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 0:31
When you find yourself completely outside your comfort zone, you have two options, dig in and wait for it to be over, or embrace the change. Let’s face it, change is super hard. For military families, that change is basically constant. The average military family moves to an entirely new place once or every two or three years. There are pros and cons to that. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to experience all kinds of diversity in new places. On the other hand, well, change is hard. Imagine resetting your friends and culture and even your belongings once every two or three years. It gets super old. For Hannah Wolt and Jennifer Everheart change meant moving to Guam with the US military and ultimately changing their lives to be so outdoor focused that they started a military focused hiking club, Military Wild. Hannah and Jennifer, welcome to the Humans Outside Podcast.
Jennifer Everheart 1:22
Hannah Wolt 1:24
So good to be here.
Amy Bushatz 1:27
So we start every show by imagining ourselves talking to our guest or guests in their favorite outdoor spaces. So Hannah, you first. Where are we talking to you today? Maybe we’re on a tour and visiting multiple locations. So where are we?
Hannah Wolt 1:44
All right, we are in the lower canyons of the Big Bend area of Texas. It’s a stretch of river about 84 miles outside of Big Bend National Park. It’s like about a 10 day canoe trip through just the most beautiful remote desert landscape you’ve ever seen. There’s like towering canyon cliffs that run along the river like hundreds of feet high. There’s little rapids, sometimes you run across like wild cows and things roaming around. And at nighttime, the stars are like the craziest stars you’ve ever seen in your life. Like you can see the glow of the Milky Way galaxy like laying in your sleeping bag looking up with like, the glow of the campfire next door.
Amy Bushatz 2:31
That sounds amazing. Jennifer, where are we with you?
Jennifer Everheart 2:35
For me, we are on a tiny little beach called Shark’s Cove on the island of Guam. And it’s a short little hike across beautiful sandy white beaches to this remote little beach where no one ever is for some reason with crystal clear bright blue water that you can see miles away from. Warm toes in the sand, water lapping quietly at the beach shores. Perfect.
Amy Bushatz 3:04
That sounds absolutely magical. So as a military spouse myself, I of course know the challenge of moving around and becoming outdoor-focused is so closely tied to that in my own military spouse story. Has spending time in nature always been a part of your stories?
Hannah Wolt 3:23
I grew up like playing outside and stuff all the time. On family vacations we would do really short hikes and like stop at overlooks and everything. But I didn’t really get into like truly hiking and really getting active in the outdoors until college. I went to Texas Tech University and worked for the outdoor program there. And that was really my introduction into the outdoors and learning like lots of new technical skills, getting comfortable with like my boundaries and learning things that I hadn’t done before and also getting to teach other people. So really, it’s been since college that I’ve really gotten into like outdoor space in a more like active routine kind of way.
Jennifer Everheart 4:06
Yeah, for me, it’s just I grew up similar to Hannah, always outside, always outdoors, playing in the woods, walking on trails. It was just part of our family tradition, I guess you could say. But as far as getting constantly outdoors and really making it a focus in my life, it honestly wasn’t until three years ago when we moved to Guam, and I was working from home and so I had all this free time and I thought — why not explore my surroundings while I’m here? And just took that leap of faith and went for it.
Amy Bushatz 4:39
So tell me about Military Wild, because it sounds like that sort of a natural progression. Our listeners may not know about the military life but you know, when you’re stationed somewhere where there are not a lot of people that you know, clubs are a very normal thing. And of course, if you’re in a place where you really don’t know anyone, maybe you don’t want to get out there by yourself. So tell me about Military Wild, how that got started.
