Where are you from?
Grew up all around SW Virginia, but call Lexington my home town.
What Walkabout location do you work at?
I get to work them all! I’m the buyer, special events and marketing person.
What do you enjoy most about working at Walkabout Outfitter?
Connecting and being part of the community. It’s such a cool experience to see so many folks you know return to the stores and remember you by name. With doing the special events, it really allows us to be creative and see our fans, customers and friends outside the store walls. Nothing like seeing a Klean Kanteen pint cup or a North Face Venture jacket on a customer at a festival!
What is your first childhood memory of camping or being outdoors?
My family would pack up the pop up camper and head to the beach every year. Usually a KOA. Dad had this mad skill of getting it all packed, 4 kids and our bikes on top! Before that, it was probably camping in the back yard! When the pop up wasn’t moving, we would set it up in the yard or driveway and all summer long, we slept in it.
What first interested you in the outdoors?
It has always been a peaceful, grateful place for me. Calming really. Some place where I can choose a passive or active activity, which is pretty amazing.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I usually take on wherever I live. When I lived in SC I did a lot of sea kayaking, VA calls for hiking and backpacking (but I’m pulling out the boat again!) and Wisconsin, well, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and in the summer, biking.
What is your “must have” piece of gear from Walkabout Outfitter?
I’m a techy person. I never go anywhere without a headlamp. However, as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I know that sleeping is key, so my new Nemo Cosmo Air sleeping pad has been pretty golden. Especially when I can use the 2 inch memory foam at festivals and car camping. Almost like home!
What has been your most exciting outdoor adventure?
In grad school I got to teach a 30 day course for 9 credits in Virginia with backpacking, caving and climbing. When I ran college programs at FSU, Sweet Briar and Hollins we did an 8 day sailing trip to the Bahamas where we were the crew. We did it all. Dropped the anchor, trimmed the sail and cooked the bacon! I also did a 10 day canoe trip in Saskatchewan Canada a few years back. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that remote before.
If you could have your “Dream Expedition”, where would you go?
Good question. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I’ve done some pretty cool things. I continue to be in awe of what’s around me and what these mountains and rivers offer me. But I think Machu Picchu is on the list. And I’d love to do another extended paddling trip on some blue, blue water.