About

Hi, I’m Artemis Anderson.

I like to hike, travel, take pictures, tell dad jokes, and eat good food.  Over the last 3 years, I’ve hiked 6500+ miles on long distance trails. Thru-hiking and ultralight backpacking are my jam, and I love to write about it.

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About the Dirt Bag Hiker Behind this Blog

In the fall of 2018, I completed my second thru-hike of the PCT, in which I raised over $3000 for suicide prevention and mental health programs for AFSP National.  You can read about my campaign and contribute here.

I also did a blog post on why I’m hiking for this particular cause, check it out!

 

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In 2013, I hiked the Wonderland Trail in my home state of Washington. A few months later I hiked a 100 mile section of the Oregon Coast Trail, and in 2014 I hiked all 400 miles of it.

In 2016 I thru-hiked the 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

A few weeks after I finished the PCT, I packed my bags and moved abroad, living in Denmark and then England. I spent 9 months traveling, trekking across the Spanish island of Tenerife, cycling and camping in Denmark in the dead of winter, hiking from the urban center of Glasgow, Scotland for 350 miles up the West Highland Way and Cape Wrath Trail, and thru-hiking the 630 mile South West Coast Path in England.

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In July of 2018, I embarked on my second thru-hike of the PCT, this time heading southbound from Canada to Mexico.  I completed my journey in just four months, finishing on November 1st.

Read my Gear List for Hiking the PCT (SOBO).

I currently reside in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in a semi-off grid cabin on the edge of the Snoqualmie-Mt. Baker National Forest.

More Useless Tidbits About the Author

I grew up in rural Washington state, in a small hick town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and about an hour outside of Seattle. My home life while growing up was tumultuous, to say the least, and was defined by parents suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.  I spent a fair amount of time running away from home, with a lengthy stay in the foster care system.  I never really found a crowd to hang with in my hometown, and couldn’t connect with the local culture.  Thankfully, I found the nearby trail systems, and the punk scene in Seattle, which helped me make friends and learn to cope with my situation.

Artemis is a trail name, and I’d be happy if you called me by it.  I first started going by this while on the Oregon Coast Trail, in which my hiking partners and I adopted Greek Goddess names (a bit pretentious, I know).  I didn’t really identify by this name until later, when I actually read about the Goddess herself, who represents the hunt, the moon, animals, and claims to be married to the wilderness.  She is often depicted with a bow and arrow, with a stag, or with a crescent moon.  It just so happens that I have tattoos of all three of these things.  My real name is one that I’m not crazy about, and should have been left in the eighties where it belongs (it’s evocative to an 80’s, big-haired bimbo type).

I am in a loving and stable relationship with another member of the hikertrash community, although he prefers shorter trips to my long distance excursions, hence no mention of him in my trail journals.  He also prefers privacy, thus remains behind-the-scenes.  Together, we are doing our best to raise our pup, Nebula, to be a good girl.

Things I nerd out to:  History, music, art, books and film.  I love going to the movies, reading, visiting museums, and researching local history along the trail.  I could talk all day about my favorite directors and their films: Sofia Coppola, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson, just to name a few.  Hunter S. Thompson and Margaret Atwood had a huge impact on me as authors, and Jane Austen is my go to for when I’m feeling sappy.  I love most music, but have a special place in my heart for punk rock and classical genres, as well as some classic rock bands and indie pop.  History is something that will always continue to excite me, and has yet to be reciprocated with any of my friends.  I always get a flutter in my gut when I learn something new about a particular area along the trail, whether it’s pioneer or indigenous history.  Bonus points if it’s a bit scandalous.

I love to eat!  My favorite food is tacos, any variety.  I’m also a big fan of coffee.  I’m trained in the culinary arts and love to cook for myself and other people; I find meal prepping and cooking to be quite soothing.  Raspberries might be the only food that I don’t like.

