Podcast Episode August 10, 2019

Episode 15 | Andrew Marshall on the Tahoe Rim Trail




When Backpacking Light Gear Editor and Podcast Producer Andrew Marshall set out on a fast thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail, he knew he’d be contending with Sierra snow pack that was several hundred percent above average. The story of that trip – trail conditions, lessons learned, and gear tested – is the subject of this BPL TRIP SHORT.

After a brief introduction, Ryan and Andrew spend some time discussing the Tahoe Rim Trail and conditions in the Eastern Sierra. Among other things, the guys talk about Andrew’s route finding, food strategies, training, and how to walk on sun cups (hint – meditate).

In the second half of the pod Ryan and Andrew talk about the gear – what Andrew loved, what he didn’t, and what he wished he’d left behind. They wrap it up with a lament on the state of footwear in the ultra-light world.


Feedback, Questions, Tips?


  • Backpacking Light – Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan – Director and Host
  • Andrew Marshall – Producer, Host, and Editor
  • Look for Me in the Mountains – Music

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Home Forums Episode 15 | Andrew Marshall on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #3605518
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 15 | Andrew Marshall on the Tahoe Rim Trail

    Ryan interviews Andrew Marshall about his recent thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail. They talk about snow, gear, training, and more.

    James Marco
    BPL Member


    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Thanks, guys! Generally, a nice trip report of a snowy year. Sounds like Andrew had a nice trip, overall.

    How were the bugs?

    As you said, the durability of the UberLight is still in question. In summer weather (no snow,) I can see where the light weight becomes a major advantage. But, in most cases, going below 40F without some sort of supplement is not going to be warm enough for most, and, durability is still a real concern. This means you have to carry some sort of CCF pad as well, both for supplementing warmth and increasing durability. For summer use, fine, but for spring/fall…??

    Diane Pinkers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Washington

    Andrew, you mentioned you started out the trail with 2 Liters of water–was that all you carried?  I’m headed there in 2 weeks, and I’m trying to gauge what my longest water carry may be, and how much to allow for.

    Bryan Bihlmaier
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wasatch Mountains

    I too share the frustration with low durability, “disposable” trail shoes. Here’s a post I started about Hoka shoes in particular: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/hoka-trail-shoe-durability-delamination-issues/

    Doug Coe
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    I’m sure this is covered elsewhere on the WWWeb, but I’m under the impression you are in sight of human-made stuff (buildings, roads, etc) more on this trail than on other popular wilderness trails (eg JMT).

    Am I wrong? Does this trail provide a good wilderness experience (comparable to most of the Sierra)?



    We have unanswered questions here…..anybody home????

    How were the bugs?

    For summer use, fine, but for spring/fall…??

    Andrew, you mentioned you started out the trail with 2 Liters of water–was that all you carried?

    Am I wrong? Does this trail provide a good wilderness experience (comparable to most of the Sierra)?




    Dena Kelley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eagle River, Alaska

    When you guys got into the discussion on the Altras and durability, I was all ears. I feel similarly- the soles of my Altra Lone Peaks wear out ridiculously fast. I tend to wear the outside edge of my shoe tread first, which compounds the issue because as the tread wears I start having an unnatural angle to my foot strike. It makes me feel more prone to ankle injury.

    I recently purchased a set of Merrell Moab Ventilators and so far I like them. I got the wide width, which is shockingly wide (makes my Altras feel narrow), and while I would never call them a minimalist shoe nor are they zero drop, they are quite lightweight. I’m testing the soles out (Vibram) and if I get better life out of them I may start using them instead.

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