BACKPACKER’s venerable Get Out More Tour turns 20 this year. This gear, skills, and inspiration workshop has visited gear shops and outdoor festivals in all 50 states and reached thousands of hikers.
We caught up with Randy Propster, its longest-tenured ambassador, as he hands over the reins to a couple of new faces, Steve Yocom and Jordan Meeks.
BACKPACKER: Randy, how many years have you been on the road?
Randy Propster: 2020 marks my 14th year as a BACKPACKER employee. For 12 of those years, I have lived on the road for roughly nine months each year.
BP: What’s your favorite place to hike?
RP: I’ll take the Pemi Loop in the White Mountains in fall, Enchantment Lakes in the Cascades in spring, and Colorado’s Four Pass Loop in the summer.
BP: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned on your travels?
RP: The kindness of strangers is underrated, the idea of “van-life” is overrated, and permission trumps forgiveness every time (especially when stealth camping).
BP: What’s the most common question you’ve gotten about gear?
RP: If I had a nickel for every time somebody asked, “does this gear really make a difference?” (It does.)
BP: Steve and Jordan, congrats on getting your dream job. What’s the best discovery you’ve made so far?
Steve Yocom and Jordan Meeks: How accepting the outdoor community is. We’ve carried the same loads and walked on the same trails as the people we meet, and so we instantly have a unique bond.
Check out the Get Out More Tour schedule here.