Broken Laces: a Hiker's Podcast

Broken Laces Podcast

A hiker's podcast featuring stories from those who work and play in the outdoors, plus hike & brewery recommendations

Season 2 Preview
Trailer 6 min 5 sec

All Episodes

We had such a good time drafting national parks last year (Episode 17), we had to do it again. This time, we're drafting hiking trails, on a 50 mile budget.   Jeremy Jones (see Episode 1) and my brother Jeff Smith (see Episode 17) join me for four rounds of drafting our favorite hikes. Well, we included a bonus round too!   Each person had 50 miles to spend (where we counted trail mileage, not hiking mileage), and amazingly enough, there were some hikes that were stolen from one another.  Tune in to see what was picked and what state/region took home the most picks.   How would you spend your 50 miles?  

Jul 28

58 min 53 sec

Rowan Smith, the founder of Summit Strength, is one of the world’s only specialist hiking coaches. With over 10 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, Rowan coaches hikers from across the globe, creating 100% tailored coaching. He targets individual’s physical and mental strength, with clients fulfilling bucket list adventures such as Everest Base Camp, Kilimanjaro, the Pacific Crest Trail and many more.   On the podcast we talk about his journey to becoming a professional hiking trainer, his approach to training day hikers to professional backpackers, how to deal with pain on the trail, and how to get proper training — even without mountains nearby. Enjoy!

Jul 16

37 min 58 sec

Jessie is the US Program Manager for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation initiative (Y2Y), whose mission is to connect and protect habitat across 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and inspire others to engage in similar work.   Jessie’s conservation experience and academic background integrate forest ecology, biodiversity, species conservation, and climate change into collaborative projects in forest and watershed restoration, wildland protection, and human-wildlife coexistence. She currently lives in Idaho and enjoys incorporating her connection to its people and landscapes into her work with Y2Y.   Jessie joins the pod to talk about this awesome Y2Y initiative, the complexities of managing many relationships among hundreds of parties across multiple jurisdictions, and the wonderful rocky mountain range that she monitors in the Idaho / Montana area.

Jul 3

27 min 12 sec

In Season 2, I detailed my hike of the 220+ miles of the John Muir trail. This season, I'm excited to share my most recent hike of the Collegiate Loop, a 160 mile loop (obviously) that is part of the much longer, 500 mile long Colorado Trail.   In this episode, I share the route details (miles, elevation, clockwise/counterclockwise), how to plan your hike (resupplies, research resources), and provide day-by-day details of my 8 days on the trail.   See photos here for a play-by-play as I walk you through each day on the Collegiate Loop!   #collegiateloop #collegiate #coloradotrail #CDT #longtrail #colorado #thruhike #solohike

Jun 26

45 min 9 sec

Snake River Brewery's Luke Bauer joins the podcast to talk about a hodgepodge of his favorite things, including craft beer, Wyoming hikes, and packrafting.   Luke has worked in the craft beer industry 12+ years, as well as several years in the outdoors industry, specifically with the American Alpine Club and recently, the American Packrafting Association.   Luke is a climber, paddler, hiker, and backpacker, among other things, and he's definitely a friend of the show. As you'll hear in the podcast, he's more than capable of serving as the Wyoming correspondent, as he shares places beyond Yellowstone and the Tetons (although they're amazing too)!  

Jun 13

36 min 2 sec

Eli Bernstein joins the podcast to talk (nerd out) about backpacking gear. In the conversation, we chat about Backpacker Magazine, how he ended up there, how they review and test gear, and general tips for consumers when picking gear.   Eli has worked as Backpacker's gear editor for four years. He spends most of his time trying to hike, ski, and climb in scenic places with as few people around as possible, all the while testing gear and not trying to fall too in love with it.   I found Eli's enthusiasm and knowledge about gear a really engaging listen, and I think you'll pick up a few nuggets on what you may need to pay more attention to in your next gear purchase. Plus, his trails and ales selection has already been marked on my hiking to-do list.  

