Interview – Meet Rick McCharles of Besthike.com

1. Please introduce yourself.

I’m Rick McCharles, a career Gymnastics Coach from Calgary, Canada.

Rick McCharles

 

I love gymnastics, the internet and outdoor sport.

2. How did Besthike.com came to be? What’s the story behind the scene?

the west coast trailLike many greybeards, I never got fully into hiking until about age-40. A week long adventure on the West Coast Trail changed my life.

Already a gymnastics blogger, I started posting best hikes online.

On my first hiking trip to South America, I was disappointed to find very little information online.

BestHike.com resulted from that frustration. Today, it gets over 200,000 hits a year.

3. How important is hiking for you and can you give us a little insight into your “Best hikes, treks, tramps in the world”?

besthike sloganI love hiking. It’s one of my top 3 priorities in life.

My yearly calendar is based around work (I’m a consultant) and hiking trips.

Next up is a trip to Vietnam and Nepal. This will be my 5th time trekking Nepal.

4. What is your hiking gear of choice?

Granite Gear Virga pack

For the past 8 years I’ve used much the same gear for overnight hikes of any length.

Granite Gear Virga pack with inflated therm-a-rest “frame”. Hubba tent.

Down sleeping bag. Everything kept in waterproof stuff sacs.

My system is posted here.

 

5. What multi tool do you most often use? And how important is having one close when outdoors?

Swiss Army Compact Knife

For decades I was a Swiss Army Knife devotee.

As I progressively lightened my gear, by 2014 I carry only one light weight metal spoon.

It’s all I need for the food I bring.

 

6. Can you give us 5 tips on how to make the most of a hiking experience please?

hiking shoes

    • plan ahead
    • carry the correct light gear, especially footwear
    • make sure your sleeping system works
    • bring food you will enjoy
    • share your trip report, photos and video when you get home

 

7. What was your ultimate hiking/trail?

west coast trail

The West Coast Trail is our #1 hike in the world.

But my personal most amazing trek was the Huayhuash Circuit in Peru.

Long, remote, intense and potentially dangerous.

 

8. Who is your favorite hiker?

andrew skurka

Andrew Skurka, of course. The greatest modern distance hiker. He’s a superman.

But for the average Joe hiker, I’d recommend you follow The Hike Guy, Kolby Kirk.

He’s uniquely philosophical, a slow hiker.

Out to enjoy rather than race for distance.

 

9. A message to your readers.

Besthike.com is an index of the best hikes, treks and tramps in the world.

Our mission is simply catalogue the best hikes.

And help people get the information they need to plan hiking adventures.

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