Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa grew up in rural NH where he forged his love of the outdoors and activities such as fishing, skiing, and his true love backpacking. His time spent in Boy Scouts helped him hone is outdoor skills as he worked his way to becoming and Eagle Scout and fueled his passion for long distance hiking.
Allgood has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. After finding a dog on the Appalachian Trail in 1996 his life was forever changed. Allgood and his first dog Erwin (named for the trail town Erwin, TN) worked on the Appalachian Trail in the 1990’s as Ridge Runners after their thru-hike, where they provided education and support to a variety of trail users. Allgood has hiked many long trails in the US, but is most proud of his 2014 pioneering first thru-hike of the Chinook Trail, a 293 mile route through the Columbia River Gorge in Washington & Oregon.
In 2016 Whitney left his career in the world of forest products, and reconnected with rural America by successfully completing his thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. Now home, Whitney is balancing his new career in the outdoor industry with his passion for long distance hiking.
After many years on the trail, Allgood is a sought after speaker, teaching people about responsible backcountry use with their dog, ultra-light hiking, thru-hikes for working stiffs, and a vast variety of hiking related topics. Allgood has served as the President of American Long Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West) where he volunteered countless hours helping be the voice of America’s long distance hiker. When not helping others learn about hiking, you can find Allgood walking the trails around the US in need of a shower, a cold beer, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Favorite piece of Katabatic Gear:
Alsek 22°F quilt. In over 2,800 miles on my Northbound hike of the Continental Divide Trail, I was never cold in my quilt. This workhorse performed well in the NM desert, the CO snow and every imaginable condition in between. In my opinion it’s the best 3 season quilt out there.
Favorite tip for reducing pack weight:
Beside the obvious like repacking large items, not using stuff sacks etc., the best way to reduce pack weight is to keep an ongoing record of gear you use on trips in a spreadsheet. Mark the items you used and did not use, and next time try leaving some of the unused items behind. This constantly evolving list will help you find the right balance between comfort and weight.