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The Dusty Camel: Conquering the Pacific Crest Trail and protecting our wild lands
Written by Ian Mangiardi   
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Ian Mangiardi of The Dusty Camel is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. He checks in from the journey with an update and tells what The Dusty Camel is all about.

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Nature. Terrifying, exhilarating, and untamed. For most, the spontaneity of Mother Nature is a barrier – for us, it's a reason.

Three months ago, we set out on a six-month journey to hike nearly three thousand miles up Americas West coast. With a desire for adventure and perhaps a few loose screws, we are doing this in efforts to preserve and appreciate the very nature of the outdoors that people might fear.

Starting in the arid desert on the border of Mexico, we snaked our way north, eventually entering the awe-inspiring Sierra Nevada mountain range. This year, the snowfall has reached 500% of the usual amount in some areas, and the extreme snowmelt caused the rivers and creeks to rage. The rushing water is so dangerous and has caused eight deaths this year.

The Dusty CamelThe Dusty CamelThe Dusty Camel

About The Dusty Camel

After our 2009 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, my hiking buddy (Camel) and I (Dusty) wanted to help protect the lands that gave us the experience of a lifetime. We started our non-profit organization -- The Dusty Camel -- in efforts to share stories of adventure, and raise awareness for wildlife corridors, highlighting the need to protect them. Not more than a year ago, the bug bite of adventure had grown itchy enough that we decided to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail; a much more wild, remote, and longer version of the Appalachian Trail -- in the West.

The Dusty CamelThe Dusty Camel

Wildlife Corridors

Every living creature moves, and wildlife moves as the weather changes: animals, habitats, even plants. The paths they follow are called corridors. Due to highways, cities, and nearly everything man-made, there are barriers for these fundamental travelers. Pairing up with Freedom to Roam, we want to show people the importance of unrestricted movement, and get people outdoors. The more people that venture outdoors, the more people will protect it.


Following along on our adventure can be intriguing as well as educational. Having a "critter of the week" and reading about our daily experiences is fun for all. As the owner of, Sara Barlow and her three kids have been camping in their back yard to understand the wild nature of the outdoors, but not fear it. We also help potential thru-hikers and adventurers sift through the masses of gear to plan their own adventure, and host blogs so that anyone can share their story.

We have completed 1,100 miles so far, and are excited to bring you along for the 1,566 to go. From the high passes to the low valleys, you can follow us on our journey with daily journal posts at our blog, Twitter and Facebook. We will be sharing further updates on too.

The Dusty CamelIan Mangiardi, a full-bred New Yorker from Manhattan’s Lower West Side, works at Patagonia and is finishing a degree at NYU. Mangiardi is one-third of The Dusty Camel. The trio is hiking 2,600 miles northbound on America’s Pacific Crest Trail in Spring 2011 to raise awareness for the protected lands they trek. Donations raised through their website goes to the protection of the PCT.

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