Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Backpacker Radio

Aug 21, 2023

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Heidi Nisbett aka Sketch. Heidi is a thru-hiker, hiking guide, and an exceptionally talented artist, having recently been commissioned to paint a giant mural at the Trail Center in Damascus. Heidi gives us the lowdown on why she loved the Foothills Trail, the Superior Hiking Trail, Pinhoti Trail, and more. We also go in-depth on Heidi's journey as an artist, how she fell in love with it as a kid, fell out of love with it post-college, and rekindled the flame during her time hiking the AT. She shares her top advice to aspiring trail-focused artists, we learn about a CDT thru-hike that went wildly awry, and we chat the best and worst beer styles. This is another fun chat guaranteed to bring a smile to your head.

We wrap the show with reasons why the Florida Trail is actually awesome, I'm shamed for liking things I'm good at, we do a triple crown of hiking things we just don't get, a Florida Man segment, and much more. 

Visit Iceland with Chaunce and Badger: Registration is live for our 2024 trip to Iceland. Come and hike to glaciers, waterfalls, and secret lagoons with your favorite podcast hosts. More info here

Range Meal Bars: Use code “THETREK” for 20% off at

RTIC Outdoors: Shop at

PACT Outdoors: Use code “TREK20” for 20% off and free shipping at


Interview with Heidi Nisbett 

Time stamps & Questions

00:03:05 - Reminders: Chaunce is unwell & we’re still collecting poop stories for our book. Send your story here!  

00:08:54 - Introducing Heidi Nisbett

00:09:42 - Is it safe to say you’re a beer connoisseur? 

00:09:55 - What’s the style of beer you’re into now? 

00:10:07 - Do you have a favorite wheat beer? 

00:10:24 - What is your trail name and the origin? 

00:11:10 - Why didn’t you like the name Picasso?

00:11:56 - What did Picasso do for art history? 

00:12:45 - Were you sketching at all shelter logs? 

00:13:58 - How long do the paintings take you? 

00:14:58 - Was it hard to maintain a social group if you stop to paint? 

00:15:40 - Do most people break up with art after their degree? 

00:20:07 - When did art stand out as something you were talented in? 

00:20:50 - Do you come from artsy people? 

00:22:58 - At what point were you getting positive feedback on your art? 

00:23:40 - What role did social media play as you re-entered the art world? 

00:26:13 - What happens between your art career and hiking the AT? 

00:29:11 - How does a paint and sip class work? 

00:30:44 - What tips do you have for amateur artists? 

00:34:00 - Tell us about your style of art now 

00:35:08 - How would you describe the style of art? 

00:37:36 - How did you transition from art girl to hiking girl? 

00:40:28 - What was your hiking experience prior to the AT? 

00:42:06 - Tell us about the evolution of your art as you hiked along the AT? 

00:44:46 - How did you decide to make your art your full-time business after hiking? 

00:47:20 - What draws people in the most? 

00:48:40 - How do you overcome imposter syndrome? 

00:49:50 - Tell us about your work with the ATC 

00:52:52 - Was that your first mural? 

00:54:40 - How does it work when painting around features in the room? 

00:55:44 - Is this the piece of art that has consumed the most amount of your time? 

00:55:52 - What is the second longest? 

00:56:51 - What’s the most popular piece of art? 

00:57:22 - What do you mail most often? 

00:59:07 - How do you determine what to turn into a sticker? 

01:00:23 - Have you asked if the Pinhoti has any mural needs? 

01:02:10 - How was the Pinhoti? 

01:04:30 - Why pick the Pinhoti over other trails? 

01:05:48 - How does the difficulty compare to the AT? 

01:06:54 - Is there a bad time of year to hike the Pinhoti? 

01:08:01 - Would you pick Pinhoti or Superior Hiking Trail? 

01:09:42 - How was the Foothills Trail? 

01:11:57 - What’s the hiking culture in North Carolina? 

01:12:56 - Are you familiar with the Overmountain Trail? 

01:15:23 - FMK…Beer styles 

01:16:53 - FMK…Landscape, Animal, or People Artwork 

01:18:30 - FMK…Watercolor, Oils, or Acrylic Paintings

01:19:07 - FMK…Pinhoti, Superior Hiking Trail, or Mountains to Sea trail

01:20:36 - How did the CDT attempt go? 

01:23:24 - Tell us about the double helicopter evacuation you witnessed 

01:30:33 - Were you able to enjoy fun van activities? 

01:31:27 - What’s the proposal story? 

01:35:40 - Tell us about guiding 

01:38:12 - How do you experience a hike differently as a guide? 

01:39:19 - If someone wants you as their guide, how do they request that? 

01:40:53 - Tell us about your watercolor trips? 

01:43:11 - Did your art background play a role in getting hired as a guide? 

01:44:16 - Do you have any advice for someone who is trying to find their start in the art world? 

01:46:25 - What was your top hike in Guatemala? 

01:47:53 - What did you say your husband does? 

01:48:15 - Thank you, Heidi!



Trek Propaganda: 11 Reasons The Florida Trail Is Awesome by Owen Eigenbrot

QOTD: What is something you’re good at, but don’t enjoy doing? 


Thing of the week 

Triple crown of hiking things you just don’t get 

Florida man + birthdate 

Gross or Not Gross

Chaunce QOTD: How is it living with Garrett? 

Mail Bag

5 Star Review



Check out our sound guy @paulyboyshallcross.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)!  Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Support us on Patreon to get bonus content.

Advertise on Backpacker Radio

Follow The Trek, Chaunce, Badger, and Trail Correspondents on Instagram.

Follow Backpacker Radio, The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube.

Follow Backpacker Radio on Tik Tok. 

Our theme song is Walking Slow by Animal Years.

A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Alex & Misty with Navigators Crafting, Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Austin Ford, Brad & Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Brent Stenberg, Christopher Marshburn, Coach from Marion Outdoors, Dayne, Derek Koch, DoGoodPantry, Eric Casper, Erik Hofmann, Greg McDaniel may he bring honor to his name, Liz Seger, Matt Soukup, Mike Poisel, Morgan Luke, Patrick Cianciolo, Sawyer Products, Timothy Hahn, and Tracy “Trigger” Fawns.

A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: 12 Trees Farms, Dcnerdlet, Emily Galusha, Jake Landgraf, Jeanne Latshaw, Jeff LaFranier, Joann Menzer, Keith Dobie Jr, Kelly Heikkila, Matthew Spence, and Peter.