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Backpacker Radio

Oct 8, 2021

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are rejoined by Nicole Antoinette.  We get an update on how her Colorado Trail hike went, including some very unexpected turns, we learn more about her entry into van life, and what advice she'd give to others looking to do the same, and chat about her new book which she is reluctant to call a book, How to Be Alone, an 800-mile hike on the Arizona Trail.  Perhaps it goes without saying, but for those who were fans of Nicole's first appearance on the show, this one will not disappoint. 

We wrap the show with Chaunce butchering the pronunciation of Wisconsin town names, a quick education on the bark beetle problem facing the American West, an exciting announcement about a not-yet-fully-fledged Backpacker Radio sponsorship for one lucky 2022 thru-hiker, a triple crown of stereotypical dog names, and much more.

Enlightened Equipment: Save 10% off of Enlightened Equipment’s Stock Revelation Quilt or Stock Torrid Jacket with code “thetrek10” here.

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

Vital Farms: Check out to learn more about where honest food is raised

Goodr: Use code “backpacker15” at checkout to save 15% off your first order at 


Interview with Nicole Antoinette

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:04 - QOTD: What’s your favorite fall activity?

00:08:26 - Wisconsin hiker meet-up updates 

00:10:15 - The Mammoth Hike challenge 

00:11:01 - Introducing Nicole Antoinette 

00:13:03 - How did the Colorado Trail compare to the Arizona Trail and PCT? 

00:13:47 - Why was the Colorado Trail the most joyful hiking experience? 

00:16:27 - Emotional base weight impacts your hike 

00:18:43 - Beginners on the Colorado Trail

00:21:05 - Tell us about hiking with your partner 

00:24:05 - How did you handle your partner’s injury mid-hike? 

00:28:45 - What did everyone else’s journey look like from that point forward?

00:32:36 - Hiking with your partner 

00:35:19 - Did you have a favorite stretch or day on the Colorado Trail? 

00:38:40 - Altitude sickness on the Colorado Trail

00:43:29 - Social media’s impact on preparing for a thru hike 

00:46:26 - Anything else you’d want to share about the Colorado Trail?

00:48:06 - Hiking with a frameless pack 

00:54:50 - Why did you move away from veganism? 

00:58:08 - Any go-to, vegan thru-hiking foods?

01:01:30 - Did you experience any health changes when you re-introduced animal products?

01:04:31 - Do the symptoms of endometriosis go away immediately after you start hiking? 

01:06:21 - How often are you living in your van? 

01:06:48 - What year did van life start? 

01:06:55 - What motivated you to get into van life? 

01:09:03 - Talk us through the non-obvious pros and cons of van life 

01:13:52 - If you could go back and give yourself van life advice, would you change anything? 

01:18:13 - Did you retire a podcast? 

01:18:26 - Tell me about the new podcast

01:22:07 - Nicole’s book

01:29:55 - Thank you, Nicole! 



Wisconsin Town Names

Trek Propaganda 

Triple Crown of most stereotypical dog names

If you were to get a restaurant logo tattoo in exchange for free food, what Denver restaurant would you pick?

Mail Bag

5 Star Reviews

Gross or Not Gross

  • Zach's photo of a white substance


Check out our sound guy @Paulybooyshallcross.

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


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