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How to Balance Epic Outdoor Adventures and a Career (Kathy Beasley)

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Few careers are as demanding and all encompassing as military service. Your time, where you live, where you’ll be tomorrow and how long you’ll be there are not your own. So how do you prioritize an outdoor-adventure focused life around those things?

The lessons Kathy Beasley learned about that effort over her career in the U.S. Navy and a dedication to staying active have guided her to incredible heights — literally — and aren’t only applicable for those who work for Uncle Sam. Listen to this episode with Kathy Beasley for insight into not only how to build outdoor adventures into regular life, but how to keep them a priority for a lifetime.

Some of the good stuff:

[1:29] Kathy’s happy place

[3:23] The city vs. the parks 

[4:17] Kathy’s Navy story 

[8:55] Kathy’s outdoor story

[11:46] Katyh’s trip to Patagonia

[12:15] How to decide where you want to travel

[14:18] How to balance outdoor goals with career demands

[20:22] What it’s like going to Everest base camp

[21:40] Why Kathy decided to tackle the 7 Peaks

[22:18] Why doing things no matter your age is important

[23:33] How to stay healthy

[25:10] Kathy’s advice for picking activities

[29:38] How to make adventure a priority 

[33:22] Kathy’s favorite gear

[34:50] Kathy’s most essential outdoor gear

[37:15] Kathy favorite outdoor moment

Connect with this episode:

Bio Bio Expeditions 

Kathy’s favorite gear: Gortex wind pants and a headlamp (links to ones we like)

Kathy’s most essential outdoor gear: knife and a Patagonia gear bag

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Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation on The Humans Outside Podcast. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. 

 

Amy Bushatz  

One of the things I love most about doing this podcast is the chance it gives me to share my love of the outdoors with friends and colleagues with whom I’ve never before realized that shared connection. And that’s exactly why I’m so excited to have Kathy Beasley on today. After serving 30 years in the US Navy as a Navy Nurse Corps officer, she joined an organization that supports and advocates for military officers, the Military Officers Association of America, where she worked with Congress to provide good health care for military retirees and families. That’s how I know her. But what I didn’t know is that Kathy doesn’t just love being outside, she loves adventuring in it. And I can’t wait to hear about her life and the outdoors and the lessons she has to share. Kathy, welcome to the Humans Outside Podcast.

 

Kathy Beasley

Well, Amy, thank you for having me.

 

AB

So we start all of our episodes imagining ourselves in our guest’s favorite outdoor space, just hanging out having coffee or something, maybe going on a hike, maybe going on an adventure. Where are we with you today?

 

KB

I have several happy places, but one of them would be around the hills in Maryland here on some trails that I usually go on, and one is Sugarloaf Mountain. It’s not really a mountain. It’s just an eight mile long series of trails around, you know, some hilly areas in Western Maryland, so that that’s one happy place. Another happy place I’d like to go to is a place called Rancho la Puerta. That’s down across the border south of San Diego in Mexico in the right outside the town of Makati. So it’s inland a little bit on the Baja Peninsula and it’s a wellness spa ranch set out in the Mexican mountains and is just a beautiful place. So, those would be places you might find me or I wish I was at today.

 

AB

That’s beautiful. Now Sugarloaf has some Civil War connection, doesn’t it?

 

KB

Yeah, it’s in the Civil War kind of area up towards Frederick, Maryland, and Harpers Ferry which were the scenes of you know, some Civil War battles and things so yeah, they there’s not much on Sugarloaf but I’m sure that they were all around, you know that area there.

 

AB

I think I think I’ve wandered around there a little bit. You know the the area where you are in the DC metro is it’s such a juxtaposition between the city and then suddenly these grand beautiful parks that a lot of them are designated as to commemorate Civil War battlefields, but you go from just corporate parks right and stir balls to boom fields – it’s an incredible thing.

