Brandon Vehrs

AKA - "Toast"

  • From Chicago, IL
  • Job: SEO, Website Optimization
  • Experience: PCT, CDT, GDT.


Age: 36
Previous Thru-hikes: PCT, CDT, GDT.

What are some of my hobbies?
Hiking, photography, peak-bagging, travel, and yoga.

So why are you doing the great western loop?
Who wouldn’t? Seriously though, I am always looking for the next and bigger challenge. Did my first 100 mile fast pack (44 hours through the 100 mile wilderness) this summer; plus, 50 of the Colorado 14-ers. I just love being out there.

What do you think will get you to the end?
Being out there is better than at a desk. “Worst day on the trail is better than the best day at home.” 

What do you want to be remembered for?
When I die? Giving more than I get, being charitable, and a good example.

How would your parents describe you?
You’re asking the wrong person. Takes his own path. Successful at getting what he is after. Doesn’t let people tell him he can’t.

What’s your luxury item?
Usually a sunbrella, those are such godsends I consider them more essential than luxury. I always have an camera – which I considered necessary to traveling through places (but other hikers always call it luxury).

Who is the person you look up to the most and why?
I have to go with my dad. He didn’t lie to me about life – which really helped me take it on. He also supported me when I quit a good job to hike and travel.

Three words to describe yourself?
Determined, fun-loving, and compassionate.

Describe your perfect day on trail?
This is a tough one. The trail has never been about perfect, or to the extent that it is, each moment is perfect. The best days on trail are always: sunrise, make miles, good hiker camaraderie, unexpected/amazing scenery or trail magic, sunset, or stars. 

What would be the reason for you NOT to finish?
Injury can get anyone – only ignorance would say otherwise – but I have always been sure-footed and am not too worried about that. However, family-emergency is the next for taking people off trail – none on the horizon for me, but you cannot predict life. Not much else could do it. Climate catastrophe?.