Talk: The Joys of Backpacking as a Couple

In Step 1What happens when a middle-aged couple with no previous backpacking experience, decides to put both themselves and their fourteen-year marriage to the test and spend six months hiking the 2,175-mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in one continuous hike? Will their motto of “Quitting is not an option” be a blessing or a curse? Will the trials of living in the wilderness bring them closer together or become a recipe for marital disaster?

In this presentation, we relive our 2006 thru-hike from the perspective of a married couple and what it was like to spend six months together completing a long-distance hike. We openly, honestly, and oftentimes humorously, talk about what it was like to confront our personal weaknesses and how we learned to capitalize on each other’s strengths in order to reach Mt. Katahdin.


In Step 2Through the use of photos from our odyssey, we provide insight into the unique challenges and rewards of hiking as a couple and offer tips on how to physically and relationally survive being together and hiking in step 24/7.

From food choices, to safety, to staying healthy, to who would lead, and even how to divide up pack weight, we provide options for those anticipating such an adventure and describe which techniques worked for us. If you have ever dreamed of doing a long-distance hike with a spouse or significant other, you will not want to hear this interesting and informative presentation.

If you would like to attend one of our upcoming presentations, look for them on our Calendar and Contact us for more details.

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“Sooner or later we all find someone we want to spend our lives with, and it's natural to want to share what we're passionate about and introduce our loved ones to the outdoors. There is an art and science to that…No two people see and describe the same experience in the same way, so there is tremendous power and insight in Randy and Georgia's delivery; each observation, anecdote and helpful tip complementing that of the partner, creating a whole that is more than the sum of its parts…presentation style is perfectly fitted to their message, aptly demonstrating the give-and-take and personal independence united in the experience of each day on the trail, on the journey to their common goal…a thought-provoking presentation, and not only for couples walking the trail…their insights work just as well along the day-to-day trail of life.” Mark Nelson - Outreach Specialist, REI Bailey's Crossroads

“I have been fortunate enough to attend Randy and Georgia’s, “The Joys of Backpacking as a Couple” presentation…extremely helpful and entertaining…offered numerous practical tips that I will be able to apply in real life situations…both are very engaging speakers…I could have listened for hours about their experiences on the trail. Would I hear them speak again? Absolutely!” Kristen Klauk – REI Customer