Tips for hiking the Continental Divide Trail, or CDT

Tips for hiking the Continental Divide Trail, or CDT


Thousands and thousands of individuals canceled their journey plans in 2021 as Covid-19 halted worldwide journeys all over the world.

Renee Miller and Tim Beissinger weren’t amongst them.

The pair are “thru-hikers,” a time period which describes a method of mountaineering that begins and ends elsewhere, whereas usually overlaying lengthy distances.

Slightly than staying at residence, the American couple noticed the pandemic as a possibility to embark on a 3,149-mile hike alongside the Continental Divide Path, which stretches throughout the US between the borders of Mexico and Canada.

TikTok well-known

Beissinger and Miller arrive in Canada following a four-month hike that started on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller

The couple gained reputation on TikTok as followers tuned in to see the scenic views of the CDT and to watch their progress.

“We did not must do any work to indicate how lovely it was,” stated Beissinger.

The couple stated they obtained messages from individuals who stated they have been impressed to start out mountaineering — some for the very first time.

Beissinger stated one man instructed them he was impressed to start out mountaineering for well being causes.

“He misplaced 42 kilos,” stated Beissinger, including that lengthy distance mountaineering would not require prior expertise. “You simply have to have the need and the eagerness.”

Mountaineering ideas

From packing lists to recipes, the couple’s social media pages and on-line weblog include preparation ideas for mountaineering the CDT.

To make sure they’d an sufficient provide of meals, Miller and Beissinger dehydrated 100 home made dinners and mailed them out to the assorted cities they deliberate to cross on their hike.

“It is very nice to have a wholesome home made meal on the finish of every single day,” stated Miller, who stated these meals normally contained a mixture of carbohydrates, greens, beans and flavorings.

Miller and Beissinger shared 15 totally different recipes, similar to coconut cashew curry and taco pasta on their weblog, with directions on the best way to dehydrate and cook dinner the meals.

Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller

The couple reused disposable water bottles all through their hike since they weigh lower than aluminum bottles.

Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller

When crossing a desert, Beissinger recounted how they began working out of water after a spring they have been utilizing went dry.

“After going backwards 11 miles and actually rationing our water and being thirsty, we discovered a pleasant full cow pot,” he stated, referring to a water trough. “Cow water by no means tasted so good.”

Bumps alongside the way in which

Miller and Beissinger’s journey on the CDT could sound like the proper escape from the lockdowns many skilled in 2021. However their journey got here with many challenges, they stated.

Speedy adjustments in climate usually meant touring via rain for hours at a time.

Harsh climate situations have been a norm in the course of the couple’s hike from Mexico to Canada.

Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller

“We had our rain coats, rain pants and rain gloves even, however we all the time had moist ft,” Miller recalled. “I had a blister on each single toe on the underside of my foot.”

The pair every went via 5 pairs of sneakers within the four-month interval, she stated.

The tools that was introduced to make sure they stayed heat and dry all through the hike “may have been a matter of life and loss of life when the climate modified,” Beissinger added.

Miller and Beissinger encountered animals from bears to mountain goats on their four-month hike.

Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller

Touring in the course of the pandemic additionally meant that when the couple left the path to enterprise into cities, drivers have been extra cautious about giving them rides.

“Usually the path is up within the mountains,” stated Beissinger. “We normally hitchhike to a city … vehicles have been perhaps extra nervous about stopping and choosing us up.”

The couple did not all the time have entry to showers both. At one level alongside the path, they went 23 days with out bathing.

No regrets

Regardless of placing their careers on maintain and experiencing unexpected challenges throughout their hike on the CDT, there was “by no means a time I thought of quitting,” stated Miller.

“The will to get residence to a mattress additionally means tasks of not being on a path and being away from that magnificence,” stated Beissinger.

He stated his favourite factors of the hike have been when the couple discovered themselves “in the course of nowhere.”

The mountaineering duo are at the moment north of the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden experiencing the “polar night time,” a phenomenon the place the solar would not rise for weeks and even months at a time, relying on the placement.



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