Kate Olender, Michigan, USA

“I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. All of my family vacations were staying in nice hotels and going to big cities, so I don’t know where this love of the outdoors came from — but I’ve had it since I’ve been pretty young. I wanted to plant trees for the squirrels in the suburbs. I did my first hike in the Blue Mountains of Australia when I studied abroad in college. I had no ideas what i was doing, I didn’t know how to read a map, I got lost, I ended up on the outside of the national park, I didn’t have enough water or food. Then I started to join adventure meetup groups. They were great because they helped me get into hiking with people who knew where to go, and what to do. I’ve been doing it ever since.”


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