Kathrine Stelfox aka 'Croc'
My name is Kate, but fellow thru hikers know me as ‘Croc;’ a trail name given to me on my third day of the Appalachian Trail. Back then I had been unprepared for the Georgian heat and a heavy backpack - my feet swelling up almost a full shoe size overnight. When I woke in the morning unable to stuff my hobbit feet into my new expensive hiking boots, I opted to wear my camp shoes for two days until I reached Mountain Crossings. I tied the shoe strings together and tossed my boots onto one of the branches of an oak tree outside the store (made famous by failed hikers dangling footwear) and have fallen in love with Crocs ever since.
As a kid growing up in Bragg Creek, Alberta outdoor activities and micro adventures were always part of our family’s way of life, but it wasn’t until I began thru hiking that I really found my passion for outdoor adventure. In 2016 I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail and in 2018 the Pacific Crest Trail. The plan is to triple crown in 2020 by completing the Continental Divide Trail. I’ve filled the time in between thru hikes with some shorter hikes and adventures, like trekking up to Everest Base Camp or backpacking my way through Columbia.
For 2019 I have some pretty fun adventures on the go! I’ll be trekking across Iceland from North to South this summer, a roughly 350 mile route. I’m pretty stoked to be trying out my new Paratus pack for this hike and writing about my adventures. This will be a new and challenging adventure for me as I’ve been wading through topo maps and GPS coordinates to prepare my route and figure out my resupply strategy.
Shortly after trekking through Iceland I will be jumping on a cycling tour across North America, leaving from Helena, Montana and finishing in Panama City, Panama. I’ll be joining roughly 20 cyclists on this four month journey as their resident medic; my job to respond to any injuries or health related concerns along the way.
If I’m not out hiking or biking I’m probably busy ‘adulting’ at a remote hospital in the Canadian Arctic where I work as a registered nurse. I’ve been living in Iqaluit, Nunavut on and off for about two years now and the tundra is starting to feel like home. Cold winter days in the arctic have left me with ample time to work on writing my first book – title TBA – which will be a collection of short stories about thru hiking life: everything from friends accidentally bear spraying their downstairs to me getting Lyme’s Disease in Virginia. Hoping to keep up the writing pace on quieter days and have something ready for reading next year!
Follow along with the hiking shenanigans at: