I’m not the only ridgerunner in my section…
Tristan Sprenkle (a.k.a. T. Sprinkle) hails from the small town of Kramer, Pennsylvania. “We have a gas station and a pizza place,” he says. “If you want anything that’s not there you have to drive to the next town. But the pizza is pretty awesome.”
This statement illustrates Sprenkle’s optimistic, if sometimes contradictory, take on life: Sprenkle is a vegan hunter who won’t eat cheese but will eat squirrels if he killed them himself, and he has a giant Optimus Prime tattoo across his stomach but hates the Transformers movies. “I grew up watching the cartoons and I have the comic books,” he says. “They ruined my childhood with those movies.”
Sprenkle embraces an ultra-lightweight approach to hiking by designing and sewing his own his own pack and sleeping bag that weighs only 13.8 ounces… but carries around an 1,444 page copy of War and Peace. “I’m determined to finish it by the end of the summer,” he says.
An avid reader, Sprenkle has read every work of fiction by Edward Abbey at least three times, and he was almost an English major (and a photography major, and an informational technology major) before he eventually graduated with a degree in environmental science. He is certified to install solar panels in homes, and he spent a summer surveying invasive asian beetle populations.
“I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up,” Sprenkle says. But in the meantime, he is enjoying his summer spent in the woods. “I get to live outside,” he says. “This is the perfect job.”
On his days off, Sprenkle recovers from hiking 16 miles a day by exercising as little as possible. “I once watched the first fifteen minutes of Biker Boys—the worst movie ever—because I didn’t have a remote.”
Sprenkle is preparing for post-season by ordering dried food in bulk from Mormon websites. “I just want to make sure I don’t starve.”
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Hiking Food: Berry Blast Oreos
Favorite Biggie Song: “Gimme the Loot.’”
Least Favorite Article of Clothing: Socks. “They make my feet feel claustrophobic.”
Best moment on the trail this summer: “Going to sleep listening to a pack of howling coyotes,” he says. “That was a great night.”