Photo by Trevor Pyke
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My Trail Story featuring Crunchmaster

Trevor Pyke, a.k.a. Crunchmaster, shares how he's come to love thru-hiking and what he learned hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and parts of the Continental Divide Trail.

Natalie McMillan      My Trail Story       02/21/2019
Natalie McMillan
My Trail Story
02/21/2019

What was your trail name?

Crunchmaster

How did you get your trail name?

I got my trail name on the Appalachian Trail because I was sponsored by “Crunchmaster Crackers”. I had a friend that was a salesman for the company and they wanted to get their brand out there! They would ship me boxes of crackers and I would hand them out to other hikers.

What trail(s) did you hike?

I have hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail twice, and about half of the Continental Divide Trail.

When did you hike?

I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015 and 2018, and the Continental Divide Trail sections in 2016-2017.

How old are you?

I am 24 years old.

A hiker standing on the side of a mountain in the snow.
Photo by Trevor Pyke
A hiker in the snow with a beanie and sunglasses on.
Photo by Trevor Pyke

What was your favorite food on the trail?

My go to food has always been fritos, summer sausage, and cheese.

What advice would you give to someone who has never done a thru-hike before?

My advice to first time thru hikers would be to never give up on a bad day. There will be days where you’re soaking wet, freezing, and feeling like you can’t go on any more. Wait until you’ve gotten to town, had a nice hot shower, and a really nice meal before making any big decisions about your hike. And most importantly, just enjoy yourself!

What does thru-hiking mean to you?

After finishing the Appalachian Trail in 2013 I knew I had become addicted. Since then, thru hiking has become my therapy and I don’t know where I would be without it. I am always the happiest when I’m on the trail.

Would you do another thru-hike? If yes, which trail is next?

Yes! I have many more trips planned for the future. I will be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for a third time in 2019, and in 2020 I will be attempting the Great Western Loop.

What was the easiest/hardest part about your thru-hike?

Honestly, there really isn’t anything easy about hiking thousands of miles. But one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with is the heat. I always struggle in the desert sections!

What do you miss the most?

The thing I miss the most is the freedom. You don’t have any of the stress that can haunt you in the real world. The only worries are where your next water is and what food you will eat when you get to town.

A beautiful view of a sunset over a snow covered mountain with a lake.
Photo by Trevor Pyke

What was your favorite feature in our app?

My favorite thing about Guthook Guides is the elevation profile. I love looking at what the trail will be like for the day! The GPS feature has also saved me from getting lost numerous times, especially on the Continental Divide Trail.

What was the one thing you had to have with you while you hiked?

My battery pack, so that I could keep my phone charged and document my trips.

A man standing over a trail with his backpack on.
Photo by Trevor Pyke

Why did you decide to go on a thru-hike in the first place?

My grandpa hiked the whole Appalachian Trail over a 12 year period and I was able to join him for about 500 miles. When he finished I knew I wanted to do the entire trail in one trip.

Did you hike solo or with other people?

I usually start out solo, but then end up meeting up with others early on in the hike.

What part of the trail was your most/least favorite?

My favorite sections of trail have been the Sierras, Northern Washington, Glacier National Park, and Maine. My least favorite parts have been pretty much all of New Mexico, the Mojave section, and New York.

How many pairs of shoes did you go through?

I typically go through 2-3 pairs of shoes on each thru hike.

Was there a highlight of your hike?

Having a big grizzly bear come through camp on my first night in Glacier National Park. And seeing 14 bears in one day in Shenandoah National Park.

What was the scariest part of your hike?

Getting stalked by a mountain lion while night hiking in Central Oregon.

Did you ever reach a point where you wanted to quit? How did you stay motivated to finish?

Many times. This is a normal feeling for anyone attempting such a big hike. Whenever I felt close to quitting I would make a phone call home to family and then get to town and get a hotel room. After taking a day off I have always been ready to keep going.

A hiker hiking up a snow covered mountain holding trekking poles.
Photo by Trevor Pyke

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Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is an epic journey of over 2650 miles (4260 km) and is one of the most popular thru-hiking trails in the United States. Its path travels from the US-Mexico border to the northern US-Canada border, passing through California, Oregon, and Washington.

2650 miles
$29.99 full guide
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About the Author
A woman wearing a baseball cap and American flag tank top stands in front of a beautiful view.

Natalie McMillan

Natalie grew up hiking in Arizona where she fell in love with the outdoors. Her favorite hikes are to Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon and Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, UT. She loves taking pictures of people and places and nature, which might explain why she has almost 23,000 photos currently residing on her phone. She takes care of all things social media/marketing-related and might be seen frolicking around Flagstaff taking photos of the Arizona Trail.