Sierra Club Outdoors

Thank you Sierra Club.

Last week we received in the mail a certificate of appreciation from the Sierra Club. It was recognizing us for five years of membership. 

As I sit here looking at my backpack ready to embark on a 165 mile hike around Lake Tahoe I realize it is I who should be thanking the Sierra Club. I can honestly say the club changed my life. It wasn't through a political campaign or environmental initiative, but through the love and passion for the outdoors. Amazing volunteers sharing their knowledge of the outdoors, educating others how to safely travel through the backcountry as part of the outings program, Sierra Club Outdoors. It was these volunteers, now my friends and mentors, who have and continue to inspire my passion for the outdoors. 

"Connecting people to nature benefiting both".  Sierra Club Outdoors 


Thank You Veterans.

What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than heading into the wilderness for a hike with friends and Betty the TurboPUP

Driving up a very dreary and moody Hwy 2, we cleared the cloud cover at around 6000' to a perfect Fall day in the Angeles National Forest. With cool temps, blue skies and not another person in site we headed out on the Mt Waterman trail. Over the next 8.5 miles there was lots of friendly conversation, but also quiet as we soaked in the beauty around us. I enjoyed the time to reflect and started thinking about it being Veterans Day.

Almost exactly a month ago on October 10, 2014 this area became part of the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. We are lucky to live in country where preserving and protecting wilderness areas like these is a priority.  Lucky to live in a country not in war, where we can wake up and feel safe to go about our daily lives. We have this this security due to the men and women who serve in the armed forces risking their lives to afford us this luxury.

In honor of Veterans Day I would like to give a special thank you to 3 special veterans. 

The first is Stacy Bare. I have never met someone more committed to getting people outdoors. As Director of Sierra Club Outdoors this is his job, but he goes above and beyond inspiring others and taking a first-hand role in making sure that fellow veterans are getting to experience the magic of the country they fought to protect. As a 2014 National Geographic Adventurer, The North Face Ambassador and a regular blogger on the Huffington Post he tirelessly works to share with others the importance of getting outdoors. I am honored to call him a friend and mentor. Here is his story.


Next up... Kristina Guerrero, Founder and CEO of TurboPUP. Aside from having an infectious smile, great laugh, and an obvious passion for our 4-legged friends, Kristina is a decorated US Air Force Veteran. She currently is the mastermind behind Betty's favorite trail snack and backpacking food, the TurboPUP bar! These bars are a complete meal replacement bar for dogs using premium, human-grade ingredients in a convenient waterproof package perfect for hitting the trail. Leave the kibble at home and bring TurboPUP bars. We are thrilled to be a part of the TurboPUP Team supporting this Veteran Owned Business! 

The final thank you goes to my brother-in-law Lt Commander James Tilden who is spending his Veterans Day serving his country overseas. We are so proud of him and lucky to have him in our lives. A special shout out to his wife, Nicole, and the families of all who serve and have served.




Happy Veterans Day to all of our servicemen and servicewomen... thank you.

Outdoor Retailer: Day 1 - Inspired

Amidst all the cool new products and overwhelming amount of outdoor gear, clothes, and business being done, what really stood out today was how much "good" is happening at this trade show. Some of my favorite non-profits American Hiking Society, Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition (OIWC), the Sierra Club, and many others are at the show working on partnerships and bringing awareness to the amazing work that they do.

There are also a lot of companies out there already supporting these types of groups and issues that are so important to the outdoors. Starting at 4 pm each night different companies host Happy Hours as benefits to various groups. Among these, Black Diamond hosted a Happy Hour and book signing of Women Who Dare by Chris Noble to support OIWC. After the show was over we were invited to an event hosted by Klean Kanteen celebrating their 10 yr anniversary. This company was founded on the premise that they wanted to make a change and in the past 10 years have given back 1 million dollars to support great groups and causes such as 1% For the Planet,  5 Gyres, American Hiking Society, and Outdoor Afro to name a few. Think about that a company so committed to the environment and the outdoors that they are willing to donate 1 million of their profits to support what they believe in.

Serious inspiration everywhere. And to close out the show I was able to meet another person who is really trying to make a difference and bring awareness to global issues through his photography, Corey Richards.

Sometimes it is not about the coolest new gadgets.

Hiking for Good in Hollywood

A last minute head's up to join a friend for a hike last Tuesday turned into a lovely afternoon. While at Outdoor Retailer, a couple of weeks ago, a friend, and Director of Sierra Club Outdoors, Stacy Bare said he was might be doing a hike to the Hollywood Sign. Despite being born in Hollywood and living in Southern California for a couple of decades, I have never done this hike. So I figured what better excuse than a friend coming in from out of town to head into the Hollywood Hills.


Realizing that I had not actually asked what day the hike was going to happen, a quick email exchange cleared up that the meet-up point was at the top of Beechwood Canyon/Sunset Ranch @ 1pm. Paul, Betty and I met up with some Stacy, some Sierra Club volunteers, veterans, and actress, Brooklyn Decker. We were a small but merry band with Betty embarking on her first hike! This is a family-friendly & pet-on-leash-friendly hike with the best views of the sign being from a mid-way point below it. Once you get to the top there is a chain link fence preventing you from getting to the actual sign and you have a view of the back of the sign. Round trip the hike is 3-4 miles and all fire roads.

You may not believe me, but until I Googled her after the hike, I had no idea who Brooklyn was.  During the hike we learned about her volunteer work with the military and veterans, and that she is going to be helping bring awareness to getting youth outdoors as an Ambassador for Sierra Club Outdoors! It was great to form an opinion of someone based on actually getting to know them a little and not have a pre-conceived idea of what they might be like based on their celebrity. Always inspiring to meet someone using their influence for good and supporting a great organization like Sierra Club Outdoors!

The Sierra Club Outdoors is something we believe strongly in. We are instructors for the Wilderness Travel Course (WTC) which is part of Sierra Club Outdoors, as well as volunteers for the Advanced Mountaineering Program (AMP). We are also on the path to become rated Sierra Club trip leaders to bring others into the wilderness. How can we expect people to want to save our natural places if they have never experienced them? Last night at our first WTC class a friend described WTC as "a gateway drug" to the outdoors, we all laughed but it is true. We are teaching outdoor skills that give people the confidence to go out and enjoy nature…. and maybe even bring friends and inspire others…. and so on and so on. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could become addicted to nature.

So here is my shameless plug to check out Sierra Club Outdoors. They have tons of programs and events focused on getting people outdoors!


CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE, BENEFITING BOTHSierra Club Outdoors reaches across economic lines, cultures, and communities, to engage all Americans -- including military and youth -- to explore and enjoy the natural world.

For more info on Brooklyn's involvement with Sierra Club Outdoors, click here!