Podcast Episode March 27, 2019

Podcast 009 | The Sun is a Compass


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Summary

In this episode, we talk to Alaskan writer, biologist, and adventurer Caroline Van Hemert. Caroline is an ornithologist who, along with her husband Pat, undertook a 4,000-mile human-powered journey from Bellingham Washington to Kotzebue, a small town high above the arctic circle.

Caroline’s written a book about her journey, The Sun is a Compass. The book weaves together a lot of threads: the path Caroline’s life took to get to the start of her journey, her relationship with her husband, her life as a scientist, her feelings about motherhood: it’s a great read.

Our interview covers all that and more. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our conversation with Caroline Van Hemert.

Outline

  • Andrew introduces the subject of their interview: Caroline Van Hemert.
  • Andrew tries to digest the scope of Caroline’s journey.
  • Where Caroline grew up and how she found herself on long adventures.
  • A German word for “restless need to migrate”.
    • Finding parallels between birds and humans
  • Trip logistics.
  • What was Caroline most worried about, and did those fears pan out?
  • The challenges of trip planning, even with modern tools.
  • Advice for planning similar routes.
    • Lean on local contacts!
  • What makes an elegant route?
  • Breaking down the different modes of human-powered transportation.
    • Rowing, skiing, hiking, packrafting, and canoeing.
    • Which of these things did Caroline enjoy the most?
  • Caroline recommends training strategies for trips with a variety of physical demands.
  • What was her low point, and how did she overcome it?
    • Arctic biting insects
    • Peeing in a food dish
  • Cooking methods.
  • Indispensable gear.
  • Sacrificing gear for weight considerations.
  • Conflict, outdoor partnerships, and risk management.
    • The pros and cons of adventuring with a romantic partner
    • Listening to intuitions vs. pushing forward
  • The perils of missing out on life events
    • The gifts that the wilderness gives us.
  • Career decisions
  • Motherhood and adventuring
    • Advice for parents
  • The writing process
    • Advice for adventure writers

Follow Caroline on Facebook and Instagram.  You can find her book wherever books are sold – learn more about The Sun is a Compass on Caroline’s website.

Feedback, Questions, Tips?

Credits

  • Backpacking Light – Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan – Director and Host
  • Andrew Marshall – Producer, Writer, Host, and Editor
  • Special Thanks — Caroline Van Hemert
  • Look for Me in the Mountains – Music

Support the Podcast

  • This episode of the Backpacking Light Podcast is supported by Backpacking Light membership fees. Please consider becoming a member which helps support projects like this podcast, in addition to a whole slew of other benefits!
  • In addition, some of the links on this page may be affiliate links that refer to our partner merchant retailers. If you follow a link and then make a purchase, we receive a small commission which goes a long way towards helping us pay for podcast production, hosting, and bandwidth fees! Thanks for supporting us in this way!

Contact

You can contact us at [email protected], or follow us on social media –

Disclosure

  • We do not accept money or in-kind compensation for guaranteed media coverage: Backpacking Light does not accept compensation or donated product in exchange for guaranteed media placement or product review coverage.
  • Affiliate links: Some (but not all) of the links in this review may be “affiliate” links, which means if you click on a link to one of our affiliate partners (usually a retailer site), and subsequently make a purchase with that retailer, we receive a small commission. This helps us fund our editorial projects, podcasts, instructional webinars, and more, and we appreciate it a lot! Thank you for supporting Backpacking Light!
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Home Forums Podcast 009 | The Sun is a Compass

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  • #3585810
    Backpacking Light
    Admin

    @backpackinglight

    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Podcast 009 | The Sun is a Compass

    In this episode, we talk to Alaskan writer, biologist, and adventurer Caroline Van Hemert. Caroline is an ornithologist who, along with her husband Pat, undertook a 4,000-mile human-powered journey from Bellingham Washington to Kotzebue, a small town high above the arctic circle.

    #3585913
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Thanks, guys!

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