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The Backpacking Experience

The Backpacking Experience

By Devin Ashby
The Backpacking Experience unpacks the experiences we have in the backcountry with interviews from fellow hikers, education and trip reports. We're here to share our passion for backpacking and create a platform for others to share the experiences they have had on the trail. We'll talk with business owners about the gear that helps facilitate these experiences and provide education about backcountry travel through real experience on the trail.
The Backpacking Experience is hosted by Devin Ashby, a Utah native, and is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel.
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Custom Printed Gear With Hilltop Packs

The Backpacking Experience

How Outdoor Products Get Developed w/ Outdoor Vitals
Tayson and Brigham from Outdoor Vitals join me to discuss how outdoor gear products are developed and brought to market. We talk about how fabrics are chosen, how ideas turn into samples, and how a product becomes something a customer is able to start using out on the trail.  Check out Outdoor Vitals: Thank you to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring this episode.
January 03, 2022
Enjoy Better Backcountry Meals w/ Food For Adventures!
Meghan and Lee from the company Food For Adventures join me to discuss nutrition and better meal planning for backpacking. We also spend time talking about Food For Adventures and how they are helping hikers plan better meals and prepare for their long distance hikes.  Check out Food For Adventures: Thank you as always to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring the podcast. Check them out!
October 22, 2021
I Almost Died While Backpacking - Lessons Learned w/ Jim Williams
Jim Williams joins me to share his experience of almost losing his life while hiking Tower Peak in California. Jim recounts the events that took place and then shares some of the lessons learned from that experience.  Check out Jim's YouTube Channel here: Thanks to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring this episode.
September 09, 2021
The Mind Of An Endurance Athlete w/ Jeff Garmire "Legend"
Jeff "Legend" Garmire is an endurance athlete with an impressive resume of hiking accomplishments. Everything from a calendar year triple crown, setting FKT records on the Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail, and more and finishing the Cocodona 250 mile race. Jeff shares his experience of these various accomplishments and why he pushes himself through these experiences.  You can find Jeff here: - - Check out Art Of The Trek:
August 09, 2021
Depression, Self Esteem and Thru Hiking w/ Andrew Baldwin (Shanty)
Andrew Baldwin, host of the Out N Back podcast, joins me on this episode to talk about his experience of Thru Hiking the AT and how his hike allowed him to work through some very dark times in his life. I want to thank Andrew for his time, sharing his experience and being honest about real struggles that many of us are working through every day.  Check out the Out N Back Podcast here: Jump onto Art Of The Trek and start adding new points of interest to the public map!
April 06, 2021
Important Tips For Trip Planning With Justin Outdoors
Justin Outdoors as he's known on YouTube joins me to discuss important tips around planning backpacking trips.  -- Justin Outdoors: Thank you to Sawyer and Art Of The Trek for sponsoring this episode! Sawyer: Art Of The Trek:
February 11, 2021
Delicious Backcountry Food and Camping Tips w/ Amanda Outside
Amanda Outside joins me to share behind the scenes info on some of her favorite backpacking/camping meals and even shares some tips for new backpackers. You can see Amanda's blog and YouTube Channel in the links below! - Amanda Outside Blog: - Amanda Outside YouTube: Thanks to Art of the Trek and Sawyer for sponsoring this episode! - Art Of The Trek: - Sawyer:
January 20, 2021
Sawyer Water Filters and Bug Repellent w/ Travis Avery
We celebrate 1 year of the Backpacking Experience Podcast with this episode! Thank you for all your support the past year! Travis Avery from Sawyer joins me to talk about water filtration, insect repellents and giving back to developing countries to provide clean water! - Sawyer: - Application of Permethrin on dogs: - Sawyer Water Filters and Bug Repellents: Thank you to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring this episode:
December 20, 2020
Dropping Everything To Travel Full Time w/ Catherine Gregory
Imagine leaving everything you've been familiar with in your career and life at home, and leaving it all to travel full time in a truck and camper! That's what Catherine Gregory has done, and she joins me on this episode to talk about her travels and backpacking trips through the western United States! - Catherine Gregory on YouTube: - Follow her on Instagram: @catgphoto Sawyer Water Filters: Art Of The Trek:
November 16, 2020
What My Wife Thinks About Backpacking
