Winter has definitely arrived here in the northeast U.S. today with blowing snow and a high temperature of around -15 C. While I enjoy a winter hike (or ski) on the IAT/SIA, some of you may prefer to just watch a hike from the comfort of your home. If you do, we have some suggestions to get you started.
First up is Becky “Girl Outdoors” from Surrey, GB. Becky has videos of several hikes on her YouTube channel but our favorite is the series chronicling her 17-day trek on the section of the IAT in Scotland that is much better known as the Cape Wrath Trail. Becky’s love of Scotland and its rugged landscape come through in her exuberant narration. She also shares many of the trials and tribulations of a long-distance trek, such as being tormented by midges, occasionally losing the trail, and long days hiking in the rain. At the end of each day, Becky helpfully goes over her day’s hike on a map, which will be a wonderful aid to anyone planning to do this hike.
The next hiker videos we’ve enjoyed are Matt “Masochist” Hengst’s, a prodigious hiker from California who started a 5000-mile “Eastern Continental Trail” hike in Key West Florida in December 2021. Matt reached the beginning of the IAT/SIA in Maine on September 9th which is where we started watching his YouTube channel. Despite his occasional, self-described, grumpy demeanor (he really didn’t like hiking waist deep through a beaver flowage), Matt provides many entertaining insights into the mind of the long-distance hiker. His ability to find comfortable and scenic stealth camping spots and good Nacho platters in Maine, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia was impressive. Matt ended his hike at Meat Cove, NS on October 28th.
Our final hiker/videographer is James “Jupiter” Hoher. His JupiterHikes YouTube channel contains hundreds of videos of his many treks throughout the US. Jupiter hiked the IAT southbound from Cap Gaspé QC back in 2016 as part of a longer Eastern Continental Trail journey. While he only has three videos describing his IAT hike, they are delightful to watch. His utter enjoyment of the wildness of the IAT/SIA is refreshing to see, especially to those of us who helped build the trail. Finally, Jupiter offers sage advice to anyone contemplating a hike on the IAT/SIA: Be nice to everyone you meet along the trail so they’ll be nice to those who follow you! A good maxim to live by.