Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.
After the events of September 11th, I re-evaluated my life and decided to become a Navy SEAL. I spent nearly two years in training, pushing my physical limits and being immersed with basic combat and survival skills. I honed my orienteering and backbacking skills in the Laguna Mountains outside of San Diego, CA and learned winter warfare and survival techniques in Kodiak, AK. I went to basic airborne in Ft. Benning, GA, then military freefall in Ft. Bragg, NC and Yuma, AZ. I also obtained my advanced SCUBA certification during the 2nd Phase of BUD/s and later took up free-diving and spearfishing during dive training in the Florida Keys. I bought a road bike and immersed myself in triathlons for a bit while I was stationed in Virginia. In 2012 I also spent 2 weeks dog-sledding and cross-country skiing up in the boundary waters in Northern Minnesota.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ACTIVE OUTDOORS?
I always loved being outside and active. I grew up mountain biking during the summer months and snowboarding in the winter with my brother in Southern California. I signed-up for a rock climbing course in college and have been hooked ever since.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET OUTSIDE?
As often as possible!
HOW DID YOU LEARN WHAT YOU DO?
It's just a matter of finding activities you're interested in. You can sit around and think about, or you can just get up and go. If you immerse yourself in something, you'll find others you who share that passion and want to teach. People all over the world love to share their passions and teach. That's one of the greatest things about being part of the Gear Coop.
WHY DO YOU LOVE TO ADVENTURE?
During all of my adventures in life and all over the world, I developed a true appreciation for the inexorable power and beauty of the outdoors. Sometimes solitude affords the greatest clarity.
FUTURE OUTDOOR PLANS?
I just go where the wind takes me.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BE OUTDOORS?
It's hard to pick favorites, there's so many amazing places in this world, and so many more to explore. Norway was pretty amazing, I really love the people, the culture and the Fjords are breathtaking. Skiiing in Innsbruck, Austria was pretty amazing as well, but I think Yosemite is one of the most incredible places I've ever been. I hiked to the peak of Half-Dome in 2010 with friends and love that it's close enough for a nice long weekend.
WHERE IS YOUR DREAM PLACE TO TRAVEL?
I'm currently planning a trip to Machu Pichu with a Marine buddy of mine, but would love to go dive the Great Barrier reef, Palau and the Seychelles. I love being anywhere unique and remote.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AS AN ADVENTURER?
After several weeks, we had a final training exercise up in the mountains. With just a map, compass, and a radio, we were given coordinates and had to go find our waypoints and check-in throughout the next couple of days. I was the first one to get back from my class, as a reward the instructors tossed me a beer. That was probably the most delicious beer I've ever had.
ANY SCARY MOMENTS?
If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
When I left home, my father, in his first letter to me transcribed Robert Frost's the Road Not Taken. Those words have always stayed with me:
"...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
my 5 must-haves
HEADLAMPI always keep a headlamp on me wherever I go. I'm partial to my Petzl Tacktikka I've had for years now. Plenty bright, has a red lens and it's always been reliable. *do we carry the Zipka?
- I never leave home without a good puffy jacket. Especially in these California climates, you never know just how cold it's going to be at the summit. All my military gear was synthetic, but there's nothing quite like the pack-ability and insulation properties of down. I particularly like the Arc-Teryx Cerium series for an all-around jacket for cold days around town, or keeping you warm when you stop moving.
- You all know the saying, you can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water. Hydration is one of the most important aspects of any sport. TheSteriPEN systems are one of the greatest inventions... ever.
- When you spend all day on your feet, you'd better take good care of 'em. Footwear is tricky and always dependent on the type of conditions, brand and type of last, but you want your feet to be warm and dry. Assess your situation. Are you load-bearing? Get a good mid-top or full boot for ankle support. Is it going to be wet? Make sure they're GORE-TEX® lined. Are you an ultra-light kinda guy/gal? In the past, you couldn't take a pair of running shoes on the trail because that soft foam rubber would get torn to shreds, but newer trail and hiking shoes have stiffer, more durable rubber and can better handle the abuse. If it's going to be fairly flat, or for a quick day on the trail, I love a great trail-runner like the Salomon SpeedCross 3. But for winter trekking, LaSportiva's are hard to beat.
SOCKSKeep your feet happy and dry. I've tried everything under the sun and nothing is better than real, bona-fide wool (although DarnTough makes some pretty awesome CoolMax alternatives if you're allergic or just don't like the feel of wool). I love me some Smartwool or DarnTough merino wool foot coverings. For running, I use the ultra-light weights, but depending on the conditions, what I'm carrying and how long I plan to be gone, you need to play with the cushioning to find what works for you.