PEOPLE: Tom, Brian & Scott

Tom Sobal knows how to pack light. He’s won 5 world snoeshoeing championships and the 100-mile Iditasport in Alaska. He has even run a snowshoe marathon in just over 3 hours. Tom is a bike mechanic who’s never had a driver’s license–he rides, runs, or snowshoes everywhere he needs to go. This Coloradan takes his daughter to school in a bike trailer or sled. His advice: “Try pedaling or walking to the grocery store once a week.” (Backpacker, Feb. 2005) Random Tom Quote: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

Flyin’ Brian Robinson walked 7,371 miles in just 300 days. That’s right, he walked the three big trails in less than a year—Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest. His average base pack load was 12 pounds. How far did you go and how much did you take on your last family vacation? (Backpacker, April 2005)

Scott Williamson reminds us that we can be overpowered by the mind, not just the pack. Reading his story in a subway far below Seoul, my eyes started to water up. Scott is the first person to “yo-yo” the 2,560 mile Pacific Crest Trail. That is, he hiked from Mexico to Canada and back again. He did it carrying a 20 pound pack. This triumph is full of tragedy as key relationships are made and destroyed—suicide, attempted murder, and broken romance. (Backpacker, May 2005)

These three go far by going fast. They go fast by going light. But they still have pain.


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