About Me

Hey there!

My name is Jessica Mills, but in the hiking world people call me “Dixie.” Although I was born in Florida, I ‘grew up’ in Opelika, AL. I spent the majority of my summers with my grandparents who were backyard gardeners that grew up on farms. At a young age, I developed a love for the outdoors. Watching TV is never a desire of mine, unless it i1235015_10102414913815221_3338492828396707051_ns football season–War Eagle! I graduated from Auburn University in 2012 with a degree in Biosystems Engineering and a minor in Agronomy and Soils.

For a year and a half I was a resident of Colorado and it was an amazing experience! I resigned from my job there and began my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in March 2015. Although that journey ended in October 2015 when I summited Mt. Katahdin, it was only the beginning to a new chapter of my life. I am currently thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and have my sights set on the Continental Divide Trail next year in 2018.

I am an advocate of being outdoors as I feel we can learn a lot about ourselves and life in general while out in nature. Whether it’s taking an evening stroll, catching lightning bugs or gardening, I think everyone can benefit from smelling the roses now and then!

If you have any questions about hiking/backpacking, check out my informational videos on YouTube!

Happy Trails πŸ™‚

Jessica “Dixie” Mills
HomemadeWanderlust@gmail.com

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136 Comments

  1. Greg

    Hey! I have enjoyed watching some of your adventures on you tube… Keep it up! Wish I could just drop everything and go sometimes πŸ™‚
    Go gators!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you, Greg! Haha, you can. Just plan it and do it!

      Reply
      • Robert

        Hi Jessica

        Your videos are fantastic. Really inspiring stuff and you’re such a friendly enthusiastic and smart girl. Wish I could try the AT and PCT myself someday – but will be great fun to follow along with you on the journey. Rob

        Reply
      • Kamryn umphrey

        Dear Jessica I love your videos and Im 10 years old and I love to hike as well you’re my favorite. I am going on the Appalachian trail .

        Love your vids
        ,kamryn

        Reply
  2. Sonny

    Jessica,

    I have been following your post on the AT for the past couple of months. Great to see you on your way to achieve such a lofty challenge. I appreciate your independence and drive to accomplish such a feat. I had a triple bypass 2 years ago and I will be 60 next month. I believe the age your dad would have been. And as a side note I have a daughter your age also. I have always followed the “correct path”. Following college I went into the USMC and then went into business and have always worked six days a week trying to support my family’s lifestyle and working hard as business demands. If I had set out to do the AT after college I don’t know if I could have ever settled into a confining lifestyle of personal responsibility that I have had for the past 40 years. Now I found myself wanting to do something really awesome such as you are right now. I have been secretly desiring to through hike the AT. And now A Walk in the Woods comes out this weekend and I feel its a sign for me to figure this out before its too late. So I have enjoyed living vicariously through your blogs and wish you the best of luck on the trail and where ever your life leads your from here.

    Reply
  3. Mindy Crider

    Enjoyed the videos….. do you think you’ll ever do it again if Life allows? – you rocked on that trail πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Mindy, thank you! If I hike a long distance trail again I would pick a new one. The AT is awesome, but there are so many others!

      Reply
  4. Kevin Hoag

    Thanks for sharing your adventure ,you have inspired me to section hike the AT wish I could do a thru hike but that’s not possible.
    It’s been great watching you on the trail. You Go Girl😎
    Kevin

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Kevin, I think section hiking the trail will be just as, if not more, rewarding! It allows you to spend more time in a specific section and really enjoy it. I’m so glad to hear you are doing it–yay for you! If you have any questions, let me know.

      Reply
  5. Fred Rose

    I have not seen an update for a while. I hope you doing find and still going strong.

    Fred

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I updated just today, but I’m way behind! Hoping to get another one out before hiking out of Rangeley in the morning.

      Reply
    • Jessica

      But, I am still going strong! Thank you for checking in on me πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Paul Liberty

    Glad to see you made the decision to take a zero day and wait until the weather broke, that was a lot of rain! Once you get through the Bigelows you’ll be able to get some 20+ days in. Here’s to your “Lucky Moose” keeping you safe and seeing you through to your journey’s end both physically and mentally. Be well!

    Cheers,
    Paul

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey Paul! Yeah, there is still a ton of water on the trail so I can’t imagine how bad it was that day. Apparently 3 were air lifted from the 100 mile wilderness because they were stranded. Eek! It was great meeting yall! Thanks again for lifting my spirits. My lucky Moose can’t wait to get to Katahdin…and neither can I! Glad you found my blog. Keep in touch!

      Reply
  7. Kate

    Hi! I really love watching your videos. I’m a city gal(NYC) but I’ve always loved the outdoors. I really appreciate your videos as they show me what really to expect while hiking intense trails. It’s also really nice to follow everyone in the videos. Safe travels πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Mike Terry

    Hey Jessica. I’ve been watching your videos from almost the beginning. You are a true inspiration and have lit a fire up under some 4th points of contact. I just watched update 38 and you seem down. We are all rooting for you. Keep your head up and keep on trucking. It will be great to watch you summit. Be safe.

    Reply
  9. Dwayne Page

    Jessica, you should be an outdoor host for a television show. Please publish your AT adventure as a book or write a screenplay for a movie. Your video posts are many times better than A Walk in the Woodsl Thank you for sharing this part of your life with the rest of us. It will always be appreciated!

