Pamela Wilton – 8 Thousand Kilometer Challenge

This Twitterview was conducted between Tim Miner (@TrailSherpa) and Pamela Wilton (@8Thousand) via Twitter on Wednesday, July 29, 2010 and is part of the Trail Sherpa Blog Series #hike2020.

I met Pamela Wilton on Twitter (@8thousand) and like I do with anyone that catches my attention on Twitter, I went to her blog to see what she had to say in more than 140 characters.  This girl is aggressive (in a really good way!).  Her blog, 8 Thousand Kilometer Challenge, is an outdoor adventure diary of sorts.  She blogs about her adventures in hiking, running, paddling, and biking.  She writes great posts about everything from “How to Become a Public Washroom Ninja” to turning “The Big 3-0!“.

She utilizes her blog as a way to keep herself accountable and to share the stories of her various outdoor adventures.  I had the pleasure to interview Pamela in order to get a better idea of what makes her tick, how she approaches her blog, and what’s she’s learned from the great outdoors.  The following transcript is from our Twitterview:

trailsherpa: Hi Pamela! Thanks for taking time to share the story behind your blog http://8thousand.wordpress.com #hike2020

8thousand: Hi Tim! Thanks for asking me – this is my favorite topic.

trailsherpa: Your current blog is http://8thousand.wordpress.com – what types of adventures are you documenting?

8thousand: My blog is about various adventures & trying new things.

8thousand: Thus, my posts cover everything from strapping a canoe to the car for the first time to…

8thousand: …a 40 km mountain bike trip covering a 200 foot elevation fluctuation. Hike, Bike, Paddle, Run.

8thousand: Anything that gets me outdoors and moving!

trailsherpa: How did you come up with the idea of documenting your next 8k kilometers?

8thousand: Initially, I calculated an aggressive distance to be documented in a year by running and cycling.

8thousand: But, it has turned into more than that.

8thousand: It has grown into experiencing new activities outdoors, sharing those experiences, and logging km along the way.

trailsherpa: What are your goals for the blog? For your fitness this year?

8thousand: My goals are to produce quality posts that entertain, inform and inspire my audience.

8thousand: In order to do this, I need to cover new ground on a continual basis.

8thousand: I wanted to produce a forum to discuss this subject with like minded people – like @trailsherpa.

8thousand: My fitness level is important, so that it is not the deciding factor on what adventures I choose to experience.

trailsherpa: What’s your progress so far? Kilometers, outings, injuries…

8thousand: Since starting the blog, I have traveled close to 1000 kilometers. I have biked urban and off road trails,…

8thousand: …I have hiked on the Canadian Shield, and I have paddled a number of water ways in Manitoba and Ontario.

8thousand: I have had minor bumps along the way, including falling off my bike on a sandy decline, but so far so good.

trailsherpa: Do you have any previous experience as a writer/blogger? How does that help you with 8k Kilometer Challenge?

8thousand: I have maintained a casual, personal blog to keep in touch with friends and family.

8thousand: It was a great introduction to the world of blogging and the tools that are available.

trailsherpa: How do you market your blog and your new entries to share your stories with others?

8thousand: Primarily, I publish my new posts on twitter. I will tweet it once or twice upon production. Again, when applicable.

8thousand: As well, I like to talk to other outdoor enthusiasts bloggers, so that we can promote each other.

trailsherpa: Any advice for newbies looking to start blogging about their outdoor adventures?

8thousand: Keep it light, informative, and add some humor. Stay motivated by scaring yourself into new activities…

8thousand: …so that you have something to write about. Win, win! Also have fun with social media tactics to promote your blog.

trailsherpa: Have there been any other blogs that have had a positive impact on yours?

8thousand: I have a number of friends with personal blogs who keep me motivated to write, share and excel.

8thousand: Not to mention, the new blogs I’m discovering through twitter.

trailsherpa: What platform, theme, plugins, widgets do you use on your blog?

8thousand: I currently use wordpress. I am using such widgets as Gravatar, Email subscription, Tweets, Delicious and Flickr.

8thousand: I recently started adding social network links to each post – free from www.getsociallive.com.

trailsherpa: What techie tools do you use – camera, video, GPS, blogging editor?

8thousand: I use my iPhone to capture various moments, my Macbook for blogging, a no nonsense point-and-shoot camera and a Garmin GPS.

trailsherpa: What equipment do you use for your outings – kayak, shoes, packs, bike?

8thousand: I ride a Specialized Hardrock Sport. I have North Face hikers and Asics runners. I wear Keen sandals frequently, when appropriate.

8thousand: I use various MEC Packs. My favorite clothing is from @MEC and @lululemon.

8thousand: We hit the water in whatever is available – rent, borrow, steal.

trailsherpa: How has your overall fitness improved since you started the 8 Thousand Kilometer Challenge?

8thousand: Yes, definitely. Feats that were once grueling & difficult, have now become more enjoyable. It is the best motivator to stay fit.

trailsherpa: How often do you get out to exercise? Do you always blog about your outings?

8thousand: I exercise on some level everyday. I cycle commute on a regular basis, run, and do interval training at MissFitpts.ca boot camps.

8thousand: I will often blog on these experiences, as there are often lessons learned and interesting tidbits to be shared.

8thousand: It helps make everyday an adventure, even if I?m not out in the “great” outdoors.

trailsherpa: What has been your favorite adventure so far?

8thousand: During the life of the blog – the Hunt Lake Trail Hike. Shimmied water crossings, climbed rocks, and crossed beaver dams.

8thousand: All with beautiful views of the lake and forest.

8thousand: During my lifetime – climbing the Penon de Ifach at Calpe, Spain. It is over 335m and is the largest rock in the Mediterranean.

trailsherpa: Anything coming up that you’re really pumped for?

8thousand: I have plans for overnight canoe camping adventures. In the heat of the summer, the water is such an awesome way to travel.

8thousand: Hiking at our destination will be included, which will make it a sweet combination!

trailsherpa: In general, which activity do you look forward to the most? Which is the most challenging?

8thousand: I look forward to biking and hiking the most. Anything that gets me moving in nature. I am getting more excited about paddling…

8thousand: … but it?s not always as accessible. Running is still the most challenging activity for me.

trailsherpa: Any pearls of wisdom? Deep thoughts? Major ah-ha moments from the trail?

8thousand: until you find each adventure takes you to the next level. Life is an adventure to be experienced and enjoyed with friends…

8thousand: …in the great outdoors! Oh yes. Always, always bring enough water. 🙂

trailsherpa: Where can people follow your adventures online?

8thousand: The blog is: 8thousand.wordpress.com. Or at Twitter: @8thousand

trailsherpa: Thanks Pamela (@8thousand). I had a blast! I appreciate the time and the insights you’ve shared today. Keep us updated.

8thousand: Thanks Tim (@trailsherpa). This has been fun! All the best.

This Twitterview was conducted between Tim Miner (@TrailSherpa) and Pamela Wilton (@8Thousand) via Twitter on Wednesday, July 29, 2010 and is part of the Trail Sherpa Blog Series #hike2020.

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I'm the founder of Vestor Logic, the digital strategy and web design firm that created Trail Sherpa, ParksFolio, and Modern Steader. I'm a day hiker, top chef in camp, doting husband, and father to two headlamp wearing boys. My work in digital media brings those experiences to life.