Zach is a student at Kent State University, majoring in Environmental and Conservation Biology. When he isn’t working hard in school, you will find him camping or hiking with friends or his beloved furry companion, Riley.
Zack’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hammock Camping & Hiking
Go-to Brands: Outdoor Research, Patagonia, & Kuhl
Best Trip: An overlanding trip with a friend through the Virgina/West Virginia George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.
Gear Pick: Kuhl Radikl Pants
“I am always wearing my Radikls! They are so comfortable! Whether I am hiking a mountain or just hanging around the house, these pants are my favorite!”
Sales Floor Manager
Josie is a recent college graduate with a degree in Marketing. She loves the snow and will go most anywhere to find it! Ohio winters are her favorite because of all the lake effect snow that Northeast, Ohio receives.
Josie’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Skiing, Hiking, & Climbing
Go-to-Brand: The North Face
Best Trip: Karn Loops, British Columbia
Gear Pick: Kavu Rope Sling Bag
“It’s super cute and awesome to carry my water bottle, hammock, and snacks when wandering around CVNP!”
Dave loves exploring the outdoors with his wife and two daughters whenever possible. In addition to working at Appalachian Outfitters, he has been designing the inside of retail stores for the past 11 years. Dave received his Eagle Scout award at the age of 16 after years of hard work!
Dave’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Camping, & Boating
Go-to-Brands: Sea to Summit, MSR, & Mountain Hardwear
Best Trip: Assateague Island National Seashore
Gear Pick: NEMO Equipment Dagger 3P
“This tent is awesome! Weighing right around 4 lbs, this tent is an excellent choice for any backpacker seeking maximum room without the weight. Pull the poles out of the stuff sack and the Dagger 3P packs down small enough to get it into my 40L daypack along with everything else I’m carrying for a two night trip!”
Ryan was born and raised in Akron, OH. He loves watching sports, traveling, and spending time with his friends and family. He is a hammock enthusiast, wherever there is a spot for a hammock Ryan will surely find it! His favorite place to go is the Adirondack State Park in New York.
Ryan’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, & Kayaking
Go-to-Brands: Osprey & Benchmade Knife Company
Best Trip: “Backpacking through West Virginia! I hikes around 20 miles during a four day trip, and did some climbing and target shooting as well.”
Gear Pick: Benchmade Griptilian
“I own several Benchmade Griptilians and have been using them since around 2015 for a variety of tasks and trips. No matter if it’s a small folder, an auto, or a fixed blade, I know that the blade is extremely well made and up to whatever job you can throw at it!”
Kristine is currently a master’s student at Case Western. She loves the outdoors! Her favorite things are climbing, sailing, hiking, making, campfires, cooking with her dutch oven, running, biking, and anything that involves water!
Kristine’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Cycling, Backpacking, & Trail Running
Go-to-Brands: Osprey & La Sportiva
Best Trip: “ It wasn’t very good, but my friend dropped me ten feet in the middle of a climb and it was quite an unsafe thrill. However, G-rating I loved. Free climbing out of the Adriatic sea in a cave in Zadar, Croatia.”
Gear Pick: Osprey Ariel 65L
“My favorite gear is my Osprey Ariel 65L Pack. I remember spending hours exploring all the new zippers and pockets when I first got it! I love how it fits me so well and can carry all my go-to items for any type of trek.”
Joe is a recent college graduate, who loves camping, hiking, and kayaking. Joe loves taking his dog, ZuZu into the national park, and plans on taking a long backpacking trip soon!
Joe’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Trail Running & Climbing
Go-to-Brands: Salomon & ENO
Best Trip: Yellowstone & Yosemite National Park
Gear Pick: ENO DoubleNest Hammock
“The ENO DoubleNest Hammock is an awesome, lightweight hammock that can go anywhere you go. It’s easy to set up as long as you have two trees and time to relax!”
Matt graduated from Kent State University in 2014 and has been living in Kent for the pat seven years. He takes advantage of his days off by embarking on day hikes as of as possible.
Matt’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, Disc Golfing, Landscape Photography, Climbing, & Mountain Biking
Best Trip: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail
Gear Pick: Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket
“The Stretch Ozonic is my favorite rain jacket. It keeps me dry all day and it’s super comfortable, because of the four-way stretch fabric. Best of all , it’s quieter than most rain jackets on the market.”
