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.
“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
A lone figure standing at the roadside, thumb outstretched.
Hunched forward with my neon green backpack weighing me down like a turtle too small for its shell.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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