It was a treat to have my amazing wife join me on this episode. Katie shares her feelings about backpacking, being married to someone who lives and breathes the outdoors, and how the outdoors fits into our family lifestyle.  Thank you to Sawyer for sponsoring this episode. Check out their amazing Picaridin lotion to keep the bugs away! - Want to plan backpacking trips for others and get paid for it? Become a route guide planner with Art Of The Trek! - Email Nicole for more information. The Backpacking Experience is supported by Backcountry Exposure on YouTube: Follow on instagram: @backcountryexposure
October 27, 2020
Cold Weather Backpacking - Preparing Your Gear and Yourself
The Fall season is upon us and it's time to start thinking about backpacking in colder weather. This episode focuses on some tips for knowing what to expect with colder weather and how to prepare yourself and your gear for cold weather backpacking.  Learn more about the Liberia Project from Sawyer! - - Sawyer Water Filters and Bug Repellent: Learn about becoming a Route Guide Planner for Art Of The Trek! Email Nicole: Tell them you were sent by The Backpacking Experience!
October 01, 2020
Better Trip Planning With Art Of The Trek
There are a lot of great trip planning and mapping apps available to use, but today we're talking with Art Of The Trek on how they are working to become a one stop shop for hikers and backpackers to plan better trips in the backcountry. Thank you to Nicole and Scott for taking time to share such detailed information about everything Art Of The Trek is providing through their website.   - Art Of The Trek: - Buddies: - Email Nicole: Learn more about what Sawyer is doing to give back to developing countries: Sawyer:
September 13, 2020
Backpacking With Your Dog with Alicia Baker (Girl On A Hike)
Girl On A Hike aka Alicia Baker joins me on this episode to discuss her website and how she's helping others know how to hike/backpack with your dog. Alicia writes trail guides that are specific to Utah and where you can hike with your dog in Utah, but also shares info on how to, in general, hike with your dog.  Check out Girl On A Hike: The Yellow Dog Project: Follow Alicia on Instagram: ________ Art Of The Trek:
August 11, 2020
Understanding Our Impact On Public Lands
When you head into the backcountry, do you consider the impact your visit has on an area? Do you make decisions on what or what not to do that will help keep an area clean? This is the discussion for this episode. Enjoy a conversation about how you can see your impact better and make decisions that follow Leave No Trace principles.  Leave No Trace: My solo trip that inspired this episode: Follow me on Instagram: (@backcountryexposure) Thank you to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring today's episode: 
August 01, 2020
Don't Believe These Backpacking Myths
As a new backpacker do you remember being told certain things that ended up not being true? That's the goal of today's discussion. To break the myth and unpack the topic to understand where it came from.  - Art Of The Trek: The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel:
June 09, 2020
Learning About Mental Health and Hiking w/ Plug It In Hikes
Benny Braden (Plug It In) joins me to share his story about recovering and living with PTS as a long distance hiker. I am very grateful for Benny being so open and willing to share his story as a hiker and professional, as I hope it helps others who might be working through mental health challenges themselves and need some motivation in their life.  Benny's Instagram: and his YouTube Channel: In the episode we talk a lot about Reboot Recovery, here is where you can learn more about Reboot Recovery: Thank you to Art Of The Trek for sponsoring today's episode. You can check out their new Buddies feature here: Want to connect with me? Shoot me an email, or message me on Instagram. @backcountryexposure or @backpackingexperiencepodcast
May 04, 2020
Becoming A Steward Of Our Public Lands w/ Darwin OnTheTrail
How are you giving back to the our public lands? That is the topic of today's episode. I originally had plans for this episode to go a little different, but as Darwin and I got into the conversation we focused on protecting public lands and becoming a steward of our public lands and wild spaces. This is a topic that I am very passionate about and appreciate Darwin sharing his perspective through the film he produced and just in general as consumers of outdoor recreation. We hope that this episode inspires you to find ways to give back to our public lands and become an advocate and steward of public lands.  Download the film, Through The Great Southwest here: Darwin's YouTube Channel: ** Check out the Outdoor Vitals Satu Pants and Dragonwool Kickstarter: ** -- Create trip plans and routes with Art Of The Trek: and find buddies to hike with in your area: -- The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel:
April 26, 2020
Backcountry BSing Reversed With The Schill Brothers!
