About Captain Blue


Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp has been a wilderness adventurer for more than 30 years. This IT professional, turned long-distance hiker has logged over 35,000 miles in more than 30 different states coast-to-coast including 11,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking is Andy’s passion and his acclaimed “fountain of youth.” He has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail end-to-end five times. While more than 10,000 have completed the Appalachian Trail at least one time, fewer than 15 people worldwide have reported completing the Appalachian Trail five times.

His other long-distance trails include the Florida Trail, Arizona Trail, Pinhoti Trail, John Muir Trail, Colorado Trail, Vermont’s Long Trail, Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail, Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace, Arkansas’ Ozark Highlands Trail, the Ohio To Erie Trail, Bartram Trail, and the Foothills Trail.

Andy is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection, a backcountry guide service based in Dayton, Ohio. Andy has guided hundreds of people on backpacking trips that focus on backcountry skills, education, confidence, and Leave No Trace techniques. His company’s motto is Live, Learn, and Love Adventure.

Andy is the founder and organizer of Dayton Hikers, a hiking Meetup group. Under Andy’s direction, the Dayton Hikers group has grown to be the largest and most active outdoor recreation club in Dayton, Ohio. He, with the help of forty event planners, leads hikes, organizes events, and plans gatherings and presentations for its 8,500+ members.

When he’s not hiking, Andy volunteers for Five Rivers MetroParks, Beaver Creek Wetlands Association, the Buckeye Trail Association, and Kentucky State Parks. He holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration. He is a life member of the Buckeye Trail Association.

Andy is a popular presenter and motivational speaker. He is a sought-after resource for his experience, knowledge, and expertise as a backcountry, long-distance hiker, and his skills as an educator/trainer.

His goal is to inspire others to get exercise, make friends, explore nature, live a healthier lifestyle, and make their community a better place to live!

For more biography visit his About page.

For media coverage visit his In The News page.