Episode 71 The Te Araroa Trail and The Hike For Mental Health with Justin Helmkamp

Justin “2 Taps” Helmkamp is a Thru Hiker who recently completed the southern section of the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. He’s also an advocate for mental health and, when he’s not hiking a long trail, he spends his time working with a teens and young adults in a Wilderness Therapy program.

On this episode, we talk about his time hiking abroad in New Zealand, how to deal with constant wet feet, how to allow and adventure to take palce, and how the wilderness can be a useful tool for mental health.

 Justin is a cool cat and someone you’re going to want to pay attention to.


By Land,

Emory R. Wanger


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Show Notes

  • Introductions

  • Justin’s path to backpacking

  • The inspiration to hike

  • Learning to Thru Hike from scratch

  • Deciding to hike the Te Araroa in New Zealand

  • Details of the trail

  • The Approach to planning the Te Araroa Trail

  • Learning to let adventure happen and building confidence

  • How hiking really let’s you experience a place

  • Learning to hike New Zealand

  • How to deal with wet feet

  • Being comfortable being uncomfortable

  • A note on backpacking footwear

  • Is hiking becoming more popular?

  • Hike for Mental Health and wilderness therapy

  • Finding another purpose while out on an adventure

  • Why the wilderness therapy works

  • Learning to be bored

  • Can video or photography ruin an experience?

  • Details on guided wilderness therapy

  • How the movement of hiking plays a role in therapy

  • What can happen in your head when hiking

  • Allowing yourself to learn from the outdoors

  • How to follow up with Justin and what he’s doing