Thursday, April 24, 2014

OutdoorFest: Live in the city, Love the Outdoors

Photo courtesy of OutdoorFest.
Since moving to New York in 2012, I've been continually surprised by the number outdoor enthusiasts and weekend warriors that call the city home.

Whether its driving eight hours for a couple of cherished days at Kentucky's Red River Gorge or waking up at 3am on a monday morning, to endure the freezing temperatures of the Rockaways "Dawn Patrol" surf scene.. 

These rebels of societal norms represent a growing sub culture of city dwellers that go to great lengths in order to get a fix of there chosen liberation. Often skipping that night out at the bar with friends in order to be on performance for the following days adventures.

Last year, while exploring New Yorks hectic networking scene, I met Sarah Knapp. Working for a local outdoor company, she emanated joyful enthusiasm and creative flair poured from behind her thin black lenses. 

It was clear from the start we shared big ideas and dreams. Both hungry for adventure and an un-shakable passion for the outdoors, we would geek out for hours in coffee shops about how we could make a difference to the community that we love.

A year on from our coffee house rendezvous's, and after consuming enough caffeine to power the entire state of Rhode Island, Sarah has launched her own outdoor festival named "OutdoorFest".

The festivals goal is simple, to get New Yorkers off the sofa, and active in the outdoors. Unlike traditional festivals, OutdoorFest does not take place in one central location. Instead, Companies and contributors from across the city participate by holding events in separate locations, spreading the outreach and allowing more people to take part. 

It's also entirely free.

Without a barrier to entry, the festival naturally scoops up many low income families who previously wouldn't have had the chance or even known that they could kayak the Hudson or trail run the Palisades Park.The community response to these events has is nothing short of astonishing. With last years events (albeit under a different name) engaging more than 6000 people, this year aims to be bigger and better!

This incredible event is currently raising money to help keep the it free. You can donate AND get some sweet perks in return by checking out the Indiegogo campaign below.

I will be hosting 2 events for the festival:

Urban Mountains
June 5th, 7pm @ REI Soho
I'll be talking about how being a passionate business developer lead me to write the guide to NYC and the struggles along the way as well as sharing the story of Climbers Against Cancer and how our incredible and unique community can make a difference.

Central Park Bouldering Tour
June 7th, 9am to 2pm @ Rat Rock (Umpire Rock)
Alongside The Cliffs and in support of Climbers Against Cancer and The Access Fund. I will be giving tours of the rocks in Central Park, sharing beta where wanted and doing some pebble wrestling with you good people.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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