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Explorer Spotlight: Michael Martineau

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Name: Michael Martineau | Age: 26 | Location: Califon, NJ. 

What’s your day job? 

I am the Marketing Communications Specialist at Crystal & Company.  A leading strategic risk and insurance advisor, addressing clients’ risk management, insurance brokerage, and employee benefits consulting needs.

What are your favorite things to do outside?

I will do just about anything if it involves being outdoors. Rain or shine. If I had to pick my top three activities though they are hiking, paddleboarding, and rock climbing.

What first drew you to the outdoors?

My Dad got me hooked on the outdoors at a very early age. When I was about 6 or 7 we would go to Hacklebarney State Park to hike along the riverbanks and climb the rocks. It became a regular weekend adventure for my entire family. Today, what draws me to the woods and mountains is more then just the views. It’s the smell, the sounds, and the ability to slow down and unplug from technology.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?

Exploring the Ken Lockwood Gorge. Whether it is running, biking, or hiking through it never gets old for me. It is also my go to fly fishing spot so it has a little bit of everything that I love to do. My go to beer spot after spending a day in the gorge is the restaurant, Circa. You can take the Columbia trail to the end in High Bridge and walk right down Main Street to it. They rotate the beers (all micro brews) on tap every few month/based on what season it is.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?

My daypacks/backpacks always have a first aid kit (of course), flashlight, moleskin, matches/lighter, 35 feet of rope, Leatherman, LifeStraw, and my Garmin watch. I also always have my Nikon or GoPro with me.

What’s your favorite trail snack?

I will have either the crunchy peanut butter or chocolate chip Clif Bars with me on every adventure. They give me a perfect energy boost when I start getting a little hungry and are easy eat while walking.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?

I listen to a little bit of everything when I hit the road. From The Naked & Famous to Zach Brown Band to Krewella. The variety helps me visualize the different types of photos I want to shoot that day.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest? 

Going back a number of years I was running on the Columbia Trail. Nothing to crazy just an easy 3 miles. The area the trail runs though is very populated with wildlife, so you are bound to see deer, groundhogs, and sometimes turkeys on the trails edge. Coming around one of the small bends in the trail I see a dark figure up ahead. First thought, “oh it’s a dog from one of the houses down by the river”. I keep running, getting closer and closer but focusing on my breathing and stride more then the figure ahead. It was not until I was about 45 yards away when it clicked. Not a dog, that’s a big a#* black bear. I stopped as quickly as possible, trying not to make to much noise and draw its attention. Failed at that. It looks up, so I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do when encountering a bear in the wild. Turn and RUN! I took off in the opposite direction in a full sprint. I was expecting to hear it barreling after me but guess luck was on my side that day. I peaked over my shoulder after a good 30 second sprint to find nothing behind me. I ran straight home after that, peaking over my shoulder every so often just to make sure.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?

My adventure P.I.C. is a very good friend of mine, Ali. She is someone who is always up for an adventure and brings a fun, positive, and free spirit kind of attitude wherever we go. Truly awesome to explore with. My inspiration comes from my Mother, a cancer survivor who never seemed let the surgeries or chemo slow her down. My Father, who ran the NYC Marathon a year after dropping in our kitchen with a heart condition and having a pacemaker put in. Lastly my Grandfather, who is still teaching me things even after he has pasted, he didn’t listen to the doctors when they told him he wouldn’t walk again because of his polio. Each of them have shown me that nothing is impossible and that you should never let someone tell you, you can’t. Set your sights on what it is you want most and go after it, rest when you must, but never quit.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?

My favorite destination in general as well as for adventure is Lake Placid, NY. The area just has so much to offer those who love being outdoors, no matter what season it is. I grew up going with my family and now I frequently visit with friends so they can experience everything it has to offer. I do a lot of exploring in the Catskills region of NY as well. It is closer to home and has some great hiking, camping, and climbing areas for day/weekend exploring.

What's on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?

I have a long list of adventures I want to get to in my lifetime. My current number one is summiting Mt Rainer. Its one of my top bucket list items so I have been training for the last 6 months and plan on going for it in the spring of 2017. Number two, heading out to Yosemite National Park to climb the East Buttress of El Capitan. Rounding out my top 3 is becoming a 46er. It is a goal that will take another couple of years but it is something I have had my sight set on for some time now.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!

I shot this photo back in December of 2015 while up in Lake Placid, NY with 3 of my closest friends. We were having such a mild winter but decided to head up to try to snowboard at Whiteface. The first day we tried boarding we ended up stopping after 2 runs because there was really only one long run open at the top of the mountain. The second day we all agreed to make the best of it because a day on the mountain, no matter the conditions, is better then a day at work. We got lucky in that it started snowing in the morning and kept coming down into the afternoon. On our last run the clouds parted and we saw the sun beginning to set. Everyone has those few places that when they close their eyes they can recall a specific view. This is one of those for me.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?

“Do what you love”. It’s as simple as that. We all have something we are passionate about and love to do, which is why it’s up to you, and only you, to feed that passion.

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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