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Backpacker Radio

Nov 22, 2021

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, brought to you by Minus33, we are joined by Badger’s pal, Billy Widmer.  In addition to being The Trek's go-to tech guru, Billy has an accomplished backpacking resume that includes an AT thru-hike, a lot of trekking through his native lands of New York, and a recent and very unorthodox thru-hike of the Arizona Trail.  The conversation spins off in a predictably tangential fashion, where we talk about web 3.0, the blockchain, and the mental health impacts of 100% remote work.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of ways to stave off the winter blues and the news of some recent bear activity near McAfee Knob on the AT.

Minus33: Head to and use code “21backpacker15” for 15% off your order

Gossamer Gear discount code: Use code “littledonkeygirl” for 15% off at Excludes Black Friday sale.

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Organifi discount code: Go to, use code “backpacker” and get 25% off everything in the store and free shipping within the U.S. from 11/26-11/30. After those dates, get 20% off your entire purchase with code “backpacker” 

Interview with Billy Widmer 

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:13 - QOTD: What’s your death row meal? 

00:07:20 - Welcome Billy! 

00:07:52 - How did you get your trail name? 

00:08:44 - Is that your death row meal? 

00:09:00 - Were you always vegan in NY? 

00:09:35 - What’s your hiking background? 

00:10:24 - Was that your first long-distance hiking trip? 

00:10:48 - What have you been up to since the AT? 

00:12:07 - When did you do the Uinta Highline? 

00:12:22 - Give us the rundown on that! 

00:12:56 - Does Utah get similar weather too Colorado? 

00:13:41 - Why did you choose eastbound?

00:14:10 - Is there a logistical reason why people go one way versus another? 

00:14:26 - How much of it is trailed? 

00:15:00 - Is there a specific difference between the East terrain and West terrain? 

00:15:56 - For someone interested in the Uinta Highline, do you have any prep advice? 

00:17:14 - What is the Nolan’s 14? 

00:18:07 - Do you have to complete it in a certain amount of time? 

00:18:26 - How many people have done it within 60 hours?

00:18:56 - What went wrong in your attempt? 

00:19:57 - Did you give yourself checkpoints for pacing?

00:21:11 - What Mt. Elbert the first 14er you ever did? 

00:21:28 - Would you make another attempt? 

00:21:44 - Did you do Capitol Peak? 

00:22:28 - What is it like going over the knife’s edge on Capitol Peak? 

00:23:18 - Chaunce, would you do Capitol Peak? 

00:24:19 - Have you done any other 14ers that rival Capitol Peak? 

00:24:51 - How does that compare to climbing in Yosemite? 

00:25:15 - What’s the most intense climbing you’ve done? 

00:26:12 - Where did your idea for the AZT come from? 

00:28:30 - Because of the water access, did your route work for you? 

00:29:39 - What was your timeframe for hiking the AZT?

00:30:35 - Was it a fairly solo journey? 

00:31:07 - Does your mind start playing tricks on you?

00:32:16 - What was the wildlife like? 

00:33:24 - Do bites happen regularly?

00:34:53 - Any other wildlife encounters? 

00:35:07 - What is a Gila monster?

00:35:50 - Are they endangered or just good at hiding?

00:36:02 - Do they bite? 

00:36:33 - How long did it take you to hike the AZT?

00:37:43 - What was your average daily mileage? 

00:38:01 - How does the AZT compare to the AT? 

00:38:58 - Would you do it again?

00:39:33 - Did you encounter ridiculously hot days? 

00:39:58 - Were you hiking in the evenings at all? 

00:40:22 - Did you become the Guthook/Far Out hero?

00:41:11 - Any other notable highlights/lowlights from the AZT? 

00:42:17 - Do you wish you would have picked a longer trail? 

00:45:24 - As a vegan, what do you eat on trail? 

00:48:11- What do you like about working for Zach? 

00:48:55 - What do you hate about working for Zach? 

00:50:27 - What has your career path looked like? 

00:52:12 - Is it accurate that other companies try to lure you in with benefits or perks?

00:54:08 - What’s Chaunce’s candy count so far? 

00:55:02 - How do you get started in the tech world? 

00:55:40 - Is there a specific programming language someone should start with?

00:56:14 - Do you need to be proficient in math to be a good developer? 

00:57:30 - What is web 3.0?

01:00:40 - It decentralizes everything right? 

01:01:10 - What is proof of concept? 

01:02:29 - What is a “block”?

01:04:11 - Do you believe this is the future of universal currency? 

01:05:42 - What’s an NFT and is Zach one? 

01:09:56 - You mentioned you think everything will be digital. What would a digital world look like? 

01:11:03 - Do people think it’s bad that things will all become digital? 

01:14:02 - How do you feel about remote work?

01:19:26 - What’s your major fuck up at The Trek? 

01:21:50 - What’s on your outdoor bucket list for the next year? 


Trek Propaganda 

Triple crown of ways to fight off the Winter Blues

Thank you again too Minus33! 


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