Meet an AO: Kyle

In November and December, we’re featuring our assistant organizers on Instagram and the blog.

Our AOs are the people thinking of trips, writing and posting the trip descriptions on Meetup, planning the route and carpool logistics, and then carrying out the journey, making sure that everyone is prepared and safe. When the hike is over, they’ve probably scoped out a place to grab some grub with friends, new and old.

In this season of gratefulness, we acknowledge our dedicated team of assistant organizers. We’ve asked them a couple of questions, so you can get to know them a little better.

Assistant Organizers, we see what you’re doing out there, and everything that goes on behind the scenes. We appreciate you!

Meet Assistant Organizer Kyle, trail name “Water Dog.” Veteran of classic hikes like Trout Run Valley, Dolly Sods, Massanutten, Tuscarora, and more.

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Kyle in his hiking shirt. Photo credit: Peter S.

Favorite trail food: It’s the only time I eat chips so I always have a full size bag with me; Doritos, Cape Cod Spicy Jalapeno. I’ve also recently been obsessed with mac and cheese on trail, spiced up with some cayenne powder and some garlic powder as well.

From the Wonderland Trail. Photo credit: Kyle.

Favorite trail socks: I’ve had excellent luck with Injini toe socks; it prevents blisters from forming on my pinky toes and it almost makes up for how annoying they are to put on.

Something to know about me: In the future I’d love to do a DC UL trip that packrafts 60-80 miles of the Escalante River exploring side canyons along the way. Another trip in my future is the Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland. I was on the Isle of Skye this summer and didn’t get to do anything beyond day hiking but I know backpacking Scotland is a must.

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Kyle and his favorite hiking shirt (left). Photo credit: Peter S.

Favorite trip: Doing the Wonderland trail around Rainier on a week’s notice. I only knew one person on the trip (Cassie) but we met up with  Doug a long time DC ULer who lives in Washington now and it ended up being a great group to hike with. We had perfect rain-free weather and incredible views of Rainier the whole time. We did it in 5 days and the only issue is I wish I had packed a book and more whiskey since we were getting to camp around 4 pm most days.

Favorite piece of gear: Probably is a tie between my two shelters—a Zpacks Duplex and a Yama Mountain Gear 2-person cat cut tarp. Both have tons of room as a solo shelter and I pick between the two based on bug pressure, rain forecast and how much air flow I want.

Thanks for chatting, Kyle. See you on the trail!

Are you interested in becoming an assistant organizer? Read more on our site.

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