Jun 4

32 min 47 sec

Teresa Martinez joins the podcast to talk about the Continental Divide Trail and how towns across the 3,000+ mile trail are building communities around stewardship and education.   For much of her 30 year professional career, Teresa has worked throughout our entire National Trails System. From 1987-2007 she worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, from 2007 to 2012 she worked for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and since 2012 she has been the Executive Director (and co-founder) of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She serves on the board of the Partnership for the National Trails System and currently serves as the Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee to aide the USFS in the development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. When not working on behalf of one of our National Trails, Teresa may be found exploring trails with her dog by bike, horse, and foot.   I found Teresa's energy contagious and think you'll enjoy her story from building trail as a college student, to helping hikers and communities embrace the CDT from New Mexico, through Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho, & onto Montana!  

May 28

42 min 7 sec

Listen to the 4+ minute unscripted (in that I didn't spend too much time on it -- full time job getting in the way) intro to Season 3, including BRIEF intros to our season 3 guests.   Guests featured in the preview have been recorded already, so there likely will be a few more surprises along the way!   Like it, sign up for more here

May 21

5 min 26 sec

Barney Mann (trail name, Scout) joins the podcast to talk about his upcoming book (released August 1st), Journey's North.   In Journeys North, Scout details the journey of a half-dozen hikers--including Barney and his wife, Sandy-- as they trod north, slowly forming relationships and revealing their deepest secrets and aspirations. They face a once-in-a-generation drought and early severe winter storms that test their will in this bare-knuckled adventure. In fact, only a third of all the hikers who set out on the trail that year would finish.   Pick up the book on Amazon, Barney's website (where you can even get a signed copy), or your local independent bookstore.   You can follow Scout on Instagram here.

Aug 2020

41 min 21 sec

My friend Will (top-left) and brother Jeff (bottom) join me to have a little fun in mixing sports and parks. We're having a draft!   What park should go #1? What park is a sneaky steal in the 5th round? What park doesn't get drafted and makes you scream at us?   Join us for a little fun, some adequately appropriate sports puns, and see what 15-20 parks make our draft. Our facts may be loosely accurate, but our sports punditry may be 100% on.   Stay all the way through to the 15th pick, as it's the most surprising of them all and now a group favorite!

Jul 2020

1 hr 33 min

Ryan has a history of connecting people with local trails, having spent time with the NPS, Sonoma Ecology Center and Bay Area Open Space Council.   Today, Ryan is the CEO of OuterSpatial, whose mission is to connect you with organizations that protect and manage your favorite outdoor places. The mobile app shares alerts, posts, trail conditions (closures), and events from your local parks all at your fingertips. Organizations can then use visitation information and gain insight from those using the park.   On the podcast, we talk about technology in the parks and how it can balance the thin line of connecting you, while you attempt to become disconnected.  

Jul 2020

28 min 54 sec

From Liz's website at   Liz Thomas is among the most experienced female hikers in the US and is known for backpacking light, fast, and solo. In 2011, she broke the women’s unsupported speed record on the 2,181-mile long Appalachian Trail, besting the previous record by almost a week. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking–the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail–and has backpacked over 15,000 miles across the United States on 16 long distance hikes, including the pioneering traverse of the Chinook Trail across the Columbia River Gorge and the pioneering traverse of the Wasatch Range, which she did solo. Liz is affectionately known as the “Queen of Urban Hiking,” having pioneered and completed routes in 5 cities across the U.S.   On the podcast, we talk about Liz's entrance into thru-hiking, her best advice to those who are interested, her involvement in various hiking organizations, and her now 14 urban hikes.

Jul 2020

31 min 49 sec

As Interim Deputy Vice President of the Energy & Climate Program Director, Chase works with staff in the public policy and public lands departments to develop and evaluate policy options for sustainably managing energy production on the nation's public lands in the face of global warming.   On the podcast, we chat about his journey into public lands policy, the role of BLM land, and the pressing issues affecting federal lands in the US, namely the West.

