Thursday, June 20, 2013
EVAN OPPENHEIMER Guide, Wilderness First Responder, NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Evan O has been a guide at Discover Outdoors for five years, leading adventurers on trails everywhere from Queens to Canada. While he's in the city he stays busy running, biking, practicing yoga, and eating new, excellent food. What was your first memory of being outdoors? How did you get started?
When I was three or four I remember a HUGE tree fell on my street. I recall two emotions: first I felt sad for the tree, that it no longer was standing tall and second was an intense need to climb on, in and around its roots and branches. This was the very start of my love of trees and all that is nature.
As a small child, I spent summers at the beaches of long Island, body surfing in the waves and building dreams in the sand. Then as I got older, I spent summers in the woods of the Catskills outside Woodstock, romping around, collecting salamanders, hiking and biking trails, and getting pulled by a boat on the lake on all manner of devices (not just skis, think chairs on skis and circular planks of plywood). What's your most memorable outdoor experience?
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Bay of Island of New Zealand. It only lasted maybe a minute, but swimming eye to eye with these big beautiful creatures gave me a connection to nature that I will not soon forget. Is there one trip you are most proud of?
My first mountaineering trip to Mt. Shuksan in the North Cascades of Washington State. This was my reward for fundraising money for Big City Mountaineers Summit for Someone program. With the money I raised, a group of inner city teens had the opportunity to experience the outdoors in the same way that I had the good fortune to, but without my efforts, they might not have had the chance to do so. Not only did we summit, certainly a satisfying feeling, but I got even more satisfaction knowing that others got the chance to do so too. What is your favorite thing about getting outside?
Every time, regardless of the weather, location or company, I get the feeling of being more at home there than in any house I have ever lived in. Do you have a personal motto?
Don't stop. Don't stop exploring, don't stop learning, and don't ever stop believing that anything is possible.
Also, and this is not so much a motto, but more a philosophy, and that is you should always take time to slow down (but never stop) to listen to your inner voice and the voices of those around you, so you can always orient yourself to where you are in the world, where you want to go, what direction you are traveling and who wants to come along for the ride"_ because life is a ride, and we might as well enjoy the journey of it. What is your recommendation for outdoor underwear?
Well none might seem like the obvious answer, but best underwear in my opinion are the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs. They don't easily stink, and they wash/dry super easy, so with only two pairs you could easily travel the world and need no others. What's your favorite trail snack?
Salami log and crackers. And perhaps a good whiskey to wash it all down while sitting around a fire.