Out and Back

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Shanty and Mary are joined by hiker, guidebook author, and licensed therapist Scott Turner. Turner has written guide books to five national parks and well as his home of San Diego County, CA. He shares insight on how to get the most out of a one-day visit to a national park, including insider tips for beating the crowds, secret ways to get off the beaten path, and the best times of year to go.

In addition to his national park tips, Turner does the first "Out and Back" podcast pack shakedown, running through everything he brings in his pack, and talks about everything you should bring to have fun and stay safe on a day hike, including the “10 essentials” you need to survive an unplanned night outside and when to bring them.

Show Notes

You can learn more about Turner and find his guidebooks on his website. Follow Turner’s adventures on Instagram, and connect with him on Facebook.

Remember, podcast listeners can get UP TO 50% OFF ON A GAIA GPS MEMBERSHIP!

Episode Highlights
3:20: Scott has written hundreds of trail descriptions.
3:45: Scott’s upbringing planted the seeds for his hiking and writing passions.
5:50: How a book sitting on his girlfriend’s shelf inspired him to learn how to hike safely.
8:00: Scott starts exploring the diverse landscapes of San Diego county.
12:00: Scott starts writing for LA-based Modern Hiker in 2014. He’s written 300 articles since.
13:30: Scott revises Afoot and Afield, which entailed hiking all 250 hikes, plus another 250 hikes.
15:30: How to write a trail description.
19:00: Scott works with Mountaineers Books to write pocket-sized guidebooks to national parks.
20:40: Scott’s guidebooks contain itineraries for people visiting national parks for one to several days.
21:25: How to get the most out of your one-day visit to a national park. (Prep and planning are key!)
22:10: Why to get to the park early.
22:50: Pick an area within the park, and hike to the best spots in that area.
23:15: Scott’s one-day itinerary for Sequoia National Park.
24:30: Scott’s one-day itinerary for Kings Canyon National Park.
27:00: The benefits of an interpretive hike, and why stopping in the visitor’s center is worthwhile.
28:00: Scott’s favorite hike in Zion National Park.
30:00: Scott’s tips on how to enjoy Joshua Tree National Park.
33:25: Why Scott starts hiking really early. 
35:00: Scott’s books contain the deep cuts, less busy trails that you may have never heard of.
36:35: Scott shakes down his pack, laying out everything he brings on a day hike.
38:30: Why Scott avoids wearing cotton.
39:25: Scott’s favorite snack to take hiking.
40:15: Why Scott almost always prefers trail running shoes to hiking boots.
41:25: The “10 essentials” you need to survive an unplanned night outside.
42:45: Scott’s books also contain activities for people who don’t hike.
43:53: Scott shares an insider secret about where to hike in the fall.
45:00: Scott is enduring a record fire season in California. 
46:25: Scott divulges his next guidebook.
48:10: How hiking helps Scott at his day job as a marriage and family therapist. 
50:30: Scott’s favorite national park.
51:10: Scott’s favorite place to go hiking that isn’t a national park.
53:00: Scott and Shanty break down the best Pop-Tarts flavor for hiking.

What is Out and Back?

In the Out and Back Podcast presented by Gaia GPS, thru-hiker Andrew “Shanty” Baldwin, professional guide/outdoorswoman Mary "Hiker Midnight" Cochenour, and professional athlete Abby Levene dive deep into conversation with long-distance hikers, record-breaking athletes, offroad travelers who sold everything to live full-time on the dusty backroads, and other awesome guests who have mastered their backcountry craft.

In every show, Shanty, Mary, and Abby tap into each backcountry expert’s superpower so you can take their experience and knowledge with you on your next adventure.