There’s this thing that many people say when they hear the word “adventure.” And it sounds a lot like, “I could never.” But, through this very important work that we do here (sarcasm), we’ve come to consider ourselves experts on the subject—the subject being “normal” people who make adventure happen in their everyday lives. Kristen Bor, 31, is one such person.
Her story goes like this: She’s fresh out of college, working at a bar, packing on a few spare pounds thanks to all those delicious IPAs. Then a friend invites her on a spontaneous backpacking trip. She huffs and puffs her way up the hill, watches the sun set over a lakeside camp, and is hit with a major revelation: She just had an adventure, and she was hooked.
“I realized that the outdoors could be a means to a healthy and happy life,” she says. “It motivated me to challenge myself, be adventurous, and get in shape.”
Fast forward a few years and Kristen is at the helm of the fast-growing outdoor blog Bearfoot Theory. She’s hiked 220 miles on the John Muir Trail. She traded in a Washington, D.C. suit-and-heels job in order to hone her writing skills and start building professional relationships with a myriad of outdoor brands. She just moved to Salt Lake City with plans to try bikepacking, her summer an open slate. But, perhaps most importantly, she’s morphed from a slighty out-of-shape grad into a role model for women who want to pursue adventure, but are just a wee bit bit nervous to get their hands dirty.
“In some outdoor media outlets, there seems to be a strong focus on extreme athletes, like BASE jumpers and free-solo climbers,” she explains. “While [they’re] inspiring, I think the emphasis on extreme adventures has potential to alienate the average outdoor enthusiast, like myself, by making you feel like your version of adventure is inadequate.”
Kristen’s definition is a little more parred down: “Anything that gets you out there and that’s fun, whether that’s a picnic in your local park, a 30-mile backpacking trip, or mountain biking for the first time.”
And lest you think she’s trying to dilute the meaning of the word, listen up: we’re talking about the same women who spent weeks out in the woods, facing bears, steep climbs, cold nights, and bathing in freezing lakes.
“On the very last day [of the John Muir hike], standing with one of my best friends on top of Mt. Whitney was one of the most satisfying moments of my life and ultimately caused my priorities to shift. I knew that I needed to pursue the things that I am most passionate about, in regards to both my career and personal [life].”