 

KB
I was thinking that same kind of thing this past weekend – I was out walking, you know, doing little hiking and you know, getting out and getting some fresh air going on Rock Creek Parkway, you know. On the weekends, they close off the roads there so people cycle and you know, when can walk along the river and things like that. It’s just, I just was thinking — here’s this patch of green beautifulness in the middle in the heart of the city.

 

AB

Yeah, it is. It is beautiful. DC does a really good job of that. I know but it’s absolutely by design, sort of offers those safe havens. I just love it. The old recruiting tagline is — join the Navy, see the world. So you’ve certainly seen a lot of the world and we’ll get to that, because not all of it is directly tied to the Navy thing. But tell us when did you join the Navy and why?

 

KB
Well, okay, now I’m going to reveal somewhat of my age. But that’s one of the reasons I wanted to join your podcast is that no matter how old you are, I mean, you can still get out and do things. But I joined the Navy in 1979. I was 22 years old, and I was pretty much right out of college. And, you know, for the most part, back then it was post Vietnam. They were trying to build up the forces again, and they were heavily recruiting doctors and nurses. So, you know, we were wined and dined a little bit at that time. And I thought, you know, being a girl from the Midwest, I wanted to go out to, you know, California that was, you know, one of the things I wanted to do and so I was always for the orders to San Diego, and, you know, I signed up and my initial three year commitment, which is what I only thought I would stay for turned into 30 years. So it was a fabulous career and I loved every single second of it. 

 

AB

Did you see the world? 

 

KB

I would say I saw quite a bit of the world both, you know, in uniform and, you know, opportunities to travel, you know, on leave and liberty and those things. So I’m stationed overseas and did the whole WESTPAC, you know, that’s what they call the Pacific was stationed in the Philippines for two years. So traveled all through the, you know, Asia and in some of those things, and, you know, just been on the other side, too. So it was just a great career all the way around with the best people you know, that you could ever want to meet.

 

AB

That’s such a juxtaposition to being from the Midwest, like you said. You know, a lot of people do join the military for that chance to take it outside of their hometown and and for lack of a better description ‘see the world’ and then there of course, there are always people who joined the military to see the world and get stationed on an airfield in Mountain Home, Idaho like my dad.

 

KB

That’s one reason I decided to join the Navy!

 

AB

He thought he was gonna join the Air Force and see the world and they, you know — welcome to your security guard box on this airfield in Idaho, have fun.

 

KB

There are good places and you know, not so desirable places but you know, when you serve and you know, you choose to serve through a career, you know, there’s plenty of opportunities to take both the undesirables with the most desirable in the span of 30 years. 

 

AB

Absolutely. You know, the other thing about that is that he loved Idaho. He was from California and he ended up relocating to Idaho.

 

KB

I’d go to Idaho in a heartbeat, you know. It’s beautiful.

 

AB

Absolutely. And he thought that he had gotten left out by being stationed there but of course in the end, he had it and I think that’s just such a such a commentary on the fact that just what you said like you can find this beauty anywhere and it’s always a chance just to get outside of your comfort zone whether you end up going to the Philippines or not. yAmerica’s just in itself is so vast and it’s topography and the different things that you get to see I mean, heck, I’m up here in Alaska, right? And what a change from the DC area where you are, but all still within my grasp.

 

KB

I’m gonna come visit you sometime up there.

 

AB

Oh my goodness. I hope you do. It is just – bring a jacket. It is incredible. You know, I was looking at pictures of our Move up here and I did not pack well for that. And I had this one, like three quarters of Nike, little tech fabric pullover that I wore our whole trip up here because we moved from Tennessee where it was very hot because it was in June. And then we got up here and it was in the 50s. And there’s this picture from the day we arrived here, I’m just freezing my everloving butt off. But I wear that pull over now, only on some mid temperature runs. I’ve sort of relegated it to very specific use because I would never in a million years have a chance to wear that otherwise and it’s just funny how that goes. 

 

So back to the point of conversation. You’re from the St. Louis area, which like we’ve been talking about is just a beautiful, beautiful area. Tell us about your outdoor connection. Have you always been a fan of heading outside?

