Call of the (Urban) Wild

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn we are big fans of OutdoorFest. One of us met their founder, Renaissance Person Sarah Knapp, a year ago and has been spreading the word ever since and the other plans her life around OutdoorFest’s “Mappy Hours.” 

OutdoorFest aims to unite and inspire outdoor-minded folks who also happen to be city folks.

In the middle of her insane travel schedule, Sarah was gracious enough to speak with Colby about her project, her favorite outdoor skill, and the future of OutdoorFest:

Sarah, some people would like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony, if you could teach every citydweller one skill to improve their enjoyment of the outdoors, what would it be?

Definitely map reading! It's one of those lost skills that will make your trip outdoors safer and more fulfilling as you navigate your way through the wild.  

You’re one of those people who can get around the West Village, aren’t you?

I think we’ve all had signature outdoor moments. A trip to Crater Lake, Oregon a few years ago pops into my head. But sometimes it can be hard to, and this sounds especially stupid, even realize you’re in the outdoors when you’re in the city. I’m thinking about a few runs through a gorgeous park where I never even thought about where I was. Tell us about the moment you knew you had to make OutdoorFest happen.

One of the most striking parts of New York City is how oblivious most people are to the fact that many of us live on an island. In an abstract way, we're aware but think about that for a minute - your city is surrounded by massive amounts of water and myriad launch points for kayaks, canoes, sailboats and SUPs. I think when I realized how much is available on the Hudson or even in Jamaica Bay (one of the most used National Parks areas in the U.S.) that i wanted to connect people to these places that are not only close but integral to the place we live in.

OutdoorFest is now in its third year, what’s the best feedback you’ve gotten from an attendee?

"More of everything! Love this." - anonymous quote from our 2014 post festival survey. It just captures the spirit of OutdoorFest and how I feel about the outdoors and all of our events. 

Ten years from now, what is OutdoorFest going to be teaching people?

Ultimately, OutdoorFest is about changing culture in our cities. I don't think the company will be teaching as much as our fabulous tribe will be leading others. In ten years, instead of brunch being the most popular activity on a Sunday, hiking and kayaking will be.

OutdoorFest is June 10 through 19. You can see the whole, amazing schedule here in case you want to start planning now, if you're like Gina (Purchased: Wilderness Skills! Oyster Restoration! Fishing Happy Hour!) and BTW, she truly thinks that quote from 2014 is from her...

*****RP Perk - we will be giving away two pairs of tickets to OutdoorFest events at our Inaugural Event on May 12, 2016: Oyster Restoration on the Hudson on Thurs, June 16th and Sunset Fishing on the Hudson on Tues, June 14th. Join us by reserving your tickets here and then be ready to tell us the most interesting thing we don't know about the outdoors. You will be judged by a panel of your peers!