One of the world’s most prolific hikers, Cam “Swami” Honan has trekked more than 60,000 miles (96,561 km) in some 56 countries since the early 1990’s. In January, 2015, Backpacker Magazine called him, “the most travelled hiker on earth.”
Hailing from Australia, Cam’s longest hiking journey took place in North America. Between July, 2011, and December, 2012, he completed an incredible trip called the “12 Long Walks.” Consisting of a dozen consecutive thru-hikes and totalling more than 14,300 miles (23,014 km), during the peregrination Cam passed through 29 US States and four Canadian provinces. Along the way completed the fastest ever calendar year Triple Crown (Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Continental Divide Trails – 236 days), consumed a gastrointestinal-challenging 123 lbs (56 kg) of dehydrated beans, and wore out 28 pairs of trail running shoes.
In more recent times, Cam has pioneered traverses of some of the world’s most challenging wilderness areas, including Mexico’s Copper Canyon region (with Justin “Trauma” Lichter), Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, the Badlands of South Dakota, the Southwest wilderness of Tasmania, and the Altiplano of Bolivia.
Since 2011/12 Cam has used either the Katabatic Sawatch or Palisade on all of his backcountry trips (approximately 800 nights and 19,000 miles in total as of 2018). He has described the quilts as, “the only pieces of gear that I own about which I wouldn’t change a single thing. And for the record, I can be a picky #!*# when it comes to my backpacking kit.”
A sought after public speaker, roving ambassador for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, and author of “Wanderlust: Hiking on Legendary Trails”, Cam splits his non-hiking life between Australia and his adopted homeland of Mexico.
Best Tip for Reducing Pack Weight?: The more you know, the less you need. In this day and age, any Tom, Dick and Harriet with a few bucks and an internet connection can carry a lightweight load. What isn’t so easy, is being comfortable and safe carrying that lightweight load in a wide variety of conditions. That takes time, practice and open-mindedness. Don’t feel like you need to rush the process. Ideally going lighter should be a gradual development, which parallels the corresponding improvement of a hiker’s backcountry skill set. Time spent in various types of environments will be your best teacher in regards to what you can and can’t do without.