 

KB

Oh well, yes. Even just from childhood, you know, I mean, my mom had us in Girl Scouts and you know, we were always, you know, in our schools always playing sports outdoors and things. So the outdoors to me is natural, and you know, all different seasons and, you know, in high school in the winter, we learned to ski and those kinds of things. So the summer, you know, we’re on swim team, so we were always doing activities outside regardless of the different changes of seasons. But you know, as I, you know, became more of an adult and things and in my Navy career, had opportunities to do some adventure traveling with other like minded people. And so I kind of got involved in going on different, you know, traveling to different countries and, you know, hiking in mountains and doing that kind of stuff. So I had the opportunity to at least actually do a couple of the Seven Summits. So that was pretty interesting. And my first one was Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. So that kind of, you know, stimulated some interest in doing those kinds of adventures with companies that do those things.

 

AB

Absolutely. You have done an incredible amount of adventure travel. Do you know how many countries you visited, but maybe both in and out of the Navy, like recreationally.

 

KB

I’ve been on every continent except Antarctica?

 

AB   

Hmm. Any plans to go there?

 

KB   

Oh, yeah, definitely. Definitely in the in the works, you know, in the in the planning board within the next two years is

 

AB

Awesome. Maybe not on a cruise ship, huh?

 

KB

Well, that’s one of the only ways you really get down there. There’s a company you know, that I like, National Geographic, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, they run some pretty reputable and really good tours. So I think I would trust a company like that to go to a place like Antarctica.

 

AB

Yeah, you definitely, definitely have to make sure you got all your Is dotted, Ts crossed. It’s like a little bit like adventuring out here in Alaska or really anywhere that’s very, very remote, right? Like you have to be prepared for everything and you have to know what you’re doing. 

 

KB

When I think about Antarctica, you know, that that area of the world, which is, you know, down south, you know, but below South America, one of the other noteworthy trips I had the opportunity to take was about four years ago, was going down to Patagonia, the Patagonia region. Oh, I would highly recommend that it is just so beautiful and so vast and it’s just such a unique place in terms of just the vegetation, the people, the wildlife, the scenery. I’d go back there in a heartbeat. There’s not many places I want to take the time to go back to but Patagonia would be one of those areas.

 

AB

All this travel you’ve done, how do you decide where you want to go? How do you rack and stack it?

 

KB

That’s a good question. You know, in the beginning, it was kind of easy because there were so many places and there’s still so many places, but I feel like I’m checking a couple of things off. It just has to do with you know that the activities you want to do there, recommendations from others. I’ve had several friends that have family that have gone for instance to Iceland. I’ve never been to Iceland, I sure would like to go to Iceland and see Iceland. So Scandinavia is another one. When my sisters spent some time in Norway and so you kind of you know got jazzed about that. I had some friends that had gone to Morocco over the years, and I had never been to Morocco. And that was one of those exotic places that always intrigued me. So Morocco was on my list, and I got to do that this past fall. 

 

AB

When you talk about balancing, I mean, you’re in the Navy for 30 years, right? So you’re traveling to these places, you’re checking them off your list, whether it’s a physical list or not. Right. And then you’re also balancing this career with a lot of demands. I don’t think people really understand the demands of being in the military or that it’s not necessarily consistency, right. There is a lot of consistency. But then you have things like deployments and trainings and changes and you’re sort of at Uncle Sam’s mercy and you don’t get to necessarily decide where you’re going to go or when you’re going to go there. Or you’re told you’re going and then it changes the last possible second, and now you’re going somewhere completely different. I have friends who, to the point that they had already shipped their car up to Alaska, got re-assigned to Kentucky, which is not the same, not the same, right? So, I mean, that happens. So how do you balance having these goals and having these, this plan with the demands of that kind of career? What’s your advice?

