“Finding your voice while overcoming insurmountable odds” is what motivates Mountain Mic to explore the many hiking trails throughout California. In 2009, he started hiking to escape the pressures of city life and to deal with the trauma of past abuse.
He posted photos of his hikes on social media and gained interest from friends and strangers alike that asked him to organize group hikes. This led to the creation of DestinationHL (Hike Life), an organization that encourages people to explore unique landscapes while focusing on wellness and purpose.
A: I define community as a group of people connected through proximity and a shared experience.
Q: Why outside? Why do you go?
A: I go outside because it’s my refuge from my day-to-day life. It’s a form of therapy for me and a way to center and ground myself.
Q: What’s your favorite anecdote or story from your time in the outdoors?
A: My favorite quote to say to new hikers is, “You’ve always got to get back to the car.” It’s an anecdote with two meanings, one being the obvious joking reference. But the other is a metaphor for life.
Q: Why do you love what you do outside?
A:I love what I do outside because of the impact it has on the people I share the experience with. I’ve been able to create a community of outdoor enthusiasts who have had similar life experiences to myself.
Q: What do you see as the roadblocks for inclusion outdoors?
A: Peoples’ resistance to change their way of thinking.
Q: How can we, as a community, break those barriers down?
A: Representation is so important. What Coleman® is trying to accomplish with the Collective is a step in the right direction. I admire Coleman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I had been wanting to align myself with an outdoor brand that understood the power of my voice and perspective.
Q: What is something one person can do?
A: Have empathy for someone who has had a different life experience than you.
Q: What cause or organization do you support?
A: I am looking to work with organizations and causes focusing on mental health and sexual assault/abuse survivors. And I am also looking for organizations to partner with and expand my outdoor events.
Q: What are your goals for this in 2021 and beyond?
A: I am working on a digital series that explores the life behind the hiker, leveraging my own use of hiking and the outdoor space to deal with the trauma of my past and how I used it to find my voice. I am excited to continue telling my story through the outdoor space and amplifying my message through collaborative storytelling.
Q: Why the Coleman® Collective?
A: I admire Coleman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. I had been wanting to align myself with an outdoor brand that understood the power of my voice and perspective.