John Chlarson #JMT2013 Hiker

John Chlarson is a vlogger whose focus is on practical and unusual outdoor tips.  Think getting outside is expensive? John will prove you wrong, much to the glee of his 30,000 YouTube channel subscribers. In July, he'll join four other backpackers on the John Muir Trail, a crew that includes Sierra Trading Post videotographer Chris Martin, Sierra Trading Post blogger Andy Hawbaker, and independent blogger Adam Nutting and Paul Osborn. Over the course of 200 miles of unbeatable scenic beauty, including 37 miles inside Yosemite National Park, these men who met via social media will be getting to know each other pretty well.

John Chlarson

How do you know the other members of this hiking crew?
I met the crew through social media, and primarily YouTube, where I share content on how to make the most out of getting out and into the wild lands of the American West.

What do you do "in real life"? What's impact will this trip have on you?
I'm a social worker specializing in addiction and mental illness, and I do have children myself. The primary impact of a long trip is being away from and mostly out of contact with my family. There are logistics that must be worked out so life runs as close to normal at home without too much undue responsibilities being shouldered by the other members of my family. There is also the issue of simply missing my family. Balancing it all is mostly a matter of good communication so that everyone is on the same page, as well as mentally preparing well in advance. Trips like these don't tend to go over so well when they are spontaneous!

Have you ever done a trip like this before? If so, where? When? How long was that trek?
I've done plenty of trips that are similar in terms of length and duration, but the biggest difference is that they've been in remote areas of the Idaho backcountry where permits and logistical planning aren't an issue. I've spent weeks hiking though some of our wilderness areas, but counting miles wasn't really something I even thought about, to be honest. The biggest challenge on this trip for me will be adhering to a predetermined schedule.

Obviously this is a big undertaking. Tell me about your guiding philosophy when it comes to taking on challenges like this.
My guiding philosophy is to just get out and do it, to embrace the opportunity for new experiences and adventures. I know I'd greatly regret having to look back on my life and say "Man, I really wish I'd done that when I had the chance."

I assume you've been hiking to prepare for this trip, but what else have you done to prepare?
Aside from my typical hiking, I'm doing interval training and strengthening specific muscle groups. The mental aspect is obviously quite different. For myself, simply getting psyched-up for the adventure by reading, watching videos of the area and web research really plays a huge part!

What kind of video content can viewers of the IntenseAngler look forward to during and after your trip?
My grand ambition as far as video goes is to film a documentary about the trail and the experience of hiking it. I'll also capture smaller, more personal clips, some on-the-trail, backcountry improvs and a few trail updates as well.

That's a lot of good content to look forward to! Good luck, John!

Learn more about John and his adventures on his YouTube, Blog, Facebook or Twitter account and find out more about this trip here: John Muir Trail 2013.
posted by
Juliette Rule
Juliette Rule is a former social media and public relations manager for Sierra Trading Post. She loves riding her mountain bike or road bike - in every Colorado season. Juliette lives in Fort Collins, Colo., with her rescued Australian cattle dog, Maszlo.
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