We have had the pleasure of getting to know Stephanie, Ash, and Ember from @adaringashventure for the last several years and have watched them take on countless hikes and overnight trips without leaving a trace. Stephanie has committed herself to respecting the land and helping others do the same. She has offered to share a little glimpse of her life and adventures with us in hopes that we too could start making a bigger impact!
During our chat, she shares how to become a Wild Keeper, tools she uses to leave a smaller trace and her favorite Pacific Hound products.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My Name is Stephanie. I am a Certified Veterinary Technician working in a specialty hospital near Denver. I have two rescue dogs, Ash and Ember. Ash was found in New Mexico as a puppy and Ember behind a pick-up truck. We live near Denver but spend most of our time in the mountains.
Favorite place you’ve ever explored with the dogs?
Last year we backpacked into an unmarked trail in the San Juan National Forest, CO to climb a mountain the next day. There was no one around, saw a herd of sheep and it was beautiful.
How do you lessen your trace when hiking?
Stay on the trail!! This is so important to follow, especially when passing other people. Being inpatient and going off trail to pass someone causes erosion around you damaging the tundra. If you're backpacking pick a space for your tent to cause the least disturbance and if you are camping longer than two days, change the place your tent is to minimize impact. The most important rule we follow is Leave No Trace. We always pick up after ourselves, even others sometimes while hiking and camping
Can you tell us about being a Wild Keeper? What is it and how do others get involved?
The Wild Keeper
program was founded by one of our favorite shops, Keep Nature Wild. They coordinate clean ups in high foot traffic areas. The program is a platform for you to join them in making an impact in our wild places but also to bring awareness to the thrash problem in our world. We have met other fellow wild keepers here in Colorado to do clean ups around the city and local trails. Everyone can join! Get a group of friends, get outside and pick up some trash but be safe!
Tools/product you use to lessen your footprint?
While hiking/camping stasher bags
have been great! I don't use ziplock bags as frequently anymore. I always bring trash bags with us to never give us an excuse to leave trash behind. Being organized is also very important to me so I use the Kelty bags to keep all our gear.
- THE FUN STUFF -
What is the most embarrassing name you’ve ever called Ash or Ember?
Ash has a lot of names and I don’t think it’s ever been embarrassing but we call him Ash hole for when he’s being a bad boy. Ember is forever poopy for all her poop accidents in the house and being a puppy!
If you could ask either of your dogs three questions, what would you ask?
Ash, why do you bark so much?
Ember, do you love me or your brother more?
Ash, do you hate or love your sister because I can't tell?
What is your favorite Pacific Hound gear?
Element collars hands down! Right now the Explore
design is my favorite.