The Schill Brothers of Schill Brothers Outdoors on YouTube join me for an unscripted conversation about life in Ohio, backpacking chairs and more. Check out their YouTube Channel: DON'T MISS THE OUTDOOR VITALS SATU PANT KICKSTARTER: This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek. See the new Buddies feature here:
April 20, 2020
Your PCT Dream Cancelled... Now What? With Luke Pearsall
A look into what it was like for Luke Pearsall to plan his 2020 PCT Thru Hike to then have it cancelled due to COVID-19. Luke shares what he's doing now, future plans and how the COVID-19 virus has affected the thru hiking community.  This episode is sponsored by Outdoor Vitals. Check out their Kickstarter for their all new Satu Adventure Pants and Dragonwool Thermal system. Check out the Kickstarter here: This episode is also sponsored by Art Of The Trek: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel:
April 14, 2020
Dan Becker Compares Backpacking To Disney World!
Is backpacking the same as Disney World? Likely not, but Dan Becker joins the conversation today to talk about what it's like to live in the midwest and travel to Utah to go backpacking. I very much enjoyed having Dan on the podcast and recommend checking out his YouTube channel! - Dan's YouTube Channel: Highline Film - Highline follows 5 hikers as they traverse a lesser known mountain range in Utah called the Uinta.  Viewers will experience the adventures and challenges along the way.  Local archaeologist Tom Flanigan adds another layer of depth to the experience by sharing stories from the past and conveying the importance of this lesser known place.  As the story progresses,  viewers begin to learn more about the hikers, and why they choose to hike for days, weeks, and even months at a time.  Stories of PTSD recovery, addiction recovery, health and family issues are heavy topics in the film. - For more information on Highline: OUTDOOR VITALS: Get your 2.5 oz nylon stretch pillow from Outdoor Vitals here:  This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek: Check out Art Of The Trek's new buddy feature here: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel:
April 05, 2020
Enjoying The Outdoors Amid A Pandemic
Please follow local and state directives on being responsible with how you choose to enjoy the outdoors. Please do not put others at unnecessary risk to get your backcountry fix.  This episode is simply focused on some basic ways you and I can still enjoy our outdoor passions while we navigate the COVID-19 situation.  Get your FREE Outdoor Vitals UL Pillow here (Just pay shipping): This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek: The Backpacking Experience podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel:
March 30, 2020
Why (Your) Kids Need Nature
This episode features an excerpt from the best selling book, Last Child In The Woods. Do you find it difficult to get your kids outside? This episode is all about why your kids need nature and some tips on how to make getting outside with your kids easier.  This episode is sponsored by Outdoor Vitals. Get their ultralight backpacking pillow for FREE! Just pay shipping! The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel: Got questions or just want to chat? Shoot me an email! or DM me on Instagram: @backpackingexperiencepodcast
March 24, 2020
Unscripted With JK Is Hiking - Camping With Kids and Training For Altitude
John Kelley who is the face of the JK is Hiking YouTube channel joins me for an informal conversation that's totally unscripted. We discuss everything from running a YouTube channel to camping with kids and training to hike in high elevations. Thanks John for hanging out and having a fun conversation! Be sure to check out JK's podcast, The Backpacking Podcast.  Check out JK is Hiking on YouTube: This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek. Check them out for a slick mapping and trip planning tool: The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel: Got questions about backpacking? Shoot me and email and let's chat!
