Podcast Episode November 1, 2019

Episode 19 | Jeff Garmire on the Long Trail FKT




Today’s guest is Jeff Garmire (trail name Legend). In the summer of 2019 Jeff achieved the fastest known time on Vermont’s iconic Long Trail, clocking all 272 miles in five days, twenty- three hours, and forty-eight minutes. Prior to that he set unsupported and over-all FKT on the Arizona Trail, completed the Great Western Loop, and completed a Calendar Year Triple crown, among other accomplishments.

When he isn’t hiking, Jeff is a public speaker and hiking coach / mentor. He also just released a book called “Free Outside: A Trek Against Time and Distance,” which chronicles his Calendar Year Triple Crown.

Ryan and Andrew talk to Jeff about the nuts and bolts of his Long Trail FKT before transitioning into a conversation about mental health, relationships, and the philosophy of speed records.


  • The Long Trail FKT
    • Features of the Long Trail (terrain and tread)
    • Managing expectations and disappointment
    • Treating each day as its own effort
    • Hiking without sleep
    • Mantras as a way to stay present during hard pushes
    • Jason Fitpatrick’s film Unsupported
    • Recovery
    • Training
    • Food
    • Water
    • Gear
    • Efficiency
    • Gear access
    • Foot care and foot problems
    • Hygiene
    • Sleep and mile management
    • Mental challenges (time of day)
  • FKT – Philosophy and Motivation
    • Pre-announcement, electronic tracking, post-announcement (trip report)
    • The FKT Community
    • Jeff’s Calendar Year Triple Crown and other adventures
    • How long distance hiking affects Jeff’s relational life
    • Family support
    • FKT backlash and how Jeff responds
    • Why attempt an FKT – mental reward
    • Transferable lessons
    • “The antidote for depression is action”
    • Long distance hiking and mental health
    • Jeff’s plans for the future
      • He wants to attempt the Barkley Marathons, which has only been completed 18 times by 15 runners.


Feedback, Questions, Tips?


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

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Home Forums Episode 19 | Jeff Garmire on the Long Trail FKT

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #3616806
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 19 | Jeff Garmire on the Long Trail FKT

    In the summer of 2019, Jeff Garmire achieved the fastest known time on Vermont’s iconic Long Trail, clocking all 272 miles in five days, twenty- three hours, and forty-eight minutes. Here’s the interview.

    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern Indiana

    Excellent interview, but I do wish Jeff would have gone into the gear he carried a little more.

    The hallucinations sound like fun. And yes, extreme physical exertion is a great way the deal with depression, I’ve been doing it for years. Did I understand Jeff right when he said that he treated water on the AZT with just 1 drop of bleach? Is that for 1 liter?

    James Marco
    BPL Member


    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Agree on the gear, otherwise a good interview.

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