Hannah Wolt 5:06
So when my husband and I first moved to Guam, for about the first year or two, year and a half, I had trouble like connecting with other people and really finding like a close group of friends, and Guam is an especially difficult place, just even compared to a lot of other military bases. Because you’re so far from home, it’s a lot harder for like spouses and family members to find jobs there. So I wasn’t getting any kind of fulfillment in my career, like professional aspirations or anything while we were there either. My mom was diagnosed with cancer, like our first Christmas that we were there, and so like I was going through all these emotions and stuff and just really struggling to like feel connected to where we were living and feel happy and fulfilled while we were there. So my husband and I ended up going on vacation to New Zealand where we were like getting out hiking all the time again. And it had been so long since I had done that on a regular basis. And while we were there, I was like — Man, this is like what I’ve been needing, this is what I’ve been missing, and I hadn’t even really realized it. So as soon as we got back to Guam, I was like — Okay, I need people to hike with. So like, I’m gonna make friends. Like no matter what it takes, I’m just gonna like put it out there and see if other people want to go hiking because like, I know, I’m not the only one, I can’t be the only one that’s struggling with those kinds of things. So we got back to Guam I posted in like one of the spouse Facebook pages and was basically just like — hey, I want to start a hiking group, who else is interested? I was super scared because I’m very introverted and like, I don’t like put myself out there when it comes to like getting groups together and things very often, but the amount of people that commented and like showed their interest and everything was crazy. So I started the Facebook group. Jen was one of the first people that came out and like met up and she and I and what ended up being the rest of our board joined shortly after, and it kind of took off from there.
Jennifer Everheart 7:07
Yeah, I remember seeing Hannah’s post and I was like — sure. Heck, yes. I’m gonna do this. And so I went out that first time, and I had a great time. And I was like — Oh, yeah, I’ve hiked all over Guam the past couple of years that I’ve been here, so I will totally lead some hikes for you. And it just kind of took off from there.
Amy Bushatz 7:32
How many people joined the club? How many people are members now?
Hannah Wolt 7:37
Oh, gosh. Okay, let’s see. So just in our Guam chapter, there’s like over 1000 people that are in the Facebook group. And then at our various other like chapters around the country, it’s anywhere from like 50 to how many do you have in Washington, Jen?
Jennifer Everheart 7:57
I believe we just hit 700
Hannah Wolt 7:59
Okay, yeah. So then, as far as like actual Military Wild paid members, I think we have just over 300 right now that have paid for the membership and have donated and supported our efforts to slowly become a nonprofit and go through that process.
Amy Bushatz 8:16
So two things, one, just for everybody who’s listening, neither of you are still in Guam, one of you is in Washington, one of you in Texas, right. And then two, you do have a paid membership and then you have a non paid membership. So tell me about that. What is the membership for? Talk to us a little about that.
Jennifer Everheart 8:37
So our membership currently is $10 annually. It gets you into any events nationwide. Some of our chapters are currently paid members only and other ones are open to all members. It will also get you special perks, depending on your location, free birthday hikes where you’ll get a sweet treat at the end. We know birthdays are difficult for military members. You’re not always by people you know, and not always by family and spouses are gone. And all that jazz, we want to make sure that no matter where you are, you feel appreciated and loved. So it’s one of our big goals, especially with the paid membership, to really fulfill and make it feel worth the annual cost. And then our free memberships is basically, just we have our Facebook groups, as long as we have an ambassador in the area, you can join those groups. They have scheduled hikes monthly, and you just come on, check the hikes out. Lots of pictures, lots of fun, meet new people, meet new friends. So, that’s always the goal.
Amy Bushatz 9:37
Cool. And it’s $10 right?
Hannah Wolt 9:40
Yes, it’s currently $10 annually.
Amy Bushatz 9:43
Awesome. And I know that because I signed up haha.
Hannah Wolt 9:48
I think I just mailed your patch like you did a couple days ago.
Amy Bushatz 9:52
Yes, I got it. You did! Because I can get on board with the military hiking club even though we have no chapter here. Full disclosure.
Hannah Wolt 10:03
I see a new ambassador coming!
Amy Bushatz 10:09
So, uh, you do have multiple locations. So tell us about that. Where are you located?
Hannah Wolt 10:14
Okay, let’s see. I got to work my way from like the East Coast over. Okay, I’ll say what I can remember. And then Jen, you know what I’ve left out. So we have Virginia, and we do have a chapter in like the DC/Maryland area. We’re currently looking for a new ambassador there though. So we don’t have planned hikes there right now. We have Alabama, Texas – Texas is a huge state. So our main activities in Texas are based in Del Rio where I am and then also in San Antonio. And we have a brand new chapter in New Mexico that just launched recently. And Washington, Hawaii, Guam. Am I missing anything, Jen? Oh, we also are looking for an ambassador in North Carolina.
