Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson

National Geographic Adventurer of the year, Heather Anderson—known as Anish on trails—became the second female to complete the “Double Triple Crown of Backpacking” in 2017. In 2018 she simultaneously became the first female Triple Triple Crowner and the first female Calendar Year Triple Crowner when she hiked all three long trails in one March-November season. Heather holds the overall self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Pacific Crest Trail (2013)–hiking it in 60 days, 17 hours, 12 min, which broke the previous men’s record by four days and established the first female record. She also holds the female self-supported FKT on the Appalachian Trail (2015) in a time of 54 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes, and the Arizona Trail (2016) which she completed in 19 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes. Heather has hiked over 30,000 miles since 2003 including 14 thru-hikes. She is also an ultra-marathon runner and has completed six 100 mile races since August 2011 as well as dozens of 50k and 50 mile events. When not on an adventure Heather speaks regularly about her adventures and the lessons learned on trail. She is the author of Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home (chronicling her Pacific Crest Trail record). A second book is due out in early 2021.

Tips for Adventuring in the Dark

I love autumn. The crisp air and beautiful colors. The mellow angle of sunlight. No longer running in clothes drenched in sweat from humidity season. The thing I don’t like? The waning daylight.

Don’t Do as I Did

Gear is tough. What works for one person may not work for another and the best way to determine your individual gear set-up will always involve trial and error. However, I can tell you the things I brought that absolutely shouldn’t be on anyone’s gear list.

Backpacking Safety and Awareness

Backpacking in and of itself is a fairly safe hobby. You can of course make it more “epic” by certain choices you make. Being out on trails is generally safer than the streets of a major city. This is by far not a comprehensive guide to safety in the outdoors. It should, however, get you thinking and researching which will help you be more prepared for the next time you head out!

My First Night Alone in the Backcountry

I’d slept in the backcountry before. Exactly three weeks prior. This night was different for several reasons. The first being that I was completely alone. Even though I was camped in a designated spot in a very popular National Park, there was no one else there. The second was that I’d nearly succumbed to heatstroke just hours before.

How to Transition from Hiking to Trail Running

The reason so many thru-hikers think they can run a marathon right after hiking 2,000 miles is because of a very straightforward logic: running and walking use the same muscles and cardiovascular system. As a thru-hiker, ultrarunner, and personal trainer I have some insight into this transition from hiking to running (and vice versa) and how to do so without injury.