March 16, 2020
A Backpacking Q&A - Sleeping Bags vs Quilts and Bucket List Trips
Got some questions for me to answer or want to just send a message? Use the voice message feature in Anchor to send a voice message to me for the podcast! This episode is the first Q&A of the Backpacking Experience. I take a few questions from a few listeners and backpacking YouTube friends of mine. We discuss everything from sleeping bags and quilts to bucket list type backpacking trips. Thank you to everyone that shared a question with me.  If you'd like to support the podcast beyond just listening, you can now support the podcast with a monetary donation each month. The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel: This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek: Wanna chat or got a question about gear or just backpacking in general, shoot me an email:
March 09, 2020
How To Choose The Right Tent For Backpacking
Overwhelmed when it comes to knowing what tent is the best tent for backpacking? You're not alone! Was that a good sales pitch? Ha ha! But really, this episode is all about helping you know what goes into a tent design and how to help you know better how to choose a tent for backpacking.  Email me: Follow me on Instagram: @backpackingexperiencepodcast or @backcountryexposure This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek: Here are a few links to some shelter designs in the various styles: Freestanding Tent: Semi Freestanding: Non Freestanding:
March 02, 2020
Live Ultralight with Outdoor Vitals
This episode is the first episode featuring two guests in the same interview. Tayson and Dave from Outdoor Vitals join me to talk all things backpacking and running an outdoor, direct to consumer business. Tayson who is the founder of Outdoor Vitals shares what it's like to start a business and the process of how product goes from design to being manufactured. I had a great time talking with Dave and Tayson, and really enjoy what Outdoor Vitals is doing in the backpacking market.  If you've not visited Outdoor Vitals, I definitely suggest checking them out. Have questions about the podcast or just want to chat? Send me an email, or follow me on Instagram. @backpackingexperiencepodcast or The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel. This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek. Check them out for route mapping and custom trip agendas.
February 24, 2020
Altra Running Shoes with Co-Founder Brian Beckstead
If you're not familiar with the history and story of Altra Running, then grab yourself a drink and kick back. Brian Beckstead, Co-Founder of Altra Running joins the podcast to talk about how Altra started and how it has become a giant in the footwear industry today. Brian and I have known each other for many years, and enjoyed a short trip down memory lane in this episode. We talk about his background, and his passion for fly fishing as well. Huge thank you to Brian for coming onto the podcast to share his story and the story of Altra! Follow Brian on Instagram, @ultrafishing Want to chat more about the podcast, or got questions? Email me,, or follow and message me on Instagram, @backpackingexperiencepodcast This episode is sponsored Art Of The Trek. Check them out for custom trip planning guides and more. The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel for more backpacking and outdoor content.