Amy Bushatz 11:04
Some great hiking locations. I don’t think about Texas as being hike-y, though. Tell me about that.
Hannah Wolt 11:12
It’s funny, I don’t really, either. Texas is interesting. And it really depends on what part of Texas you’re in because it is such a big state. And so we have like, I think it’s like five, the state’s divided up into five different regions that are all drastically different from each other. So I grew up in the Dallas area actually and didn’t really do very much hiking. I didn’t know very much about hiking in Texas until I went to college and started doing more outdoorsy things. But here in Del Rio, we are a few hours away from quite a few state parks. And they’re not like gorgeous crazy mountain views, but there’s like lots of beautiful wildlife. Texas is like one of the best places to go like bird watching if that’s your kind of thing. We’re also only four hours away from Big Bend National Park, which has some amazing heights and does have mountain views. And I know in like the San Antonio area, they’ve got lots of cool like Hill Country hikes. And I believe this city has some really pretty like green belts and stuff that runs through it, too. So there’s tons of ways to get outside. Even if it’s not what you would generally think of is like — oh, we’re going to go on like a really cool mountain hike that’s 10 miles long and things like that.
Amy Bushatz 12:26
Sure. So what you’re saying is I’m being unfair to Texas right now.
Hannah Wolt 12:31
I mean, I’m a little bit biased, but I do like the outdoor activities in Texas.
Amy Bushatz 12:36
And it’s beautiful there right now.
So okay, although a part of the US, right, Guam is really unlike any stateside location as we’ve just proven, if only due to the fact that it’s located where it’s located on the globe, right, and therefore, its weather. Alaska is sort of the same way because you have to make some really unique considerations here. So tell me about the things you need to think about when you’re spending time outside in Guam that you don’t think about in Texas.
Hannah Wolt 13:08
I think the biggest adjustment for me was just being in a much more like, humid and tropical environment. So like out here in Texas, the things that you watch out for on the trail are rattlesnakes and cactuses. And in Guam, you’re watching out for giant monitor lizards and huge banana spiders that string webs across the trail like right right at face level.
Amy Bushatz 13:34
I can’t even talk about – I can’t even – I can’t.
Hannah Wolt 13:38
Yeah, so we went all in. It’s like an ongoing tradition that anytime we lead hikes the person in the front has to carry a spider stick. You like walk through the jungle waving your arm up and down like your internet is doing some kind of like ritualistic blessing.
Amy Bushatz 13:52
Like I’m almost afraid to even talk about this on the podcast because now the internet algorithms are going to think that I have an interest in this topic – and I do not.
Hannah Wolt 14:01
You’re gonna get spider things popping up.
Amy Bushatz 14:05
Yes. And I really, really, really, really, really don’t want that at all. In fact, one of the best things about Alaska to me is a lack of that, you know how like, I won’t use the word. Do you like that? I have an unreasonable fear. I know that and I’m okay with it. So you’re in Guam, you’re hiking to exotic waterfalls and beaches and animals I can’t talk about. What else?
Hannah Wolt 14:40
Um, I think another thing that kind of surprised me was how much more quickly I went through like my shoes there. So here I had hiking boots that lasted like years other than you know, how often and how many miles you put on hiking shoes. But in Guam, the climate is so wet, that you’re constantly hiking in mud and water and it just destroys your shoes. I went through like two or three pairs of shoes – I think you did too, Jen
Jennifer Everheart 15:08
I did and the limestone just tears up the bottom. Like good luck with any tread after a couple of months.
Amy Bushatz 15:15
That’s crazy. Jen, do you find because you’re in Washington, which is also notoriously wet, do you think that’s worse on your stuff?
Jennifer Everheart 15:23
Well, the difference is Guam is you’re walking through rivers and you’re walking through streams and your feet get wet and you want them to get wet. It’s okay if they get wet. And here, especially in the colder months, you don’t want your feet to get wet. So you end up wearing waterproof boots and shoes, which work a little differently than like trail runners in Guam where you’re like — Yes, I need breathability. I need them to accept water and dry quickly. Whereas here in Washington, you really want dry feet all the time.