    Reply
  10. Donald N. Windsor aka SALTY DOG

    Way to go girl !! Chin up & head down. Let the tears flo. It’s all good. You’re 1 tough cookie πŸ™‚ !!

    Reply
  11. Bob LaForge

    Hi Jessica,
    I would like to congratulate you on completing your AT thru hike and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed following your videos. You have helped inspire me to continue my section hikes all the way to Katahdin.
    Bob

    Reply
  12. Donald N. Windsor aka SALTY DOG

    Congrats on your summit!! Much different from mine( I summited 8/15) You are now and forever one tough girl. SALTY DOG

    Reply
  13. David

    Very entertaining Will join your thru hikers club one day (Lord willing ) congrats !

    Reply
  14. mark deevey

    hello Jessica, I really enjoyed your youtube channel,thanks .Theres lots of good hiking trails in Canada you should try, enjoy life…….. Mark

    Reply
  15. Bill

    Brilliant videos, my wife and I binged watch them during the winter storm this weekend from chili south Florida. Loved your unpretentious advice and genuine emotion, congrats to Whitney on the production. My adult children joined me for sections of the John Muir and High Sierra trails this past summer and hope you can at least get a section in during 2016. Looking forward to your PCT videos, set up a fund my hike site so your fans can support your next thru hike… Love Buddha Bill and Mountain Laurel.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey there! Great to hear from y’all and thank you for your kind words. I am going to set up a patreon page to link to my blog and vlog. Hopefully I can raise enough to hit the PCT by 2017. I would love to also do the John Muir. I bet that was great to do and enjoy with your children.

      Reply
  16. Michael White

    Jessica

    Just a note to let you know how much I have enjoyed watching your AT adventure. I discovered your YouTube channel as a result of looking for gear to assist in planning for some section hiking of the Florida Trail in 2016. I guess I was drawn to your videos for a couple of reasons, 1 . You sound exactly like my daughter-in-law who is from Cumming Ga. And 2. I once attended Auburn for 2 weeks (long story) lol.
    I do have a question. My wife and I have about a 10 day window in May and may tackle a Section of the AT, we are in Florida within easy driving distance of the southern half. If you only had 10 days what would you choose to hike ?
    Regards
    Mike

    .

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey there! That’s sounds awesome. I would love to do some of the Florida Trail. Let me know how it goes. As far as your question about the AT…McAfee Knob is very pretty and you could do a 2 day stretch from Catawba, VA to Daleville, VA. Checkout update #13. Maybe also do the Grayson Highlands and Mt. Rogers (the high point of VA). For that check out update #10. Maybe you could mix the two given you have 10 days. If you want to go more southern…you could do the entire smoky mountains! Those are all 3 beautiful sections of the AT. Let me know what y’all decide.

      Reply
  17. Robin Armes

    Just watched all of your vlogs…SO inspiring!!! Want to take my daughter and section hike. It really got us excited to get out there. I noticed that you started with a hammock and tarp, which is my plan. I’ve used it on short hikes and have been comfortable but want to make sure I’m prepared for a longer hike. What made you switch to a tent? I would love to hear your opinion since you experienced both. Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us.☺️

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you, Robin! I swapped to the tent because it was lighter and I like to be able to cook while laying down in my sleeping bag. I can even do so while raining under my vestibule. I like being able to change clothes in my tent. It’s all about personal preference! I know lots of people who hammock camped the whole AT. Glad to hear you and your daughter are hitting the trail soon! Happy Trails πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Fin

    What did you use for a food bag? What method was used most often for bear bagging?

    Reply
  19. Scott

    Hi Jessica – I absolutely loved the YouTube videos, the journey looks amazing! I am actually just moved down to the Charlotte NC for work(and selfishly to be closer to the mountains) and was wondering if you knew of any hiking groups down there that i could link up with. I am also planning on Thru-hiking the AT March 2017. My biggest concern (aside from the unknown!) is after the hike. What is life like after the AT? In other words is it hard coming back to the work lifestyle again?

    Reply
  20. Chad

    Jessica,
    I live in Alabama. Have you ever hiked the Pinhoti? What are your favorite trails in Alabama?

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I have not, but I want to! Have you?

      Reply
    • Jessica

      I have hiked a few near lake Martin that I love. One is the Deadening Alpine Ridge Trail.

      Reply
  21. Tom

    Hello Jessica, I’ve been watching you you tube video about the AT. I’ve always have wanted to do it so now i’m going to, hopefully March 2107. I live in Naples FL and am going to get prepared on the Florida Trail. Did you do any preparing before your adventure? also how many day food supply should I have at all times? Thank You Tom (trail Name will be TBone)

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey there! I did not do any prepping other than day hikes. But, I would recommend it just because it will help you feel more confident in your abilities when you get out there. It’s always a good idea to test your gear! The amount of food will depend on how far away each town is. I never carried more than 7 days of food. Usually closer to 3-5. I would recommend AWOL’s Guide Book for mileages. Thank you for following along and let me know if you have any more questions!