February 17, 2020
From Hollywood To PCT Thru Hiker with Luke Pearsall
Luke Pearsall joins the podcast to discuss how he went from working in Hollywood, building his resume in the film industry, to preparing to hike the PCT. Luke is a professional adventure photographer and shares in this episode some of his life story about how he ended up working in Hollywood, becoming an adventure guide, walking the Camino de Santiago, to now preparing to hike the PCT.  Follow Luke on Instagram: @lukepearsallphoto This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek: The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel. Follow us on Instagram: @backpackingexperiencepodcast Email me:
February 10, 2020
Backpacking Quilts and Tarps With UGQ Outdoor
UGQ Outdoor is a cottage company based in Jackson, MI. "Founded in 2011 we are a small cottage company dedicated to making some of the lightest and highest quality gear in the world. Our commitment to customer service, quality, and design has made UGQ one of the most respected brands in the ultralight community. Every piece of gear is made by our small team of highly invested individuals providing a level of attention to detail not found in other brands. Whether you need the lightest gear available or a more robust piece of gear for your next adventure you can rest assured the quality will be maintained at all price points." - UGQ About Page I had a great time talking gear with Chad from UGQ and learned a lot about how they have created many of the products they produce and the level of care and detail that goes into each piece of gear. Thank you to Chad for taking time to share the brand with everyone on a more intimate level.  UGQ Outdoor: This episode is sponsored by Art Of The Trek. Check them out for a rad mapping and trip planning tool: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel. Got questions for me or feedback on the podcast? Follow us on instagram, @backpackingexperiencepodcast or email me,
February 03, 2020
Behind The Scenes With Chris Smead - Uinta Highline Trail
For most of human history, we lived in wild places. Ten days. Five friends. One trek across Utah's Uinta Highline Trail. Watch as the ancient history of the trail is woven together with the personal history of each of the hikers as they get back in touch with the world, and each other. This is the topic of today's episode, as I sit down with Chris Smead, Producer, Cameraman, Director and straight up rad dude, to talk about the filming and hiking of the Uinta Highline Trail.  The Uinta Highline Trail is an east to west, 104 mile long trail that truly is a special place. It's also a much lesser known trail in comparison to many of the trail throughout the country. But full of rich history, amazing views, high altitude and more, it's a trail that ought to be on any hikers bucket list.  I talk with Chris through the episode to break down the "Highline" documentary film that premiered in Vernal, UT on Friday January 24, 2020. It features 5 hikers from all types of backgrounds and shares their stories and their time on the Highline trail. This film is worth your time to check out.  - Highline Film: - Outmersive Films: Got questions about the podcast or want to share some feedback? Email me: Follow the podcast on Instagram: @backpackingexperiencepodcast The Backpacking Experience is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel: Follow Backcountry Exposure on Instagram: @backcountryexposure
January 27, 2020
Making Smart Decisions In The Backcountry
What is risk management and why is it important? This is a question that may not get asked enough, but is incredibly important in all aspects of backcountry travel and adventure. This episode takes a deep dive into how to make better decisions in the backcountry, that ultimately enhance your ability to have a successful backpacking trip. I bring in my friend, Christian Paul, to help unpack this often over looked element of trip planning and decision making for backcountry travel. Christian brings a lot of outdoor experience to the table as a professional photographer and passionate outdoorsman.  As mentioned in the episode, the "When Things Don't Go As Planned" video can be seen here: Check out Christian's photography here: The Backpacking Experience podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel.  This episode is sponsored by my friends over at Art Of The Trek. Check them out for smarter backpacking trip planning:  
January 20, 2020
Custom Printed Gear With Hilltop Packs
Cottage companies in backpacking are popping up all over the place, creating amazing gear items that solve problems for backpackers in about every way you can imagine. Hilltop Packs is a new cottage backpacking company that specializes in printing photos and art directly to ultralight fabrics for bear bags, gadget bags and even custom frameless backpacks. Ben McMillen, who is also a professional photographer started Hilltop Packs in 2019 after seeking a better solution for a bag to carry camera bodies and lenses on the trail. What resulted was something bigger than he had anticipated.  Check out Hilltop Packs here: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel.
January 13, 2020
Gear Backpackers Should Ditch!
Do you really need to bring all that stuff when you go backpacking?! This episode is meant to have a discussion about certain gear items that can be changed or left behind completely that will simplify your backpacking gear and make your backpack weight more manageable. This isn't an exhaustive list of things to change or consider, but are some simple things to do that will make an immediate impact on your experience in the backcountry with your gear.  The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel! Backcountry Exposure on YouTube: Email me: Follow me on instagram: @backcountryexposure Thank you to all of you for listening and being part of this podcast adventure!
January 06, 2020
Tips To Lighten Your Backpack
It goes without saying that the lighter your backpack, the more comfortable on the trail you can be. In this episode I cover some basic tips on how you can save some weight in your backpacking system without going to the extreme. These tips don't all require money to be invested to save those pounds from your pack weight. They are things that can make a quick and simple difference in the weight, but also simplify your backpacking gear system.  The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel. Check out Backcountry Exposure and subscribe for more backpacking related content and gear reviews.
