Explorer Spotlight: Lauren Schusterman

Name: Lauren Schusterman | Age: 20 | Location: Los Angeles, CA.

What’s your day job?
Currently a student at UCLA studying International Development and Geography.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
My favorite things to do outside are backpack, hike, and ski.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
Growing up in Boulder, CO I was always surrounded by numerous outdoor opportunities but it wasn’t until I was a bit older that I finally began to appreciate it. Once I started getting into hiking there was no turning back. Especially now living in the sprawling concrete jungle of Los Angeles, I look forward to any time I can get out of the city and into nature.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
My favorite adventure right in Boulder would probably be Royal Arch. It’s so easy to get to, is a great workout, and has some awesome views. Unfortunately I'm only 20 so no beer for me, however my favorite post hike spot is definitely Snooze.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
My Asolo hiking boots, Patagonia fleece, and Canon camera go absolutely everywhere.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
I like granola/energy bars and pretty much an kind of candy.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
I love listening to music when I'm on the road, usually anything upbeat will do!

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
I’ve been lucky and haven’t had any really scary experiences while hiking. When I was in New Zealand, some friends and I were doing the Mt. Somers track and we had heard the return route was a bit windy however we didnt take that warning seriously. Once we got to the ridge we were immediately hit by gale force winds around 60 mph and we could barely stand. However, moving at a glacial speed we eventually made it down the mountain safely. While it was a scary at the time, looking back it was an extremely entertaining experience making it down that mountain.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Growing up it was my dad who was always encouraging me to get outside and he has continued to always be ready and willing to go on an adventure whenever I come home. In college I've been fortunate to find many friends who share my passion of the outdoors and make great company on adventures.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
I think New Zealand is a must-go for anyone who loves adventure travel! Unbelievable adventures await in every inch of that country.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Out of the country, I’ve been dying to go to Nepal and Patagonia to do some trekking. In the US, I’ve never gotten the chance to explore much of the Pacific Northwest but would really love to get up there.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
I took this picture while watching the sun set behind Mt. Cook from Mueller Hut. The hike up to the hut had been a fairly grueling 4 hours of post holing straight up hill. However once at the hut we were rewarded with this sunset and our first real views of Mt. Cook, which had been hiding behind the clouds all day. We were fairly sure we wouldn't be getting any views of the mountain we had come to see and had been a bit disappointed, so this was an extremely welcome surprise. It was a beautiful moment shared with some great friends that I definitely will never forget.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
"Wherever you are, be all there”

I think its pretty easy to get caught up in thinking about the past or future but its so important to stay present and focus on whats going on around you.