Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 May

Dear Mark: Hiking Around the World

hikeToday’s edition of Dear Mark is different than most. Instead of doing a roundup of questions, I’m focusing on a single email from a reader who’s hiking around the world in three years and needs a few bits of advice. Of course, this particular reader’s question contains four separate questions, so it’s kind of like a roundup. First is my opinion on the ideal macronutrient ratio – if such a thing exists – for an 18,000 mile hike lasting three years. Second is my opinion on a “fast and feast” cycle for the duration. Third is my take on the place of noodles and rice on a three year hiking trip. Fourth, I offer one final piece of advice.

Let’s go:

Dear Mark,

I depart in summer for a 3 year, 18,000 mile continuous hike around the Earth, via Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. As part of the prep/training I have been paleo for over a year (loving it). Diet and training have been mostly PB standard, and I’ve kept paleo on week long training hikes.

Given the excessive kit I need to carry (up to 50lb) I’ll be chewing through 5000cal daily, and require a sustainable and shop-able diet. Not wanting to down a pint of grease every day, what sort of carbs/protein should I be aiming for? I assumed not more than 300g protein (to avoid ammonia build up and associated thirst) perhaps 200g carbs, leaving over 330g fat (still nearly a pint!)

So, the questions:

1 – Is a 20:30:50 CPF ratio sensible? or would you recommend a different ratio?
2 – What is your opinion on a continuous “fast and feast” cycle (eg 6:1 days) (fast in this case being 2000 to 3000 cal)?
3 – Should/could I include some easy lightweight carbs such as noodles or rice?
4 – Have you any other suggestions in any regard?

Thank you for your time, it is appreciated as is the MDA site.

Gus

P.S.

I had thought that a weekly schedule of 20 miles for 5 days, 30 miles for 1 day, then rest for a day at a food stop for a serious binge. This approach seems logical to me, especially as I usually throw in a Tim Ferriss style binge once every few weeks. I know to expect to take what I can get on the road, and have done training-fasts (0cal + 10km) up to 5 days.

Fortunately, the traditional nomadic diet of the Kazakhs is mostly horse fat and fermented mares’ milk is still prevalent, though some areas I pass, such as northern India, are mostly vegetarian.

I will be using body-centred load pack (Aarn bodypacks) and minimalist boots (Russell moccasins) to keep as natural a gait as possible.

I appreciate that any suggestions/recommendations you give are taken at my risk.

Thanks again.

First of all, I’m jealous! What you’re doing is precisely what I’d like to do if I was younger with fewer responsibilities. You’re going to have an incredible, life-altering time and come out a better, changed man for it. Now, for the questions:

One.

20 miles a day with 50 pounds on your body is going to be rough.

Take a look at Table III from this paper (PDF), which details the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) of subjects doing loaded marches. The RER is a rough approximation of the type of fuel being burned by the body. An RER of 0.7 means almost pure fat-burning, while an RER of 1 and above means almost pure carb-burning. By looking at the RER in response to marching with different loads up different grades, we can get an idea of what type of fuel you’ll be burning on your trip.

RER of people carrying 25.2% of their body weight was 0.87 (0% grade, flat ground), 0.89 (5% grade), 0.94 (10% grade).

RER of people carrying 32.7% of their body weight was 0.9 (0% grade), 0.92 (5% grade), 0.99 (10% grade).

RER of people carrying 38.4% of their body weight was 0.91 (0% grade), 0.91 (5% grade), 0.96 (10% grade).

RER of people carrying nothing at all – so just walking along a flat surface – was 0.85. That’s a roughly even mix of fats and carbs.

Generally, the higher the load and/or the steeper the grade, the higher the RER and the greater the reliance on carbohydrates. This should come as no surprise, as increasing the weight you’re carrying and walking up a steeper grade while doing it increases the work being done and shifts it toward the anaerobic pathway.

As the heart rate increases, your RER and reliance on carbohydrates will increase, so you can use that as a barometer.

You mentioned carrying 50 pounds, which for a 180 pound human would be about 28% of bodyweight. If you’re about 180 pounds, your RER should be around 0.88 on flat, 0.9 on a slight uphill, and 0.95 on a steeper grade. I imagine most of your hiking will on relatively flat ground, though, which based on an 0.88 RER has you burning about 60% carbs, 40% fat.