Jun 2020

43 min 31 sec

This past year, I went on the Hike Podcast and shared my story of hiking the John Muir trail (JMT). Lori, the host, pinged me a few months later and told me that it was the highest listened to podcast of the season. It only makes sense that I come onto my own podcast and share a more in-depth journey of how I planned for the JMT (Part 1) and detail the thirteen days on the trail (Part 2).   In Part 2, I share my favorite stretches, campgrounds, funny stories, mistakes, and tips for the 13 days I was on the JMT. Highlights include why I got blisters and how I treated them, hijacking (politely and with permission) food from a resupply, me almost quitting on day 3, and how and why you should meet people on the trail.   See photos here for a play-by-play as I walk you through each day on the JMT!

Jun 2020

49 min 32 sec

This past year, I went on the Hike Podcast and shared my story of hiking the John Muir trail (JMT). Lori, the host, pinged me a few months later and told me that it was the highest listened to podcast of the season.   It only makes sense that I come onto my own podcast and share a more in-depth journey of how I planned for the JMT (Part 1) and detail the thirteen days on the trail (Part 2). In Part 1, I detail the JMT route (miles, elevation, remoteness), how to plan your hike (permits, resupplies, research resources), provide a gear shakedown, and highlight my physical training leading up to day 1. See photos above for some of the prep and training, and share questions via the website or social media!

Jun 2020

43 min 9 sec

Andrew Skurka is a long-distance backpacker, guide, and writer, who lives in Boulder, CO. As a twenty-something he hiked three notable long-distance trips including the Alaska-Yukon Expedition (6 months, 4,700 miles),Great Western Loop (7 months, 6,875 miles), and the Sea-to-Sea Route (11 months, 7,775 miles). Only one of these has been repeated, and only once.   For these trips, Andrew was named “Adventurer of the Year” by both Outside and National Geographic, as well as “Person of the Year” by Backpacker. National Geographic described him as “a superman among trekkers” and “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet.”   On the podcast, I talk with Andrew about his epic hikes, how he got to that point in his life, and how he's sharing his expertise with others.

Jun 2020

35 min 8 sec

Gülnur Tumbat (aka G) is a Professor of Marketing at San Francisco State University (and my former neighbor, lucky me) who is attempting to climb the 7 highest summits on the world's 7 continents. G will become the first Turkish woman to complete this feat, having completed six of them (Antarctica is last), and recently topping Mt. Everest.   On the podcast, we talk how G prepares for tackling the world's largest mountains (physically, mentally, and gear planning), and we chat about various climbs/stories regarding the 7 summits.  

Jun 2020

47 min 24 sec

This season, we have the following big-time guests lined up for you: Gulnur Tumbat – a dear friend of mine, and expert mountaineer. Gulnur, who goes by G, has climbed 6 of the 7 tallest summits in the world, having only Vinson in Antarctica left. She’d be the 1st Turkish women to accomplish this. In G’s episode, we talk training – mental and physical – and in depth about her 7 summits journey, including recapping her most recent summit of Mt. Everest. Andrew Skurka – I got tipped off by Andrew from an article of a man who is inventing a new long-distance route in the High Sierras. I thought to myself, “yeah, this is a guy who knows a thing or two about hiking/backpacking”.  Turns out Andrew made a name for himself doing, super long-hikes (we’re talking 5-7K miles) that no one had documented before. These include the Sea-to-Sea route, including one from Quebec to Washington, the Great Western Loop, and the Alaska Yukon Loop (reminder, Alaska is a large state!). Listen in for the stories, and long-distance hiking tips --- I know 5-7K mile hikers are not a prime audience, but someone who has that many miles will definitely drop a tip or two for us 10 mile hikers. Ryan Branciforte – Ryan and I met a few years back, where I learned about his personal journey in utilizing the tech in our hand to connect us to the wilderness we all play in. I know that feels oxymoronic, using tech to connect to wild places, but his mobile app, Outer Spatial, is helping Parks and Preserves alike stand up their profiles by helping users plan, get alerts, and connect with the people that actually visit the park. It’s a great tool, just getting traction and users! Liz Thomas – Liz!  In researching Liz, her bio mentions that she wrote what others called “the bible of thru-hiking”. I read that, and knew I needed to have her on, and then order the book. Liz has many accomplishments --- triple crown hiker, author, and recently, dubbed the Queen of Urban hiking.  She’s an inspiration, and an energetic, just plain happy guest, and one who is really trying to help people connect to places in the wild, and in their cities, simply by walking. Even if you don’t plan on hiking 100s of miles, she’ll make you want to walk around your local town/parks a bit more. Chase Huntley – I heard Chase talk about public lands, the BLM, and climate change a few years back and have been pinging him non-stop to have a chat. Have you ever been confused by what the BLM does? Do you have strong feelings or interest in how public lands are used? Chase is here to provide the history and some of the ongoing developments towards how public lands – primarily in the West – are being used and what we can do to help. And yours truly, sharing some of my favorite hikes from last season and some on the trail “intermediate expertise” along the way. Hit the favorite/subscribe button on your favorite podcast service and please tell your friends to do the same.

