East vs. West – Backpacking differences (Hiking tips Pt. 39)

East vs. West – Backpacking differences (Hiking tips Pt. 39)

Let’s look at some of the big differences between backpacking and hiking in the western and eastern United States.

The Lyme disease map – http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/resources/reportedcasesoflymedisease_2014.pdf – the risk is considerable along parts of the Appalachian Trail

About poodle dog bush – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriodictyon_parryi – This is a nasty plant found along part of the Pacific Crest Trail


  1. Chuck Littleton on November 26, 2019 at 1:04 am

    I have been in both the East and the West. The west has the magnificent views of the Mountains , Parries , and Cactus which makes a person stand there and just stare at everything around them. Picture perfect areas if there every were any. Living in Florida I like the Swamps , Water , Cypress trees with Oaks , Pines and Cabbage Palms and a elevation of three feet is considered up hill. ( That’s just a nice way to say it is mostly flat hiking )
    America , the land of different hiking and camping experiences and it all depends on which direction you go.

  2. Chris Daunhauer on November 26, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I met a triple crowner one night at an AT shelter in the Smokies.  He had done all of all three of the big trails but made his home in TN.  That night, as we talked around the fire, I asked him about east vs west differences.  He said that the climbs in the east are harder and the AT is more physical overall.  But that hiking in the west is difficult, too, in different ways.  Logistics are much harder on the PCT and CDT.  More miles between resupply points and road crossings.  Less margin for error in remote territory.

  3. Roger Lamb on November 26, 2019 at 1:06 am

    This was good to know. please check this video out https://youtu.be/jgoEyTvrR_k

  4. Richard Dombrowski on November 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Thanks for more great videos. The poodle dog bush reminds me of the Manchineel tree video I came across, I don’t want to meet either! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0w2WMegHDM

  5. jonnyfly69 on November 26, 2019 at 1:11 am

    use to hike when I was a kid, in the san Fernando valley, up to what was camp crystal lake, and back but every so often there would be an accident or death in the water falls section, word would get out and we see fences go up and cut and climb, as rangers would see us and remember us from past trips, no grief there now there a bunch of houses and crystal lake is a sub division, my old neighborhood changed for the worse, and crime is up gangs are up cops are down, their stats for every thing. so in l. a. county cops gave them selves a black eye.

  6. Jenny Hikes on November 26, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I am originally from the West but have only really hiked in the East, though the West is beautiful and I would love to hike there! Unfortunately it’s a long distance to travel. Thanks for highlighting the differences. It was very interesting. And thank you for subscribing to my channel as well!

  7. Random Button Pusher on November 26, 2019 at 1:16 am

    My first backpacking trip beyond weekend outings was at Philmont in NM at 15. We had rain on more than half the days, and in the days of canvas packs & tents, cotton sleeping bags and clothes, and rubberized ponchos, that was one humid trip. Yet it was still a grand experience. As for perceptions of backpacking in the East vs. West, my brother (who came to backpacking after college and learned it in Yosemite and other places in the Sierras) was a bit shocked when I took him to Isle Royale the first time. After the first day of trails gnarled with rocks and roots, he said it was much tougher hiking than in the Sierras, even if the elevation was lower. Thanks for this discussion!

  8. marymk94 on November 26, 2019 at 1:16 am

    great information

  9. Zachary Hudson on November 26, 2019 at 1:17 am

    I agree with you perfectly on SNP. I’ve lived in VA for the past 18 years and shenandoah is my go-to when i need relief and want a view…although I tend to reach out to nearby states every now and then as well. happy trails my friend 🙂

  10. Drone Girl on November 26, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Very nice! Thumbs up! 🙂

  11. Simple Thoughts on November 26, 2019 at 1:21 am

    awsome video!

  12. Tevin abeysekera on November 26, 2019 at 1:21 am

    I have been to both east and west sides. On the east, its nice but the trails are very crowded. The ones in the west have amazing hiking and mountain biking, problems make sure to check the weather before you go. rain rain rain rain

  13. Earl Viney on November 26, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Smokey mountains are pretty damn big. Mt.leconte rises 5301ft. Above gatlinburg no foothills straight up.

  14. Backpackingbatman on November 26, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Woot new vid with helpful tips and good great advice/tips as usual

  15. logan cooper on November 26, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Did you go to Philomont?

  16. xPumaFangx on November 26, 2019 at 1:23 am

    Stay the fuck away from jesus plants in the deserts. You’ll know them when u step on them.

