Thomas “The Real Hiking Viking” Gathman

Thomas (The Real Hiking Viking) Gathman is an extremely avid long-distance hiker who was born and raised in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania but currently resides wherever his feet and backpack are. Tom served four years in the United States Marine Corps Infantry. He deployed on two combat tours to Iraq, the second of which was spent operating in a Scout Sniper Platoon. After an honorable discharge he began attending Bucknell University and got a part time job at a lightweight camping gear manufacturer called Vargo Titanium. While operating a vendor booth at Trail Days in May of 2012, a hiker festival along the Appalachian Trail, Tom had his first interactions with thru-hikers. A thru-hiker is someone who hikes the entire length of a long-distance trail in one shot. And that’s precisely what he decided he wanted to do with his life from that moment on. Since then, Tom has thru-hiked the 2,185 mile long Appalachian trail in 2013 and the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail in 2014 that goes from Mexico to Canada. In 2015 he plans to tackle the Florida Trail, the Arizona Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail.

2016 Update: Currently winter hiking the Appalachian Trail. Follow along on Instagram.

the real hiking viking
Thomas “Jabba” Gathman AKA The Real Hiking Viking


Tom’s goal is to see the world at three miles per hour. He has aspirations to hike the Te Araroa in New Zealand after the PCT. After that, the world is his oyster. He hopes to be active in all facets of the hiking and trail communities and would love to find a way to give back to those communities as well as find a way to help veterans in the future by fundraising or starting his own non-profit.

Home: Lewisburg, Pa

Age: 31

WebsiteThe Real Hiking Viking

Outdoor Organization Involvement

Trail Ambassador for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Favorite Training Ground

Wherever my feet be.

Favorite Backpack

The Gorilla Ultralight Pack

I Never Hit the Trail Without

More food than I need.

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