Meet the couple who have hiked and canoed their way to social media fame
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Renee Miller and Tim Beissinger, you’ll need to put in some serious effort.
The married couple have hiked – and canoed – their way to social media stardom, sharing mesmerising videos and photos of incredible adventures they’ve been on in some style. And revealing that their odysseys are partly fueled by dinners their families post to them.
Their exploits are followed by more than 2.1million people on TikTok, 494,000 on YouTube and 220,000 people on Instagram, where they share how-to tips along with footage and pictures from their journeys.
A recent conquest was completing what they called the ‘Pacific Northwest Circuit’, a three-and-a-half-month 2,797-mile ‘walk/canoe’ expedition that began by the Pacific Ocean in America’s Olympic National Park in the state of Washington and finished 106 days later a bit further south.
They walked around 1,500 miles into the Canadian Rockies and canoed 1,200 miles along the entire Columbia River, back to the coast.
Renee and Tim pose for a selfie on Whidbey Island in Washington state during their Pacific Northwest Circuit odyssey of 2022
Renee and Tim dehydrate food for their epic hikes- and get their families to post it to them along the way
The couple rely on their families to make sure that their food is in the right place at the right time
This map reveals the couple’s Pacific Northwest Circuit route, a three-and-a-half-month 2,797-mile ‘walk/canoe’ expedition that began by the Pacific Ocean in America’s Olympic National Park in the state of Washington and finished 106 days later a bit further south
They revealed on their website that they spent 102 nights sleeping outside, wore through three pairs of shoes each, and saw plenty of wildlife, the list including eight black bears, one mountain lion, one Canada lynx, bald eagles, elk, bighorn sheep and moose.
And they ate 111 dehydrated dinners that they prepared for their families to post to them during the trip.
These dinners included creamy spaghetti and salsa with crisps, which is Tim’s favourite. Their families post boxes along the route for the couple to pick up as they walk.
The couple rely on their families to make sure that their food is in the right place at the right time.
Tim tells MailOnline Travel: ‘They’re all really supportive – both my family and Renee’s family. Our mums alternated sending us the food and then my sister took charge.’
This picture was taken in 2022 on day one of the Pacific Northwest Circuit quest in Olympic National Park
Tim is pictured here on the Pacific Northwest Circuit in Washington state in the North Cascades National Park. Renee explained that ‘melting snow meant lots of deep stream crossings’
Renee pictured in Columbia River headwaters in British Columbia, Canada, during the Pacific Northwest Circuit trip. She said that at this location the river is ‘just a tiny stream fed by springs bubbling up from the ground’
The Pacific Northwest Circuit adventure continues: The joyful couple on Columbia Lake at the beginning of the Columbia River in British Columbia
Tim is pictured here with the trusty portable stove in the Selkirk Mountains during 2022’s Pacific Northwest Circuit expedition
The Pacific Northwest Circuit attempt brought the couple to Bogachiel Rain Forest, Washington state
An average day on a hike will start with oats and lunch will be something that can be eaten mixed with cold water. Dinner is usually more exciting as the couple can heat a range of meals on their portable stove.
Recipes for their adventures include unstuffed peppers and biryani. Renee and Tim make about ten of each meal so that they only eat each thing about once every two weeks.
Tim reveals that the most important piece of kit that they carry is their portable stove.
He says: ‘My best friend other than Renee is coffee and so every morning starts with coffee. Our food on the trail is such a big part of what makes us happy.’
Renee in a snowy Olympic National Park in Washington state during the Pacific Northwest Circuit trip
This incredible picture shows Tim at Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, during the Pacific Northwest Circuit adventure
Renee beams next to a tree in Bogachiel Rain Forest during the Pacific Northwest Circuit quest
The couple describe themselves as ‘thruhikers’, because they like to complete entire routes, end to end. It’s something they have a lot of experience in.
They have hiked between Mexico and Canada twice, including in the summer of 2021 when they walked the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, which takes hikers through five U.S. states, from the Mexican border in New Mexico to the Canadian border in Montana.
Renee describes how, on their two walks between Mexico and Canada, she fell in love with the desert.
She says: ‘Both times we started in the desert and it’s just amazing. I’ve always loved cactuses and the landscape is so dry and barren but there is so much beautiful life. Everything’s prickly and there are lots of snakes.’
This 2021 picture shows Renee in Colorado on the Continental Divide Trail, climbing to the summit of Grey’s Peak at 14,278ft. This mountain is part of the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range
The couple are pictured here caught in a snowstorm in Colorado’s Sawatch Range in the Rockies during the Continental Divide Trail trip
And relax: Tim takes a well-earned breather in the Sawatch Range during the Continental Divide Trail trek
Renee is snug inside her sleeping bag in this Continental Divide Trail snap, taken in New Mexico’s Black Range mountains
The couple’s Continental Divide Trail camp in New Mexico’s volcanic El Malpais National Monument
Tim explains that the couple have been doing trips since they met, 16 years ago.
He says: ‘We’ve loved the outdoors and so we started off doing smaller trips together. We would backpack in our home state or canoe and we used to volunteer in Wisconsin helping the Department of Natural Resources track wolves.’
It’s not always been easy for the hikers. Renee says that it’s not really possible for them to have a bad day. They have to ‘keep going because we know we have a certain amount of food and we have to make it to the next stop before the food runs out’.
Time for a Continental Divide Trail break: Tim pictured in the San Juan Range in Colorado
The couple’s camp in Catron County, New Mexico, part way along the Continental Divide Trail
Tim is pictured here enjoying a ‘bathtub temperature stream warmed by geysers’ in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, during the Continental Divide Trail expedition
Tim explains that in the summer of 2021 they both fell ill during a hike, but they just kept going.
He says: ‘We were sick and doing 30 miles a day through the whole stretch and that was our only option.’
The couple, who live in California, say that the best advice they could give to people who want to start thruhiking is to get familiar with your kit before you start. Tim explains that it is important to start slowly and build up.
He says: ‘Starting slow has always been important for us. We start at fewer miles than we’ll be doing at the end.
‘The other thing is that nobody is an expert at something until they do it. When we set off on our first 2,600-mile trail, we didn’t know what we were doing. We just learned along the way and it’s a long time to learn. Just do it and figure it out.’
For more from Tim and Renee visit thruhikers.co, their Instagram profile – www.instagram.com/thruhikers – their YouTube channel and their TikTok channel – www.tiktok.com/@thruhikers.
END-TO-END TRAILS ACROSS EUROPE
Land’s End to John O’Groats (1,215 miles). From the top of Scotland down to the tip of Cornwall
E1 European Long Distance Trail (4,960 miles). Countries on this trail include Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
North to South Traverse (340 miles). Walking across Iceland on some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.
Grand Italian Trail (3,831 miles). Ever wanted to see Italy on foot? This trail takes up to 12 months and is divided into 368 sections, so it doesn’t have to be done in one go.