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Q & A with the creator of "The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes"

Tyler Fox, the creator of "The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes," tells BACKPACKER about the video, its success, and his next adventure.

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Tyler Fox filmed one second of each day it took him to walk from Mexico to Canada. With more than 600,000 hits on YouTube and reposts on multiple outdoor media outlets, his resulting video, “The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes,” may have already made its way across your monitor. The video showcases the 2,660-mile trail in just under 180 seconds. Here’s what the SoCal-raised thru-hiker has to say about the making of the video, its success, and his goals for documenting his next adventure.

What gave you the idea for making the video?

Honestly, I just thought it might look cool to have a short clip of the hike each day to see how the trail changes as it transitions across ecosystems. The video was really just an afterthought and not something I expected to turn out (apparently) as well as it did. My goal was just to be able to easily show my friends and family what the PCT is like and what I saw every day on my very long walk (because people generally prefer videos to sifting through mountains of photos).

What’s the footage-per-day breakdown look like?

I have a second of footage from almost every single day, but I did miss one or two days (I can’t say for sure where since I haven’t gone through to check timestamps on all the footage). There are two different parts in the video where the shots are from the same day—can you tell where?

How do you think the video represents your thru-hike?

The video gives a good overall picture of the trail, but it really does little to demonstrate what hiking the PCT is like. Even the people who work to create longer documentaries about the PCT assume near-impossible tasks by trying to convey the reality of the trail. The community, the day to day, and the physical and emotional struggles are all huge parts of the trail that many people overlook when they paint romanticized pictures of the PCT.

Do you think the finished product realizes the goal you set out to accomplish?

I think the finished product turned out pretty well for what I could have realistically expected. This is one of the few things that I said before the trail, “I’m going to do this” and then actually followed through with it. (Daily stretching didn’t go so well).

What kind of feedback have you been getting?

The feedback has been surprisingly positive. In my experience the Internet (especially YouTube) can be a dangerous place to share things, but the video (as amateur as it is) has received some really great feedback. A lot of people are also big fans of the music, which I’m excited about because Builders (the band behind the song) have some great stuff.

What’s the next adventure? How will you record it? 

The next adventure might be the Continental Divide Trail next year or possibly the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, but I really can’t say since planning things ahead of time is not one of my strong points. Usually I don’t know what’s coming next until I’m on my way. I plan on bringing a much larger camera, and in addition to recreating (and improving upon) this PCT video, I will have more goals in terms of the footage I capture and the content I create to share afterward

Read more about Mac’s adventures: 

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