In the vein of Discovery Channel’s Walking the Nile, National Geographic’s Extreme Tourist and BBC2’s Long Way Down, this series looks at the culture and experience of walking long distance hiking trails from end to end, or ‘Thru-hiking’. Carrying everything we need on our backs we set out to explore a variety of wild places around the world, from the Overland track in Australia to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, the Kungsleden in Sweden and the mighty Appalachian trail in America. As we hike, climb, camp and hike some more, you'll get to experience all the challenges and rewards of each unique adventure, from logistics and planning to the blisters, weather and life in camp. Along the way there are plenty of amazing views, physical and psychological challenges, moments of personal reflection, connections with local culture, and the deep camaraderie between hikers.
"What makes a thru-hike great is that an ordinary person can, with much effort, finish it and feel like Superman."
- Appalachian Trail hiker
Sometimes we’ll be all alone, isolated and far from civilization in epic surroundings. Other times we’ll stay in towns, cities and tourist parks along the way. Fellow hikers will have a chat and share a meal, share a laugh and play games by the light of head-lamps well into the night. Or sometimes it will be a quick, trail-side chat, delving into their lives and exploring their reasons for walking the trail. We’ll learn about local culture and history, talk to residents along the trail about the social and economic impact of hikers coming through. We’ll see how hard or easy the track is to walk and navigate, how well it’s maintained, and what unique challenges they offer.
We’ll climb mountains, swim in lakes, see animals in the wild and witness the impact from humans. We’ll spend cold nights in wet tents, or snuggle up to open fires and sleep under a billion stars. We’ll be elated and inspired, exhausted and drained, managing blisters from wet boots and sore backs from lugging packs, day after day after day. We’ll trudge through snow, wade in rivers, stride across open fields and toil up endless hills, breath not just taken away by the climb, but the view. Along the way there will be drama and frustration, pain and fear, laughter and wonder, moments of doubt... but we do it all focused on that ultimate goal: making it to the end.
Using the same ‘video-diary’ style as successful series Walking the Nile, Long Way Down and An Idiot Abroad, the aim is to stay authentic. We’ll show the audience what each adventure is really like, smiles, blisters and all.