There are a few caveats:

The subjects in these studies were not fat-adapted. If you are fat-adapted – and being paleo for over a year, you likely are – you’re going to be able to perform the same work at a lower RER, simply because you’ve trained your body to access fat for energy more efficiently. That 0.88 RER I tentatively quoted you above might drop a few points if you’re good at burning fat, so you’ll need fewer carbs. 

The studies were short, with some of the marches lasting just 30 minutes. You plan to march 20 miles a day, which will take a lot longer than 30 minutes. Depending on how quickly you complete those 20 miles, you may or may not be going more slowly than the 3.5 miles/hour pace they used in the study. If you go more slowly, your RER will be lower. If you keep up the pace, your RER will be higher. Take that into account when determining optimal macronutrient intake.

I’d say 50/30/20 F/P/C is a good start. I’d recommend swapping protein for carbs, as that’s a pretty hefty load of protein, some of which may be getting broken down into amino acids for energy or converted into glucose. Meat can get expensive on the road, so you might want to cut out the gluconeogenesis middleman, save some money, and do 30 carb, 20 protein breakdown instead. Don’t be afraid to adjust upwards or downward based on your results and performance.

Be flexible with macronutrients. If you’ve been Primal for awhile, you should be able to shift between fat burning and carb burning with relative ease.

Two.

What do you want out of it? Are you trying to lose weight? That will happen regardless; you’re walking around the world while carrying a heavy pack! Are you trying to stave off some neurodegenerative disease? The novelty of experiencing a hundred different cultures, languages, cuisines, and climates will be mental stimulation enough, I’d wager.

If a fast “just happens,” so be it. But if you’re putting in 20 mile days consistently with a pack on your back, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. You’ll probably be fine with it, mind you. I just don’t see the point.

Three.

I can’t support wheat noodles as a staple, but rice and noodles made from rice are fairly free of anti-nutrients, aren’t going to kill you, and they may provide a valuable source of easily accessed starch that you find valuable on your journey. Plus, outright resistance to them for paleo reasons might stand in the way of you and a great meal somewhere, or offend someone who’s just being hospitable.

If you’re still wary of rice, check out my post on the subject. Long story short: it’s one of the better grains. Short on micronutrients, but a good pure fuel source.

Four.

Remember the 80/20 principle. It was made for those times when you’re offered buuz, a traditional Mongolian steamed mutton (wheat) dumpling, in a new friend’s home, or when you’re enjoying bratwurst in Munich and a tray of mugs filled with a lovely dark doppelbock (and gluten-containing barley) comes around, or when you get the chance to try fried tarantula but you don’t know what kind of oil they used. I’m not saying you should cheat all the time – and most of the time, you’ll be able to indulge in the local cuisine without going too far off plan – but don’t let pursuit of the perfect get in the way of your experience.

Above all, have a great trip! Be sure to tell us all about it!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Wow! That sounds amazing, Gus. Best of luck and wishes to you on your journey. I’ve often been curious of the macronutrient requirements for long hikes. In a situation like that where your survival might depend on the type of food you pack, I’d personally lean more toward high fat foods since they are the most calorically dense…leaving you more room to carry water and other supplies. Pemmican might be worth looking into. Again, our prayers are with you for a safe and enjoyable trip. Please send updates!

    Jacob wrote on May 13th, 2013
  2. “but don’t let pursuit of the perfect get in the way of your experience”, this little gem goes for everyone I think.

    MattyT wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Agreed. This is something I struggle with due to my career background (Purchasing analyst where all the numbers have to match down to the last cent) and my personal OCD habits.

      Jacob wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • +1

      lockard wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Not everyone. Some of us really cant have wheat and don’t feel well after eating something cooked in vegetable oil. We try not to let this get in the way of having a good time, but not getting sick is the first priority.

      sleepy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  3. That’s really inspiring to hear that it’s even possible to trek around the world! I never even realised this was possible so thank you for bringing this to my radar. I can imagine food really will be a strong challenge along the way. Good luck Gus in your trek and hope to hear about it along the way.

