089 Lint Hikes - Ultralight Triple Triple Crown Thru Hiker
Clint " Lint" Bunting drops the "C" off of his name when out o the trail or hanging out in the trail communities.
We chat about his first thru hike in 2003 which was the Ice Age Trail, a long trail in Wisconsin. With a heavy pack, he fell in love with hiking along this trail.
He found the Appalachian Trail next and thru hiked that. This would be the start of his triple-triple crown, meaning he eventually hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail three ties each!
In 2010, Lint was featured in an NPR video about his ultralight hiking style. It was taken down because the lack of closed captioning which is now required in videos. A random meeting of a fan led to the resurgence of this lost timepiece.
Lint talks about his sobriety from alcohol after his experience with some plant based medicines. He explains that the hiking community often celebrates with alcohol, its engrained in a lot of the culture. He felt that the next step in his drinking process might lead to death and has been sober since.
Base weight is what you carry on your back that isn't consumable (food and water). Lint is known for extremely lightweight backpacking. He tells the changes in his pack over the years. Starting out on the Ice Age Trail, his base weight was 35 pounds and then the Appalachian Trail he started with 22 pounds.
His first thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2009 he was able to get his base weight down to 9 pounds. Then Lint got serious about cutting grams out and got down to 8 Pounds for his next few thru hikes. In 2012 when he hiked the Continental Divide Trail, his base weight was down to 6 pounds!
"This style is not for everyone," Lint says. "It is up to the individual hiker how much they can get away with. Everyone is different and I don't judge other peoples packs unless they ask me."
Living life beneath his means is the concept he uses to afford his thru hiking lifestyle. He lives in "a van down by the river". When not on trail, he works odd jobs and doesn't overspend, so he can splurge a bit while on the trail.
His van life was easy to transition into, "I don't own a lot of stuff! It's the experience I have that makes me satisfied, so I concentrate less on my possessions." He pees into a jar and sometimes parks in spots that aren't "polished", but it is perfect for him.
Lint talks about an estimated 80 percent of hikers that start out to thru hike a long trail don't end up making it all the way. Injuries can be one reason, but sometimes it is a yearning for the comforts of home. He treats thru hiking like a serious sport, changing thru hikes based on weather patterns.
The PCTA opens up their permits early, it makes this process tough for a trail like that. To plan ahead 4-5 months, it is hard to judge where there is going to be issues with snow levels.
Once while hiking the Continental Divide Trail, Lint made a death video for his friends and family. He found himself in a horrible spot where he couldn't go further and also couldn't go backwards. He describes watching the video in his tent that night and promptly deleted it!
Giardia is something that scares hikers into filtering their water, and for good reason! Lint has tested the "waters" so to speak by drinking out of some of the worst water sources at the end of an Appalachian Trail thru hike. He has yet to get sick from not filtering, though he does carry a small container of bleach to treat water if it is exceptionally bad. Lint says, "When people ask me if I think they should filter their water, I tell them its up to them and this is what I do - don't blame me when you crap your pants!"
Visit his website- http://www.linthikes.com
Lint on Youtube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm2A0MkU9e_0oVizHxaNZPQ
Watch Lint on NPR- https://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/segment/ultralight-hiking/
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