“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, 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.”

Latest Posts

Hypothermia – Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment

Hypothermia is subnormal body temperature that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. It is most often caused by exposure to cold weather. Other factors that may contribute to the onset of hypothermia include over-exertion, … Continue reading

Books for Hikers and Backpackers (Revised & Updated)

All of the works listed below have a place in my library at home. They represent a mixture of educational and philosophical texts; with a sprinkling of humour, poetry and social commentary thrown into the literary mix. The books are … Continue reading

Reveiw: Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid XL

Over the past two years, I have used the Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid XL in a wide range of environments around the world. Testing grounds have included Bolivia’s Altiplano and Cordillera Real, multiple trips in Tasmania’s rugged Southwest Wilderness, Wyoming’s … Continue reading

Sleeping Bags for Thru-Hiking

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know.” ~  Ernest Hemingway The sleeping bag is perhaps the most cherished item in a thru-hiker’s kit. After a long day on trail, is there … Continue reading

Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit: Independent Hiker’s Guide

Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit is one of South America’s premier multi-day treks. Turquoise lakes, high altitude passes, hot springs, towering snow capped peaks; all packed into a compact range that measures only 30 km (18.6 mi) long and 15 km … Continue reading

30 Crappy (but practical) Christmas Gifts for Hikers

Over the past couple of years, the most popular articles on “The Hiking Life” 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 more of the latest trip reports, gear articles and random backcountry musings.

Recent Hiking Trips:

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.

Ryan Sylva descending to Laguna Chojna Khota (4722m/15,492ft) | Day 8 of the Cordillera Real Traverse.

Badlands Traverse

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.


Final day | Badlands Traverse, 2016.

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.


Ridge walking in Great Sand Dunes National Park during the Sangre de Cristo Traverse.

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.

For detailed trip reports for both the coastal and alpine stages, click on the following links: Stage 1: West Coast, and; Stage 2: Arthur Range.

Sunset at Evans Creek | SW Tasmania Traverse

Sunset at Evans Creek | Day 4, SW Tasmania Traverse.

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.

Laguna Hoja Larga | Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Colombia. #thehikinglife #trekkingincolombia #andes #montbell #mountainlaureldesigns @macpac @gossamergear @darntoughvermont

Laguna Hoja Larga | Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Colombia.

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.


Ascent to Ishinca Pass | Cordillera Blanca Traverse

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.


Cam Honan on the final ascent up Mt.Whitney | Lowest to Highest Route, 2014 (photo courtesy of Joshua Stacy)

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.

#TBT On this day in 2013, Justin "Trauma" Lichter and I began our traverse of Mexico's Copper Canyon region. The journey started with a steep descent to the base of spectacular Basaseachic Falls (246 metres/807 ft high). #coppercanyon #backpacking #basaseachicfalls #granitegear #montbell #mountainlaureldesigns #katabaticgear #darntoughsocks #platypushydration #loksak #natgeo #bpmag #thegreatoutdoors #coppercanyontraverse #rei1440project #chihuahua #leki #gossamergear

Justin “Trauma” Lichter at the base of Basaseachic Falls (246 metres/807 ft high) | Copper Canyon Traverse, 2013.

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!