Millions of people canceled their travel plans in 2021 as Covid-19 halted international trips around the world.
Renee Miller and Tim Beissinger were not among them.
The pair are “thru-hikers,” a term which describes a style of hiking that starts and ends in different places, while often covering long distances.
Rather than staying at home, the American couple saw the pandemic as an opportunity to embark on a 3,149-mile hike along the Continental Divide Trail, which stretches across the United States between the borders of Mexico and Canada.
Miller and Beissinger shared their four-month journey on the trail, commonly called the CDT, on the social media website TikTok, where they now have 1.7 million followers.
“We knew … other hikers would find it interesting to watch somebody on the CDT,” said Beissinger. “But the fact that many people have been inspired and motivated to think more about hiking … has just been fun and rewarding.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the CDT spans the length of the United States north to south, passing through famous hiking destinations such as Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, and along the Rocky Mountains.
Beissinger and Miller arrive in Canada following a four-month hike that began at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Courtesy of Timothy Beissinger and Renee Miller
The couple gained popularity on TikTok as followers tuned in to see the scenic views of the CDT and to monitor their progress.
“We didn’t have to do any work to show how beautiful it was,” said Beissinger.
The couple said they received messages from people who said they were inspired to start hiking — some for the very first time.
Beissinger said one man told them he was inspired to start hiking for health reasons.
“He lost 42 pounds,” said Beissinger, adding that long distance hiking doesn’t require prior experience. “You just need to have the desire and the passion.”
From packing lists to recipes, the couple’s social media pages and online blog contain preparation tips for hiking the CDT.
To ensure they had an adequate supply of food, Miller and Beissinger dehydrated 100 homemade dinners and mailed them out …….