Episode 64 | BPL Author Spotlight: Contributor Drew Smith
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In this episode, Andrew chats with Backpacking Light Staff contributor Drew Smith.
If you are a reader of the website, you may know Drew from his lovely stories about desert backpacking, or perhaps you’ve been reading his ongoing series about freeze-drying. If you haven’t read Drew’s work, make sure you check out the resources section (below) where we’ll have links to the articles we talk about in this interview.
Drew Smith grew up in Tuscon and Southern California and dabbled in long-distance hiking in his early twenties before picking it back up again later in life. He’s got a lot of interesting things to say about deserts, gear, food, and how to craft a hiking story, Enjoy!
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- 00:02:10 – Drew’s relationship to the PCT
- 00:05:08 – how Drew chooses his hikes
- 00:06:00 – why Drew wrote about his latest section of the PCT
- 00:08:15 – the apocalyptic trail conditions on the PCT in 2021
- 00:10:47 – piecing a story together / writing process
- 00:12:50 – developing themes in a story
- 00:16:35 – why did Drew start writing?
- 00:18:10 – avoiding the hero’s journey
- 00:20:00 – Drew’s desert island non-fiction adventure story
- 00:21:53 – connection to the desert
- 00:24:08 – tips to level up desert hiking
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- 00:26:38 – the philosophy of tarp camping
- 00:29:34 – ponchos vs. rain jackets
- 00:34:15 – stoves
- 00:36:15 – ukuleles and instruments
- 00:37:20 – freeze-drying
- 00:42:26 – the economics of freeze-drying
- 00:43:17 – how Drew ended up being a member of Backpacking Light
- 00:44:41 – why does Drew write for Backpacking Light?
- 00:45:40 – the mountains are still the mountains
Articles by Drew Smith mentioned in the episode:
- MYTHing the PCT in a Time of Change
- Trouble Behind
- Searching for the Light
- Blood Moon on the Border
- Out of the Mojave and Into the Twilight Zone: Hiking the Desert Trail
- Why is it Hard to Freeze-Dry Liquids?
- The Backpacking Poncho: An Ultralight Alternative to Rain Jackets
Other things we talked about:
- Colin Fletcher‘s book The Thousand-Mile Summer
- Carrot Quinn‘s book Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart
- Drew’s poncho tarp