READING TIME: TWO AND A HALF MINUTES
It’s January. Just in case you hadn’t noticed.
That strange period between December and February where nothing much happens except drizzle, in England at least.
I find myself dreaming of long, hot thru-hikes. Shortly followed by scanning Youtube to find who filmed their hikes last year.
However, I don’t know about you, but I like visuals as well.
These are some of the best thru-hiking videographers, and where to watch their stuff.
When I researched the Pacific Crest Trail before my thru-hike, one name kept cropping up: Scott ‘Squatch’ Herriott.
Stumbling on a trail sign for the Pacific Crest Trail one day was enough to rouse Squatch’s curiosity, and he wasn’t even a hiker.
What followed was Walk, his first documentary about life on the trail. Still Walking, Even More Walking and Walk followed as he hiked, drove and generally flitted around the PCT for a few years, taking everything in to put on celluloid for you.
He’s also knocked out three Appalachian Trail movies; Flip Flop Flippin’ (where I managed a cameo appearance), Flip Flop Flippin’ 2, and Flip Flopped Flipped. Wait, grab some popcorn, there’s’ more.
He flew to Spain and walked El Camino de Santiago to produce Wayfaring. Iceland is featured in 72 Days in Iceland, and there’s . . . just go take a look or I’ll be here all day.
Hard Way Home
by Kori Feener
It constantly amazes me how anyone can complete a long distance thru-hike and manage to document it on film as well. I’ve managed to film a few short sections on my YouTube channel, but believe me, the time and dedication required to pull it off is immense.
Not only did Kori manage to do this, but she did it brilliantly in Long Way Home.
It’s a down to earth look at trail life, capturing Kori’s tribulations on the trail, and that of the people she met as well. She nearly didn’t make because of feet problems, but persevered.
Shane ‘Jester’ O’Donnell
He has three movies:
Embrace The Brutality deals with the Continental Divide Trail
Thru Story is about the Appalachian Trail
Wizards of the PCT is, well, obvious.
Tell it on the Mountain
by Shaun Carrigan and Lisa Diener
. . . are both responsible for Tell It On The Mountain, featuring arguably America’s greatest route (again), The Pacific Crest Trail.
This documentary followed half a dozen of the 300 or so hikers who attempted the Pacific Crest Trail the year they filmed. While much of the film was shot by professionals, the producers gave cameras to individual hikers, which help provide an intimate look into their experience.
For those that have already hiked the PCT it’s always great to look at others doing the same but most of all, for those due to attempt it, there is no better way to glean some knowledge for themselves.
It’s worth watching just for the inclusion of hiking god Scott Williamson. Scott may as well live on the PCT, he’s hiked it more than anyone else, has yo-yo’d it and has the hiking equivalent of Dalia Lama status in thru-hiking crowds. I was mesmerised just listening to his views, how he hiked, his addiction to shaving and the mechanics of going for the Yo-Yo (hiking from Mexico to Canada and then turning around to go back again).
Worth watching and as the credits admirably point out: Set Design: Mother Nature.
As It Happens
by Andy Laubthat
The Dusty Camel blog sums this movie up:
After landing home from the 173-day hike, Andy began editing; writing and recording 25 original songs for the soundtrack; processed over 300 stills in Adobe After Effects to create 3D cinematic movement in every slide; and wrote narration for this entire feature length piece. In the end his creation is not a film; it’s a work of art.
The photography and cinematography are stunning, and it’s thoughtfully narrated.
Do More With Less
by Travis ‘Duke’ Barron and Eric ‘ET’ Timmerman
If you’ve seen any hiking videos that would be worthy of mentioning, leave a comment below.
Keith / Fozzie