Chaunce got her first taste of living outdoors while working as the media director of a summer camp in Sierra City, CA, in 2013. Four summers living in a tent alongside the Pacific Crest Trail contributed to a growing desire to hike the trail, but before her first long distance hike, she spent time between 2014-2016 road tripping around the US and Canada in a ‘92 Ford F150. Despite hurdles, such as having a window punched in by a bear, being mistaken for murderers in the Midwest, and an endless slew of break downs, she covered 24 states, 2 provinces, and roughly 16,000 miles.
In 2016, Chaunce packed up and relocated to Denver, Colorado, which has been her home base ever since. She began hiking in the Rocky Mountains to prepare for her Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2017, which was not only her first long distance hike, but her first multi-day backpacking trip.
Several months after the Pacific Crest Trail, she began co-hosting the Backpacker Radio podcast with Zach Davis of The Trek. A podcast for long-distance hikers, by long-distance hikers, Backpacker Radio is a show all about the wonderful world that is thru-hiking and long-distance backpacking.
With a stationary summer in Denver, Chaunce spent her weekends section hiking the Colorado Trail – a task that requires a certain level of self-hatred. Determined to not let a desk job limit her ability to long-distance hike, she would leave work on Friday, head to where she left off on the CT, and try to hike fast enough to make it back to her desk by Monday morning. She was able to complete 400 of the 485 miles before winter storms stopped her in Silverton, CO.
Now in 2019, Chaunce is gearing up to set off on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (follow along on her YouTube Channel). As an extremely cold sleeper, Chaunce has struggled to find a quilt that can keep her warm when she needs it most. That’s why she will be taking the Katabatic Flex 15 with her to Springer Mountain in March.
Favorite tip for reducing pack weight: Research! My base weight is right around 8 lbs at the moment and that wouldn’t be the case if I hadn’t spent hours comparing gear and finding the best options for my comfort levels. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not clipping tags off clothes or trimming toothbrushes – I just like having a pack that is light enough to allow me to carry “luxury items” when I’d like to. These items change, but sometimes it’s as simple as a deck of cards or a frisbee for several stretches of trail. Being able to afford the extra weight can allow you to add temporary items that can keep down-time fun!
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/julianachauncey
Co-host on Backpacker Radio
Is this one of those luxury items?