An Adventure interview with
Tyler Fair // @mtnsoul_T
An inspiration in stepping out of the norm and leading a life outside of everyday comfort. Take a step into adventure with Tyler Fair.
If you could tell one thing to your younger self, what would it be?
I know it may seem a bit cliché, but a quote by Jack Kerouac really sticks out to me when I think about my younger self, and what I would do differently.
"Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."
My younger years were spent as the stereotypical guy in school playing multiple sports, and on the baseball field every chance I had.
Looking back on those years I was just going through the motions of what I thought I was supposed to be doing because that's what everyone else was doing.
Finally after a shoulder injury prevented me from continuing on the baseball diamond in college, I took to the outdoors full time like I used to as a young child. I realized that I wanted a life that I loved and was passionate about, so I studied park and wildlife management in school, and continued to move towards the world of the great outdoors.
So if I only had the opportunity to tell my younger self one thing, it would be to live the life that you love regardless of what those around you say. Adventure often and seek those experiences in an abundance of places to truly appreciate the cultural diversity this world has to offer us.
What's been the hardest thing about stepping away from stereotypes and living life your own way?
I think initially the hardest part of living life my own way was stepping outside of the "keeping up with the Joneses mentality".
Once I was able to stop thinking about how I was going to maintain my social status and what others thought of me, I was able to live more freely than ever before.
I still have nice things, but I've learned that about 90 percent of what I thought I needed I actually don't.
When I started realizing it doesn't take much to be happy I got rid of a lot of things, downsized in all aspects of my life (except for the gear shed of course), and focused on having quality things to keep around.
This in turn allowed me to travel and experience more than ever before. Now, a lot of the people who were originally laughing at some of my choices are extremely envious of all the adventure travel I get to do.
I'm a firm believer that life is all about experiences, not possessions.
How has a career in wildlife management changed the way you see adventure and exploration?
I've been afforded the opportunity to work and live in several places that people vacation to, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Sometimes I get jaded in my thoughts because of the increase in visitation our public lands are seeing.
The increased traffic is causing negative impacts on these wild areas that are being protected for us along with future generations.
Working in places and seeing the impact that humans can leave behind on wildlife and resources is sad, to be honest.
I believe everyone deserves the right to explore the great outdoors and all it has to offer, I just wish that people would be more considerate of the resources we work so hard to protect for them to enjoy.
Now-a-days I seek adventure as deep into the backcountry as I can go to leave behind the crowds in search of solitude and peace.
Venturing further into the backcountry has forced me to push my limits in several ways and I always leave wanting more and more. It has helped me grow as a person and really be appreciative of the things I have, as well as the opportunities I have been blessed with.
Can you tell us about a time you felt scared while in the outdoors?
I work in the outdoor field so this is tough to narrow down to one crazy experience, but this past summer I was out on a training run preparing for an upcoming trail race I had planned to run.
It was extremely hot and humid but I had planned to do a 16-mile loop this particular day.
The first ten miles were great, but I must have miscalculated my hydration and nutritional needs, because at about mile 12 I turned into a zombie.
I got cramps so bad that I was flopping around on the trail like a fish, hearing killer bees that weren’t really there, and a mental game that took over my body.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back to the trailhead to be honest.
Thankfully that day I was carrying a life straw with me and was able to hydrate at every creek crossing that I came across to help the fatigue and dehydration.
I could only imagine what it would have looked like to a passerby as I was laying in the creek trying not to cramp up while hydrating.
Fortunately, I did make it back to the trailhead but it was crazy, and a humbling experience to say the least.
After that day I swore to always carry a water filter (Sawyer Squeeze) in my vest for any trail adventure no matter the time or distance, and have stuck to my guns on that one thus far.
If you weren't in wildlife management, what would you be doing?
It's hard to say to be honest but I like to think it would be Travel Journalism, or a field that I've always dreamed of being in from a young age was Explosives Engineering.
Sounds fancy, but really I've just always wanted to be a part of an avalanche team whether it is for resorts or transportation departments.
Had I not gone back to my roots and love for the outdoors in college, I would probably be stuck behind a desk with a business degree... Thank god that didn't happen!
What adventures are you looking forward to? What's next on the list?
I've been afforded the opportunity to do a thru hike of the John Muir Trail this summer and I am so excited I can hardly contain it.
It has been an epic snow season in the Sierras so it's making the planning and logistics a lot of fun preparing for potential conditions.
It's been a few years since I've done a long distance hiking trip of over 100 miles, and I can't stop smiling as the plans fall into place.
I don't make new year’s resolutions, but this year I made a list of 52 things to do in 2017. Some of those things I have decided to deviate from a bit due to the complexity and time off work for the John Muir Trail, but I still have a few highlights that I plan to scratch off the list.
Lastly, one I am looking most forward too is taking my dad and youngest brother backpacking for their first time.
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