      Reply
  22. Tom

    Thank you for your reply. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  23. Gary Frechette

    Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for posting the videos of your hike. You did a very good job, and provide great detail. You are very interesting to listen to, and if you write a book (you mentioned an e-book) I’d love to read it.
    Your gear video is very informative, and I plan to review it with my daughter, Joy, who has been bitten by the AT Hiking bug. We did a few hikes around Grafton Notch, Maine last year (we live in South Paris, Maine), and she fell in love with hiking. I now have a new hiking partner. :o)
    I looked for the link to your gear list, but did n’t see it anywhere. I’ll check back soon, because I might have missed it.
    Thanks again for sharing your information.

    Regards,
    Gary F.
    PS (If I’m allowed to choose my own trail name, it will likely be ‘Stover’ – my deceased son’s (Russell) nickname – as in Russell ‘Stover’ candies).

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey there, Stover! You can absolutely choose your own name. And what a wonderful way to honor your son. Thank you for reminding me that I never posted my list! I will get on that immediately. I think it’s wonderful that y’all have been out on the AT. Once it gets in your blood, it’s there for life. I’m still working on the e-book, but will hopefully be done soon! Thank you for visiting the blog and vlog. If you have any questions, let me know!

      Reply
  24. John

    Hi Jessica,

    I really enjoyed following along on your AT trip. I’m curious to know how you made out with respect to deer ticks and Lyme disease. I’m a day hiker in NJ and am considering doing some section hiking, but a friend got Lyme disease and still suffers greatly from it, so I’m a bit freaked out. Here in the northeast it is really common. It would seem almost unavoidable when thru hiking the AT. Also, bears in NJ are usually really common. How did you make out with the bears? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey John! Thank you πŸ™‚

      I only had 2 ticks on or near me that I saw. One was crawling up my leg (not attached) and the other was on my pack. I had no issues. However, I know people who did. I don’t prefer to treat my body or gear with poison, but it is an option. Just personal preference.

      As far as bears go, I definitely ran across an aggressive one. I saw 7 total and only had issues with one. Most people did not have a negative experience. Read up on bear safety and how to react when you see one. It really depends on the situation, though. Just NEVER approach or run from a bear. Let it know when you see it and you are in its presence. Try to appear big…not like you are scared. But, don’t be overly aggressive, either.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  25. jeremy britto

    Hello Jessica,
    My name is Jeremy Britto, I am an affiliate account representative at AvantLink. I recently came across your application in our pending files and wanted to reach out to see if you were still interested in joining the AvantLink affiliate network.
    If so, please reply to this message indicating your application ID [336818] and with copy reading β€œI’m excited to work with AvantLink!”
    Thank you for your interest in our network!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Jeremy, yes! I am still interested. I couldn’t get it to work before for some reason. Anyway, here is what you requested:

      ID-336818
      “I’m Excited to work with AvantLink!:

      Thanks for contacting me.

      Reply
  26. Jeremy

    Just got introduced to your AT vlog. Very informative!!! Loved the gear reviews. I’ve always wanted to hike the AT. Just something about it that I want to conquer. Only have one hike thru trail here in Texas. It’s flat and wanders through a national forest. Hiking the AT would be a completely different animal from the physical standpoint, logistics and the amount of time one would need to complete it. Being an Aggie, I don’t want to be hiking the AT during football season πŸ‘πŸ». Again, thanks for such an informative vlog on the AT! I am definitely using your vlog when I plan my AT hike.

    Reply
  27. Rhonda

    You are my inspiration to follow my dream and love. I grew up in Tennessee and spent many of hours in the Great Smoky Mountains hiking the trails. Many of those trails crossed the AT and I always wondered about the experiences people were having on that trail, but never had the chance to hike any of it before my family moved to Ohio. I get to Tennessee as often as I can with my husband and still have that urge to hike the AT. Finally after running across your youtube videos and getting hooked on your adventure, reading many books about the AT. I have told my husband that within 5 years I’m hiking the AT as a thru hiker. He only wants to do sections, but that’s fine, he can and I’ll see him on his next section.
    Thank You for sharing your experiences on the AT.

    Reply
  28. Matt

    Hi Jessica, I recently lost 50 pounds thru diet and exercise and have been doing small 2 and 3 day hikes here in Kentucky. Because of my job I can’t do a full thru hike of the trail but I could do up to 3 weeks at a time every year. Do you think its worth it, breaking it up like that?

    Reply
  29. REB

    I just finished watching your entire AT hike on my time up here in Sylva, NC. What a pleasure. Can you please share what you used to do all the wonderful filming and how you recharged?

    Reply
  30. John Roszel

    Hey Dixie, I wanted to let you know that you’ve re-ignited a desire that my wife and I used to share. We spent many days tent camping in her home state of Colorado, (as well as my less adventurous home of KS) and had hiked with packs, a number of Colorado’s 14ers, but bad never done any overnight backpacking. We had aspirations, however, of thru hiking the AT. Unfortunately, in 2012 at the young age of 33, she was killed by an intoxicated driver. We had purchased a couple of cheap backpacking packs…but still had not used them to their fullest. They’ve been in storage since her passing. I stumbled across your vids. You remind me of her in many ways. Seeing you conquer a lifelong dream inspired me to revisit some of those that she and I shared. I’ve dusted the cobwebs off of those cheap packs, and am planning on doing some short trips in Colorado next year with some family members. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless, and keep it up!