 

KB

Well, you just stay flexible, you know, even early on joining the military, that’s what you’re told is, you know, the needs of the, in our case, you know, the needs of the Navy comes first. You know, and in terms of your orders, and the timing and those things. It’s just, you know, at least for me, that was drilled in very early so I always try to maintain a sense of flexibility on things. And when you’re sent places or, you know, detailed to deploy to go places. I mean, there’s always something to see. There’s always time you can carve out if you really try to see something new, it doesn’t, you know, have to be so planned, it’s just taking advantage of the opportunity of being somewhere different. So I think a lot of it has to do with, you know, your personal initiative and desire to, you know, to see something, to have an adventure. And, you know, that was one of the driving forces for me to even join the Navy was, you know, a sense of adventure. And like I said, three years of it turned into 30. And it was an adventure the whole way. And you just have to be flexible.

 

AB

Yeah. And also, it may be intentional, right? Because you’re always looking for those opportunities. It’s super easy to instead look at what’s around you and consider it sort of the same old, same old or, you know, not the easiest thing or not ultimately convenient, and just stay home or do the same thing over and over again.

 

KB

There’s people like that and we know them all that that are less than, you know adventurous and would probably rather you know maybe stay in their quarters or something and maybe not go out on a tour or or just you know, knocking around and seeing what’s what’s out there meeting meeting other people and things like that. I mean, it’s, you know, it gets down to some of your personal nature and you know, some people would rather take orders to certain places where they wouldn’t have to, you know, move or move around very much you know. I always like to take orders to different places and do different things so my career was filled with those things. Like for instance, I went to Columbus, Ohio as a lieutenant and did recruiting duty and you know, most people well, Columbus, Ohio. Why would you, you know, want to do that? It was the greatest tour. It was really fun. Personally, the job was good, but just you know, living in Columbus, Ohio was a great city and I dearly loved it. 

 

AB

Yeah, you know, the other thing is, you also choose to be happy wherever you are. We hear that a lot in the military family community that if you’re looking for ways to utilize where you’ve been stationed, or to really embrace it, what you know whether that was at the top of your list or not, then you’re more likely to make the best of it and be happy even if it’s not your favorite place. Right? Fort Campbell, Kentucky where we lived for a while was not my favorite place, but that had nothing to do with the fact with the landscape or the adventures around there. It just wasn’t a great place for our family. Right. But man, I loved Land Between the Lakes, which is an Army Corps of Engineer Recreation Area nearby and I just thought the region was absolutely beautiful and we made the best of it and then got out of Dodge, you know.

 

KB

There you have Nashville nearby and you know, some Knoxville. You know, and absolutely the Smoky Mountains. I mean, there’s, there’s all sorts of stuff to do.

 

AB

Absolutely. But then I talked to people who are up here who just cannot be persuaded to like it, or to try to like it at least as far as I can see it. And maybe that’s me being a little judgmental because I love it so much. But I talked to an individual a couple weeks ago who said something like — Oh, I can’t go outside because the weather is, you know, insert weather here, right? You’ll always have an excuse, and, and I said — Oh, man, you know, have you tried this? Have you tried that? Have you gone here? Have you gone there? Have you checked that out? And she had an excuse for reason, you know, reason not to do every single thing. And you know, at the end of the conversation it came down to that she didn’t want to, which is fine, but let’s admit that, you know, it’s not the place that’s the problem. It’s the circumstance, it’s maybe how you’re feeling about it. And ultimately, it’s your decision to not want to do that and that’s fine too. But you got to really like, you know, embrace it or not.

 

KB

Yeah, wherever you are, you know, you can always learn. I always tried to learn like a new activity or something too. And I just when you were talking, I was thinking — boy, if I was up in Alaska, I’d want to, you know, learn to fish, you know, out there for salmon and stuff like that, you know, just just be out there and, you know, maybe, you know, get my rifle out, you know, and kind of do some hunting or something.

 

AB

So you said that you’ve hiked two of the Seven Peaks?

 

KB

Aconcagua in South America and Mount Kilimanjaro.

 

AB

Okay. And you’ve also been to Everest base camp.

