Explorer Spotlight: Josh Currie

By: The Outbound Collective
March 11, 2016

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Name: Josh Currie | Age: 26 | Location: Palo Alto, CA.

What’s your day job?
Production Artist at GoPro.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
My favorite thing to do outside typically consist of accomplishing something in some form. Whether that's making my way to a specific destination, climbing to the top of something, or trying to find my way to the most beautiful view, I simply love trying to maximize whatever the current environment is giving me.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I don't quite have a specific time in which something clicked for me as to why I now love enjoying creation. But I do remember how my passion for it began to grow. As a kid it was very important to my parents that we were outside as much as possible. They made sure that we appreciated the outdoors and respected the beauty that it offers. Now for me, that respect didn't fully come to fruition until I got my first camera. Up until that point I could only look at the view or landscape in front of me for the time that it was right in front of me. But now that I had a camera to capture those moments and relive them whenever I wanted, seeking out the most beautiful locations and being able to visit that memory even after I had left became addicting. I think an argument can be made that looking through a lens versus simply taking in the view has the potential to tarnish the moment. But for me, being able to accrue all those moments with tangible images is worth the "distraction".

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
My favorite hometown adventure and beer sanctuary is actually one in the same. Living in Palo Alto will not turn any heads as far as the go to place for adventure, unless your idea of adventure is developing the newest mobile application. But we have discovered a couple gems that most people don't know about. Palo Alto is right at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains and there are actually more milage of hiking trails than paved roads within it's boarders. But enough about my Palo Alto plug. My favorite thing to do locally is to get on my motorcycle, take the winding road up the Skyline and cruz by the expansive views and beneath the redwoods to either Alice's Restaurant or Applejacks for a cold beer.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
The most essential piece of gear, that truthfully may have also made me a little soft, is my REI Flex Lite camping chair. Before this little beauty was in my life, sitting on the ground for hours around the fire after a long day of hiking definitely was not the most comfortable experience. My best friend, who spends 20 days out of the month outside for a living, gifted me with this chair as a wedding gift. The chair is literally a pound and a half and once packed, smaller than more sleeping pads. Needless to say I take it everywhere, even on backpacking treks. It truly makes that nightly campfire experience so enjoyable.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
My favorite trail snack, which can be a full meal as well, takes a little time and dedication in the prep but is so worth it. Ingredients: A block of cheese; medium size tortillas; flavored tuna of your choice; Essentially, Tuna Quesadillas. Just cut up the cheese, add some tuna, fold it in the quesadilla and warm it up over the fire.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
I don't ever listen to music when I'm hiking, but if I have a little speaker with me, playing some country, big band, or classic rock around the fire can add a nice little vibe.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
Well this adventure could be where both scary and funny were one in the same. I was traveling abroad in Switzerland, and one weekend we decided to trek around Grindelwald. We got some local knowledge about a rad hike and started walking towards the direction we thought the stranger with terrible english had told us to go. Naturally we get extraordinarily lost in the woods but keep on going with high spirits until we come across what looks like an abandoned ropes course in the middle of nowhere. Of course like I eluded to the earlier questions, my first instinct is to start climbing this ropes course. Without any discussion we all start doing the course without harness or any actual ropes. A little interjection here: what I love about Europe is that when it comes to activities that the US would perceive as unsafe, dangerous, and irresponsible, Europeans don't bat an eye and beyond that have no intentions of making said activity any more safe or responsible. That being said this ropes course was very sketchy. We for some reason didn't realize that until about 100 feet up in the trees when a broken cable impaired any forward progress. As tensions rose within the party our voices got louder which must have triggered the rousing of a now furious Swiss-German fellow who seemingly apparated out of nowhere. As he stood 100 feet below us screaming in German, (the only word we could make out was the F one coming in hot about every 3 word) we did what every American would and said over and over, "Sorry we don't understand! We're Canadian!" He stormed off shaking his head and brought out a few more of his buddies carrying some climbing gear and rescued us down from the tree one by one. Once safely on the forrest floor they of course were demanding payment and we of course we had none and eventually fled the scene. Once having our postmortem over a couple beers I think everyone would admit to feeling a little bit of fear as well as a lot of humor.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My number one adventure buddy without a doubt my wife. As the person who I will share life with each and everyday for the rest of our time on this earth, there is never a beautiful, trying, frustrating, or frightening moment that I would not want to have her by my side for. I truly respect the people who love going off on their own and having intimate 1 on 1 experiences with nature, but for me, being able to share those moments and experiences with another person is so valuable.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
For me, a place with trees, mountains, water, and a landscape that makes you feel so small and insignificant will always make a top spot on my list. When you can look out from wherever you are and know that there is so much more than yourself out here, is always a destination worth traveling to.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
The John Muir Trail has always been something that I want to do. Going through that part of the California has got to be one of the most scenic stretches and I think the length of the journey is perfect and makes it quite tangible. Beyond that I would love to spend a significant amount of time backpacking around New Zealand. Huge Lord of the Rings fan so that's definitely been a dream of mine.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
My most memorable photo was one that was a little bit of happenstance mixed with some boldness. I was camping in Yosemite and at about 5:30am I hear the classic rustling around outside the tent. Slowly peaking my head outside I see a bear sniffing around looking for his next quick fix. He quickly realized we had nothing to offer and slowly meandered off. Intrigued by the beast I grabbed my camera, crawled out of the tent and began the pursuit. In the moment I of course thought I was like a phantom in the mist unable to be heard or seen by a single soul. As I blindly followed our new friend we pushed into a clearing capped with a soft layer of morning mist. After traveling another twenty yards or so, without warning, he stopped, stood to full height and looked right back at me. I froze for a second and somehow had the wherewithal to get one picture in before he grunted loudly and ran off. I think that was his polite way of telling me that I in fact was not sneaky and it was time to back off. Looking back at that photo I realized we had wandered into a meadow right beneath Half Dome and it was one that truly made the moment real for me.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
"God is good"