You’ve definitely seen the Hiking Guy, Chris Hazzard by his day-to-day name, taking that path over and over again so that everyone will know about the greatest hikes.
His hiking guides, posted on HikingGuy.com are for everyone because, just as Chris points out, his detailed instructions will help even beginner hikers. You also get tips, tricks, and reviews, but now let’s find out more about what set Chris on this path.
So I’m not going to ask you what your story is. But I will ask you: what do you think people who are interested in you would be most fascinated to hear first?
I’ll answer from real-life experience. People are always surprised when they hear that the website (Hiking Guy) is not my full-time job. I actually have a “job-job” and family, and the website is a hobby.
I started it to share hiking directions with friends, and then friends passed the site onto friends, and it just took off from there.
It’s probably safe to assume you weren’t born ready for this. What’s the single most important piece of advice you got that put you on the right path to success?
Learn primitive skills. Learning how to live in harmony with the land will give you the confidence to really embrace and feel comfortable in the outdoors.
How do you normally go about your trips? Do you prefer traveling alone, with one other person, or as an adventuring party?
Since I’m documenting my hikes for my online guides, I always go alone. First I do a lot of research, then I’ll do the hike 2-4 times to get familiar with it if I’m not already, and then I’ll do the hike with my cameras and document it for my website guide.
What’s the most common thought you go to for motivation when you’re feeling particularly down during a difficult trail, workout, or sports session?
When I’m outside hiking or exercising, I’m always loving it.
Traveling, hiking, adventuring – it’s something anyone can do. I’ve seen thoroughly equipped hikers going up trails at the same pace as grandmas wearing slippers. What do you think is the correct amount of equipment for a trail?
I think you need to take enough equipment to at least spend the night if something goes wrong. That doesn’t have to mean a lot of gear. You can have a minimal kit and some survival skills and be fine.
Since we’ve mentioned grandmas wearing slippers: what do you often see travelers do on your trips that really grinds your gears?
I always wince when I see folks unprepared. They’re usually in sneakers carrying a single 12oz bottle of water. In this day and age, it’s easy enough to find information on how to do a hike correctly. When people skip any prep or get lazy, they potentially not only put their lives in danger but also that of any rescue worker or volunteer.
First time you went on an adventure: how did it feel then, how do you look back at it now, and what’s a particular thing you remember?
I’ve been adventuring since I was a little kid, so it’s hard to pinpoint a specific trip. But all of my adventures have a common thread, which is the excitement of exploring, of seeing new things and being connected with the earth. Even on a trail I’ve done dozens of times, there are always new things to experience.
If you could place down a small cabin anywhere in the world, where would you like to settle down for a vacation home away from home?
There are a lot of incredibly beautiful places to choose from. I live in Southern California now, so maybe to mix it up and get a big change of venue, I’d say the Swiss Alps. There’s breathtaking scenery, well-marked trails, and a culture of the outdoors.
Top three outdoors activities you’ve practiced – Go!
1. Map & Compass Navigation
2. Primitive Skills (like starting a fire with a bow-drill)
Now for the end: what’s the next challenge on your list and how are you preparing for it? Mentally and physically.
I’d like to do “Rim-to-Rim” in the Grand Canyon this year for the website. A lot of the prep work for me involves the time and permits. After that, it’s just getting the miles in so that my legs are ready.
Hone Your Skills and Get Hiking!
Also, if there’s any question you might want to ask these outdoors heroes, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments!