Who are you? Give us some highlights from your past
I’m Kate, aka Stickerz when I’m on trail! I grew up in Massachusetts, hiking and camping across New England in my free time - especially the White Mountains of New Hampshire. That led me to thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2017, which was the journey of a lifetime and pushed me to always make the outdoors a big part of my life.
I graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2019 (don’t ask me how I lived in Florida for 5 years - I couldn’t tell you). Promptly after graduating, I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which really opened my eyes to all there is to see out West.
After the PCT I briefly worked at a ski resort in Salt lake City before moving to Portland in January of 2020. I haven’t looked back since moving across the country and am doing my best as a weekend warrior to explore all the Pacific Northwest has to offer!
Tell us about a very memorable trip outdoors from the last few years
This past spring I went on a two month road trip across the Southwest, mostly in Utah. I was loosely following the Hayduke Trail and living out of my Subaru Outback, while hiking different sections of the “trail” along the way. I say “trail” because it’s mostly following sandy slot canyons; there’s no real trail. Although I love living in Oregon, Utah is one of my favorite places and I really thrive in the desert. This trip was exciting because it was different from my past thru-hikes in that I had flexibility on where I wanted to go at any given time. All the extra creature comforts like cold drinks and more than one change of clothes were pretty sweet too. It was also more of a solo journey than a thru hike. It gave me time to reflect on who I am and what I truly enjoy in the outdoors.
What do you do at Minimal Gear?
I’m the Customer Experience Coordinator! I’m here to make sure that any interactions you have with us are positive ones. Most communication you’ll have with Minimal Gear will be with me, so feel free to say hi! I also run all of our social media accounts.
What is a running project you are working on at the moment that no one knows about yet?
I’m working on implementing more customer surveys! We want to hear all your deepest, darkest secrets. There might be some questions about your thoughts on our products too.
What is your favorite kit that we make?
The Solo Backpacker Water Filtering Kit is an awesome kit that makes filtering a breeze. The Vecto/Vesica combination is perfect for one person in the field. I’m working on swapping out all my SmartWater bottles with Vesica’s, but that means I’ll need to find a new place to put my stickers.
What’s an interesting (or not-so-interesting) non-CNOC factoid about yourself that is important to who you are as a person?
My trail name on the AT was Lost & Found, but I decided to get a new one when I hiked the PCT. I wanted to stop making a habit of losing and sometimes finding my things. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. At least I’m lucky enough to keep finding the items I leave behind.