    Sophie Cussen wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • I think one would need to get on a ferry or a ship now and then since all the land masses of the earth are pretty much surrounded by water. Still a very inspiring undertaking. I too am envious.

      Shary wrote on May 13th, 2013
  4. Wow! I’m absolutely amazed and incredibly jealous! Any chance you will be blogging along the way? I would love to hear more about your experience.

    I’m someone who loves to explore and dreams of seeing the whole world. You’re taking that dream to a whole new level! Hats off to you man. Good luck!

    luke wrote on May 13th, 2013
  5. More power to you. You clearly have a large set O’Nads!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Having travelled the world, I’d think some of the scariest places to trek through would be the USA!

      Nocona wrote on May 13th, 2013
  6. Soooo envious…would love to do this one day. This was a very helpful and timely post for me, as I just signed up for a 7 day, 167 mile, self-supported ultra and have been trying to figure out what kind of food to carry. Fortunately, they provide water (both hot and cold), and I can take advantage of the many and varied dehydrated food options out there. There are tons of calorie-dense and gluten-free varieties designed for multi-day hikes, so you might want to check those out as well. I’m also planning on bringing a lot of that turkey jerky that Mark had the recipe to a few weeks back. Good luck to you!!

    Smileyprimal wrote on May 13th, 2013
  7. Wow. Good luck on this epic expedition. From my days backpacking around the world -by bus,train etc, I’d say it is more trouble than its worth to try and eat a super clean paleo diet while travelling around the world. Food is to be enjoyed and you are going to places that you may never go to again. To top it off, you are going to be a calorie furnace and I am sure everything you eat is going to come off and then some. I ate like a horse doing the Inca trail in Peru and still managed to lose 10 pounds in 4-5 days.

    Given you are going to be hiking ALL of your journey, its going to be even harder to find clean paleo foods all the time. If I was in your shoes I would be thinkin to of course prioritze good clean foods but I would be resigned to eating anything and everything. I mean, it might be slim pickings walking across siberia and mongolia.

    Much respect if you pull it off but keep your pride/ego in check and always remember to stay safe and come back in one piece.

    BigD wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • A big +1.

      Nocona wrote on May 13th, 2013
  8. My sister has thru-hiked the pacific crest trail and is currently on the continental divide. She had ultralight gear, but what with food and drink it runs up, and she only weighs about 125 lbs, so she was probably carrying over 25% of her body weight at any given time. She still averaged over 20 miles/day through the sierras, less obviously on snow/ice, with a few days in lesser terrain up around 30 mi. So it’s doable.

    Rebekka wrote on May 13th, 2013
  9. I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. 30 mile days were not a hardship unless I did more than 2 in a row. 20 mile days were like rest days. I was 43 and 44 and female when I did it and used ultralight gear.

    You’ll probably toss a lot of your gear as you’ll find you need a lot less stuff than you thought you did. Plus you can always purchase what you need as you go since things are often way cheaper in other countries than in the US. You’ll be able to endure weather better than you normally do, too, since you will be moving all the time.

    As for food, you’ll find that your body tells you what to do pretty much. You are going to be VERY hungry. Eat plenty of protein. I did not eat enough on my PCT hike and that was a huge mistake. I ended up getting weaker as time went on. If you can get quality fats, do so. I think poor-quality fats and simple carbohydrates combined with the lack of protein is what pushed me over the edge as far as metabolic syndrome-type symptoms and health.

    Hiking something like the PCT offers the luxury of being able to prepare food in advance and mail it to yourself. Next time I would dehydrate tons of sweet potatoes and use them as a main source of carbs. Even so, I’d probably eat oats and rice and probably lots of instant hummus were I to do it again. I doubt I could resist the allure of pancake sandwiches and ice cream in town.

    Diane wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Check out Carrot Quinn’s blog, she’s currently through hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and compiling a book on the journey. She is a wonderful writer, very entertaining and honest. She is generally Paleo but taking some liberties while hiking.

      http://carrotquinn.wordpress.com/

      Bayrider wrote on May 13th, 2013
  10. Good heavens! What a trip! All these folks doing these super-primal challenges have inspired me. Maybe not to walk around the world or to live like a cavewoman for 100 days, but I’m going to have to do something cool just to push my own safe little envelope a little. Have a great trip and do update us! We really want to hear from you!

