Francis Tapon is one of the world’s greatest hikers and wilderness heroes. Tapon is one of a handful of Americans to have hiked the Triple Crown: the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail, and the 5,600-mile Continental Divide Trail.

In 2018, Tapon returned to his California home after a series of expeditions in which he hiked 10,000 miles, including 2,000 miles across Madagascar, and climbed 50 of 54 of Africa’s highest peaks. Tapon has traveled to more than 100 countries and has written two books, “Hike Your Own Hike,” from 2006, and “The Hidden Europe: What Europeans Can Teach Us,” in 2012.

“The whole five years in Africa, it cost me $110,000,” he said. “It’s a lot of money, it’s true, but a lot of people could afford to do this if they wanted to. I camp, I live simply, buy street food. My biggest expense was a reliable 4×4 pick-up truck to get around Africa.”