Amy Bushatz 15:57
And you’re saying accept water because you’re warm? Is that the thinking, that you’re just blazing hot?.
Jennifer Everheart 16:03
Yes, and also, oftentimes, we’ve been in rivers where we’ve been up to our chest and water. So if you’re wearing waterproof boots, that water’s just going to seep in, and it’s not going to come out.
Amy Bushatz 16:19
So, one of the most notorious things I’ve heard about Guam is about snakes in trees. Okay, so true or false? Guam is known for tree snakes that must periodically be eradicated by dead mice stuffed with tylenol and dropped from the sky.
Jennifer Everheart 16:36
One hundred percent true.
Amy Bushatz 16:40
Okay, am I like alone in the world in envisioning the mice with like, tiny little parachutes and like, they’re like, airborne? I don’t know. Is that crazy? That’s what’s in my mind. I know that’s not real.
Jennifer Everheart 16:54
Honestly, it was a fantastic Halloween costume for a couple of years.
Amy Bushatz 16:59
Oh man, that’s amazing.
Okay, so before the snakes eat the mice, what’s the situation? Like tree snakes, kind of freaky, am I wrong?
Hannah Wolt 17:08
Very creepy. I only ever saw a few of them. And they were usually only at nighttime like once it was starting to get dark. So we did a couple of sunset hikes and we ran across one that was like all interested in our flashlight, one time coming across the trail. I really didn’t see that many. But we were also there sort of at the tail end of the big eradication movement. So which is crazy because the tree snakes are invasive, which is why they have to deal with them. And they have like decimated the bird population on Guam. And just in the small amount of time that we were there, I noticed a huge increase in the number of birds after they finished their big, like eradication movements. So that’s kind of a cool fun fact.
Jennifer Everheart 17:48
Yeah, one hundred percent. I mean, we got there a couple years earlier, before Hannah and when we got there, I remember mentioning that we never heard birds ever. Come to find out that the snakes kill the birds, which then increases spider populations. Throwing that out there. And they’re was such a difference in three years. When we left we were constantly seeing swallows and sparrows flying through. And we would hear chirping and bird noises all the time, which to me means it was actually working, which is kind of amazing. But it is kind of creepy on a night hike when you pull back a tree and all of a sudden there’s a snake staring you in the face.
Amy Bushatz 18:36
I’m sort of chuckling to myself because I live in Alaska, which is a place people think of as being very exotic, and when I talk to them, they have the same attitude towards me that I’m having about Guam right now. Which is, how do you do it? How do you deal with the bears, you know, don’t aren’t always at the, you know, bear risk. Someone made a joke the other day about how we can’t have a bee hive. Somebody out like outside of Alaska. In fact, they were in Texas, said to me that we couldn’t have a beehive because it would attract grizzly bears. And I was like, Huh, no. But thanks. Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer Everheart 19:20
You never really understand a place until you’ve been there.
Amy Bushatz 19:24
And so I’m like, this is how I react to sort of those things. Or when we moved up here, I remember somebody asking us if we could get rid of the bears that were apparently following us in his mind by carrying fish and then throwing the fish in the opposite direction. And yeah, and I was like — What? Like, I hadn’t even been here at that point. I was like — No, probably not. Right. But I mean, it’s just funny to me. I’m really reacting to what you’re saying as if you’re talking about like this totally foreign, very exotic location. And I am doing the same thing to you that people do to me that I think is so silly. Is my attitude, because this is again, this is the attitude people give me right and that’s very normal. Is my attitude towards you the way that people react when you say you’ve lived in Guam?
Hannah Wolt 20:26
I would say definitely. I feel like part of it is because nobody knows where Guam is. Anytime we say — Oh, we just came from Guam or we lived in Guam for a couple of years. People are like — Oh, where’s that – and they have no idea. And to their credit, I didn’t either. Like the day that we found out and they said we were going to Guam, I literally pulled out my phone. It was like, Oh my gosh, on Google Maps, like zooming in frantically trying to figure out where the heck This tiny island was. So I think that’s a lot of it too is that like people just have no idea like where it is, what it’s like, what kinds of animals are there, what activities there are there. It’s just like the unknown.