    Reply
  31. Vic Sorenson

    What camera do you use for your videos? Thanks

    Reply
  32. Rick White

    Dixie,
    After watching at least 40 of the 43 vlogs of your AT thru-hike, I wanted to let you know I found them entertaining, informative and inspirational. I live in Oklahoma, a long way from any point on the AT, but for 4 long years, I lived about 15 miles north of the lowest elevation on the Trail (Bear Mountain Bridge). I graduated from West Point in 1992; I got a kick out of the update where you visited the Academy. Was the building with the flags and memorials Cullum Hall? How did you get on the field at Michie Stadium?? You must know people. Or maybe someone in the Athletic Dept is a Youtube fan?? Or is Rebel Yell secretly an Army grad??

    Thanks for helping people think bigger than themselves and their circumstances. You’ve got me pondering how I can get away from my job for 6 months. 😊

    Hope to hear back from you.

    Rick White

    Reply
  33. Lawrence

    I have enjoyed watching your videos during my preparation of hopefully doing the AT myself

    Reply
  34. Johnny M

    Hi

    Loving you your you tube stuff really useful. I’m UK based and seriously considering taking out some time and doing the AT or may the PCT. Found your stuff good. I’m moving from boots to trail shoes so be interesting to see how that works. Just a suggestion. If you haven’t replaced your poles yet, take a look at pacer poles, designed by a physio, really good poles.

    Reply
  35. Rich

    Hi Dixie,
    Growing up in NJ and camping and hiking in NY, NJ,PA and Maine I learned of the AT at an early age. Through hiking the AT has always been a dream of mine. Of course life can get in the way and it has but I never gave up on it and when I came accross your story I followed it and lived it vicariously through you as you set out and conquered your challenge. I am still going to through hike and I wanted to thank you for re-kindling the spark. I look forward to you hiking the PCT! God Bless

    Reply
  36. Leo Wolf

    Hey Jessica:
    I’ve got a idea for a new video.
    How about one on vlogging. Cameras people use. Programs and the processes that a person would have to go through from start to finish. Like taking the pictures downloading to a computer editing, then uploading to the you tube. Just an idea, I’m interested in how this was done.
    Videos were great….
    I’m interested in helping hikers on the trail out. Do you have any ideas?

    Reply
  37. Quang

    Hey Jess-

    My wife and I enjoyed following your journey. Ever thought about doing the Pacific Crest Trail here in the Westcoast?

    Reply
  38. Theodore (Ted) French, aka "risingson"

    Hello H. W. Dixie,

    Just returned to watch a couple portions of your recent vids after watching a couple of yours after your A.T. completion. I’m happy to see your transformation taking place, which I commented on back then. You see Jessica, it’s not really “wanderlust”, it’s an awesome awakening! It’s a “coming back alive” journey you’re experiencing and I see your enthusiasm growing, along with your confidence. You look and sound so much better than your A.T. start video at Springer Mt.

    One comment though, instead of searching something to fall back on, one should seek a good goal, and there truly is just only one…..

    Reply
  39. WEDGE

    Dixie, Really liked the ‘Do You Need a Gun on the Appalachian Trail?’ video. Alot of common sense and the obvious need of personal responsibility brought to the fore. A person’s personal protection and safety IS their own responsibility. You touched upon the laws in each state and for further research. Plus, using the good judgement the Lord gave us (my paraphrasing).

    I hope and pray one day my back will be well enough to hike the AT-your videos and explanation really bring out the beauty. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  40. Brian

    Caught your videos on YouTube. You’ve given me the idea for what might be my last great adventure. Assuming I’m still physically able when I retire, I may give this a try. Thank you and good luck on your next trip.

    Reply
  41. Allen Bennett

    Jessica, I just wanted to let you know that I was very inspired by your video Cross the Line. I shared it on my Facebook and directly with my family members. For several decades I have wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. I just turned 59 years old last month. I finally decided I’m going to do it this spring. My 13 year old son is going with me. All of my family is solidly behind us and giving us tons of encouragement. I know this will probably be the most difficult thing we’ve ever done in our lives . Both for those of us who are on the trail and those who are staying behind at home . We have a very tight-knit family I know it will be difficult not seeing them for such a long period of time . The longest I’ve ever been away from my family is 2 weeks . I’m sure five or six months will feel like an eternity but we’re going to do it . Thank you for your inspiration .

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Allen, thank you so much for sharing this story with me! I’m so glad to hear you have a good support system behind you. Way to go for deciding to go for it–cross the line!! πŸ™‚ If you have any questions during your preparation let me know. Your world is about to change!

      Reply
      • Allen Bennett

        Thank you so much for your quick response. Wanted to let you know I downloaded your ebook today.

        Reply
  42. patrick boutette

    Jessica, please pay attention to the building snowpack in the Sierras. Over the past few years, there has been a ‘snow-free’ corridor for much of the PCT, and world-class, experiences hikers have still encountered life threatening conditions. I fear that your confidence and determination will over ride common sense. Please, don’t let commitments to sponsors and friends put your life in jeopardy. We all need you to be there for us in the future.
    youtube fan
    patrick

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey Patrick! I don’t have any commitments to friends or sponsors, so no pressure there. I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

      Reply
  43. Rich b

    I just wanted to thank you. I got out of the military earlier this year and started drinking a lot and had kind of given up. Hiking the AT and moving out west have always been two of my biggest dreams and you made it look so easy I figured hell, maybe I can do it. Now I’m saving for a 2018 thru hike and have contacted Montana state university and started the application process to use my GI bill to go to school out west. Life’s still not perfect but I have so much to look forward to now. Sorry if this sounds crazy but I just had to tell you the difference you made in my life.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you for sharing this with me! I’m so glad you are turning things around for yourself. You are the only one who controls your life–might as well make it what you want it to be πŸ™‚ Happy trails to you and good luck with school!!

