Thomas ‘Jabba’ GathmanThomas (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.
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 and 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 eventually.
The Hiking Viking's Favorite Sock: Running Ultra Light Micro
"I like this sock because it provides a snug fit while still being breathable and lightweight. I need my socks to breathe well to accommodate for my foot walking 30 miles a day with a pack on. That friction and heat adds up and these are the perfect socks for that."