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Backpacker Radio

Oct 3, 2022

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, guest co-host Steven Shattuck aka Twinkle and yours truly are joined by Kylie Yang. Kylie is a Field Programs Manager at the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, a thru-hiker, a former AT ridgerunner, and overall a wealth of knowledge regarding all things pertaining to the great outdoors. We chat about Kylie's foray into the world of thru-hiking, what being an Appalachian Trail ridgerunner looks like- including being called "an overly tattooed, hipster slut" by an angry hiker, and we learn all about her present-day role with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the challenges of getting volunteers to remote sections of the trail.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of conspiracies you maybe buy into a little, useful items you'll likely find in a hiker box, new gear that we've been digging over the last season or two, what hitchhiking on the AT really looks like, and much more.

Gossamer Gear: Use code “takelesstrekmore” for 15% off at

Organifi: Use code “backpacker” for 20% off at

Minus33: Use code “backpacker22” at

Enlightened Equipment: Use code “ultralight10” for 10% off Enlightened Equipment’s Stock Revelation Quilt or Torrid Jacket at


Shoutout to our guest editor for this episode, Tina Mullen!

Interview with Kylie Yang

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:16 - QOTD: What does today’s guest’s dad do for a living?

00:06:13 - Reminder 1: Apply to be a blogger for 2023!

00:06:31 - Reminder 2: Please subscribe!

00:07:04 - Introducing Kylie

00:07:54 - Discussion about growing up in southeastern Virginia/Yorktown

00:09:15 - How did you get into the outdoors?

00:11:08 - How did you transition to thru-hiking?

00:13:40 - Did you have a partner when you hiked?

00:14:52 - Tell us about your social experience on the AT.

00:16:25 - What’s your favorite story from your AT hike?

00:19:05 - Tell us another AT story!

00:21:02 - What was it like to hike through the places you grew up?

00:23:03 - What is a ridgerunner, for those who don’t know?

00:24:17 - Tell us about bears in New Jersey. 

00:26:56 - Tell us about your tattoos!

00:30:06 - What’s the most common fuckup you see hikers making?

00:31:03 - Discussion about Kylie’s job setup

00:32:33 - Tell us about the interplay between you and thru-hikers.

00:35:24 - What’s a regular day in the life of a ridgerunner? 

00:36:45 - Were you trained in how to educate people?

00:39:27 - What’s the weirdest trash you collected?

00:40:34 - Discussion about becoming a ridgerunner, the salary, and tips for interested people

00:43:44 - What’s the most common way people went against LNT practices?

00:46:10 - Tell us about the Long Path!

00:48:42 - Why did you hike in winter?

00:50:01 - How long would it take the average person to hike the Long Path?

00:51:03 - Why the Long Path?

00:53:14 - More discussion about section hiking the Long Path in the winter

00:56:57 - Tell us about working for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

00:58:25 - Tell us about the Bridge Project.

01:00:00 - Shoe tangents

01:01:43 - What would you tell people looking to get into trail work?

01:02:12 - Is there a difference between volunteering out east and in the Rockies?

01:03:57 - Tell us about the type of work you do and what is most rewarding.

01:05:30 - Discussion about the openings at the CDTC.

01:07:20 - What’s been the most exciting project in Colorado?

01:08:05 - Discussion about qualifications and incentives for volunteering

01:13:20 - Discussion about trail adopters

01:15:52 - How much of the trail is adopted?

01:18:00 - What else should people know about volunteering or the CDTC?

01:19:08 - What’s next for you?


MG Check-In

Trek Propaganda

Triple Crown of conspiracies you maybe buy a little

New Gear Review

Listener Voicemail (and leave us your own!)

5 Star Review


Check out our sound guy @headnodculture.

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A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Jason Lawrence, Christopher Marshburn, Sawyer Products, Brad and Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Patrick Cianciolo, Paul Packman Sealy, Matt Soukup, Jason Snailer, Greg Mac,  Tracy “Trigger” Fawns, Mike Poisel, and Kristina Diaz.

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