In many ways, Lo Phong La Kiatoukaysy’s whole life has been an ongoing journey. (Photo: gnarly bay)

Forces of Good: Hiking 48,000 Miles to Create Community


Lo Phong La Kiatoukaysy, a.k.a. Lil’ Buddha, started thru-hiking America’s trails after 9/11 in hopes of creating the same powerful human connections with backpackers that he’d made with New Yorkers in the wake of that tragic day. In many ways, his whole life has been an ongoing journey. His parents fled the violence of the Vietnam War while his mother was pregnant with him, eventually immigrating to the United States and settling in Kansas. When he was a boy, his family took regular trips to the mountains of the West, where Kiatoukaysy fell in love with the outdoors. As a young adult, he was working near the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Soon after, he left the city with a vision of building community among thru-hikers on America’s great trails. Almost 20 years later, he’s still at it.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.