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Article: The Swedish hiker who conquered the Triple Crown of Hiking - Linnett Andersen

The Swedish hiker who conquered the Triple Crown of Hiking - Linnett Andersen

The Swedish hiker who conquered the Triple Crown of Hiking - Linnett Andersen

Say hello to Linnett Andersen, a Swedish long-distance hiker and journalist who has conquered the prestigious "Triple Crown of Hiking". Growing up in the countryside of Skåne sparked a longing to see the world, and her adventurous nature led her to long-distance hiking as a way to experience and explore nature on a deeper level. Her journey is a fascinating tale of courage, endurance, and the constant pursuit of the unknown.

Hello Linnett! You are a long-distance hiker, journalist, and the first Swedish woman to have hiked the "Triple Crown of Hiking," namely the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail, totaling 1267 miles! 

Before we begin, what else should we know about you?

I usually refer to myself as a wannabe adventurer and have always seen myself as the cliché country bumpkin wanting to go out and see the wide world, as I grew up in the countryside of Skåne. No one in my immediate family has wanted to travel in the same way, so I've been a bit of the black sheep who chose a different path in life.

 

How did you start long-distance hiking? And what motivated you to continue and complete "The Triple Crown"?

I am very curious by nature, and the desire to see and experience as much as possible has always been a strong driving force for me. After completing backpacking trips through Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and South America, I felt a longing to go away again. Instead of just another backpacking trip focused mainly on sightseeing, I wanted to accomplish something during the journey. I wanted to have a goal while I was away. Around the same time, the book (and also the movie) "Wild" was released, where the author embarks on a journey to hike a part of the Pacific Crest Trail. After reading the book, a seed was planted that I too would embark on a similar adventure.

Once I finally got started and was on the trail, I met many other hikers who had either completed other long-distance hikes or were planning to hike more. Initially, I thought one long hike would be enough, but as with many things in life, it didn't go as planned. Almost as soon as I finished the Pacific Crest Trail, I decided to hike my second long-distance trail, the Continental Divide Trail.

While hiking the Continental Divide Trail, I heard a lot about the final trail remaining, the Appalachian Trail. As usual, my curiosity won out, and I felt compelled to experience it myself (and if you've done two, you might as well do a third).

We understand that you have so many incredible memories from your hikes. Are there any particular strong memories you'd like to share?

There are indeed many strong memories, ranging from sleeping through stormy nights high up in the mountains where the tent feels like it's about to blow away, to the feeling of waking up on the final morning to the sunrise in the desert, knowing that everything I have endured and experienced over the past few months will soon be over within a few hours.

However, the strongest memories are those I've shared with other people. Memories of total strangers who have given me food, money, rides, and shelter to help me achieve a goal that only I benefit from.

 

We understand that you won't be doing more long-distance hikes, how do you feel about that?

There is so much to see and do in the world and so many other types of travel and adventures I want to undertake. Long-distance hiking is incredibly rewarding, but it also requires a significant investment of both time and money. There are still hikes I want to do, but they won't require the same level of preparation or as much time.

 

Do you have any new adventures you dream about?

In the near future, I have trips planned in my van to Switzerland and Norway where I will go glacier hiking, climbing, and hiking. Further down the line, I hope to embark on a cycling adventure, perhaps through North and South America.

Additionally, I have a nephew with Down syndrome, and I have recently gotten to know a wonderful 14-year-old boy with a rare muscle disease. Being able to organize adventures for children and young people with disabilities is also a dream of mine.

What's your advice for someone reading this and feeling inspired to embark on a long hike?

Once you've decided to embark on a journey, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information online and the preparation you need to do. My advice is to break down your preparations into different categories, such as training, packing, and administration (which includes things like visas and permits).

Before my first long hike, where I had no idea what type of hiker I would be or what kind of gear I would prefer, I chose one or two people who inspired me the most in terms of packing and preparation. I also watched YouTube videos to get an idea of what life on the trails would actually be like.

I also participated in a 10-day meditation course where I wasn't allowed to talk, make contact with anyone, read, write, listen to music, or do anything else but meditate and take walks in the area. It was very challenging but also insightful! However, you probably don't need to go that far in your preparations...

Since it's easy to get caught up in gear, figuring out what to bring and forgetting that you'll actually be walking 10-12 hours a day and need to train mentally and physically for it, I also practiced sleeping outdoors and spending time outside. I also completed the Fjällräven Classic, where I walked 110 kilometers in the mountains.

Lastly, many of us former hikers are happy to talk about our adventures, so don't be afraid to reach out for advice and tips! The hardest part of all is actually making the decision and getting to the starting line. Once you're there, most things tend to work out along the way.

 

Favorite hike in the Nordic region?

I always find it difficult to pick favorites, but on the same date and week as the Adventure of the Year award ceremony, I was actually planning to cross-country ski from Abisko to Nikkaluokta for a week and sleep in the mountain cabins. However, it turned into a trip to Stockholm followed by paddling and climbing on the west coast. So, that's an adventure here in the Nordics that I hope to undertake next year instead!

 

Your top three tips for enjoying hiking to the fullest?

I believe you'll enjoy hiking much more if you've trained for it and are physically prepared. Also, try to start slowly. On the Pacific Crest Trail, I had planned for a comically gentle start where I would walk about 5 kilometers the first day, but it ended up being 20 miles instead! However, being ahead of schedule is much better than feeling stressed about not being able to finish the planned route. Last but not least, chocolate makes everything a bit better and more enjoyable, especially when in the company of your favorite people!

 

Thank you so much, Linnett, for sharing your journey and your incredible adventures. Through your passion for adventure and exploration, you inspire others to follow their dreams and embrace the unknown. We look forward to continuing to follow your exciting journey and see what new adventures await around the corner. If you want to read about more hiking enthusiasts, we recommend this!

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