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Blind Hiker Tackles America's Wilderness [PICS]

hiking while blind
Images via BBC

After losing his sight in his mid-30s, Trevor Thomas is still finding ways to experience the backcountry.

Now 46, Thomas lost his sight a decade ago over an eight-month period caused by a rare condition.

"In the end, I was praying for my sight to go, so I could start my life again," said Thomas about his condition.

trevor thomas

Despite his rehabilitation worker's objections, he learned to hike as a method of coping with the major life change.

He started in North Carolina on short, easy routes. Two years later, he through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in six months, becoming the first unassisted blind hiker to conquer the 2,175 miles.

blind hiker

In 2013, Thomas began his own non-profit, Team FarSight Foundation. The group encourages other blind people to experience nature, and form partnerships with sighted volunteers to further that effort.

For the last three years, Thomas has been hiking with his guide dog, Tennille. She even gets her own boots, sleeping bag, and mat.

Trevor Thomas has through-hiked the John Muir Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail (twice), the Pacific Crest Trail (2,654 miles from Mexico to Canada), and climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states. He has covered 18,000 miles to date.

guide dog

Tennille wears a special harness, and is trained to alert Thomas to any potential dangers, such as deadfall and boulders. He has even trained her to alert him to rattlesnakes.

So now, you officially have no more excuses. Learn more about Trevor on his blog.

Images via BBC

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Blind Hiker Tackles America's Wilderness [PICS]