    Rhonda the Red wrote on May 13th, 2013
  11. SO. Lucky. No life more congruent with Primal, that’s for sure.

    Frank wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Just a quibble: primal is a pretty nebulous concept already. I’m not sure circumnavigating the globe on foot is entirely there. We certainly traveled, but it’s almost always within a geographic area. Traveling outside of a region where the food supply is unknown is something that would be done only if forced and not very often. At least, in my own mind’s eye. ;)

      Amy wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • Amy, are you being a stickler again? LOL!

        Nocona wrote on May 13th, 2013
        • LOL – That never happens to me. ;)

          Amy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  12. This is kinda ridiculous don’t we think? Is this guy really going to plan his meals while riding the back of a camel through the desert? Hes going to eat whatever he can get his hands on. He’s not going to say “Oh sorry sir I can’t have your NAAN bread because it doesn’t fit into my macros or paleo lifestyle” Hes going to be burning so many calories from not only the physical work but also the mental as well. Just eat dude, try and avoid shit and enjoy it. I doubt eating some bread along the way is going to shorten your life or deter fat loss.

    Ray wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Quite the ambitious trip! I hike but I also I take elevators one floor because man invented it. I’d go with the Jim Rogers approach and drive a motorcycle around the world. (Phaedrus! Phaedrus!). If it were possible I’d fly: Balerion, a griffin, or Falcor- in that order. Nevertheless, at least you will not have to worry much about abrupt time zone difference.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Hiking the globe does suggest to me also that the biggest worry is the next meal, not the contents of it.

      Sorta wondering what the point of the 50lb pack is, actually. Seems like you’d be better off with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy approach: bring a towel and see if you can borrow the rest on the way. ;) I’d go for a small ruck sack with: a bottle of water, towel!, Swiss army knife/flint, smartphone, a few plastic bags, and a lot of money. :) The rest can be bought along the way, including just throwing away clothes as they get too wretched to wash.

      Alas, though, I’m not the type of person that’s inspired by large, grand adventures like these. I’m not charmed by the thought of being tired, hungry and alone in a place where I don’t speak the language, am not familiar with the food, or the flora or fauna. Hazard of middle age and homebody type personality, I think. ;)

      Amy wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • +1 I’m glad I’m not the only homebody out there!

        Laura wrote on May 13th, 2013
        • Ladies, I’d call that “being a stick in the mud”.

          Nocona wrote on May 13th, 2013
        • Nah, not a stick in the mud – I’m usually just a pain in the rear. ;) Thankfully, meaningful experiences and a full life do not require global hike treks. Besides, I think lots of people’s definition of fun would not include walking alone through in jungles/deserts/et all for 3 years.

          Amy wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • He probably wouldn’t necessarily need that much in his pack at all times but when you’re hiking around the world there’s not really a set trail with markers that’s populated. He’ll probably be going through a lot of terrain with absolutely nothing around. And I’m not sure if he’s including food/water in the pack calculation but water is 8 lb/gal so it’s very heavy.

        Kevin wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • I’d add a good camping hammock and some rain gear.

        jj wrote on May 14th, 2013
  13. Neat article and great goal. Mark is a seemingly endless fountain of health information for sure. I’m going to break from the mold and note that I am not at all jealous, not something I’d want to do, but super respect for anyone who would take that on, hike the Appalachian Trail etc. Speaking of fasting, QUESTION FOR ANYONE KIND ENOUGH TO RESPOND, been on an intermittent fasting schedule for one week now (Leangains, 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating window, doing three meals). Seem to be kind of fatigued, eating very healthy, sleeping the same amount, exercising the same. I assume it will take a while for my body to adjust to IF and the fatigue will diminish / disappear after a while?

    George wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • mark did some posts on fasting, and there are some details on forums – the main thing is that fasting is not for everyone. maybe once in a while, but regular fasting might not be best for your body. my rule is, if I don’t feel good, something needs changing.
      good luck!

      HopelessDreamer wrote on May 13th, 2013
      • Yep, read every one of his posts on the subject, and he noted the 16/8 IF schedule is something that could be sustained pretty much indefinitely. I don’t want to give up after one week, and it’s not debilitating or anything like that … but yeah … your advice is sound and duly noted, thanks so much.

