Explorer Spotlight: Tobin Akehurst

Name: Tobin Akehurst | Age: 30 | Location: Washington | New Zealand

What’s your day job?
I haven't had a day job in a long time. I odd-job to earn just enough money to get by and travel. Last year I lived in a van, touring the states. This year I am in New Zealand.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Technical rock climbing with my friends Oren and Brenden, and mountaineering with my fiancé Jalissa.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I think it was inevitable growing up in the PNW. But the exploring the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge and a winter solo of Mt Saint Helens are two experiences that really stand out as events that propelled me full-force into the outdoors.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
I could never tire of climbing Castle Peak in MRNP. Its a beautiful route in any season. Afterwards we stop in at The New Frontier in Tacoma, the best bar on earth!

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
The only thing that accompanies me on EVERY trip is my emergency kit. It contains some trauma/first-aid stuff, medicines, a Gerber Dime Multi-Tool, Lighter, MSR Aqua-Tabs, Whistle, Compass, Para-cord, Sunscreen, Tenacious Tape and a Bandana.

What’s your favorite trail snack?

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones and T. Rex.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
Once at the end of peak solo peak bagging trip my water filter failed and I was stammering around the back country on the verge of serious dehydration. Finally I saw lights in the distance and made it to some backpackers who gave me a few MSR Aqua Tabs. Now I always carry a few in my emergency kit, for myself or people in need.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My Fiancé Jalissa is definitely my number one. We threw down over 1,200 miles each together last year. I am inspired by climbers / writers Greg Child, David Roberts, Paul Pritchard, John Krakauer and Ian Baker.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Washington State is a cornucopia of diversity and beauty. It seems like there are world class trails and routes all over the state.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Over the next year Im planning to explore Arthur's Pass , Fiordland, Nelson Lakes, Mt. Cook and Able Tasman, all national parks in New Zealand.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
I once saw a photo in an old book with a cryptic caption and I knew I had to see this remarkable place. I had to ask about a dozen people from all different places as I slowly narrowed down where it might have been taken. Finally after hundreds of miles of driving and a few dozen hiking, I arrived at my destination. It was a really special moment for me, one that I think of almost daily. This photo is of that magical place.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Every time I'm faced with something difficult, or just plain miserable I repeat my mantra, "This is good for my development!".