BLAKE

Gear Coop Director of Finance


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.

FAVORITE QUOTES?

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

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