“Deserts, jungles, mountains or coast; I don’t have a preference. If I’m out in nature with everything I need in the world on my back, chances are my smile is wide and my thoughts are clear.“
~ Cam “Swami” Honan
The Hiking Life is a compilation of tips and advice on trip planning, lightweight backpacking techniques and improving your wilderness skill set. It contains photos and trekking notes from more than 150 of the world’s great hikes, and was put together with a mission of inspiring and enabling folks to go backpacking. Hope to see you on the trail!
~ Cam “Swami” Honan, author of “The Hiking Life.”
“A giant thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.” – Edward Abbey, “Desert Solitaire” (1968). Not drinking enough water may well be the most common mistake made by hikers and backpackers. Whether you are walking in the heat or the … Continue reading
Some four and a half years after finishing the 12 Long Walks – of which the Calendar Triple Crown constituted the last three hikes – the PCT, CDT and AT continue to be the trails I am asked about the most. … Continue reading
I left Australia in my early 20’s. I’m now in my mid-40’s. Over the years I’ve returned to my homeland on many occasions, and whenever I do I try to get in as much hiking as possible. One place I … Continue reading
Over the past seven years, the Montbell Tachyon Anorak wind shirt has been a mainstay of my backpacking kit. Indeed, rarely does a day in the backcountry go by when I don’t wear it at some time or another. Considering that … Continue reading
Situated in Utah’s Zion National Park, The Narrows Top-Down route is one of the most spectacular short hikes in the United States. Stretching some 25 km (16 miles) from Chamberlain’s Ranch to Temple of Sinawava, it follows the course of the Virgin … Continue reading
There are a lot of thru-hiking gear lists on the internet. However, because individual hikers vary so much in terms of goals, fitness, style, age and experience, a lot of these compilations don’t have much in the way of wide-ranging … Continue reading
The GR20 is a spectacular 180 km (112 mi) trail, that winds its way along the jagged spine of Corsica’s mountainous centre. Despite the rugged nature of much of the terrain, it is a hike that is within the capabilities … Continue reading
Alongside mosquitos, ticks are at the top of the vector class when it comes to disease transmission. These little blood suckers can carry and transmit viruses, bacteria and parasites. Indeed, when it comes to spending time out in the wilderness … Continue reading
Recent Hiking Trips:
The Badlands of South Dakota combines a fauna-abundant prairie land with a moonscape of other-worldly rock formations, to form one of the America’s most unique natural environments.
In mid-September, 2016, I hiked the length of Badlands National Park from Ben Reifel Visitor Center to White River Visitor Center. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time that such a traverse had been completed.
Click here for a detailed trip report from the journey.
Sangre de Cristo Traverse
On the afternoon of September 5, 2016, I completed an eight day traverse of Colorado’s Sangre De Cristo (i.e. “Blood of Christ”) mountains
My route began in the town of Salida and finished at the informal trailhead for Blanca Peak, just off CO HWY 150. It was a largely cross country affair, approximately 120 miles in length and had a cumulative elevation gain of more than 40,000 ft.
Click here for images and details from the trip.
Southwest Tasmania Traverse
Between February 27 and March 22, 2016, I completed a traverse of Tasmania’s southwestern wilderness. One of the wildest, most pristine backcountry areas on the planet, it was a hike I had dreamed of doing for almost two decades.
In a nutshell, my journey combined the rugged west coast south of of Strahan, with the Arthur Range, arguably Australia’s most spectacular mountain chain. I connected these two areas by way of the De Witt Range, Davey River, Lost World Plateau & Port Davey Track.
Sierra Nevada Del Cocuy
In August, 2015, I had the opportunity to hike in a place I’d dreamed of visiting for two decades; Colombia’s Sierra Nevada del Cocuy.
Situated close to the Venezuelan border, this little visited gem of the northern Andes is home to the second largest concentration of glaciers in Colombia, and sports a collection of towering peaks rising up to 5,330 m (17,487 ft).
Click here for images and journal entries from the trip.
Cordillera Blanca Traverse
Between August 21 and September 6, 2014, I completed a traverse of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, one of the world’s highest and most beautiful mountain ranges.
Beginning north of Nevado Alpamayo and finishing at Pastoruri Glacier, the route was approximately 252 miles (406 km) in length, and included some 23 passes ranging between 14,000 and 17,500 ft above sea level. To the best of my knowledge it was the first time that such a trip had been undertaken.
Click here for photos galleries and journal entries from the trip.
Lowest to Highest Route
Death Valley to the summit of Mt.Whitney.
From the lowest spot in North America (280 ft below sea level) to the highest point in the contiguous United States (14,495 ft).
I hiked this incredibly diverse route in April of 2014, along with my friends, Ryan Sylva, Joshua Stacy and Greg Gressel. Click here for photos and trip notes.
Copper Canyon Traverse
On the morning of December 12, 2013, Justin “Trauma” Lichter and I reached the ‘Cumbres de Sinforosa’, the finishing point for our 381 mile (613 km) traverse of Mexico´s Copper Canyon region. To the best of our knowledge, it was the first time that such a trip had been undertaken.
It was an eventful journey, marked by memorable characters, amazing scenery, challenging terrain and a variety of clandestine “agricultural” fields! Click here for photos galleries and journal entries from the trip.
12 Long Walks
On December 28, 2012, I completed the Appalachian Trail, the final instalment of the 12 Long Walks (see map below). Totalling some 14,343 miles (23,081 km) and taking a little under eighteen months, my journey took me through 29 states, 4 Canadian provinces and 28 pairs of trail running shoes!