Video tag

Post Appalachian Trail Depression: Advice from Miss Janet

post appalachian trail hiker depression

It was July, 24 2011, a group of 20+ hikers huddled around a large picnic table in the backyard of the Happy Hiker’s Hostel in Glencliff, New Hampshire.  The night’s menu offered home-cooked meatloaf, grilled corn on the cob, mayonnaise-rich pasta salad, coleslaw, homemade buns lathered in liberal amounts of butter, and of course Miller High Life (obviously).  We were shoveling plate after plate of the delicious homemade fare directly into the deepest part of our throats, as if we unlearned the lost art of chewing.  A week of consuming only Ramen has that effect on people.

We were fortunate this evening for the home-cooked meal.  The typical hostel culture leaves a hiker on his/her own to walk or catch a shuttle to the nearest restaurant; the Happy Hiker Hostel is usually no exception.  This evening, however, we were graced with the presence (and culinary skills) of Miss JanetMiss Janet is an Appalachian Trail celebrity.  I remember my first week on the trail, a fellow hiker (who I had never conversed with), came up to me and excitedly said, “did you hear that Miss Janet is hiking the trail this year?!?”

“Are you serious?! …  By the way…who is Miss Janet?”

Apparently that was a dumb question (I’m good at those). A legend of the trail (objectively speaking – she is featured in the documentary “Trail Angels”), Miss Janet has been involved with helping AT hikers since she was only 13 years old.  Miss Janet’s hostel in Erwin, Tennessee was regarded as arguably the best hiker hostel on the entire AT (in competition with over 60 others).  Some hostels are known for their cheap price, some are known for the quality of their setup, Miss Janet’s was known for, well Miss Janet.

That’s why when Miss Janet talks, hikers listen.

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The First 100 Days on the Appalachian Trail

100 days on appalachian trail

My friend- Lauren Lienhard- made a very nice card wishing me good luck on the Appalachian Trail. Instead of being selfish and hogging it all to myself, I made it into a video instead.

In this video, we learn of the radical transformation the Good Badger shall go through in his first 100 days on the Appalachian Trail. From sunny skies and smiles to tears and bleeding feet, this journey of a lifetime may soon be coming to an end.

I encourage all those who haven’t already – to “like” the Good Badger Facebook page as this will serve as the main feed while Zach is on the trail.

How to Prepare for the Appalachian Trail: Drunk Q&A

how to prepare for appalachian trail drunk Q&A image

The premise for this one is pretty simple.

1) You ask questions

2) I drink

3) I answer

A big thanks to everyone who submitted questions.  I’m going to try and squeeze in one last video before I embark, so be sure to like the Good Badger on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to get in on the action for the next one.

If you’re interested in watching the longer directors cut version of this video – e-mail me at theGoodBadger[at]

Lastly, if you haven’t already, watch the other Appalachian Prep videos on: physical endurance, how to build a tent, and diet plan.

How to Eat Like a King on the Appalachian Trail

Nature will do all that it can to restrict your ability to eat like the rightful monarch that you are.  That’s why in this lengthy 35 second video not only do you learn how to eat like a king, but you learn what a beetle/dinosaur looks like in the process.

Just so you know eating like a king on the Appalachian Trail isn’t as easy as what’s demonstrated in this video.  This particular skill requires years of meditation and heightened beetle/dinosaur attracting skills.  I trained with a monk based out of Cincinnati, considered one of the top 4 beetle attractors in all of Western Ohio, and in that time I obtained the skills necessary for the advanced tactics you’ve just witnessed.  This video is not CGI and this beetle/dinosaur is not a paid actor, this is real life drama unfolding before your very eyes.  Some call it a miracle.  Others aren’t paying close enough attention.

I know what you’re saying to yourself: “but his beard is so rustic that it could drive a monster truck through the fiery gates of hell and not slow down as it plowed over rage infested demons.”  I agree with you.  Good point.

How to Prepare For Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Diet Plan [Video]

The Appalachian Trail Diet Plan

This week’s video takes us into my favorite room on earth (aside from my Erin Andrew’s shrine), the kitchen.

Apparently walking 2,200 miles while carrying the weight of a fat toddler on your back, up and down rocky terrain, burns a good amount of energy.  Currently I burn just slightly more than zero calories per day.

To adequately prepare my body for this increased load, I will spend the next seven weeks eating anything that is 1) edible and 2) in sight (I’m flexible with #1).  Although I haven’t read any sound advice as to why I should be doing this, my best instincts tell me to go for it.  Always go with your gut.

If this is your first stop to the “How to Prepare For Hiking the Appalachian Trail” video series, may I encourage you to check out the first two videos on physical endurance training and how to build a tent.  Also, if you want to get in on the fun of suggesting horrible things to do to the Good Badger in future videos (will make sense after watching this) I suggest to follow me on Twitter and/or join the Good Badger Facebook Page.


How to Prepare for the Appalachian Trail: Building a Tent [Video]

how to build a tent the good badger

For those who may be new to the Good Badger, I am a guy who is attempting to give new meaning to the term walking distance (i.e. hiking the Appalachian Trail).

Today’s post, on how to build your own tent, is the second edition of the “how to prepare for hiking the Appalachian Trail” video instructional series.  You can watch the first video on physical endurance training here.

Although I am very attached to the tent constructed in the video below, I would be open to considering taking donations from a quality camping gear company.  I demand that it be bear proof.  Or at least water proof.  Or at least have a zipper.

How to Prepare for Hiking the Appalachian Trial: Physical Endurance Training

physical endurance training

If you could be inside of my brain right now, you’d be punching yourself in the face because everything was moving too fast.

That’s the byproduct of realizing that you’ve just committed to spending a half year in the woods.  Shit.

As long as I’ve signed myself up for this bout of insanity, I’m going to take the steps necessary to make sure that I’m a highly tuned hiking/camping machine before I ever step foot onto the Appalachian Trail.

The following video demonstrates how far I’ve already come.

The ADHD Guide to CES [Video]

I’m always seeking reasons to make the quick 5 hour drive over to Las Vegas.

“What?! It’s the 4th Annual Rare Ceramics Conference?!  PACK YOUR BAGS BITCH WE’RE GOING!”

However when the year’s top new technology conference is being hosted in your almost backyard [assuming your backyard is full of glitter and sin (see: Charlie Sheen)], the decision to take part was a no-brainer.

I put together a short video for Tech Cocktail on my take of the event.  If you get a few free seconds, I’d love to see your feedback on the original post.

Post Script: Look for an anxiety ridden Appalachian Trail prep post later this week.

The Power of Reciprocity [Video]

the power of reciprocity image

As is usually the case, I greatly underestimated how long it would take to produce this video.  If you withdrew even one ounce of joy, education, hatred, or stimulation, I would very much appreciate it if you could click one of the fun social media “share” buttons located around the page.  I’ll reciprocate next time [winky face].

The Power of Reciprocity from zach davis on Vimeo.

For those who are interested in learning more on how to utilize psychology to get people to do things for you, I recommend you get Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persusaion.

Also, the song is Merry Man by Buddy Ross, a new personal favorite of mine.  Buy a bunch of his music and tell him how awesome he is on Twitter.

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