May 2020

6 min 5 sec

The first step to taking on more backcountry, either in places most visitors can't get to, or because you want to do your first thru-hike, you'll need to learn how to do big mileage days. I walk through some of my key tips in prepping for 15+ mile days, particularly on trails/locales you may not be familiar with.   Hikes referenced in this podcast include the Red Peak pass hike from Quartz Mountain (Sierra National Forest to Yosemite NP), the Routeburn track in New Zealand, and a 16 mile section of the Walker's Haute Route in the Swiss/French Alps.

Aug 2019

22 min 49 sec

Mia is the National Director of Girls Who Hike, an organization creating communities of women that can connect, network & discover together through local trails. 

Jul 2019

30 min 49 sec

Marcia Argust directs Pew’s efforts to restore America’s parks, working with a team of data & policy experts to address the  backlog plaguing the National Parks. Marcia joins the podcast to discuss the importance of addressing our National Park's deferred maintenance, how she arrived in D.C. & other public lands issues.

Jun 2019

30 min 32 sec

After visiting many local breweries and always having a love for the Pacific Northwest outdoors, Rachel Wood and Brandon Fralic, like many others, started to witness the two cultures go hand-in-hand. Rachel and Brandon join the podcast to talk about how they pair beer with hikes and preview their next book.

Jun 2019

30 min 19 sec

One hike is not enough per podcast. That's why Broken Laces has assembled its own team of hiker correspondents. Thomas resides in the northeast and was a hiking partner of Riley's for several years in North Carolina. And Mike, whose gait rivals that of an Avatar, is a runner first, hiker second, but has hiked many trails in the Pacific Northwest. They share some local parks in their communities that have multiple uses, are kid and dog friendly, and are not well traveled.

Jun 2019

23 min 27 sec

Two friends of the podcast, Tigran Nahabedian and Anna Gibbons (13:00), talk about how they came to love their local parks, why they serve park interests, and share their favorite hikes and places.

May 2019

39 min 21 sec

Steve Iobst, former Deputy Superintendent of Yellowstone NP and Grand Tetons NP, shares his story of how he began with the National Park Service (NPS) while providing a unique perspective on the future of the NPS.  Topics include ongoing challenges the NPS faces, his favorite park stories, and of course, our recurring segment of Trails and Ales.

May 2019

40 min 59 sec

Bernadette Murray first through-rode the PCT in 1969 with her family as a 12-year old. Bernadette joins the podcast to talk about how their family tackled and prepared for the trail, the numerous adventures one encounters when the trail is very undeveloped, and some funny and painful moments on trail.

May 2019

39 min 36 sec

I talk with my friend, Jeremy Jones, on his reentry into backpacking as an adult of two sons and business owner. Topics include what it takes to get into physical and mental backpacking shape & advice on how to introduce backpacking to your kids. And of course, "Trails and Ales", where we chat about Kiitos Brewing in SLC.

May 2019

42 min 50 sec

This is a 1.5 minute preview of Season 1's podcasts. Take a quick listen before diving in.   #outdoors #hiking #backpacking #camping #glamping #nationalparks #parksandrec #podcast 

May 2019

1 min 53 sec