I love making lists, probably because it’s cheaper than therapy.  Although I do see a therapist when time allows.  I think everyone could benefit from this, and there’s no shame in doing so!  I hate the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and I hope that by being up front and honest with my own struggles, I can help to end it.  I’ve been diagnosed with a panic disorder, PTSD and depression.  When I was younger, I had anorexia.  I now have a healthy relationship with food.  I use humor to get through socially awkward moments, and sometimes it’s a little dark and self deprecating, but I usually save that for people that I’m more comfortable around.  I can be quiet or shy in certain, new situations, which often gets me labeled as shy, weird or introverted.  But I’m usually just feeling things out and will come out of my safety zone soon.

Besides my dog, my favorite animals are otters.  Specifically, river otters.  I used to see North American river otters swimming in Fish Lake when I was a kid, where my lovely grandparents had a cabin, and I’ve been obsessed since.

Halloween is my absolute favorite day of the year, probably because it’s a bit on the dark side, and it’s a holiday where you’re not required to hang out with family.  I’ve been known to go all out with my costumes, making my own face prosthetics and gory latex creations.  I’ve also won a couple of contests in my day.

Fan of the Oxford comma.  Deal with it.

How to Use This Website

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Through this blog, I want to inspire and educate those who are interested in wilderness travel.  I do not consider myself an expert, as the wilderness still has a great deal to teach me.  I want to share my experiences with anyone who is willing; who thinks there is value in our surrounding forests, mountains and canyons. I hope to inspire you to get outside, go camping and hiking, clean up our trails and see how nature can positively affect your mental well-being.

Within the past couple of years I’ve taken to ultralight backpacking, as is reflected in my recent gear posts, and hopefully you will find my gear recommendations useful.

I try to regularly post trail journals, gear reviews and other hacks for camping and backpacking.  Be sure to subscribe to receive my posts in your email inbox.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that Goddamn mountain.”

-Jack Kerouac

What You Won’t Find Here

I tend to stay away from discussing political issues, and lifestyle blogging type posts.  I’m not personally interested in home decorating, fashion, beauty, or doing write ups on cooking.  I have dabbled in hiker nutrition and dehydrating recipes for backpacking, but it won’t go beyond that.  Besides, there are plenty of lifestyle blogs out there to choose from, so I’d rather stay focused on long distance backpacking, and the knowledge that I’ve gained from that.

Occasionally I might mention social issues, but only if it’s in regard to the thru-hiker community.

Brands I Represent and Causes I’m Behind

I’m currently an Ambassador for Wild and Roaming, who make incredibly durable leggings with fun, stylish prints.  So far, I’ve used the same ‘Sitka Spruce’ pair on treks of the Rogue River Trail, section hikes of the Oregon Coast Trail, and my SOBO thru-hike of the PCT.  If they can survive the entire PCT, then I consider them top quality.

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I also represent Runner’s High Herbals, a small company that makes all-natural salves for muscle pain and inflammation relief.  My favorites are: Super Muscle Rub, Heel the Sole Restorative Foot Salve, and Mint Condition Lip Balm with SPF.  Please enjoy a 10% discount with code ‘artemis10’ when you order.

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As for the rest of the gear that I review on this website, it is purchased by me, myself and I.

I only write honest, unbiased reviews of the items that I use on my journeys, even of the ones that I represent.  I only rep brands that I can 100% get behind, based on quality and business ethics.

If you are interested in sponsoring me, or having me represent your brand as an ambassador, please use the contact form below. I will happily use and review any gear gifted to me. Reviews will be featured on this website and on my social media accounts.

I often get people who ask how they can donate to my blog or thru-hike, and as of recently I’ve been using my hikes to spread awareness and raise money for suicide prevention with AFSP National.  This is what I prefer, and you can make a donation here.

Some wish to continue support beyond donations to my suicide prevention campaign, so I will include a link to do so, although it is never expected.  If you do choose to donate to my blog/thru-hiking fund, know that it will be lovingly spent on decadent treats in a trail town, gear replacement or repair, or the fees that are required to maintain this web address.  Donate here.

For questions, concerns, inquiries and permissions, please fill out the form below to contact me via email. I usually get back to you within 48 hours, unless I’m on the trail then it may take up to a week.

Thanks for dropping by and having a read, it’s greatly appreciated.  Feedback is welcome, trolls are not.  I moderate all comments before they are posted.

Cheers, and Happy Trails!

 

jurassiccoastclimb1
On the Jurassic Coast in England.
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