Questionnaire: Mike Peddicord, Backpacker

Mike Peddicord is a divorced 60-year-old backpacker that loves adventure and being outdoors, especially the mountains in the backcountry. He is relatively healthy and at 6’4” his trail name is “Long Strider”. He is blessed to have great friends, a deep Christian faith, and to have traveled all over the U.S. with stops in Europe, Canada and Mexico. He is looking forward to more backpacking and exploring as he transitions from work.

Primary activity: Backpacking
Location: Westerville, OH
Caffeinated or decaf: Caffeinated
Introvert or extrovert: Extrovert

What is your primary mixed terrain activity or passion?

I’m a backpacker and love to hike. A good friend took me camping in Ohio and convinced me to go with him to Glacier NP for a 6 day hike. We’ve never looked back! We do several trips each year and my adult kids catch the bug as well.

What impact does nature, and your movement in nature, have on your wellbeing?

Wow! It’s the best stress reliever ever. Plus I usually enjoy with people I love. My heart and mind are restored and rejuvenated when I get outdoors.

Describe an adventure you undertook that had an impact on your life.

I backpacked the Wind River Range with my buddy. I fell in love with simplicity and the remoteness of the Winds. We met A solo hiker Rob and had a great time. Unfortunately, he had a problem with his water and got sick. We cut short our hike to get him out but it still took 2 days. He’s ok but it made me realize just how important it is to have good people in your life.

What is one habit of yours that makes you a better athlete?

I love to work out early… get my days off to a good start.

What is one struggle you've had and how did you overcome it?

I grew up in alcoholic family and was married to a controlling alcoholic for 28 years. I had to learn how to take my life back because I was chronically unhappy and felt lost. Fortunately for friends and faith the past 4 years after the divorce has brought me back to life.

What habits have you developed to help manage your wellbeing and mental health?

Awareness and ability to recognize emotions and negative self talk has helped me to work through things or seek help more quickly.

What apps, gear, or training tools can you not live without?

My Katadyn water filter and my Jetboil, my Garmin inReach and AllTrails!!

When and where are you happiest?

When I’m with friends in the mountains (out of cell service) or on a lake.