Dan “Knotts” Binde is my name. My hiking adventures started in 2008. My sister and brother in law brought me out to Glacier NP. This was my first taste ever in the back-country and I instantly became hooked. We headed into the Belly River. I immediately thought I was going to die with how heavy my pack weighed. I complained about having the heaviest pack. So on break, my sister and brother in law put their packs down and let me try them on. There was no doubt I had the lightest pack. Just before Slide Lake camp, we spooked up Howard the Moose. Howard darted across the trail about 10 feet in front of my brother in law. Howard turned out to be a nice character. He hung out at the camp the rest of the night. Not long after getting to camp, it started to pour and didn’t let up. With not knowing much about what I was getting into, I brought my cheap Wenzel pop up tent. Within no time, I was sitting on my sleeping pad which quickly turned into an island. I hoped over to their small tent. I got frustrated quite fast being crammed in the middle and it being so early in the day. I was so young and excited, I couldn’t fall asleep. After 2 hours-ish, it stopped raining and I got a fire rolling. I was able to dry out pretty much everything that got soaked. Howard and I hung out the rest of the night, till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.
The next few years, I kept making my way into the back-country. I couldn’t of had an easier time to learn with all the people helping me. My aunt and uncle live just outside of the park at Smoky Bear Ranch (B&B). Brother Mike also got me into hiking. Without his extra gear to borrow, there would of been no chance of getting me hooked.
One of my last back-country trips in Glacier NP opened a door to a whole new world. The thru-hiking world ! ! ! I had no idea what that meant until I met a guy from California. He told me about the Pacific Crest Trail, which he hiked the previous year. The way he spoke of the trail intrigued me to learn more. That night at the campfire, I wrote PCT in the dirt with a stick and took a picture. A week later, after getting back to Minnesota, I scoped out the Pacific Crest Trail online. Instantly, photos of the SNOWY high Sierras popped up. Seeing endless snow covered mountains freaked me out. The other feeling was about what a great journey it would be.
My parents have been amazing with helping everything run smooth. Without them, I doubt I would be where I am at my hiking career. They even came to pick me up 22+ hours away on a random road in a different country. Add on Washington after my PCT and later on that year down on Springer Mountain, Georgia.