V.P. of eCommerce
Here on the App Gear Co team, we practice what we preach: our employees love to work hard, but play harder...and love to rock our All-Paca Performance apparel while doing so. Because we love getting to know our customers, from hearing their stories to following along on their adventures, we wanted to give our customers a chance to get to know us: the exuberant, passionate, adventurous people who make the App Gear Co machine run. So...here’s a peek into the life of Cole, our Vice President of eCommerce.
A lifelong backpacker, Cole thru-hiked the Long Trail while still in high school. He then thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in chemistry. Cole knows, however, that sometimes the best education comes from the woods. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, trained in Leave No Trace and graduated from NOLS with honors. We’re excited to have C-Sharp on the team!
What is your favorite piece of outdoor gear?
Behind the All-Paca Fleece Hoodie, probably my Sawyer water filter. I used it on the AT, and it never failed me. I filtered at least 3 liters a day for 5 months, only backwashed it like 5 times, and the water flow never really deteriorated.
When has App Gear Co apparel saved the day for you?
When I was at Telluride Bluegrass Festival this year, the weather was really clear most of the weekend. The sun became the main adversary pretty soon after entering the festival on the first day. My solution was to wear a baseball cap and bandana and the All-Paca Fleece Hoodie. It breathed so well that I could wear it in the hottest of weather and stay cool and protected from the sun.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’ve always really wanted to try thru-hiking the Te Araroa Trail, a long distance hiking trail that stretches across New Zealand’s two main islands.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve been playing mandolin since I was a kid.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Thru-hiking long distance trails would be my #1 favorite activity. However, since it’s hard to take 5 months off to hike a trail, I have to settle for climbing and skiing, which are tied for #2. Mountain biking is a close #3.
Favorite camping spot?
It’s got to be either be Panthertown Valley in North Carolina, or Hartman Rocks near Gunnison, Colorado.
If you were to only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A classic Reuben sandwich with fried okra and a ginger kombucha. Bam.
What are you reading?
I’ve been working on Plato’s Republic and Thinking Fast and Slow for a while now. Mostly recently I’ve been flipping through my climbing guidebooks and daydreaming about routes!
What are you watching?
Just got finished with Stranger Things 3—what a rollercoaster. I’m really looking forward to the new seasons of Rick and Morty and The Expanse.
What are you listening to?
I listen to a bunch of podcasts, running the whole gamut of topics. I think my favorite right now is Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend—that guy is hilarious. I really like TrainingBeta, too.
Drink of choice?
Best gift you’ve ever gotten?
My folks sent me on a NOLS trip when I was in high school. That was my first taste of backpacking at relatively high altitudes and being above tree-line for extended periods, and I just fell in love.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I was going through the grieving process after losing three friends, my dad told me a really apt Winston Churchill quote: “When you’re going through hell, just keep going.” It was really what I needed to hear in that moment, I think.
Favorite Instagram account?
@justbombergear–it’s this cool trad climbing account that posts pictures of ridiculous place protection and wacky trad anchors. It’s educational in the “don’t do that” kind of way.
Who is your outdoor idol?
I’m not really one to idolize people much, but one athlete I’ve come to really admire is Anton Krupicka, the ultra-marathoner out of Boulder. He’s done some pretty crazy stuff, like jogging up the Flatirons. Also, obligatory Alex Honnold, but you’ll never catch me even thinking about free-soloing.
Top hack, outdoor or otherwise?
#1 would have to be to drink a lot of water. Also, when I’m out in the sun for long periods of time, I really like to tie two adjacent corners on a bandana together and wear it under a baseball cap and sunglasses. I feel like that’s about as maximum head and neck coverage as you can get.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What can’t you live without?
Serious answer: a solar still device so I can distill fresh water from sea water. For funsies answer: my mandolin.
What’s one thing you do EVERY day, without fail?
Drink a cup of coffee!
Probably when I completed the Appalachian Trail. It’s a wild feeling living on the trail for five months, and then one day you’re done. It just felt surreal in the moment, but looking back I’d say it’s my proudest moment.