Amy Bushatz 21:13
But it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise, essentially.
Jennifer Everheart 21:18
Oh absolutely. There’s so many untouched areas and so many places where no one has ever been before or no one I mean, like no locals have ever been or anything like that, that we got the chance to explore or venture off and find ourselves. And that’s a once in a lifetime experience definitely.
Amy Bushatz 21:40
So Military Wild gave you new friends with a focus on the outside. You can get new friends on base in a lot of ways, right – knitting, military spouse clubs, gym classes. Right. So is there a secret sauce involved with Military Wild because it’s outside? Because you’re in nature? Do you think that’s true?
Jennifer Everheart 22:40
I think so.
Hannah Wolt 22:42
Yeah, I think there’s inherently something different about forming bonds with people in – and it’s not just limited to outdoor activities, but I think outdoor activities are an awesome way to bring this about – just in the fact that like some of the hikes that we would go on are still some of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Like one of the hikes climbing up Mount Schroder is it’s only like a few miles long, but it’s like 800 feet up vertical the whole time. And so we had like a really small group when we did that hike the first time. And by the time we got to the top, there were like multiple people crying because they were exhausted, crying because they were overjoyed that we made it to the top. And there’s just like, no other thing that you can do together that’s gonna like bring that out in people in a place where they feel comfortable to express those kinds of emotions and like bond with each other that way. I had a super scary fall on a hike, and like, probably fractured my clavicle. I never went got it checked, but I should have and I had two ladies, one of whom – Kaylee – is one of our board members, like literally pulling my butt up the hill because I couldn’t even like pull myself back up the rope. And it’s just like being, which that is an unsafe situation, but being like, pushing ourselves in ways that you can’t in other places and activities and experiencing those kinds of things with each other. It’s just like something that you can’t get out of having dinner together, or knitting class or whatever. And it’s not that you shouldn’t do those things, but it’s just a great alternative avenue to really form bonds quickly. And like push yourself and, you know, you physically act.
Jennifer Everheart 24:23
I think definitely having a task to complete like finishing a hike really helps because it brings people that are introverted and extroverted kind of together and the introverts can kind of hang back and, you know, breathe heavily along with the rest of us and the extroverts can be super excited and kind of get everyone pumped up to keep going. So it’s a nice area, being outdoors to get everyone in their comfort zone, but out of it at the same time, because it creates this weird camaraderie and you want to help everybody that’s out there with you. So you just keep going.
Amy Bushatz 24:58
Yeah, I feel that. I’m an introvert myself and I like to do particularly long adventures with other people. So before we started recording, I said I was going to go for run tonight, that’ll be probably by myself, although it’s a pub run, right? So there are other people there. But when I go on really long adventures or long runs, I like to go with a group of friends and I call them my live podcast because they just chat, chat, chat, chat, chat, chat, and I run and then every now and then I ask a question, you know, and the joke is always I you know, I make each of these gals tell me their life story or tell us their life stories. And I infamously start with — Okay, so tell us about your life. Start with the day you were born, you know, because we got time. They chat and I ask questions and then I get to just to kind of have my alone time but also have some entertainment. But there is something about that and we have become very close friends, right because of all this movement together and I was thinking this week at some point -I call them my running wives. I’m going to have to have a running wives podcast with all these gals because I mention them on this show so often, because I do, like I do really value their friendship and I find that that experience of running with them is something that’s unique because we’re outside.
How has learning to be outdoorsy in a totally new place like Guam or like Texas, where you are now or like Washington, okay impacted other parts of your life? Obviously, the friendships are very important, but has it taught you to be different or better maybe in other ways? You know, and I hate this military word, but get ready, resilient.
What do you think?
Jennifer Everheart 26:52
I mean, for me, I’ve always been adventurous and I’ve always used the term like — Oh, I get to explore new areas. But since Military Wild has come into my life, the term explore has taken on a completely different frame of mind for me. I basically, even if I don’t feel like getting out there, I get out there to expand Military Wild, to get out there and explore new areas so I can take people to them, versus just doing it for myself because I want to make sure that people in Washington State or wherever we go to next feel included and involved and welcomed in the area that they are in. Because a lot of the times, the military feel like outsiders, a little different from the past, can’t get into with like the locals or anything. But in all honesty, you can, you just have to put that foot forward and start walking.
