Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail:

The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis

Sep 13, 2018

The story of the Crawfords has been one of the most prominent Appalachian Trail stories of the year. Their seemingly quixotic adventure didn't seem in the least bit strange to them. After all, they had been hiking as a family for some years so the AT appeared to be a natural extension to that as they tried to capture one last hike together before the children started to leave home.

As YouTube viewers, this adventure divided us, with some critics castigating Ben and Kami, while others embraced them with an equally ferocious love. We watched them spend the night in the snow-covered Smokeys on a bathroom floor, only to be confronted by the child protection services the following morning. We saw them grow as a family as each child assumed tasks to help take their journey to fruition.

By the time they reached Katahdin, most had come to applaud their resilience, with almost unheard-of support through the 100-Mile Wilderness. Baxter State Park refused to allow an exception to their rules of taking children under a certain age up to the top of Katahdin, so the family decided–unanimously–to finish the way they had started, as a family.

You can follow their vlog on YouTube at and their Instagram account at

This week's segment from the Outdoor Retailer's Summer Market from Denver concentrated upon the claims made by manufacturers and the applicability of science to the process.

I spoke with Dr. Jan Beringer of Hohenstein. You can find out more about their textile testing by visiting

 You can reach Dr. Jan at

There is a translate button on the site for English speakers.

Dr. Jan directed me to Shawn Flavin of Coolcore, who is a strong proponent of these stringent tests. As the Director of Textile Engineering, he explained some of the processes that they use. To find out more, go to where you'll find some cool products. You can reach Shawn at