        George wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Yeah, it took three or four months to adapt. Then, I started really concentrating on “am I hungry”? I would just have a big meal if I felt like it, and sometimes I go 24 or 36 hours and I don’t even notice. Depends what activities I’m involved in. I can say that if I was hiking miles and miles every day, I’d have a backpack half filled with pate, foie gras, bacon, whatever local delicacy I could find, etc etc and just gourmet myself around the world.

      Eating wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Ive been doing a leagains type fast for about a year. Usually eat my first meal at 1230pm, 2nd at 4pm, last about 830-9pm.
      You’re body, if not already, is maybe becoming fat adapted. I took to it without issue but my Girlfriend took a couple of weeks to adapt but after she then would only eat 2 meals a day. Prior to that she couldnt go more than 3 hours without getting pissy because of not eating. It easy to both of us now.
      So give it time, everyone’s different.

      greggrok wrote on May 14th, 2013
      • How’s the leaning-out part going? Are you doing the heavy lifting, too?

        Darcie wrote on May 14th, 2013
  14. SO jealous! Good luck to you and let us know how it turns out!

    Susie wrote on May 13th, 2013
  15. Those RERs are going to be for people eating a high-carb, Modern American Diet, not for a fat-adapted athlete.

    I would take them with a hefty grain of salt, as their are plenty of examples from history of people doing big hikes with minimal or no carb intake…

    Start with Vihalmu Steffenson, “My Life With The Esimo”:

    “…so we travelled day and night, making about fifty miles before stopping, which is a long march when one is freighting a heavy load… At the end of the fifty miles neither ourselves nor our dogs wer in reality tired out, but still we had to stop, for more than one of use had become so sleepy that it was literally impossible to keep awake.”

    Tuck wrote on May 13th, 2013
  16. Such an informative article and an inspiring goal! Safe and adventure-filled travels to Gus :)

    Sierra wrote on May 13th, 2013
  17. Just out of sheer curiosity I wonder how old Gus is?

    René wrote on May 13th, 2013
  18. And jealousy rears its ugly head….

    Would also like to see if Gus will be blogging along the way so we can Grok vicariously through him.

    Chris wrote on May 13th, 2013
  19. Totally jealous.

    Have a great time. :)

    Onge wrote on May 13th, 2013
  20. I have to ask how many long distant hikes (over 30 days) the above hiker has under his belt? Not to sound negative, because the trip really sounds unique – but you need to do two things:

    1. REDUCE YOUR PACK WEIGHT! Very few long-distant hikers have packs that weigh this much! Get the best titanium products out there and slash your weight to the core. Your tent and stove should weigh less than 4 lbs. combined. You should hike with preferably 25 – 35 lbs at the most.

    2. Yes, on the AT it is easy to do 20 mile days. 30 miles daily is stretching it. You would have a far better chance if you adjust this weekly mileage to:

    1 10 mile day
    5 20 mile days
    1 zero

    Because what you have planned for are days in good weather where you have good terrain. There are going to be a LOT of days where it is raining/super windy or straight uphill or extremely rocky terrain. You will be lucky to make 10 miles on those days.

    Best of luck.

    Kathryn wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Ability varies.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 14th, 2013
  21. For some interesting information and imploration about how hostorical long marches were conducted, look into Roman marches.
    I was told that the Roman soldiers were given snack balls, similar to Sesame Snacks, which were composed of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, honey, and opium. They were ruled to be allowed to eat two a day when they ran out of food.

    Animanarchy wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • But if the commanders tried to send out the legions without their fish sauce, they’d have a revolt on their hands! Fermented fish sauce was considered absolutely required. I think that’s awesome.

      Maximum speed of a legion on forced-march was 33 miles a day. But that was on a nice even Roman road.

      Sheila wrote on May 28th, 2013
  22. I am planning a summer hike from where I live currently in Winnipeg to Toronto. The entire walk is roughly 2000 kilometers and I hope it to take anywhere from two to three months.

    I am not planning as taking as much as you are… basically I only want a maximum of 20 lbs and that to be is even pushing it. I only want a few essentials and that is it. Once I get to Toronto I am an open book, I have no current plan.