Hannah Wolt 27:45
Yeah, I mean, I would agree with Jen. I think a big part of especially starting Military Wild, for me, it just sort of gave me like the motivation to get out of the house. Even on the days that I didn’t want to, because I knew that like other people were counting on me to lead a hike or were going to come check on me if they hadn’t seen me on a hike in a while because they were worried about me and, um, and I think it’s also just really impacted like my own sense of how important like your own mental and physical well being is for every other aspect of your life. Just like me being able to find an outlet for physical activity has played a huge part in making me feel more fulfilled and less anxious and all that kind of stuff, just in like my daily part of life. I definitely feel a difference on like, the weeks that I don’t get outside as much and things like that.
Amy Bushatz 28:46
If you both had to give maybe two pieces of advice each to someone trying to head outside at a totally new place, maybe get over their nervousness about you know, something new or heading into nature and something new. What would you say? Hannah, you go first.
Hannah Wolt 29:03
Um, let’s see, two pieces of advice. I would probably say, research and don’t be afraid to start small. This is for sure something that I think I learned a lot more about in Guam, was doing lots of research before you like get out and hit a trail or go to an area that you’re not used to. So especially in Guam, there’s a couple of hiking books, they sell out every time they make new prints, because there’s really just not that much info about the hiking trails and stuff in Guam. So we definitely got really good at embracing getting lost, and trying to figure out where we were, how to get back to the trail, or find our way. So that definitely has made me a lot more aware of doing a lot of research beforehand, especially if you’re heading out to areas that don’t have like good cell service or, you know, there’s not a whole lot of information. If it’s not in like a state or local park, there might not be tons of trail information and things like that.
Just don’t be afraid to start small. Especially if you’re in a new area, just starting to visit like local parks or really accessible like green belts and trails and things, is a great way to potentially meet other people, or, you know, help get other people to go out with you so that you’re not alone. Because it’s an easy activity and a great way to learn the area and just get used to like your new surroundings or get used to getting outside, you know, if it’s if it’s a new part of your routine anyway.
Amy Bushatz 30:39
That’s great advice. Jen, what about you?
Jennifer Everheart 30:42
So, I know it’s gonna be easier said than done. But honestly, just take that leap of faith. I know it’s awkward going out with new groups. And I know it’s hard for you to know, get out of your comfort zone and go somewhere, but nothing’s gonna change unless you do it. So you really just got to go for it. That’s my number one piece of advice for anyone that I meet that’s nervous about getting out hiking, like they’ve never been hiking before. They’re not really outdoorsy people but they want to be. It’s always just — well come out with me try it. You don’t like it, that’s fine, but you know what, you gotta start somewhere. So let’s just go for it.
And then my second piece would be kind of along the same lines as Hannah’s, be prepared. Know what to expect. And try to prevent any emergency from happening. Make sure you bring water, make sure you bring a first aid kit. Make sure your shoes are sturdy, make sure you know somebody knows where you are, make sure you do have cell service or at least some way to contact somebody, know what’s going to happen if something does go wrong.
Amy Bushatz 31:44
Four pieces of great advice. Good job.
Okay, so tell me, what is your favorite outdoor gear? This is sort of the part of the show where we just talk about the things that are leftover, but I think this is actually pertinent to what you just said. What is your favorite piece of outdoor gear?
Jennifer Everheart 32:01
My favorite would be my Salomon boots. I am a Salomon fan for life. I lived in my Solomon trail runners in Guam. They were fantastic shoes and thankfully lasted until the night before I left, so I’ll take it. And then as soon as we got to Washington, I got my Salomon boots for mountain hikes. And they have been amazing, especially during this winter weather so yep, that’s definitely my favorite piece of outdoor gear.
Amy Bushatz 32:38
What about you, Hannah?
