The all-time youngest Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Appalachian Trail (AT) hiker, Christian Thomas is known simply as “Buddy Backpacker” for all the qualities that he embodies: friendship, mobility, curiosity, and exploration.
Christian Thomas was born on April 1, 2008, in Kings Park, NY. After spending the early years of his life growing up on Long Island more than 100 miles away from anything resembling wilderness, Christian moved with his family to Boulder, CO, where he began hiking 14,000 ft mountains at the age of 4. Thanks to the influence of his parents, he grew up as an active child and became a fan of the outdoors. Christian would regularly return to New York during the summer to visit his family and ride his bike to his grandfather’s fishing spot.
During his later days in the Colorado mountains, while living at 9,500 ft on Mt. Crested Butte, he enjoyed honing his skiing skills while developing lower muscle strength. When he started hiking northbound on April 27th 2013 from Harpers Ferry, WV, Buddy's acclimation to the high altitude helped him hike long distances on the Appalachian Trail, where he averaged 12-mile-days at only 5-years-old.
After hiking three 16-mile-days out of Duncanon, PA, he appeared to be a contender for the youngest person to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail. He blasted past Mt. Garfield in the White Mountains of NH, pulling a 17-mile day from Greenleaf to Zealand Falls Hut, while still stopping and talking to more than 30 hikers along the way.
Christian continued to improve and in Maine he accidentally broke his then personal best mileage by hiking too fast past his pick up point, and unknowingly hiked 22 miles into Monson.
That fall, the Baxter State Park Authority granted Christian Thomas permission to climb Mt. Katahdin. He was the first five year old granted permission and on September 14, 2013, became the youngest person known to summit the peak and complete the entire northern half of the Appalachian Trail.
Now, at age 7, Buddy's gained more experience than most lifelong hikers, having hiked over 5,000 miles after completing the AT in 2013, PCT in 2014, and Colorado Trail in 2015. This year he sets his sights on the Continental Divide Trail as he aims to become the youngest person to achieve the Triple Crown of hiking.
We're honored to fuel Buddy in his mission. GO BUDDY!
Over 5,000 miles hiked? By a 7 year old? Talk about an incredible journey! But how did Buddy Backpacker have the energy to go such a distance? With Salazon Chocolate, of course! Check out Buddy Backpacker’s favorite chocolate bar, 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Caramel, to see if it’s the right jump starter for you. Take 10% off your Salazon Chocolate order with discount code HIKINGCHOCOLATE.