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Explorer Spotlight: Eric Bennett

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Name: Eric Bennett | Age: 24 | Location: Provo, UT

What’s your day job?I have a little production company out here with my friend, Bennett Film Productions; we do freelance video work ranging from corporate projects to music videos. I also work part time for JetBlue Airways customer service Spanish customers. It allows me to travel for super cheap, and sometimes for free.

What are your favorite things to do outside?I love being outside, period. I grew up in Southern California where I would go out and skate everyday with my friends. I love the beach and surfing as well. In Utah, I love to go out and hike, backpack, camp, and shoot photos of the amazing places Utah has to offer. During the week, I try to make it down to the lake for sunset everyday.

What first drew you to the outdoors?The solitude. I am an extremely independent person and love being alone in the wild. It's a great opportunity for self reflection and meditation. I also love being with friends and not having any distractions like cell phones or internet and just really appreciating the present. I don't think I go to the wild to escape life, but to find it again.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure?The Provo Canyon is really close to where I live and there are lots of cool hikes in Sundance I can get to quickly. There's a hike to a waterfall called Stewart Falls that I do at least once per season and it never gets old.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?I always take my camera, my 50mm, my 8mm, my tripod, my Coalatree Hammock, and of course, my Outbound Collective shirt!

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?I've been listening to a lot of instrumental music — it complements the scenery without being too distracting. Right now, my favorite album is "When Everything is Perfect" by my good mate Nicholas Brian (you can download it for free here).

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?I don't know how funny it was at the time... but looking back, it makes me laugh. In Iceland, a few mates and I hiked up to some hot springs in the mountains. Everything was covered in snow, and it was below freezing. On the way up we fell through some ice and got wet up to our knees, but finally, we made it to the hot springs and jumped in. After about an hour and a half of feeling warm and amazing, we reluctantly got out and tried to put our clothes back on. My boots, jeans, and socks were completely frozen solid and wouldn't budge! I managed to get my boots on, but ended up having to all the way back down in my long johns, carrying all my clothes. What a bummer, getting out of that nice warm water and finding a pile of frozen clothes!

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?Iceland was amazing, and Scotland is also incredible for backpacking in the Highlands. I head down to Latin America every few months which is never a bad idea.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?I am heading to Costa Rica and Panama for a few weeks, followed by Nepal and the Philippines for 20 days. I'm planning on hitting up Patagonia in June, too.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!This photo of the northern lights in Iceland is one of my favorites. I remember the excitement I felt the first time I walked down to the lighthouse to try and see them, and saw as the began to form and slither through the sky. It really is the most incredible thing I've ever seen; I felt like a little kid again.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?Invest in experiences, not things.

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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