    As for the people who say it is dangerous, you will get lonely and be on a emotional rollarcoaster: 1) You are probably boring if you say that; 2) You experience the same range of emotions if you are on an adventure or not; and 3) Better than sitting on your ass watching TV.

    Josh wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • *grin* My best discussions are also with strawmen.

      I am totally boring, but that doesn’t negate the element of risk associated with long, lonely walks “just cause”. Winnepeg to Toronto is relatively sane and safe as you’ll be familiar with the terrain/weather and the food and speak the language. The original questioner/writer has ramped that risk up several notches by embarking on a long, lonely walk in places where he doesn’t know the language, the terrain is unknown, and the food will be unfamiliar. He’s added many complications to the ordinary risks of the outdoors. (Risks I am willing to take by the way – we go camping, hiking etc.)

      And just because it’s not watching TV doesn’t make it a real awesome idea. I think of all sorts of activities that aren’t watching TV that aren’t good ideas. Seriously, if the best comparison you can come up with is against watching TV, I’d be questioning the reasoning behind it, too. I’ve known people who have successfully (and joyfully) hiked the whole Appalachian trail and I don’t recall any need, not even once, mention how much better it was than watching TV at home.

      Amy wrote on May 13th, 2013
  23. You might want to have a look at http://www.theworldjog.com for ideas.
    Tony Mangan is jogging around the world. He started in Dublin in 2010 and is just crossing Australia now. in other words – three years to get halfway(-ish).
    There are obvious differences – for instance he uses support drivers where possible – but I would think the logistics would be similar.
    He uses a jogging stroller to carry supplies in areas where the roads are suitable and support is not so easy to arrange.

    Peter wrote on May 13th, 2013
  24. Good luck on your journey. I have to agree with Mark I am also jealous.

    Mark wrote on May 13th, 2013
  25. From the trips my boyfriend and I have done:

    #1 Invest in a dehydrator and dehydrate everything you can get your hands on. Fruit, veggies, meat, fish. Loads of nutrients in a lighter package!

    #2 Binges after putting in that many miles usually ends up with you wanting to die. After our ~120 mile kayaking trip we ate out at this place with super huge portions–we were all sick the next day on our flights from it.

    #3 If you feel confident in your identification skills, invest in some literature (scan to pdfs to read electronically if you have to) on local edibles you might run across.

    #4 Pick up some fresh ingredients (even if it’s just onions) occasionally, you’ll think you’re eating the best tasting food in the whole world!

    Sounds like a cool trip, although I’d rather kayak the globe than hike it!

    Charlayna wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Also, butter will be your new best friend. ;)

      Charlayna wrote on May 13th, 2013
    • Yesterday I was walking along a stream where someone told me a huge fish was sighted and I found two fresh asparagus shoots. Maybe they were rooted from the other side of the fence.
      I rested and ate one. It was very refreshing. Then I leisurely sprinted along the bumpy grassy bank a small distance to continue my hunt. There was no more food to see so I sprinted back. A group of adolescents watched and started asking me questions.
      My answers: I’m an asparagus eater!
      I eat like a caveman… meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, olive oil. And I eat eggs too.
      Sometimes I drink juice and I like beer and whine.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 14th, 2013
  26. What an awesome way to see the world, meet new people and experience life!

    You’ll probably end up eating whatever is available locally, and that’s part of the adventure.

    Peter wrote on May 14th, 2013
  27. Gus, do you have a blog that you’ll be updating during your journey?

    Bryan wrote on May 14th, 2013
  28. Do you have a route mapped out? I would like to see how you plan to avoid the places the US gov is currently bombing or that are pretty upset that it is happening.

    Joshua wrote on May 14th, 2013
  29. 20 miles a day with 50 pounds on your back for three years is crazy. Use a mule like Kunst.

    Gordon Manke wrote on May 14th, 2013
    • Get a goat to carry your stuff when you get there. It will follow you like a lost puppy and eat anything along the way so you won’t have to feed it.

      Kevin wrote on May 14th, 2013
  30. Gus, have you looked into UL and SUL backpacking methods? This is how I got my baseweight down to 5.5lbs. An advantage I have over other backpackers as well is the fact that I’m not afraid of fat and it happens to be the best weight to calorie ratio food along with the slow burning benefits. Happy Trails!