Hannah Wolt 32:40
Um, let’s see. Okay, so I have like, my go to favorite piece of gear, but I do have like a new favorite. So my go to piece of gear is my Osprey backpack. So anytime we go backpacking like multi day trips, I friggin love my Osprey pack. It’s a really old one. And so like the hip pads are going out and it’s not very comfortable anymore so I need to upgrade, but I just love it so much. I love the organization and all the little pockets and I’ve named my pack Moose, like I’m very attached to it.
But my current favorite piece of gear that I just recently got is a pair of North Face pants. I think it’s the Paramount style. So it’s like women’s hiking pants. They fit really flattering, which is something that’s really hard to find in women’s hiking gear. A lot of times zip off like don’t zip off in a flattering place and all that kind of stuff. But these pants are super comfy. They’re stretchy, and they have lots of awesome pockets that don’t look bulky. They’re just amazing. They’re not super breathable. So they’re not great for like Texas summer, but I wore them on like our hiking trip in Big Bend this past January and they were fantastic.
Amy Bushatz 34:00
Love it. So what’s your most essential outdoor gear?
Jennifer Everheart 34:05
I’m going to go with my first aid kit. So I actually just this week, beefed up my first aid kit and went from just you know, those classic store bought standard first aid kits to making my own personalized first aid kit that is a little more in depth and a little more full throttle with what it’s going to offer, including like splints, and Ace bandages, and blister gel. There’s an emergency blanket in there and a shakable ice pack. I always like being prepared again, for any incident that may occur. Thankfully, nothing major has happened yet, but knock on wood.
Amy Bushatz 34:51
Hanah Wolt 34:53
Yeah, I was also going to say first aid kit, so I’ll change that. I’ll take a different definition of the word essential. And I’ll say my camera. I almost never go hiking without my camera. That was not the case in Guam, because I feel like just the exposure to that kind of humidity wouldn’t have been good. But everywhere that we’ve been in Texas so far, I always take my camera everywhere because I love documenting, like the gorgeous places that we visit and being able to like, look back on those memories and like pictures with our friends there. And things like that.
Amy Bushatz 35:26
I gotta say, I can’t even fathom the humidity in Guam, because I think Texas is just so humid.
Unknown Speaker 35:36
So when you said that I was like — Oh, no! Yeah, but everything’s big in Texas. Hair is bigger in Texas, right? Because of the humidity. It’s you just can’t keep girl down. I can’t even imagine how things would react for me somewhere like Guam.
So okay, so this is my favorite question the whole podcast. So you each get to answer individually. All right? If you close your eyes and imagine yourself in your favorite outdoor moment ever, where are you and what were you doing?
Jennifer Everheart 36:09
So I’m going to say, free climbing up a 30 foot waterfall in Guam. And just that point when you get to the top and your legs and your hands are shaking, from being terrified, letting go, but you make that top point and you look down and you see everybody cheering you on because you made it to the top, and then looking farther up and realize that you still have like four miles to go. Honestly, it’s the best feeling for me.
Hannah Wolt 36:49
Mine would be canoeing through Santa Lena Canyon in Big Bend. So I’m going to keep my Texas in solidarity. So it’s like a three day river trip up through the Santa Lena Canyon section of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. It starts out really flat. But once you get to the canyons, it’s literally just hundreds of feet high of canyon walls on both sides like sheer cliffs, this cliff side just drops straight down into the water. And you get to paddle through that for, depending on how fast you paddle, up to like two days. So you paddle all day through the canyon – you camp in the canyon. And just like in the places where the water slows down, and it’s like really calm, you can hear the echo of like, nearly every drip coming off your paddle and it’s just so serene, and magical and overwhelming. It’s something I never could have imagined. I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, but I had never imagined like canyon walls that high and it’s just so narrow that it feels so weird to just be on this narrow little river, like winding through the canyon.
Amy Bushatz 38:01
Well, thank you guys so much for being a part of the Humans Outside Podcast. I appreciate it.
Hannah Wolt 38:05
Thank you so much for having us.
Jennifer Everheart 38:08
This was awesome.
Yeah for Guam!! SUPER loved our time there, (although I admit, I went kicking and screaming)
I have so much to say about this podcast, but I will refrain from all the things….but, brown tree snakes – so, yeah…. “Operation Mouse Drop”