      Reply
  44. CDJ

    Thank you for sharing your story, I’m the Scoutmaster for a Troop in SE TN and champion backpacking as much as I can. After having a knee replacement the dream of a thru hike on the AT is fading but, I have a few more section hikes left in me! We kick around the idea of a 50 miler for the Troop every year and hope it happens in 2018. If you are ever in the Chattanooga area on a Monday night around 7pm, you are always welcome to stop by to encourage the boys about the virtues of the wilderness and back packing! I am going to post your links to our site. Maybe a couple of them will get the itch.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Awww, thank you so much! If y’all decide to do that trek and you have any questions please let me know πŸ™‚ That would be such a wonderful memory for all of you!

      Reply
  45. Juan

    #trailmiracle I have no idea what your journey was pre-AT and I have no idea if this is an actual trail term, but from recently following your posts it seems with your first steps on Springer Mtn in 2015 you had a Trail Miracle. Thanks for sharing your story, Hike On!

    Reply
  46. Scott Hinckley

    This may be a question for both you & your video editor. Will you be taking a micro drone along with you on the PCT?

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I doubt it, although that would be awesome!

      Reply
  47. Mike Bauer

    Hi Dixie
    I’m a 65 yo AT hiker… Started a flip flop last summer and made it about 2/3 thru before colder weather made me decide to stop for the season . Looking forward to finishing up this season if possible. Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed preparing for my hike by watching your videos and still like following them !
    Invite you to look at my blog at mikectown.com
    God luck with PCT
    White Cloud

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Mike! Thank you for sharing. i’m glad to hear you will get back out there and finish up this year! CONGRATS! Let me know how it goes πŸ™‚ When do you set out again?

      Reply
  48. Evan

    Dixie–2 items:
    -I left a comment on one of your wonderful videos about a good friend/Trail Angel who lives with her husband near Campo, CA. Her name is Grace, and I forwarded one of your videos for her to view. She wrote back that they are “always welcoming Thru Hikers here at border base”. Shoot me an email if you want her contact info. I recall a posting where you stated that you didn’t want to just get off the plane and start hiking. Grace and Scott would provide a good transition.
    -I visited your donation site, but I would like to make a “One Time” donation. I didn’t see that option–is it available?
    Thanks, Evan AKA Edog AKA Mr. Clean

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Wow, Evan, thank you VERY much! This might be something I seriously consider. It’s amazing how kind folks are in the hiking community πŸ™‚ I appreciate your offer to help support my journey–there is a one time option through paypal. As far as I know, all you will have to have is my email which is: homemadewanderlust@gmail.com Also, I believe there is still and option through youtube on the front page of my channel. You’ll see a blue ‘support’ button on the right if you scroll down just a little.

      Thanks again for everything!

      Dixie πŸ™‚

      Reply
  49. Evan

    RE: One Time Donation…..Done! I used the “Support” button on your YouTube homepage, which accepts a Visa or Debit. Thanks for pointing that method out!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Awesome, thank YOU! The PCT honestly wouldn’t have been possible this year without folks like you. I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  50. John

    Hey Dixie, in between answering questions watering your micro greens putting oil in your truck and feeding your 4 legged children, might I suggest a quick read titled It’s only the Himalyays by S Bedford. I think you’d enjoy it. John

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thanks, John! I might have to check that out.

      Reply
  51. Tony Garbin

    Hey have been watching your vlogs with my wife and almost have her convinced to hike with me in 1.5 yrs. but in the mean time I think we will hike the Buckeye Trail in Ohio it’s only 1440 miles but looks like fun. There are so many other great trails in the Midwest and central states that people can hike ….. maybe have them look into these which might be closer and less expensive to start with. I was a Section hiker back in the 70’s and thought I would get to finish but kids grandkids and other life issues came up. but now I hope to finish the whole trail …. ….
    Tony

    Reply
  52. Reid Umphrey

    Dixie, your videos are awesome. You are an inspiration to many people. I am a 56 year old Papa that lives just west of Atlanta. My 10 year old Grandson and I are prepping for a Springer to NC hike by the end of the summer. Big target is a thru hike some day.

    Your amazing dedication to your beloved Dog demonitrates your character. Wow. We too had a Dog that we ended up with at Auburn and he crossed the Rainbow Bridge in their beautiful facility. Sad days.

    Good luck on the PCT. We will be following.

    Reply
  53. Horace Willis

    I want to say thank you for all you do on social media in talking about your experiences and passing along so much wonderful information. You have become a large part of my inspiration to work hard to do a thru-hike of the AT. As someone else who is from Alabama, I have to say you make us proud to have you. Keep up the good work and good luck and have fun on the PCT.

