9-year-old hikes nearly 8k miles; completes thru-hiking “Triple Crown”

Christian conquers Lester Pass along the Continental Divide. Credit: Buddy Backpacker Facebook

In September 2017 Christian Thomas became the youngest person in history to traverse the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

The 9-year-old, known as Buddy Backpacker on the trail, began hiking when he was four and in the past five years, he has logged nearly 8000 miles.

Christian’s first major triumph came back in September of 2013. He was only five, but his parents convinced the Baxter Park Authority to permit him to climb to the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Youngest Appalachian Trail Hiker
At age 5 Christian became the youngest known person to summit Mt. Katahdin. Credit: Buddy Backpacker Facebook

That achievement made him the youngest known person to summit Katahdin and also marked his completion of the north half of the Appalachian Trail.

After that, Christian and his family just kept going.  They completed the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 while homeschooling Christian along the way.

One Shirt = One Tree
Plant a Seed

Christian’s parents say he hikes about 20-25 miles on a regular day. They camp wherever possible along the trail and showering in towns and backcountry rivers.

On September 18, Christian completed the Continental Divide Trail. They split the 3050-mile trail into two sections, hiking just under 2000 miles in 2016 and over 1000 miles in 2017.

According to the American Long Distance Hiking Association – West, the completion of the AT, PCT, and CDT is something that fewer than 350 people can put on their resume.

A few weeks ago Christian was honored for his triple crown achievement and he gave a short thank you speech and posted it on Facebook.

You can learn more about Christian on his Buddy Backpacker blog.

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