I am deeply in love with wild places.
My relationship with the outdoors started as a teenager when I fell head over heels for rock climbing, often literally. I am inspired by expedition climbers and the notion of exploring and creating a relationship with a place. I find this to be especially true when soaked to the skin and covered in mud, belting out some Taylor Swift two hours into a 12-hour day.
Tramping allows me to experience the wild places in our world and helps create a deep sense of belonging tied to those places. The feeling I get, walking along a ridge playing hide and seek with the Kea is unbeatable. There is so much mana in these spaces, it is such a privilege to get to be a part of them for a short while.
This season I'm striving to explore fear and challenge with curiosity while deepening my connection with the places I study on my topo map.@hazeldoesstuff
Musicians from Australia, Mickey & Michelle’s hiking origin stories are polar opposites!
Michelle started hiking with her Dad when she was 23, methodically gaining skills and gear over four years with the goal of her first long-distance hike at 27, the 680km Australian Alps Walking Track. Mickey spontaneously said ‘yes!’ to fill in on a section of this hike. His first ‘overnighter’ was 230km – there were some seriously sore knees, but also a very happy, inspired Mickey.
Both now hooked on long-distance hiking, they set their sights on New Zealand’s 3000km Te Araroa Trail. To make the 6 months of hiking financially feasible, they formed a band, wrote an original music set, recorded a debut album, brought their instruments and embarked on a walking tour playing concerts along the trail. It was a truly life-changing experience.
And Aarn packs have been with them the whole way! Michelle needs to load her back well due to a diagnosis of Osteoporosis when she was 24. Aarn packs just made sense. The fact that they’re also comfy and easy to access gear from the front pockets is an added bonus for her!
Raquel Hernandez-Cruz and Sam Salwei, the dynamic duo behind YogaSlackers, are known for merging yoga, acrobatics, and slacklining with significant contributions to the outdoor industry. For over a decade, they've been pivotal in testing and refining outdoor equipment, drawing from their extensive adventure sports expertise and a nomadic lifestyle, showcased by their life in the "#SlackerVan.
Their nomadic journey, vividly captured in their film "Road to Wanderlust," exemplifies their commitment to a life of constant movement, embracing the freedom and challenges that come with travelling extensively. This way of life deeply influences their work and teachings.
Together, they lead multi-day adventures, merging physical challenges with the serenity of natural environments. Their story, transcending physical feats, embodies balance, trust, and a life rich in adventure. They inspire people of all ages to explore the endless possibilities of life, backed by gear that they've helped to develop and perfect through their own adventures.