    Reply
  54. Charles Marsh

    Dixie, I am wishing you the very best on your trip. I have wondered if you are at all concerned about the snow pack in the Sierra’s this year. I understand that it is quite large. In any case, I am really looking forward to your videos. Have fun.

    Reply
  55. db

    Hi Dixie.

    I just discovered your YouTube videos last week. I’m hooked. Can’t get enough.

    You need an agent so you can really develop your product. The Travel channel would be ideal (I live in Hollywood so we all think this way, lol).

    Reply
  56. Mark Benson

    Hi! I’m an avid camper/hiker and I love your videos.

    I will be watching your progress, and when you get near the Kinney Lakes in NorCal, east of Stockton, I’ll be tempted to go to the PCT in hopes of meeting you and giving you a load of food or whatever.

    But whether that happens or not, GREAT seeing your stuff, best of luck on your new venture. What I see will probably have something to do with whether I decide to do it myself.

    Reply
  57. Laura Moore

    Hey there! I just wanted to tell you how excited I am about your PCT thru-hike this year. You don’t know me, but we actually have a mutual friend. I binge watched your AT adventure a couple months ago while my husband was in the ICU. It gave me a great distraction from my life at that time and gave me hope for my future. We just found out that my husband won’t be making it through this alive, but planning my own through hike for next summer has been one of the only things that keeps me wanting to wake up in the mornings. Thanks so much for your smiles,optimism, and adventures. Wishing you all the best in the months to come!

    Reply
  58. One Who Walks

    test

    Reply
  59. Mark Van Doren

    Hey Dixie, I’ve really enjoyed your videos, however, I found the first minute of PCT episode 5 just a little disturbing – all those rattlesnakes and even a coral snake – YIKES!! So I’m curious, what’s your attitude towards snakes, how many rattlers have you seen, and what precautions, if any, do you take when you are hiking through rocky terrain and brush? When the trail starts to look like snake habitat, are you a nervous wreck? Good luck, we’re all cheering for you!!

    Thanks, Mark V.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Mark, I don’t LOVE rattle snakes, but I’m not afraid of them. Although, I’d rather not get bit, haha. If I’m on a narrow path I’ll tap my trekking poles around rocks and such, but otherwise I just go for it. Seen 9 rattlers so far. I’m sure there’s more to come! Just keep your eyes peeled and you should be fine πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Tom

        Dixie you probably walked by 25 without knowing lol. Be safe.

        Reply
    • Evan

      I’m pretty sure that was a Mountain Kingsnake, not a Coral Snake. Remember the rhyme
      “Red on yellow; kill a fellow.
      Red on black, friend of Jack”
      In other words, if the red band is flanked by yellow on either side-leave it alone!

      Reply
      • Evan

        Yep, I just happened to see the beginning of Episode 16 again. It’s a Mountain Kingsnake. IMO, one of the most beautiful snakes in the world. I’ve never seen one in the wild, and I’ve turned over a lot of stone and logs in my life! That was a lucky sighting. But, as they say,
        “Luck favors the hiker who is out on the trail all day!”

        Reply
  60. Mark Benson

    They’re not like Southern rattlers, like those little pygmy ones in north Florida. Those little buggers are AGGRESSIVE, they go AFTER you. The big Western ones, you leave them alone, they leave you alone. You hafta come real close to provoke them.

    Reply
  61. john barrett

    Hiked the pct a number of years ago. Really enjoying reliving the trail watching your videos. Am anxiously awaiting your next one in the Sierras think it will really blow your mind with the beauty along the John Muir section. Enjoy and be safe.

    Reply
  62. Sam

    Dixie: followed your AT thru-hike with great interest and really enjoyed the videos. Picked up some great tips from them. Now enjoying the PCT ones. Envy that you will be soon hitting The Sierra. Lots of snow this year so Forester Pass should be interesting but you will be blown away by the views. Just remember ice axe + uphill hand. Keep those videos coming (would be interested in seeing what your thoughts are on electronics (including camera). Take care and have a great hike.

    Reply
  63. Tom Barber

    DearDixie, my kids and I just love watching your PCT videos. We hope to follow in your footsteps someday.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Aww, that’s awesome! You should check out @ellieontheAT on instagram. They are hiking the AT with their baby. It’s a cool story to follow!

      Reply
  64. Edward

    Dixie,
    I live near the PCT in the state of Washington, I have been following you though your AT journey and now as you walk the PCT.
    You will be seeing some of the most beautiful sites.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I can’t wait! I’ve never been to Washington so I’m pretty excited. Eek!

      Reply
      • Lisa Rowe-Reischman

        Dixie, just a heads up – wear long pants for the first mile of Washington! My hubby and I day hiked it this last week and about a quarter mile in you’re going to hit a raspberry thicket that goes on for about another three quarters of a mile. After a number of sticker scratches, I zipped on my pant legs LOL. Happy hiking girl! You’ve inspired me to go farther and push myself ❀️

        Reply
        • Jessica

          Oooo, raspberries! I can’t wait!!