    Junto wrote on May 14th, 2013
  31. Hi Mark,
    Amazing! My significant other John has done extreme hiking trips and is fascinated with Gus’ quest to hike around the world. Is Gus interested in any company during any of the legs? If yes can we have his contact info? To show John is for real, he did rim to rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon 2 years ago – 72 miles in 43 hours.

    BTW, although John has never been overweight, he’s a lot leaner since I’ve been primal…because of course that means he is too by default!
    thanks for all you do for us,
    Diane

    Diane wrote on May 18th, 2013
  32. Hi folks, thanks for all the positivity and advice in these comments, sorry for my belated reply.

    Jacob, Tuck, Charlayna,
    Pemmican and dehydrated foods are great but seldom available. I’m happy that I could make some jerky if I had a day off after hitting a town for ingredients, but from my experience I seldom spend more than a couple of hours in one place. Good job I like salami, chorizo – and butter ;) Living off the land is a nice idea, but the calorie density, time, risk and environmental concerns mostly write it off. I will have an emergency fishing kit but only plan on deploying this when I am in serious need, I know I can cover at least 100 miles on 0 cal.

    Sophie Cussen, Shary, Peter, Joshua,
    The route is Europe-Kazakhstan-Karahoram highway-Pakistan-India-Thailand then a flight to Australia, another to NZ, another to the USA and another to Europe to finish. For a Guinness World Record it is required that I walk 18,000 miles, reach one pair of opposite points (Wellington NZ and Madrid Spain) and cross the equator twice. Taking a plane is allowed for the oceans, but any other transport is subject to many technicalities – basically not allowed. I’ve checked over the walking and running attempts past and present and proposed to Guinness the record for “on foot” to consolidate walking and running attempts. The past records will always stand, but were set at different (often shorter) distances than the currently required 18,000mi.

    Luke, Susie, Chris, Bryan,
    I will be blogging and offering many other forms of interaction along the way, the tech guys are working on the site, I’ll announce it in the forum when it’s launched, or fire me an e-mail (see end)

    Diane, Amy, Kevin, Kathryn, Gordon Manke, Junto,
    Equipment is a balance between weight and durability, most UL and definitely most SUL kit is not going to last. A lot of my weight is electrics, which is necessary to document the event, and I’ve made sure that is all the lightest, most efficient, yet also resilient and modular available. My total “skin-out” kit is 30lb (10lb winter clothing and boots, 5lb electrical, 15lb everything else) I regularly run 100+ mile trails with 5-10lb packs so I know about SUL kit, and the freedom it affords, but I also know its limitations in terms of comfort, durability and adaptability. The other 20lb? Food. Some areas are very sparse so I have to make sure I’ve got enough room and capability to cover them.

    Jj,
    I will be using a Hennessy Hammock for any tree covered areas, specifically the UL Backpacker Asym, probably my favourite piece of kit. I also have custom tailored Ventile clothing for all weather, Ventile is a WW2 invention, waterproof, perfectly breathable, strong and durable, in a way no modern synthetic is able to match.

    René,
    I’m 27, old enough to have learnt from a few mistakes, young enough to still be making them.

    Kathryn,
    My belt already has quite a few miles under it, but every day on trail is a school day. Your 110 mile weeks, while definitely more comfortable, would see me finish in over 3 years, which is not my challenge. (See 3 above about weight)

    Diane (2),
    Keeping company will definitely be hard, but keeping my sanity definitely harder. My plan in this regard is to designate rendezvous where appropriate for legs of the journey. I know from experience, organising a trip for a group can be more than problematic, and I won’t have the capabilities. So I will simply be publicising the date, place, and an expected schedule, then see what happens. The American leg is so far away I cannot be specific about when I will arrive, the seasons obviously effecting the route, but as I’ll be starting that leg in CA I hope have a warm welcome ;)

    Everyone, thanks for taking the time to reply with wishes, words, wisdom and web-links, it really is appreciated. If anyone has any questions, advice or links for me feel free to mail me gus@guscannon.com . Also if you would like letting know when the full blog/map etc is ready just mail me that request. Thanks again.

    Gus Cannon wrote on May 21st, 2013

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