Q: How do you define your community?

A: I am grateful for a community of friends and family spread out across the West, and the world, who encourage and support one another from near and far. The common bond we share is a love of wild places, but it goes beyond just going on adventures, our community cares about the landscape and environment as a critical living part of the community itself that we all must help support and protect. And to give back to these places, not just enjoy or take from them. 

Q: Why outside? Why do you go?

A: I live my life outside. It feels as natural as dwelling in a house does for most folks I suppose. I like to feel connected to the landscape and environment as opposed to insulated from it. Though I may have answered this slightly differently throughout my life, I recognize now that I truly feel my best when I am outdoors and that I am experiencing a meaningful aspect of life that cannot be touched while confined between four walls. 

Q: What’s your favorite anecdote or story from your time in the outdoors? 

A: When I was a little kid, I slept outside in the backyard, open-bivy style, for most of the year. This lasted through high school. I loved staring at the stars, and perhaps I sensed without a roof over my head, that my imagination had more room to grow. I didn’t go camping much until I was an adult. By then it was already ingrained in who I was, and it felt like finally finding my dream home. 

Q: Why do you love what you do outside?

A: Running, hiking, and wandering around under the sun and sleeping under the stars is where I feel completely like myself, but also fully grounded and connected to the world around me. My insatiable curiosity and imagination propel me to not simply play outside, but to explore deeply in order to learn more about the world around me.

Q: What do you see as the roadblocks for inclusion outdoors? 

A: There are so many aspects to this, but one that comes to mind is Indigenous input in land management and outdoor education. After all, every inch of US public land is Indigenous land. Without Indigenous Tribal input we are missing vital knowledge about the significance of our wild landscapes and why/how they should be protected. Thankfully, this is something that is being integrated more and more, notably with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition involvement in the management plans for Bears Ears National Monument.  

Q: How can we, as a community, break those barriers down?

A: Amplifying Indigenous voices, perspectives, and input to inform how we view, recreate, and protect the outdoors. Supporting and joining Indigenous-led outdoor organizations. Taking the time to learn about the Indigenous history, culture, and current events linked with our own neighborhoods and public areas. Follow diverse Indigenous outdoor voices on social media. Share what you are learning with your family and friends.

Q: What cause or organization do you support?

A: For the last several years I have been a vocal advocate for the protection of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I write education and conservation-focused articles and books that help visitors generate awareness of the developmental threats these areas face, as well as how outdoor recreationists can help protect these areas through stewardship, good ethics, and as advocates themselves.

I am a member and have contributed materials to the following organizations centered around these issues: Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners, Glen Canyon Conservancy, and Grand Canyon Trust.

Q: Why the Coleman® Collective?

A: I am so grateful to be a part of the Collective because it is a diverse team of outdoor enthusiasts committed to creating positive content that enhances the environment around them and their communities.