on why backcountry campfires might need to become a thing of the past, at least in the West, we do a triple crown of things that ruin a day hike, and introduce a new segment- Hiker Trash Board Confessionals.  But first.

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Interview with Rachael “Rabbit” Delano

CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of suicide 

00:05:08 - QOTD: What are your upcoming backpacking plans?

00:08:23 - Wisconsin Hiker Meetup on Wednesday, October 13th @ Delafield BrewHaus

00:09:30 - What is your thru-hiking resume? 

00:14:36 - Can you put a finger on what about your life was not satisfactory?

00:16:40 - did you go straight from New York to the AT?

00:16:50 - What was the timeline from being at your lowest to starting the AT? 

00:17:13 - And all you had seen at that point was a Katahdin photo?

00:17:32 - Did you have a feeling hiking would be your salvation? Or were you just willing to try anything? 

00:18:12 -  Do you experience being just done with hiking? Or are you just ready to go again? 

00:19:42 - What was the experience like going back home after the AT? 


00:21:30 - How fat is Zach’s baby’s cheeks? 

00:22:39 - Do you do morning yoga on the trail? 

00:23:31 - What does the process of becoming a yoga instructor look like? 

00:24:49 - How much of yoga teacher training is the movement and how much is the origin of yoga?

00:26:43 - Is it hard to memorize the names of all the different yoga positions? 

00:28:10 - What are the core tenets of being a good yoga teacher?

00:29:07 - Have you ever laughed at someone farting in your class? 

00:31:40 - Are there good poses for helping with digestion?

00:32:53 - Do you have a series of go to moves for hiking? 

00:35:34 - Are there good movements that can help you sleep? 

00:37:50 - Can you tell us about breath work? 

00:42:40 - Any more moves for backpackers? 

00:46:58 - Do you have a go to yoga sign off? 

00:48:35 - Does it matter what color you imagine (based on color psychology)? 

00:54:31 - Can you talk about the intersection of breathing techniques and managing anxiety?

00:56:48 - Is there a resource or tool you’ve found for different techniques for managing anxiety?

00:58:28 - Were there any major themes you took away from your three big hikes? 

01:00:37 - What happened with your near death experience on the PCT? 

01:10:02 - Did you sleep through the night? 

01:10:41 - Did the snow melt the next day? What was the trail like? 

01:13:15 - Can you tell us the story of you getting swept away during a creek crossing in the Sierra in 2017? 

01:19:00 - What were you thinking when this was happening?

01:19:21 - What did you do after you got back to the bank you came from?

01:22:19 - PCTA has a good resource for water crossings and formations for different group sizes

01:23:28 - Was it hard for you to put ego aside? 

01:25:26 - If someone is planning to do their first thru-hike on the PCT in an average to above average snow year, what advice would you have for them? 

01:30:23 - What were your takeaways from the CDT? 

01:33:54 - Why would you stay on the CDT if you could? 

01:34:36 - Where were the mosquitoes the worst? 

01:34:55 - What percent of the CDT do you think you did by yourself? 

01:37:11 - Was it challenging to not see many other people? 

01:40:05 - Do you think more people stick together because the CDT has much fewer hikers?

01:41:29 - What is Hadrian’s Wall like? Is it social? 

01:42:28 - Did you want to do something longer since you were going so far? 

01:43:26 - Did you still do big days or did you go slower since it was shorter? 

01:46:36 - How tall is the wall? 

01:47:44 - Anything else about Hadrian’s Wall?

01:56:14 - What is the goal of redoing the Copper - Breckenridge section over and over?

01:58:00 - What is the significance of your trail name? 


Trek Propaganda 

Backcountry Campfires: A Relic of the Past by Paul Magnanti

Triple Crown of Things That Will Ruin Your Day Hike

  • Chaunce: forgetting sunscreen, not leaving early enough, lack of vigilance (because you’re almost done)
  • Rabbit: air quality, calf cramps, creepy dudes 
  • Zach: thunderstorms above tree line, running out of food/being hungry

Hiker Trashboard Confessional


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A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Brent Stenberg, and Patrick Cianciolo.

A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: Cynthia Voth, Brandon Spilker, Emily Brown, Mitchell, Dcnerdlet, Jeff LaFranier, Peter Ellenberg, Jacob Northrup, Peter Leven, TraskVT, Lindsay Sparks, Liz Seger and Lisa Douglas.