TrailQuest/ Rainmaker's Home Page/ My Channel at Youtube
BrawnyView Blog/The FemaleSurvivalist/ Books I've Written
Books by Carol Wellman at Barnes and Noble for downloading to Nook./ Books by Carol Wellman at for kindle.

Welcome to My Home Page

Hi, my trail name is Brawny. Please come in, take off your shoes , look around, and make yourself comfortable.

I'm passionate about ultralight long distance backpacking
and designing and sewing custom ultralight backpacking gear.

Recently I've learned to ocean snorkel. You can read about those water adventures in 2007 and beyond. Scuba diving could be next!

Life holds no promises; I believe we ought to be active participants in our own destinies, leaving fate to those who linger in doubt. May all your adventures both inspire you, and keep you young.

This photo was taken below John Muir Hut, 6 weeks into my PCT hike in 2001. My packless system is getting a good workout.
See my ice axe strapped to the various silnylon sacks, and water bottle carriers cinched to 4 corners of the frame? Check out more details on the The Packless System for an easy way to modify an external frame.

My Journey to Freedom and Ultralight Backpacking

--My book about my journey to personal freedom, and my adventures on the PCT, JMT, and AT. The second half of the book is all about my ultralight techniques, with directions for making your own gear and gear lists. Now available for Kindle and PCs at You don't need a Kindle to purchase e-books. There is a free download for PCs.

If you have a Nook, you can get the books at Barnes and Nobel.

My new e-book: Everything Except Corn Pasta
--a culinary guide for backpackers
is full of trail stories, recipes, photos, and information for everyone. Published in 2011.

An Ultralighter's True Trail Stories-Beyond the Journey
This book has not been printed in hard copy. It sells as a Kindle or Nook download for $7.99

E-books are available world wide, with no shipping and handling. They are less expensive than hard copy, and don't take up living space. You don't have to wait for delievery, just minutes til you're actually reading it. My Books At for Kindle.

PCT Journal 2000

--journal of my Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2000, including gear list, from Sonora Pass to Crater Lake

PCT Journal 2001

--journal of my solo Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2001, Campo, California, to Sonora Pass, and then the completion of the trail with Rainmaker, from Crater Lake to Manning Park, Canada.

John Muir Trail Journal 2001

--journal of the John Muir Trail, with new photos and stories

Gear List from My 2002 Appalachian Trail Thru Hike

--before and after gear list, photos and descriptions of my pack and tent, with a final base weight (which includes clothing worn) of 8 pounds 2 ounces.

Appalachian Trail 2002 Journal

--from my thru hike March 12-August 14th

Books by Carol "Brawny" Wellman

--this page will list and give an insider's view into the books I've written, the book I'm working on, and more. Created in August 2011, this dedicated page will give reviews, projects and details relating to each new literary project.

The Bartram Trail 2003

--links, hiker friendly data sheet, profile map and basic map, with trail notes for Georgia and North Carolina. Newly added discription of the S.Carolina section which ends at the Foothills Trail intersection.

Colorado Trail 2003

--journal of the Colorado Trail thru-hike

Continental Divide Trail 2004

--The next odyssey, complete with an up to date 2004 gear list for the Montana-Idaho section of the CDT, links, and information. My 2003 journal and gear list for the Colorado Trail, which runs concurrent for over 300 miles with the CDT is on this page as well.

The Foothills Trail 2005

--links, and trail journal for this trail which goes along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in North and South Carolina. New! Foothills Trail Revisited - April 2009. Rainmaker's Videos Embedded on this page, too.

Adventures 2007 Onward

--trips to Cozumel, Mexico, The Long Trail, my Brawny video Productions, Jamaica and more. This page dedicated to the child in us all

Yellowstone National Park 2009

--working and playing in Yellowstone National Park, including webcams, and information about how to become a seasonal worker

Trailquest's Ultralight Backpacking Page

-- ultralight tips learned over the years, plus new ones we have developed, complete with important links


--thoughts about personal strengths and goals, and a consideration of the "why" question, also, an essay on my personal ultralight philosophy


--people, things, poems that offer inspiration

BrawnyView Blog

--My first blog (web log). Details about my summer job at Zion National Park , and philisophical musings. Links, vegan recipes and more. The Hobo Series, a page dedicated to alternative ultralight gear,Winter Backpacking Skills, Great Links. Backpacking Recipes coming soon.

The Femalesurvivalist

--Gear reviews, Book reviews, Woman's Page, Fuels for the Ultralight Soda Can stove, Surviving the Road Trip, Links and Quotes. This blog is proving to be very popular, with new stuff added every week.
New! Women's Sleeping Bag Review-The Eureka Casper 15 degree, 100% synthetic. I love it! See March 20, 2011 post.

My Cheyenne Ultralight Teepee

--Silnylon Teepee I designed and made November 2002. It weighs under 3 pounds and sleeps 6-8.

Check out my video on YouTube:

My Ultralight Cookset

--completely nested system weighing 3 just ounces used on the Appalachian Trail 2002

The Packless System

--used extensively on the Pacific Crest Trail, with photos and test result conclusions

How to Make Silnylon Stuff Sacks

For a demonstration on how to make your own stuff sacks, including those used in the packless system, click on video link. More how-to films are being planned for my channel at youtube .

The How-To File

--the place for ultralight afficionados, recipes, how to pack a bear cannister, build a survival fire, gear reviews, and helpful information about how to make or modify your own gear and useful links. New stuff added periodically. Check it out.

To Dream the Impossible

--just a bit about me
You can reach me by e-mailing: brawny (at)