  17. lostagain on November 26, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I have been privileged to live in both the East (MD & VA), and in Colorado and now in Texas. And I have hiked and backpacked in Colorado. I’e lived there int he summer and the winter. I can tell you that I have a greater respect for the western winters in the Rockies. I always wondered how the Donner party could get caught like they did. I watched a white out blizzard come through Colorado Springs in April and watched it snow in late May. Every day during the summer we would get a thunderstorm that moved through and only lasted about 30 minutes, then back to clear skies. In the winter, snow chains are required when traveling along I70, and it’s regularly closed due to avalanche possibility. I think that of all the things you brought up, the weather is the one thing that can change the complexion of a hike in mere moments in both the East AND West. Great vid again, and as usual, great info.

  18. Steve Scope on November 26, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Another great video, thank you. Glad to hear you’re recovering well. Ever consider doing a video about backpack hunting? I know you’ve mentioned it in a few videos. Would really like to hear more details on techniques, gear, getting game out and overall tips. I’m a hunter and a hiker as well and looking to try a back country trip this season.

  19. Joe Playing Outdoors on November 26, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Great info! Thank You for sharing!

  20. Jospeh Hishon on November 26, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Missouri where I live is west of the Mississippi and it’s very humid. That is why the nickname of the state is misery.

  21. justgivemethetruth on November 26, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Really enjoy your videos, and glad you’re feeling better.

  22. UTE avdelingen - Outdoors Norway on November 26, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Interesting to hear some facts from US and the differences in your huge country😊 We live in Norway and have different kind of areas in our country too! It’s nice to visit several of this areas. You have an informativ channel, this is the first time we visit you, and we want to follow 😉 Atb from Tove and Kaja

  23. Oxxnarr D'flame on November 26, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I just recently discovered your channel.
    A great find, good job

  24. Adventures with Frodo on November 26, 2019 at 1:35 am

    East every thing wants to bite, sting or smear you with stinging oil. I can deal with snakes, bears, etc…… Anything East of the Rockies is back East.

  25. Loner2012AT on November 26, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Great subject and very interesting discussion.  I’ve always been very intimidated by the high elevations and dry conditions of some of the West Coast trails.  Maybe one day!

  26. AdventureConwards on November 26, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Great video! Super informative 🙂

  27. sross148 on November 26, 2019 at 1:40 am

    great video. But there is also West coastal hiking too. It is gnarlier and with much more dense vegetation and higher humidity than you find in the East, though somewhat localized to the PNW, Alaska and coastal Canada, and usually cool temps.

  28. slysphinx on November 26, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for an interesting and objective comparison of the challenges a backpacker faces in the east vs. the west. As someone who has spent his whole life backpacking in the west, I always thought that backpacking in the east would be pretty lame. But I now realize that in many ways it may be far more difficult than I had imagined.

    I’m sorry to hear about your accident. Old age was also starting to slow me down when, five years ago, I too suffered a severe accident and I nearly lost both of my legs. Although I’ve come a long way in my recovery, my backpacking days are gone forever. However, I wasn’t ready to give up my love of the trail, so I now have packgoats to carry my load for me. I can’t recommend them enough! As a bonus, they’re also great for hauling elk out of the mountains after a successful bowhunting trip.

  29. Bobby Harper on November 26, 2019 at 1:42 am

    I was running up and down mountains out west and enjoying every minute. I moved back east and couldn’t even bear being outside in the heat and humidity for the first two weeks.

  30. Stephen Hoffman on November 26, 2019 at 1:43 am

    go youtube put in missing 411

  31. Gnome Add on November 26, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Having grown up mostly in the high country of Colorado I’ve watched many of your videos with a certain degree of bewilderment.
    “Where is the gear for cold”, I’ve mused.
    Its a lot different when life is above tree line (11,500’ in Colorado).
    Love your vids and I can’t wait to wander the Appalation Trail.

  32. Alfonso Casillas on November 26, 2019 at 1:49 am

    I hike Southern California area water is the most important for me

  33. Wesley House on November 26, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Get back 100% asap. Really enjoy your vids an no nonsense approach to your reporting and commentary. Recovering myself from wrist surgery can’t wait to get back into some day hiking. Thanks for all your info and inspiration!

  34. Larry Gee on November 26, 2019 at 1:54 am

    Your 12 day trek at 14 yrs. sounds like you were a scout and at Philmont. I made 3 treks there after I hit 50. Enjoy your videos and keep them coming. larry

  35. Ilona Anoli on November 26, 2019 at 1:55 am

    16 Minutes of really good information. Thank You.

  36. snaponjohn100 on November 26, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I am laid up with corrective surgery to my ankle ( pronating flat feet). Your videos are so well done that you have kept my mind off of my issue!! God bless you. John

  37. Muleys Cousin on November 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Glad to hear the recovery is doing great. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  38. Suburban Sasquatch on November 26, 2019 at 2:00 am

    I’m a newbie to backpacking with aspirations of thru-hiking. These videos are a wonderful reference. Thanks for making them.

  39. David Nutty on November 26, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Wow. I did not know of the car accident. Glad u r repairing well. Nice vid on east vs west!

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