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Short Stories from Long Trails, A Book Review

Short Stories from Long Trails by Justin Lichter-001
Short Stories from Long Trails by Justin Lichter

Known worldwide by his trail name “Trauma”, Justin Lichter and his hiking companion Pepper (Shawn Forry) were the first people to ever thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in winter. The story of that epic hike and many of Justin’s other long distance treks across the Himalayas, Africa, Mexico, New Zealand, Iceland, and others more are recounted in Justin’s new book Short Stories from Long Trails.

Unlike most trail memoirs, Short Stories is a collection of all the tall tales and funny experiences Justin’s had on his long distance backpacking trips, making the book a fun read that will have you turning the pages. Eating maggot infested noodles, sharing a freshly killed sheep with a Nepalese shepherd, being stalked by lions in Africa, and walking through fields of opium poppies in Mexico are just a few of the stories that Justin recounts in this entertaining travelogue.

Justin and Yoni
Justin and his dog Yoni on the Appalachian Trail in Winter

Knowing Justin, this book and the way it’s written, make you feel like you’re sitting face-to-face with him over his trademark glass of chocolate milk, while he tells you these fabulous and often hilarious stories about life on the trail. His ability to see the humor in even the most dire and death-defying situations will keep you giggling, as Trauma, perhaps better named “Sketchy”, bounces back from adversity time and again.

Despite his humble and understated demeanor, Justin is the accomplished author of Trail Tested and Ultra­light Sur­vival Kit, two excellent books about backpacking gear and ultralight backpacking techniques. A professional ski patroller and ultra distance swimmer, Justin’s thirst for human-powered adventure knows no bounds.

Check out Justin’s Short Stories from Long Trails if you want to see what life on the the long trail is really like from a hiker who walks the walk.

Disclosure: Justin Lichter provided Philip Werner ( with a copy of Short Stories from Long Trails for review. 


  1. I will check it out.

    As many times as I’ve returned from hiking trips in some sort of cast, bandage, or other medical device, I’m surprised my family and friends didn’t nickname me “Trauma”. Usually, it’s “tsk… tsk… tsk”, accompanied by a knowing shaking of the head.

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