 

KB

Oh yes. I’m sorry. I cannot claim that having climbed Everest but we made it to the Everest base camp which in and of itself was a feat.

 

AB

That’s a huge accomplishment. I don’t think people who do not climb do not understand the level of accomplishment that is because it sounds like something you drive up to but it is not that I mean, it is this substantial effort to get there.

 

KB

There are no cars that drive up there. You cannot. The only cars are way down in Katmandu. And you have to fly from Katmandu in a little puddle jumper with these experiences. Pilots that land in this very dangerous airport called Luca, you can google Luca and what will come up is it’s the world’s most dangerous airport. The airstrip is probably even smaller than a carrier on an aircraft carrier. But anyway, these guys are professionals, they get in there and do that. So they drop you off there and then you hike from Luca, you know, through the valleys and up through the mountains, you see the different changes, and that that takes about five days to get up to Everest base camp from there.

 

AB

And what made you decide to tackle these things specifically?

 

KB

Oh, you know, that’s, that’s a good question. Because I can

 

AB

I think that’s a great reason. 

 

KB 

I would boil down to that because I still can. And I’ll have to tell you, you know, Everest base camp, I was 60 years old. You know, many of the people in our group I’d say about maybe not quite half, but a quarter of them were, you know, probably in their early 30s, two of them had to be evacuated off the mountain for altitude sickness, and I never had a problem at all.

 

AB

So I know you want to talk about keeping up with this stuff as an older American, um, talk to me about that. Why is that? Why is that an important subject for you? I mean, you’re a healthcare professional. Right? So you know, the statistics, you know, the risks. Why is that something that’s important to you to keep doing.

 

KB

Just to stay engaged and do things that you really love, you know, for as long as you can. And you know, now I’m not quite retired, but perhaps you know, when I started my own company, so I’m doing consulting, so I have a bit more flexibility with my time. So I want to be able to do the things that are important to me, you know, certainly for these next several years — while, you know, God, you know, knock on wood, I’m enjoying good health and work at maintaining my physical capabilities, I that’s something no matter what age you’re at, you’ve got to always work at because it doesn’t just happen. You have to, you have to want to do it. You know, work for it to maintain your health and your stamina, all those things. So, I do work on that to maintain myself. So I can take some of these trips and continue doing some of these things. But you know, I mean, going to Everest base camp that that’s a once in a lifetime thing, and that was a you know, it’s not cheap. So, no, it did cost a lot of money. I had to save for it, certainly but you know, now at this point in my life, I’ve got a lot of, you know, saved money and those kinds of things to be able to, you know, do things like that or other things. I mean, I like to scuba dive also. So that’s, you know, that’s, that’s another thing. You know, I’ve got some expensive habits here.

 

AB

I hear that. But, you know, I keep going back in my mind to that you’ve made this a priority, right? This is what you want to do. So, um, people spend a lot of time recreating, once they hit where you are in life, right where you’re mostly retired, but they do it a lot of ways that aren’t necessarily active. I’m thinking about the folks who spend a lot of time RV but not much else, right, they get to the place and then they sit in the campground, or, you know, just golfing or a lot of really sedentary sports, okay. So I’m wondering, maybe from your perspective as a healthcare professional, but also as someone who prefers to be active, what your advice is for people who are sort of staring down the, you know, habit forming and decision making and how they’re going to spend their lives. 

 

KB

Do the things that you love that bring you joy and if you you can’t do some of the things perhaps that maybe you used to do when you when you were younger, because how many some you know things happen with with people and things and they can’t enjoy some of those things, or at least to the extent that they did before, find other things to bring you joy or modify, you know, what you can do in those activities that that you really, really still love. You know, for instance, I love downhill skiing. I like cross country skiing and snowshoeing, certainly but you know, I love downhill skiing. But to be quite honest, I’ve been skiing in Colorado over Christmas. I don’t do those black diamond trails the way I used to, I don’t even go near them. I’ll go on the blues and the greens and I like the more wide open spaces and maybe not as steep. So, you know, I’ve had to modify some of the things I do. I’m not the little daredevil, you know, going over little jumps, like I, like I certainly used to do, or going down through the trees, there’s no way I’m going to do that. But, you know, I love being on the mountains and I love you know, skiing. And so, you know, I think that’s just life. We know some of those risks and we don’t take those things, you know, don’t do that stuff anymore. 

