Meet Shoestring Adventures Trip Leader Graham

Meet our Shoestring Adventures Trip Leaders, the teachers, adventurers and motivators who make up our family.

Shoestring Adventures Trip Leader: Graham


Burlington, VT

Real life superpower:

Bonsai Tree Caretaker

Favorite Outdoor Skill to Teach:

How to pack a backpack

Tell us about yourself!

I am a graduate student studying Recreation Management at California State University-Northridge and have a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, Health, and Exercise from the University of Nebraska. I have a collective of 5 years working for Outward Bound and various other collegiate outdoor recreation programs. I am a certified Wilderness First Responder and hold a climbing wall instructor certification. I am an avid climber, surfer, backpacker and backcountry skier. I am absolutely stoked to have been relocated to the West coast where I can share my outdoor passions with others.

When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?

I discovered my love for the outdoors from my parents at a young age, hunting with my father and spending time in the garden with my mother. It wasn’t until I went to college and got involved with the outdoor program there that I truly developed my outdoor skills and knowledge.

What do you love about leading Shoestring Adventures trips?

I love the community that surrounds us in the outdoors. Getting people together from all walks of life and bringing them together to form a cohesive team is a wonderful thing.

How do you spend your time when you’re not leading Shoestring Adventures?

When I’m not in the outdoors, I can be found at home practicing yoga, caring for my garden or trying to find the best fish tacos in Los Angeles.

What is your favorite piece of gear?

A Rite In The Rain notebook to collect my thoughts.

What advice do you have for first-time campers who want to get outdoors?

Don’t worry about the equipment that you may think you need. Although important, it is easily rented or borrowed. Concern yourself first with learning skills and applying them, and it will become apparent what you do and do not need!

What do you hope Shoestring Warriors will learn from you?

I hope that Shoestring Warriors will learn more about themselves through me. What I mean is that often times when we go out into the wilderness, we focus on the technical skills we are learning rather than what we are learning about ourselves and each other through learning those technical skills. I hope to allow Shoestring Warriors a safe space to do this and allow them to make that realization of interpersonal skills that they are developing.

Who’s someone who has inspired you? Tell us why.

My former mentor Todd Grier at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Outdoor Program continually pushed me to be my best and held me accountable for my actions. Todd is a role model, a mentor, and a friend who set the example of how a professional should act in the field and in the office. He taught me so much about climbing, the outdoors and experiential education theory. He gave me ever increasing responsibility and helped to improve the role that I took on throughout my years there. Without Todd, I would not be the person that I am today.

The perfect s’more?

Add peanut butter; its a game-changer.

Follow more of Graham’s adventures on Instagram!

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