As part of our team spotlight, we will have each month a team member answering a few questions so you can get to know us a bit better.
This month we are focusing on Nathan Oetting, our Logistics and Impact manager.
Who are you? Give us some highlights from your past
Howdy! My name is Nathan, (or Nate depending on when you first met me). I’m responsible for all logistics, shipping, impact and outreach work here at CNOC. I’ve been with the company for a little over 2 years. Prior to CNOC, I spent 14+ years working for an international development organization which had me traveling quite a bit, so I’m happy to be more firmly planted and working with the outdoors community.
I was born and raised in a tiny, rural midwest town in Missouri where my dad, brother and I spent most of the warm weather months fishing and cold weather months hunting. After college I wanted to see what else was out there beyond the farmland I grew up with and joined the Peace Corps. I spent two years in West Africa, working with farmers, schools and community gardeners on agro-forestry and natural resource management. That’s where I met my wife (another Peace Corps volunteer), who is a nurse. After the Peace Corps, we spent a few years moving around the US before settling down in Portland. Portland has been our home for the last 15+ years, besides a 2 year stint in East Africa with my former job.
My wife and I have two boys who love the outdoors as much as we do. Their first camping trips were when they were still in diapers, and we have been doing family backpacking trips for the last few years.
Tell us about a very memorable trip outdoors from the last few years
My oldest son came to me at the beginning of last summer and said he wanted to hike the Wildwood trail with me during the summer break. The Wildwood trail is a 30+ mile trek through Forest Park in Portland. He and I broke the hike up over 3 days and had a great time. He was about to start High School, so I loved being able to spend those hours out on the trail with him.
What do you do at CNOC?
I manage logistics and the warehouse - so I ship all our products to our customers. I also manage our impact and outreach work which includes partnerships and collaborations - such as the periodic trail work days we do as a company, and our B Corp certification.
What is a running project you are working on at the moment that no one knows about yet?
Adopting a section of the Pacific Crest Trail! We are in the process of becoming trail stewards and crew leaders with the Pacific Crest Trail Association so we can assume responsibility for monitoring and maintaining a section of the PCT! We can’t wait, and are looking forward to spending time on the trail over the coming year and hopefully meeting as many hikers as possible.
What is your favorite kit that we make?
The CleanHands kit. As a dad with two boys, the CleanHands kit is an absolute necessity during our family hiking and camping trips. It makes washing up a breeze and there is virtually no weight penalty.
What's an interesting (or not-so-interesting) non-Cnoc factoid about yourself that is important to who you are as a person?
After I completed my Peace Corps service, I traveled around West Africa for a few weeks, with a couple of other volunteers. At one point, we found ourselves in northern Mauritania, sort of stuck since we couldn’t legally or safely travel north any further. Our goal had been to travel overland all the way to mainland Spain, but alas, our only option at that point was to fly, or head back south. The one flight we could get was to the Canary Islands, and once we landed, we immediately began looking for a boat, or ship that could take us back to Western Sahara or Morocco so we could continue our trek north.
What we found however, was a 36 foot sloop, owned by a retired couple from Florida, who were looking for help getting across the Atlantic! They had been sailing for about 6 months, and were on the last leg of their trip, heading back to Florida via the Caribbean. Me and one of the guys I had been traveling with signed up, and we moved aboard the next day. We were on board the sailboat for about 3 months, sailing around the Canary Islands, south to the Cape Verde Islands, and finally across to Martinique in the Caribbean. During the crossing, we ran into some rough weather, thanks to hurricane Lenny. As a small town boy, who hadn’t seen the ocean until I was 15, I was very happy to be back on dry land. All’s well that ends well they say, but I haven’t been on a sailboat since…
To Learn more about our team, head over to our About Page.