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Explorer Spotlight: Bryan Young

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Name: Bryan Young | Age: 28 | Location: Lesotho, Africa & Houston, TX.

What’s your day job?
High School Teacher.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Everything! But more specifically,hanging around a nice campfire!

What first drew you to the outdoors?
My mom is a very outdoor oriented person and as kids we always grew up hiking, playing in the waves at the local beach and doing all sorts of sports and games outside in our backyard. I jokingly tell my students that I never had a video game system growing up and that my life was tough, full of dirt, grass stains, tanned skin and outdoor adventures! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Trail running in Rocky Neck State Park, Connecticut is always a must whenever I go home. There are great single track trails and they always provide great views of the beach and the Long Island Sound. Afterward I love to chill on the patio and grab a beer at Sunset Ribs.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Running shoes – Running is a great way to explore new places!

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Good old fashioned Gorp with peanuts, raisins and massive amounts of M&Ms!

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Too many tunes to choose from, but John Butler Trio, Dispatch, Blue Scholars and Eddie Vedder’s “Into the Wild” soundtrack always top my list!

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
I am a volunteer trip leader and take high school students backpacking for a week. We were in the middle of our trip in Montana and about halfway up a mountain on our summit day. One of my students started to have difficulty breathing and his vitals began to deteriorate quite rapidly – an asthma attack. We were about 2 miles from any SAT phone reception as well. However, we were prepared for any emergency, having WFA training and knowledge of our students’ medical issues. Long story short, the student is fine and in the course of events a helicopter ended up being dispatched. No matter how prepared, it’s always tough being in that situation!

As for the funniest…anytime you backpack with inner city kids is pretty much pure hilarity, especially when they hear how they have to use the bathroom!

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My amazing fiancé of course! Almost immediately into starting dating we created a couple’s “Bucket List” of things we wanted to do together. These were simple things from going out to eat at certain restaurants to more in depth go on a week vacation together! The joke was that as soon as we completed the Bucket List we’d break up. That hasn’t happened yet and since we’ve been together the list has only grown! It now includes “Get married at Glacier National Park” which we will get to check off in June of 2017!

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
I’m always drawn to the Colorado Rockies (14ers) and Moab in Utah. There’s something magical about these places and I never have a problem going back. Last summer I backpacked around Lake Tahoe and I can’t wait to return and explore that area more as well!

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
My fiancé and I have less than 4 months left living in Lesotho and we have plans to run the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, visit Victoria Falls, run the Comrades Ultramarathon, safari in Chobe National Park and tour Namibia.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
It’s not often that you can camp, wake up, and then within the confines of your cozy warm sleeping bag take in and photograph amazing sunrise shots. However, while camping in Sethlabathebe National Park in Lesotho (the small African country located inside of South Africa) I had just that experience. The night before my fiancé and I lay out our sleeping pads and slept under the stars projected by the cave. In the morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise that illuminated the magical park. It was such a treat to wake up and still wrapped in the mummy bag enjoy the sunrise from our isolated cave.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
“Life is short. Do something that matters."

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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