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Heather 'Anish' Anderson: Thru-Hiking Tips from a TB Pro!

PCT Days this year was a blast! We love participating in this annual summer festival that celebrates and promotes hiking, camping, backpacking & outdoor stewardship. In honor of the event and our support of the thru-hiking community, we checked in with thru-hiking rockstar and Trail Butter Pro, Heather 'Anish' Anderson, for a few tips to make YOUR next thru-hiking adventure more enjoyable. 

Heather comes with a wealth of experience having thru-hiked legendary trails like the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. She was also named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Wowza! We sure our happy to have Heather drop some thru-hiking knowledge on this page to assist with your next multi-day hike! Enjoy...

You've probably heard of the 10 Essentials (if not, check them out on mountaineers.org). These items are considered, well, essential for backcountry travel. These include items to help keep you safe, even if the unexpected happens.
While I carry them on most adventures, here are my go-to pieces that I never leave the trailhead without:
  • Water: and a way to treat backcountry water.
  • Food: even if it's a short jaunt, I bring a snack! Trail Butter single serves are perfect for this.
  • Pack: I have everything from a fanny pack to a backpack so there's always a place to stash items.
  • Element Protection: this can be a sunhat or a light jacket, sometimes both, depending on the season.

I read trip reports (both recent and seasonal), carry maps (digital and/or paper), triple check the weather using a point forecast (look at hourly, not just overview), and read whatever is posted at the trailhead kiosk. The more you know about your route and what to expect the better prepared you can be to deal with the situations you find yourself in.

Many a hiker has gotten lost, hurt, or both because they didn't take care of themselves. It's easy to put off eating when things get stressful (sudden weather change, realizing your off-route, racing darkness, etc), but in the long run fueling your body and your brain will help you make better decisions, move faster, and retain agility. My go-to when I can't stop but need calories is definitely Trail Butter because of its mix of fast and slow burning fuels and it's easy to eat right from packaging.  

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Want to learn more about Heather's awesomeness? We don't blame you. She is really cool. Follow this link to get the skinny on her favorite gear, her recent publications, and more.  

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