Kathleen Carney has a job that most of us just dream of, she's an outdoors photographer, and her shots are incredible. Her professional work includes photos for REI, Backpacker, and Outdoor Research. To shoot life in the outdoors, one needs to be in the outdoors, and for Kathleen, hiking is a part of that experience.
Why do you hike? I hike to get to pretty places that I might not see otherwise. I like being out in nature, and shooting landscapes and people interacting with beautiful natural landscapes, and hiking is sort of mandatory in order to do that.
What’s your favorite place to hike? I love hiking in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon. Everything is so lush and green, and you stumble upon some of the most amazing waterfalls. I also really like hiking in upstate New York in the Adirondack Park in the fall. The colors and the views are unbeatable.
Where would you like to hike? I would love to hike in Idaho, and in Glacier National Park in Montana. And abroad, I would really love to visit Patagonia.
What’s the coolest animal experience you’ve had on the trail? I’ve seen a lot of bear and moose in Alaska. When I was in Sequoia National Forest a couple years ago, a bear came a little too close for comfort. But probably one of my best memories is seeing bears catching and eating salmon that were spawning in Haines, Alaska. They are almost oblivious to the fact that you are there.
What piece of gear do you love and why? I really like my Sawyer Squeeze water filter. It’s really small and light, and also very effective.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start hiking? Get out there and start walking! The great thing about hiking is that, compared to many of the other outdoor activities I partake in (i.e. climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, surfing), hiking has a relatively few barriers to entry. You just need a backpack and some shoes, and having generally the right clothing is helpful, but beyond that it’s up to you whether you go out for a day, week, or month. You can get to some amazing and beautiful places in the course of a day!