          Reply
          • Lisa Rowe-Reischman

            And blackberries! We went back out to Table Mtn and ate so many blackberries on the way. I’ll bet by the time you’re coming through the Oregon Grapes will be in season too πŸ™ŒπŸΌ. So much yummy goodness on trail! πŸ‡

  65. Kevin

    I suggest you might add two things to your load. 1st would be lavalin deodorant. a one year supply weighs one ounce. one application lasts 5 to 9 days. The other would be a collapsible bucket. they weigh between 4 to 8 ounce for a 2 to 2.5 gallon bucket. That bucket would be useful for a field bath, which is face and neck, armpits, crotch and bum and feet. You feel much better and stay healthier. after you bath you have water left to do laundry, clothes won’t be clean but you get some of the funk and sweat out of them which make you feel better also. I’ve learned from experience and did this on 3 liters of water day. The other benefit of the bucket is you move away from stream or water source and can gain a modicum of privacy

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I don’t care if I stink to be honest, haha. It’s worth saving the 5 ounces to me. I just use baby wipes or water and a bandana if I’m feeling gross. To each his own, though! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  66. John

    Hey Dixie, wanted to stop by and wish you well on your PCT hike.
    Really enjoyed watching your AT videos and of course i have been following along on your new ones now.
    Peace!

    Reply
  67. CJ

    Hi Dixie, First, thank you very much for the entertaining video logs of your PCT journey. Care to update your feelings on the HMG pack? I spent most of last season trying out new gear and new ways of packing. This March, I replaced the last of my big 3 – the pack. I debated a long time over which model to get and in the end, I went with the 40L over the 55L (although I did go with the White version as it is just a little lighter).

    Most of the gear I have is similar to what you seem to be carrying (although my clothing is a bit larger) Was wondering – How much of that added space up top are you typically using? In most of the videos, you seem to have it rolled down quite a bit. I’m happy with my 40L choice and was wondering if you feel the 55L might be a bit too large given the significant reduction in size/weight of your gear? If not, when has that extra capacity come in handy? Planning to walk the 100 mile wilderness later this summer and while things seem good, I keep wondering if I should have gone with the extra capacity. Any insight at all would be helpful. Thanks.

    Oh, and did you ever consider the Leatherman Style PS multitool? Very tiny and light, but contains a bunch of useful features. It’s really the only thing I feel is a “must have” that you don’t seem to cover.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey there! I had a 50L pack on the AT, so I just went with something close to that. I’ve had a good amount of food and water packed on the PCT in which I appreciated the extra storage. I think I probably could’ve gotten by with the smaller pack, but I was worried I might not. The larger HMG pack was still lighter than my osprey, so I went for it. So far, I’m loving the pack in general!

      As far as your multitool question goes, I’ve never needed anything other than a knife so far, so nope! Everyone has their preferences, though.

      Have fun on your 100-mile wilderness trek and keep me posted on the verdict of your pack!

      Reply
  68. Olli Thorsson

    Hey Dixie, just wanted to thank you for your very interesting video blogs from the PCT (I am hooked and can’t wait for the next). I have also seen many of your AT stuff. You mentioned Into the mystic by Van Morrison in one of your video blogs. He is one of my fav and Into the Mystic is such a great song. I am from Iceland and was the first person to hike/climb on all the 100 highest peaks in Iceland. That was all together about 1000 miles in the wilderness over weekends during 10 months from January 1. to October. I was working fulltime and used all my spare time to complete my mission. Now 10 years later I have set my goal on the Triple Crown and can’t stop thinking about it. If you ever happen to come to Iceland look me up I would love to show you the hiking possibilities over here. I am also doing guiding work here because I love hiking. I feel like I have been preparing my whole live for long distance hiking and now I am ready both physically and mentally (well that remains to be seen πŸ™‚ )
    Btw. My mail hatindar translates from Icelandic to high peaks in English and my nick name among hikers in Iceland is: The chief of the high peaks (short: High peaks)
    Best of luck
    Olli

    Reply
  69. Sarah

    Hey,

    I recently have been watching all your videos and love them! It’s so inspiring to see what goes into a thru-hike through your lense. I’m going to be graduating from civil enginneering in a year and am daunted by the idea of getting stuck in the working rut, despite loving the career path I’ve chosen. It so great to see other female engineers pursuing their dream and putting their professional jobs on hold. Thanks for sharing your story, you’ve really inspired and educated me!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      I’m glad you’re already thinking that way! If you can find a way to support yourself and be happy, the engineering option will always be there. I feel like we live life all backwards, but who knows! I’m going to enjoy what I can while I can. Congrats on your upcoming graduation–that year will fly! Plan yourself a breather trip if you can to think a little before jumping into that 9-5 πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  70. Afoot

    Best of luck with your enterprises. Will be retiring soon. Grown up on the AT. You passed my mother’s house. Cove mountain was my backyard. Hope to be a 4400’er, a flip yo flop. Mid to end to end to mid.
    Hope you are in North central Oragon on 21 August for the total eclipse. Not sure your current location or your speed. First in 38 year. My younger self saw one.
    Enjoy your walk

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you! Have fun on your thru-hike! I’m aiming to see the eclipse, but it will just depend on terrain.

      Reply
  71. Derek

    Well, I think you are just awesome and a real inspiration. I come from Ireland but a friend of mine in New York directed me to your channel on YT – thanks so much for all the videos and insights πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Wow! That’s so cool. Thank you very much πŸ™‚ I’ve been wanting to visit Ireland for years! Someday I will.