 

But, you know, you mentioned golf. I wouldn’t consider a sedentary – I played that off and on through the years and really, that is a, that’s a great game that you get to outdoors and, you know, you can do that for you know, for a long time in your life. So, I think golf is a great game and it’s social and it’s something that gets people out there. So there’s a wide variety of things that you can do, not just in the outdoors, but you know, I mean, I’d have friends that had Arby’s and things too. And they travel cross country and sometimes I, I think about that too and I think going to Yellowstone and some of that stuff would be you know, our national park system would be, you know, really, really fun to do. 

 

AB

You’ve identified two things: one, my anti golf bias and two, my RV jealousy. So there you go. No, I had, we are proud campers, but part of my pride in tent camping is due to lack of other options. 

 

KB

So what you can with what you have.

 

AB

Right so I proclaim my devotion to the tent, because I do not own an RV yet. And therefore, I feel better about being cold and in a tent when I say things like we tent camp, you know, with sort of a proclamation of affirmation. And conviction, you know.

 

KB

You do learn a lot about survival and things when you do camping. You know I loved doing that in my younger days but you know now, it would have to be a luxury tent.

 

AB

If anyone wants to donate a camper van to me, I am open for campervan donations. We constantly toy with moving on from the tent because  it really – unless you are willing to be cold and sort of up your game, which I am not – it does really limit how much of a season you get here because, you know you’re really looking at starting in May with some pleasant temperatures and then sort of calling it quits by the end of September. And we would love to be able to, to sort of extend beyond that. But also to, you know, even in the summertime the weather’s not always great, right and so the more it rains, the higher my misery level. And I, I want to be a happy camper. That’s why that’s the title. I want to be that but when I am wet and cold, huh, yeah, not a happy camper.

 

*Note: this was recorded prior to the purchase of Vanimal.

 

So I’m hoping you can tell me give some advice for people who want to fit that adventure lifestyle that you’ve really seamlessly integrated at this point into your lifestyle into their lifestyle. You know, maybe they’re older, maybe they’re younger, how do you make it a priority? What do you need to do to make this be a thing in your life?

 

KB

You have to have a sense of adventure. Let’s not beat around the bush, traveling takes a lot of energy. And I’ve been you know, traveling changes, you know, over the years. I mean, you know, after 9/11 with all the security and you know, this kind of stuff and it’s, it’s just evolved. It takes a lot of planning. I think you need to have the time to do it and, and the planning aspect of it, I mean really research where you want to go and what you want to do and what activities you want to do when you get there and build in the, the understanding of what it’s going to take to get there. So I think just the whole sheer planning of it and, you know, it always helps to have a have a group of friends, you know, that you enjoy traveling with or, you know, a company that you really know and have gotten to know. Like, for instance, I’ve traveled several times with a company called Bio Bio. And what they do is, they are a wilderness medical, their niche market is, you know, doctors and nurses, medical types because they offer continuing medical education along on these trips like Everest base camp. Kilimanjaro, there’s an expert in wilderness medicine who accompanies the group. And so hey carve out time to have some instruction on, you know, wilderness medicine topics spectrally as it relates to the, to the area that you’re visiting. So it’s educational at the same time, and you earn continuing medical education credits. So that’s an aspect of something that has appealed to me and why I’ve gone with them several times and to several different places. 

 

AB

And what about balancing career and doing that, you know, not everyone has the lifetime of flexibility that the military offers. We talked about how the military is not flexible earlier, but also in many ways it is flexible, because you do get quite a lot of leave. And of course, you do find yourself in a lot of foreign countries where it may be easier to access the adventure than it was from the States. What would your advice to those people be?

