This year when we solicited applications for the 2016 Oboz Ambassadors, we were overwhelmed with applications. People from around the globe applied, and, damn, they (you) were great. We heard from thru-hikers and 300-nights-outside-a-year hikers. We heard from rural folks and urban dwellers.
Narrowing such a qualified pool down to 15 new ambassadors to join seven ambassadors from the 2015 team* was hard. Here’s who will be joining the team. (Check back here in January 2016 for more extensive bios/headshots of the crew!)
Elisabeth Brentano, Southern California: To understand where Elisabeth goes and what she does, head over to her Instagram account, which chronicles her journeys since 2014, when she made a major life change. Elisabeth’s corporate job was eliminated, and she rejected the idea of a different job at half the salary. She drastically cut her budget, moved out of her apartment, and hit the road—all the while establishing herself as a freelance writer and photographer. Read more about her circuitous path here.
Joyce Britton, Los Angeles, California: It’s one thing to get outside when you live a mile or two from a trailhead. It’s an altogether different story when you are in Los Angeles, a city known for its traffic jams. Not that Joyce Britton has been dissuaded. This avid hiker doesn’t just get out every weekend, she broadcasts her adventures through her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel.
Belinda James, Grafton, Australia: Australians are known for their free spirits and adventures, and Belinda is no exception. She’s traveled the world over in search of the best climbing walls and off-road treks, lived throughout North America, and is now a registered nurse working near her hometown. She’s been a Deuter family ambassador and brings enthusiasm and energy to our team.
Scott Gauvin, Illinois: Father, husband, and web phenom, Scott operates hikingforward.com and is the co-owner of Epic Social Adventures. A self-described weekend warrior, he is also a connector. Follow his adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Ryan Huetter, Mammoth Lakes, California: A full-time mountain guide (AMGA Rock Guide, Assistant Alpine Guide, apprentice ski guide) who works in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Ryan Huetter is also an ambassador for Iridium Satellite Communications and Clif Bar. Find him on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Brenda Johima, Vancouver, British Columbia: After surviving breast cancer, artist Brenda Johima was more inspired than ever to make a difference and help others. She does this, in part, by inspiring herself through hiking and nature. Find her on Instagram, Twitter, and her webstite, which showcases her art.
Benjamin Jordan, British Columbia, Canada: Benjamin has spent the last ten years breaking boundaries in sport and society. It began with a world record skateboard journey for the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation, which lead to another record breaking adventure, flying a Paraglider across Canada to help send kids from low-income families to camp. A year later, he taught the first Malawian to fly a paraglider, made an award winning film and used its popularity to launch new projects. Find him on Facebook and Instagram.
Kristen Lummis, Grand Junction, Colorado: Kristen Lummis, a.k.a. Brave Ski Mom, started her blog in 2010 and has emerged as an expert authority on all things family and adventure travel related. Don’t be fooled by her moniker—she does a lot more than ski. Better yet, she’s friendly, resourceful, and full of tips. Find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Peter Morley, Burscough Lancaster, UK: Peter Morley never drives. An Oboz fan long before we launched the ambassador program, Morley walks and bikes everywhere, even in the U.K.’s unpredictable climate. He also loves to make music. Check him out on Facebook.
Adam Noll, Signal Mountain, Tennessee: There are few things Adam has not done. He’s taught, worked as an executive for YMCA, led wilderness trips, writes, and explores. His goal in life is to get outdoors and to inspire others to follow suit. Check out his thoughts and adventures all over the web: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his website.
Adam Nutting, Tuscon, Arizona: When Adam hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013, he launched Hiking the Trail. This online journal has evolved into a comprehensive resource for all things hiking and gear related. Through trip reports, travelogues, gear reviews and more, he’s built his platform to reach a wide audience. He’s also been an ambassador for Columbia Sportswear, the Sierra Trading Post, and Sport Chalet. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter or sign up for his newsletter at his website.
John Stephens, Boone, North Carolina: At 18, John Stephens is our youngest ambassador, but he’s not your typical teen. “I firmly believe that life wasn't meant to be lived from one place, it was meant to be searched for, it was meant to be explored,” he says. “And who doesn't love a good adventure?” Follow John’s adventures, including a 2016 thru-hike, on Instagram and Twitter.
Sandy Tarburton, Waitsfield, Vermont: The communications Director for Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Sandy Tarburton is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, an international hiker, and a mother. Find her on Facebook.
Lina Thompson, Georgetown, Indiana: In August 2015 Lina Thompson decided to take time off from my corporate job to travel and explore the U.S. Don’t expect her to get a regular job anytime soon. When she explores a region, Lina immerses herself; she’s backpacked many miles, from the Sierra Mountains in California to the Catskills Mountains in New York. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Lisa Verwys, Bozeman, Montana: Hometown ambassador Lisa Verwys describes herself as “small in stature, big in personality.” Which is to say: she’s a clever, funny, brilliant woman who lives for the outdoors and loves sharing her adventures. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.