      Reply
  72. Johnny R Hussey

    What an inspiring young lady you are. We love hiking albeit we mostly just day hike but I have really enjoyed your YouTube videos. Keep up the good work and happy trails!!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Aww, well thank you so very much! Hiking is hiking. Any walk with nature is good πŸ™‚

      Reply
  73. Edward

    Dixie,

    where will you be on the trail during the eclipse? Will be have glasses to see it?

    Reply
  74. Lisa

    Hi Dixie,

    I am really enjoying your PCT episodes. I was reading a book about the PCT and wanted to see what it looked like, I live in Scotland and the landscape is very different. Your channel came up when I searched PCT on Youtube, I have been hooked ever since! Love your approach to blogging , hiking and how you describe life on the trail. I enjoy the outdoors and your enthusiasm has re -motivated me to get out and explore more of Scotland. Thanks πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Wow! That’s so awesome to hear you’re getting back out there and enjoying nature. Thank you so much for the kind words. What book are you reading (if you don’t mind me asking)?

      Reply
      • Lisa

        The PCT book is called The Last Englishman by Keith Foskett. He has written a number of books about his adventures thru-hiking, at the moment I am reading his book about the AT ‘Balancing on Blue. I really enjoy them, you should take a look. Happy hiking!

        Reply
  75. "POZ"

    Suggestion…..when you can’t sink your tent stakes into the ground and you put rocks on the stake loops, put the stake(or a stick) through the stake loop and put the rock on the stake laying on the ground….it will be harder to pull loose from the rock.
    Look forward to Wednesdays now to see your adventures and the beautiful scenery!
    Section AT hiker have completed the 1257 miles from Katahdin to Skyland in Shenandoah.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hahaha. Did you check out today’s video? I described exactly that. Great minds think alike πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  76. Pete Caulfield

    Hey Dixie

    I know you appreciate your music and thought you may like one of my favorites. Loggins and Messina “Be Free”. It is a piece that brings tears to my eyes from my past memories and also lifts my spirits by reminding me how wonderful it feels to be free. Hike your own hike and make your own memories.

    Be safe
    Pete

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hey Pete! I’ll check it out. I do love music so much and I appreciate the suggestion. Always looking for new, inspiring tunes!

      Reply
  77. Fingers

    Hello Dixie – I just discovered you while doing some research for my shot at an AT thru-hike. Love your videos and your attitude towards hiking and the outdoors in general.

    Thanks and happy hiking.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you! Congrats on your future thru-hike. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It’s more challenging and rewarding than anything else I’ve ever done!

      Reply
  78. jjo

    My wife and I love your videos. Awesome to see an Auburn grad doing great things. Hope to see you at one of the Biosystems Alumni tailgates in the future! War Eagle

    Reply
    • Jessica

      WAR EAGLE!! I’d love to attend one again someday. I was the chapter president of ASABE my last year there. Lots of fond memories πŸ™‚

      Reply
  79. Rick

    Hello, Dixie. I’ve watched a lot of PCT videos the past two years, and yours are among the best! I’m currently reading your Kindle book about the AT, and I hope that you will write another one for your PCT experience.

    Kudos and Best Wishes!

    Reply
  80. BP

    Hi Jessica,

    I just want to say your last vlog, “You’ll Never Make It” really resonated with me. I’m a male in my 30’s with a professional career, however over the past year or so I have really contemplated following through with an entrepreneurial product idea I have had based on my experience in my career field. I have thought long and hard about filing for a patent but after discussing it with friends and family, the idea lost steam because of the, “well what if it flops and you lose all that money to patent”, or “what if this, and what if that”. I was really thinking strongly today that maybe I just need to follow my gut and take a chance, because I know I won’t accomplish anything unless I make an effort, and I swear about an hour later I watched your video and you were relating the conversation with the sobo man who told you to skip ahead, and you said something along the lines of “If I had listened to people my whole life I wouldn’t have done anything” and it literally was the most perfect timing in my life to hear that. It gave me goosebumps and made my eyes water. I will be following my heart and see what happens. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      YAY! So glad to hear this. Go for it with all of your heart that way you will never have to wonder “what if.” Good luck! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  81. Edward

    I have watched ALL of your videos both AT and now PCT. My question is your camera work where you leave the camera and walk away or show several hikers walking past it HOW? Last in some if not most of you PCT videos you have GREAT aerial shots like from a drone, and HOW?

    PS YOU CAN MAKE IT.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you! If you check my gear lists, I am carrying a small tripod and a drone πŸ™‚

      Reply
  82. Donald Wiggins

    DIXIE, my 8 year old daughter Ava and I throughly enjoy watching your videos before bed time “we haven’t missed one and it’s a real treat when new ones are posted” we both learn a lot from you and your adventures, we also discuss different topics and places you encounter. Thanks so much for sharing your hikes. JR&AVA FROM NC!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Awww, that’s so cool! Glad y’all are enjoying together πŸ™‚

      Reply
  83. Donald Wiggins

    Your videos reminds me of my nature connect class. Ava 8years old.

    Reply
  84. Kitsambler

    Dixie, a weather Heads Up. Our Seattle-area weather-casters are saying the snow level in the Cascades will be only 5,000 feet from tomorrow (17 Sept) onward. Please be careful out there – we want you to make it in one piece!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thanks for the heads up! Steadily trucking north!

      Reply

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