“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.“
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 170 of the world’s great hikes – all of which I have had the privilege of doing over the past three decades – 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”
Six years ago I put together a whimsical list of 10 songs about walking; or more specifically tunes that included “walk“, “walkin‘” or “walking” in their respective titles. On my recent trip to the Alps, I jotted down a bunch … Continue reading
In August, 2017, I hiked an approximately 600 km (373 mi) route across Bolivia’s Altiplano region. An otherworldly landscape of salt flats, volcanoes, fantastical rock formations and coloured lakes, to the best of my knowledge it was the first time … Continue reading
Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are one of Europe’s most dramatic mountain ranges. A combination of serrated limestone peaks, sheer cliffs, shimmering alpine lakes and deep, narrow valleys, they have long been a magnet for geologists, travellers and outdoor … Continue reading
As another decade draws to a close, I look back with an appreciative smile. Over the past ten years my journeys taken me from the snow-capped peaks of Peru to the Aurora Borealis of Arctic Norway, and from the pristine … Continue reading
Over the past four years, the most popular articles on “The Hiking Life” website haven’t been about outdoor skills, backpacking equipment, or trip reports from exotic locales. Nope, they’ve been about crappy hiker gifts that you can pick up for … Continue reading
CLICK HERE for all the latest trip reports, gear articles and random backcountry musings.
Recent Hiking Trips:
Alta Vias 1 and 2
Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are one of Europe’s most dramatic mountain ranges. A combination of serrated limestone peaks, sheer cliffs, shimmering alpine lakes and deep, narrow valleys, they have long been a magnet for geologists, travellers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. From a hiker’s perspective, this legendary sub-range of the Alps boasts an extensive system of pathways (i.e. “Vias”), and of the many trails that crisscross its rugged topography, arguably the most spectacular of them are the Alta Via 1 and the Alta Via 2. I hiked both trails back to back over 10 days in September, 2019. Click on the respective hikes for more details.
Cape Wrath Trail
The Cape Wrath Trail is often referred to as Britain’s toughest long distance walk. Stretching approximately 230 miles (370 km) from the Highland hub of Fort William to the remote lighthouse of Cape Wrath, it is an unmarked and sometimes trailless route that passes through the wild and spectacular landscapes of northwestern Scotland. I hiked the Cape Wrath Trail over ten days in the summer of 2018. Click here for a trip report, backpacking guide and gear list from the journey.
The Altiplano Traverse is an approximately 650 km (404 mi) backcountry route across Bolivia’s Altiplano region. A singular landscape of salt flats, volcanoes, fantastical rock formations and coloured lakes, I completed the journey over 16 days in August, 2017. Click here for photos and a trip report from the first stage of the journey, and here for the skinny on the second stage.
Cordillera Real Traverse
In August, 2017, Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva and I completed a full length traverse of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real. Our route began at the southern end of the range in the village of Cohoni, and finished some 150 miles (241 km) NW of there in the mountain town of Sorata. The trek took nine days to complete, and along the way we crossed 23 passes, ranging in altitude from 4450m (14,600 ft) to 5300 m (17,400 ft). Click here for a trip report from the journey.
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, 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!