December 30, 2019
FKT Record Setting On The Sheltowee Trace With Jason Wish
Jason Wish completed his self supported, fastest known time attempt of the 333 mile Sheltowee trace trail on November 11, 2019 at 11:30am after 9 days, 6 hours and 57 minutes. FKT's are becoming more popular with hiking and I had a great time talking with Jason about his self supported attempt of the Sheltowee Trace Trail. We talk about off leash dogs, preparing for the hike, the mental game and everything in between. It truly is amazing what Jason was able to accomplish given the injuries and physical pain he was dealing with through this hike.  For more information on Fastest Known Times, visit: Be sure to watch Jason's trail vlogs on his youtube channel: - Sheltowee Trace FKT Part 1: - Sheltowee Trace FKT Part 2: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube Channel. Subscribe to see more backpacking and outdoor content: Some of the gear items that Jason and I discuss in this episode: - Zpacks Duplex: - Garmin InReach Mini: - LiteAF Curve 35 Pack:
December 23, 2019
Confused?! Trip Planning, Water, and Sleeping Pads
For this episode I take the entire conversation to address questions and comments I asked on the community tab of my YouTube channel, Backcountry Exposure. I asked about things that have been confusing for you about backpacking. The responses were well thought out, and made for a great discussion about how to find locations to go backpacking, how to find people to go with, and also finding water sources. Then we discuss r values of sleeping pads and sleeping bag temperature ratings.  Backcountry Exposure on YouTube: Sleeping Pad Comparison: Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings Explained: Contact me: @backcountryexposure on Instragram or
December 16, 2019
You're New To Thru Hiking... with Jeremiah Stringer
Long distance hiking or thru hiking isn't for everyone, or at least isn't the choice of experience for every backpacker. But in this episode I spend time with Jeremiah Stringer who is fairly new to backpacking, just over a year in fact, and talk about his experience doing his first long distance hike. We cover preparation for a long distance trail, the Vermont Long Trail and more.  Jeremiah runs a youtube channel called, Jeremiah Stringer Hikes and his channel can be found here: Guthook App: This episode is supported by Backcountry Exposure. Check out Backcountry Exposure on YouTube:
December 10, 2019
Seeking Type 2 Fun In Backpacking
Backpacking isn't always this flowery, amazing experience that we often see an illusion of on social media. Waking up to beautiful scenes, and posed images surrounded by inspiring landscapes. Often, backpacking more often than not involves feeling worn out, pain, and mental fatigue. Making us question whether being out there was a good choice or not. But very often these moments of feeling like giving up, and exhaustion result in the best memories on trail we have.  Type 2 Fun is a state that I have found myself seeking. It's a state of mind that I never really enjoy at the moment, but the backpacking trips that involve type 2 fun, tend to be the trips I remember the most about and have the fondest memories of. As these trips have typically come with the greatest rewards.  Video trip reports of the trips discussed in this episode: Sand Creek: Olympic National Park: The Beehive Traverse: The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by the Backcountry Exposure YouTube channel. Visit and subscribe for more video content about backpacking. If you'd like to contact us with feedback, episode ideas, or to just talk backpacking, shoot us an email:
December 01, 2019
Welcome to The Backpacking Experience Podcast. Backpacking is our passion and the experiences we have out in the backcountry can be some of the best, or potentially the worst experiences we have.  This podcast is focused on sharing these experiences, how outdoor adventures can happen for everyone, and discussions around the gear that helps facilitate having a quality time in the outdoors.  You'll find personal trip reports, gear reviews, outdoor education, and interviews with fellow hikers here, so be sure to subscribe, rate and share The Backpacking Experience with all your outdoor and backpacking friends.  The Backpacking Experience Podcast is supported by Backcountry Exposure. Visit Backcountry Exposure on YouTube for additional backpacking and outdoor content.
November 28, 2019