History, memoir, science, activism—my favorite stories start with a love of the natural world. This passion for the outdoors started young, on camping and backpacking trips with my family across the western half of the United States. But after college, I left the high passes and river valleys behind to explore the concrete jungle of New York City, working in the editorial departments of Oxford University Press and Macmillan. But the mountains have a way of calling you home, so in 2014 I left to thru-hike the Pacific Crest, Colorado, and Wonderland Trails (with some detours along the way on the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Coast, and Appalachian Trails). Today, I’m a staff writer covering gear for camping, backpacking, and outdoor adventure for Outdoor Life, out of my home base in Seattle, WA.