The Following: Life On-Trail

Introducing our favorite 2018 Thru Hikers.

Every year we’re inundated (and frankly honored) with hundreds of requests for supporting someone’s dream thru hike. Unfortunately, it’s simply impossible to hook up everyone with gear, but there are always a few stand-outs that grab our attention for any number of reasons. This year is no different, and we’ve got folks using our Windrider and Southwest packs on every major (and not-so-major) trail this summer. If you’re reading this and currently on-trail somewhere, drop us a line (contact@hyperlitemountaingear.com). We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re like us – and you are to some degree – living the trail life vicariously through social media updates, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite trail characters to keep an eye on this summer.

Josh “Cheesebeard” Tippett // @cheesebeardhikes

Cheesebeard is a Triple Triple Crowner (The three-trails-in-three-years phenomenon) and has already put our gear through the paces on the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail. For 2018, he is headed out with his good friend and hiking partner Oil Can (more on him below) to develop a roughly 300-mile traverse around the Yellowstone ecosystem (more on that later). His images and words are wise beyond his years and filled with incredible moments in the backcountry.


Eddie “Oil Can” Boyd // @oc_boyd

At 21 years old and already with 6,000+ miles under his hat (a bucket, in case you were wondering), Oil Can will be joining Cheesebeard in Yellowstone this summer. He is also a Triple Triple Crowner, and the youngest to ever do so – according to whatever statistics people look at for that sort of thing.


Bethany “Fidgit” Hughes // @_herodyssey_

Bethany has been an ambassador of ours for nearly three years now. She’s currently back on trail in Peru making her way to Alaska as part of Her Odyssey, the multi-year project she started with her hiking partner Lauren “Neon” Reed. Their mission is to “travel the length of the Americas by non-motorized means connecting stories of the land and its inhabitants.”


Liz “Handstand” Kidder // @lizkidder

Despite having activities like aerial acrobatics and skydiving under her belt, you’d never be able to tell Liz had never backpacked a day in her life before leaving for her NOBO AT thru hike earlier this year. Since her sobriety in 2014, Liz has been on a mission to live life to the fullest and challenge herself through new activities while raising awareness for substance abuse and addiction. In the running for coolest ink (see also IBTAT) and hair on trail this year, you can catch updates on her personal YouTube Channel here and on Instagram: @lizkidder.

Samuel Martin // @spmartin_

Samuel has been using our gear for a few years now, and he’s been planning his 2018 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike for just as long. His minimalistic approach to hiking and photography are what initially peaked our interest, and we’re beyond excited to be along for his journey.


Sarah “Sniffles” Legg // @sarah_ann_gracee

Sarah and her dog Ziggy are North Carolina natives headed north to wherever they make it along the 2,190mi AT. Following an MCL injury last year and preparing for graduation from UNCC later this year, Sarah has tackled a lot of unique challenges during her hike. But growing up nearby, she’s just happy to be out rediscovering the things that sparked her love of hiking to begin with. Follow her and her four-legged companion as they get their feet (and paws) muddy on this “dang rocky, slippery, hilly, rainy, dirt highway,” and check them out on Instagram: @sarah_ann_gracee.

Tommy “Twerk” Corey // @twerkinthedirt

Twerk is a character with a unique eye for photography and life on the trail. His 2017 Pacific Crest Trail trip was cut short, but he was hooked and will be embarking on the hike again this year – this time all the way to Canada.


Jeff “IBTAT” Oliver // @savedbymtns

If you’re interested in 100% unfiltered, raw AT updates, you’re probably already following IBTAT’s thru hike on YouTube. Since giving alcohol the middle finger in 2013, Jeff has been out to prove he can do anything – and do it sober. After his first experience hiking in the Montana wilderness, he’s been determined to complete the 2,190mi north from Georgia to Maine, and already has 1000mi down. Recognized by his ink, long ginger beard, and a patch on his 3400 Windrider that reads, “ADVENTUROUS AS F#%K”, you can also follow Jeff on Instagram: @savedbymtns.

Ryan Nethery // @ryan.nethery

Ryan has been a customer for years, and a huge fan of our brand. So after deciding to take a hiatus from his occupation as a freelance videographer with Vice Media, he reached out to let us know that he was finally doing it. Hitting the Pacific Crest Trail and documenting the entire trip. Saying we’re excited to see his take on the trail, is an understatement.