Olie Hunter Smart India

A Passage through India – Walking in the Footsteps of Gandhi

In less than a week’s time, Olie Hunter Smart will embark on a 2600 mile trek down the length of India, following in the footsteps of one of history’s most influential figures – Mahatma Gandhi. I talked to Olie about his preparations and expectations for the journey, as well as his most recent adventure – a source-to-sea kayak expedition along the length of the Amazon River.

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Learning to Embrace Negativity

The “F*** You” Factor – Dealing with Negativity

“I will not let people walk through my mind with their dirty feet”

– Mahatma Gandhi –


If there is one thing I’ve learnt from over three years and 4000 miles worth of adventures, it’s that people like to say no.

They will say things like:

“That’s not possible.”

“You can’t do it.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

“You’ll never make it”

“It’s too dangerous.”

“You’re doing it wrong.”

“There’s nowhere to camp here, you should check into a hotel.” Read more

The Lost Art of Hitchhiking

I wait.

A lone figure standing at the roadside, thumb outstretched.

I wait.

Hunched forward with my neon green backpack weighing me down like a turtle too small for its shell.

I wait.

Looking for the shimmer of metal in the sunlight. Feeling for the vibration of the melting asphalt beneath my ragged boots. Listening for the hum of the engine. Any and all of the things that will herald the arrival of the inaugural vehicle in a long procession of cars, campervans and pickup trucks that all decelerate to a tantalising crawl before speeding up and carrying on down the dusty American highway.

I wait. Read more

Motivational Quotes PCT

10 Motivational Quotes from the Pacific Crest Trail

This post was first featured on The Trek.

Not every day on the Pacific Crest Trail is easy.

Some days you will be uncomfortable, tired, in pain, dehydrated, freezing cold or just plain bored. You will of course experience some of the best times of your life on the trail, but this inevitably goes hand in hand with some extreme lows. In these moments you may find yourself severely lacking in motivation to keep going. Read more

The Only Way to Better Circumstances is to Keep Moving Forward – Frank Van Lieshout

I talked to endurance athlete, adventurer and EtchRock elite Frank Van Lieshout. Frank is a world-championship level obstacle runner and last year attempted the Bob Graham round in the North of England – a challenge involving 42 peaks over 66 miles in 24 hours. Read more

On Adventure, Failure and Disappointment

On Failure, Disappointment and Adventure

What do you do when the big adventure you’ve been planning for years turns out to be a failure?

I recently wrote about a trip I took to Norway to climb to the famous rock formation Trolltunga in the heart of the Norwegian winter. The trip was a failure. Read more

Troltunga - Ringedalsvatnet

An Unsuccessful Winter Ascent of Trolltunga, Norway

Getting to the top of the mountain is optional, getting back down is not.

That’s what I told myself on a freezing cold Norwegian afternoon in December as I reached the halfway point on my climb up to Trolltunga. This was the exact moment I realised I wasn’t going to make it. Read more

PCT Mile One

How to Survive Your First Day on the PCT

This post was first featured on Appalachian Trials

People say the first step of any journey is always the hardest. Not for me, the hardest step on my journey was around mile 1016 when I misjudged my footing on a snowdrift and slid 100 metres down the side of a mountain. But for most people … taking that initial step is the hardest part.

Embarking on your first thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is a daunting prospect. You’re most likely excited and terrified, both itching to begin your adventure yet simultaneously dreading the day it comes around. Read more

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

PCT Gear Review: Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

Blistered, bruised and broken – that’s how most people’s feet end up after walking 2650 miles. A good pair of shoes is arguably the most important piece of gear when embarking on a thru-hike and as such it is not a decision to be taken lightly.
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Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

PCT Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

Choosing a tent for the Pacific Crest Trail essentially meant buying a house for the next five months. It was not a decision to be taken lightly. Spending 10+ hours a day in constant discomfort –  aching, hot, cold, sweaty, exhausted –  by late afternoon there was nothing I wanted more than to crawl into my tent, eat dinner and fall asleep. My tent had to be as comfortable as possible while still providing adequate shelter from the elements. These were the main factors that led me to buy the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3. Read more