Melissa is a Public Relations Major at Kent State University. She hopes to pursue a public relations job within the outdoor industry after graduating from college. Her parents have always fueled her love for the outdoors and encouraged hiking and camping growing up. She loves music, her family, and of course Harry Potter!
Melissa’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking & Climbing
Go-to-Brands: Teva, Columbia, & Chaco
Best Trip: “My family takes a couple of big vacations each summer and the last couple of summers we have gone to the Smokey Mountains for ten days and hiked from sunup to sundown. It was just so nice to spend time with my whole family out in nature with no cell phones or reception and beautiful views.”
Gear Pick: ZX2 Classic Chacos
“I wear my chacos year-round, from hikes in the summer to paired with socks during the winter. They are the comfiest shoes that I own!”
Hard Goods Buyer
Kevin started working in the outdoor industry at Appalachian Outfitters in 2005. After spending a short period of time in the Coast Guard, his passion for the outdoor industry brought him back. He enjoys anything outdoors from being on the water to backpacking and climbing.
Kevin’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, Paddle Boarding, & Camping
Go-to-Brands: NEMO Equipment, Hilleberg, & Sea to Summit
Best Trip: Winter Climb at Mount Washington
Gear Pick: Hilleberg Kaitum 2 GT
“It’s the ideal two person tent, it has lots of extra space so you don’t feel cramped in. Also there is even more space for extra storage.”
Soft Goods Buyer and Merchandiser
Sam graduated from Indiana University in 2016 with a degree in Apparel Merchandising. She started her career within the outdoor industry working for Gander Mountain, later her passion for clothing and merchandising brought her to Appalachian Outfitters. Sam grew up in Minnesota and would frequently camp with her dad and brother. Some of her favorite places she has been is Italy, Switzerland, & St. Marteen.
Sam’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Cycling, Kayaking, Swimming, & Scuba Diving.
Go-to-Brands: Patagonia, Toad & Co., & Prana
Best Trip: “The best trip was going on a weekend kayaking trip with my dad around The Apostle Islands in Northern Wisconsin. It was the first time I ever kayak-camped.”
Gear Pick: NEMO Equipment Stargazer Recliner Luxury Chair
“I am obsessed with this chair! The Stargazer Recliner Luxury Chair is perfect for car camping, campfires, & even tailgating. It not only reclines, but swings what more can you ask for!”
Kalene is a recent graduate from Penn State with a degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. She enjoys hiking with her dog and camping with her family in her free time.
Kalene’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Kayaking, Camping, Snowshoeing, & Hammocking
Best Trip: Hiking & Snowshoeing in the White Mountains
Gear Pick: Yeti Tundra 35
“It’s great for long weekend camping trips and just sitting out by the campfire. The cold lock gasket keeps the heat out while keeping everything inside nice and cool.”
Luke is an avid hiker and backpacker. Over the past four years he has completed over 2000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. 1,700 miles, which he completed in one go! He has the goal of completing the Arizona National Scenic Trail as well as the Pacific Crest Trail.
Luke’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, & Backpacking
Go-to-Brands: Grand Trunk, Prana, & Exofficio
Best Trip: “The best trip was doing 1,700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, going from Georgia to Connecticut, for four months.”
Gear Pick: Grand Trunk Nano 7 UL Hammock
“Weighing only 7.3oz the Grand Trunk Nano 7 Ultralight Hammock is the perfect minimalist hammock. It packs down to the size of a coke can, making it perfect for backpacking or tossing in a day pack for hanging at the park!”
Mary is studying Biology at Kent State. Some of her favorite outdoor activities are rock climbing, scuba diving, and hiking. She has STRONG opinions about pretzels and her favorite color is green.
Mary’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Climbing, Scuba Diving, & Swimming
Go-to-Brand: La Sportiva
Best Trip: “I did conservation work in Australia for a month and fell in love with a bunch of activities like climbing, white water rafting, and scuba diving.”
Gear Pick: Lowa Lyxa GTX Mid Boot
“They’re the most sturdy and comfortable boots that I have ever owned! Also the best part about them is that they are 100% vegan!”
Cora has a beautiful little boy and together they love to go on outdoor adventures! She tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Cora loves learning about plants and animals. She also loves coffee, pizza, and traveling.
Cora’s Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Camping, Kayaking, Foraging, and Gardening
Best Trip: Solo Backpacking along the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon
Gear Pick: Smartwool Hike Medium Crew Socks
“A good pair of socks makes all the difference and these are the best. Once you try them you’ll never go back!”