 

KB

Well, you know, again, prioritize. I mean, there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do in life. I mean, I still feel that now even though I have a little bit more time and some more flexibility there, I still feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do. So you’ve got to prioritize, really, and it involves, I think, also some self reflection on you know, what’s really important, you know. You’re given a certain amount of time on this earth, what do you really want to see and do and, plus, you know, you, you got to mix that in with, you know, the family, you know, your family, that you’re obligated to visit and stuff. It’s certainly not just all about me and where I want to go. My father is 90 years old, I’ve got close tabs on him back in St. Louis. So, you know, I have other family and other family obligations and things and things that come up.

 

AB

I guess the theme of what we’re talking about is really, like if you want to make this work you can. 

 

KB

Yeah, absolutely.

 

AB

Okay, so we’ve come to where we have some leftovers, just some things I’d like to know from folks that maybe didn’t get talked about. So we’ve not talked at all about what your favorite gear is. What is your favorite outdoor gear? 

 

KB

Well, that would depend on the activity certainly. But I think when I’m out hiking and those kind of adventure trips that I’ve done in the past my favorite gear are wind pants.

 

AB

So are wind pants similar to rain pants?

 

KB

No, these are a little more substantial. They’re gortex, you know? Okay, water repellent. I’m surprised you don’t have them up where you are in Alaska.

 

AB

I own several pairs of very nice rain pants. But I do not own any wind specific pants. I am a big old wuss about the wind and I like to not be in it. So now I will say in defense of our gear collection or rather perhaps a commentary on it, my husband has so much stuff that I lost track. 

 

KB

Yeah, I’ve got all sorts of little favorite things. I love my headlamp. I have a special knife that you know, that’s it’s a short stubby little thing but very sharp. And I wear that on a thing around my neck. So I have it always there and I’ve used that for any number of different things. So it’s always good to have something like that around.

 

AB

Absolutely. So what’s your most essential gear, maybe it’s that knife you that you rely on.

 

KB

Essential gear. Hmm. Could be could be the knife. Also a nice gear bag is an essential item that you know that’s got some mesh and some compartments in it that you know is that is versatile for you that you can use again and again and again.

 

AB

What brands do you love?

 

KB

Patagonia would probably be my top bag. 

 

AB

Yeah, I’ve got a Patagonia black hole duffel that I use just for literally any trip. It isn’t maybe too big for most things. And I do, but I use it anyway. And I do love it. I love it so much. I’ve never worried about my stuff getting wet outside when it’s going from you know, to the airplane or whatever. Yeah, yeah, that that bag is worth the cost.

 

KB

Yeah, what you pay for and a lot of the gear that you select, so I would always opt for the name, you know, name brand, like for instance, Patagonia. That’s it. That’s a good name and they have good products, but you’re gonna pay more probably, but you know, it’s worth it.

 

AB

Yeah, they have a great product guarantee, not an advertisement, truly for Patagonia in any way except to say that they do make a great product and their guarantee is spot on. I’ve got a sling bag I use, it’s like a woman’s purse, essentially. The straps are starting to come apart and they are going to replace the straps for me. And it’ll be good as new. And I love it. So that’s great. I don’t need something new. I just need the thing I have to keep going.

 

KB

You know, another good piece of gear that you should put some time and effort into researching is your backpacks. 

 

AB  

Yeah, absolutely. What kind do you use?

 

KB  

It was one I got for Everest and it was an Osprey.

 

AB

Yeah, that’s what we use. Alright, final thing: if you close your eyes and envision your most favorite outdoor moment ever, where are you and what are you doing?

 

KB

Actually going around a ridge and actually seeing the base camp – Mount Everest base camp. That was an exhilarating moment.

 

AB  37:23  

Thank you so much for coming on the Humans Outside Podcast today.

 

KB  37:29  

Thanks, Amy. Thanks for having me. Good luck up there.

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