The Real Hiking Viking


The Real Hiking Viking is one-half viking, one-half thrill-seeker, and two-thirds beard. You do the math. Follow the trails and tales of this bearded warrior.

Having through hiked the entire 2,185.9 mile (but who’s counting) Appalachian Trail in 2013 with fellow combat veterans from all four services, for 2014 we’ve targeted the 3,100-mile continental divide trail – across the backbone of North America from Mexico to Canada. I’m leading a 6 month expedition from the deserts of New Mexico to the remote Canadian wilderness. Follow me on my journey.

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26 thoughts on “The Real Hiking Viking

  1. Let me know when you plan on being on the trails in or near PA in the Spring or fall of 2015. I’ll have to link up with ya for a week or two. I better start getting back in shape now.

    Joshua S. Gardner
    SGT U.S Army
    Nov 06 – March 13
    OIF, OND
    Lewisburg/Winfield/Shamokin Dam,PA

    • I use a couple different ones. I always carry my phone. It’s a Samsung Galaxy S4. Sometimes I use that for convenience of posting while on the move. But then I alternate between using my Fujifilm XT-1 and my Fujifilm XP200. I only carry one or the other. It depends where I’m walking and how fast I’m trying to move.

  2. This is Andy and Claire. We met you at BM and we just wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration to us! You have made us totally rethink about our life and what happiness is.

    Thank you my friend.

    Please stay in touch with us! We’d love to see you again at the next Burn!

    Andrew Benke and Claire Murphy- Sydney Australia

    • Guys so sorry for the lack of response. I have been neglecting my website a lot lately. Looking to get back on a routine of posting here. So great to meet you two. If I remember correctly you have me the little Aussie dog trinket? If I’m wrong I’m so sorry. I’ve met so many awesome people including loads of you from Australia. Much love to you two. I so hope to see you again. Give me a follow on Facebook and Instagram as I am much more keen about keeping up with people on those platforms. Take care!!

  3. So I have a question for you. I’m looking at switching from boots to the Altra shoes. I’m guessing the shoes aren’t waterproof so if it’s raining or you get them wet do you just deal with it until you make camp that night? Thanks for inspiring a lot of us!!! And I look forward to trying to catch up with you whenever you’re in the Shenandoah Valley.

    • I definitely just suck it up when it comes to wet feet. The shoes dry faster than a bulky or waterproof boot. They do make a waterproof shoe called the Lone Peak NeoShell, it’s worth checking out. But for summer months I definitely roll without any waterproof protection. Thanks for the question. Keep in touch.

      • I think I remember seeing people using something like Gators that cover the entire shoe and go around the sides rather than just the ankle to keep the pebbles out. That would be my first pick. But in any event. I trek with rubbing alcohol for towel baths and spray it in my shoes so if they don’t dry by morning they, at least, stop stinking. I think it works better at killing the smells than anything else.

  4. Hey bud, just discovered you on Instagram. You are accomplishing some amazing things! Keep it up.

    Just going through and reading your blog posts right now. Gonna take some time, but so far I am really enjoying the read.

    I hope you stay safe out on the trail. With the Holiday Season on us, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  5. Let me know when you are close to Asheville, NC on your trip south and a couple of us here from the “5th” Service (Coast Guard) will join you for some miles! Good Luck Brother…’re an inspiration.

  6. Definitely inspiring what you are doing sir. I was also deployed in support of OIF in 2007-2008 with USMC. Where were you stationed? Would be vrazy if we had run into each other without knowing it!

    Sgt Alex Miner
    USMC 2004-2012

  7. Absolutely love what you do.!!!
    I’ve got a warm meal and a cold brew waiting on you once you reach the smokies ….. thread lightly… see you in the woods (my reference to the AT)

  8. Thank you so much for all the posts on your different sites. I’m not one to follow someone, but you do inspire. I’m a 46 year old former Marine and I want to grow up to be just like you. Lol Semper Fi my friend. And if you are in the Dallas area you have a place to crash.

  9. We didn’t believe it but it happened. The local and hiker community came together and saved us. Your presence at that peculiar time is truly Trail Magic. We can’t fully express our gratitude. Good luck on your endeavors.
    Pat and Vickey Kelly The Doyle Hotel

  10. Hey brother. It has been pretty sweet to follow your journey on the AT. I backpack the Smoky Mtns often. If you wanna let me know when you will be hitting the Smokies, I could meet you on the trail. I’d even take you into Gatlinburg for some trail magic….aka…. good beer at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. Their pizza is pretty awesome as well.
    Happy Trails dude… Happy Hiking!

  11. Hey man,
    I love what you do, I follow you on instagram and Facebook. I just want to know how you got started in all of this. Do you do this as your job. Any pointers for someone that wants to thru hike the AT?

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