Nature is ready when you are
Licensed Guide, Wilderness EMT and Veteran Kevin Rosenberg talks about the Fjällräven Classic US, his introduction to nature as an adult, and why guiding people who are new to the outdoors is so rewarding.
At Fjällräven our mission is to inspire people to discover and walk with nature. In our home country of Sweden, the introduction often happens when young and with family, but we also recognise that many people live without the access to experience nature. So, it brings us great satisfaction when we get to work with outdoor professionals who developed their passion some time later in life.
Like Kevin Rosenberg. An American Veteran, today he is a Licensed Guide and Wilderness EMT. Though he always had a desire to explore the world, he did not have the opportunity until he enrolled in the University of Arizona’s Army ROTC program.
“I’ve always had a strong sense of adventure and passion for exploration, but I grew up in a pretty tough neighbourhood. No one camped, or hiked, and boy scouts were beat up for wearing their uniforms. It took the army to open my eyes and expand my worldview. I’ve been off and running ever since.”
As a cadet, he got his first exposure to nature while in the desert and mountains of Southern Arizona. There, he joined the Battalion’s Ranger training program and spent most weekends learning small unit tactics, land navigation and survival techniques from soldiers in the Green Berets, Delta Force and Rangers. He marvelled at the beautiful places he travelled to. After several tours of active duty, as well as a brief stint as a lawyer, he opened Gear To Go Outfitters – the first full-service outdoor outfitters in New York – in his Brooklyn apartment.
Now, Kevin is the owner of International Adventure Guides, which takes groups of travellers to “bucket list destinations” in Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Greenland. Kevin’s home, the United States, is also abundant with opportunities for nature enthusiasts, and his company offers guided tours of locations like the Big Islands of Hawaii and Arizona’s Sky Islands.
“I live to share my adventures with others and to help those with the spirit of exploration – but maybe not enough experience – to enjoy an adventure they thought was beyond their limits.
As a guide, satisfaction comes from knowing that someone went outside their comfort zone but knew that I would keep them safe and well cared for. The pride they take in their accomplishment is the best reward I could ask for and the clearest definition of success.”
Taking people on such trips requires location scouting and planning in advance; skills that Kevin developed in the military alongside his growing appreciation for nature.
“I’m a great believer in the ‘five Ps’: proper planning prevents poor performance. My clients are often looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so I study maps and go over routes in detail. I’ll look for any information I can about an area, including flora and fauna, weather averages and local culture. I have a diplomat’s personality, so when travelling to a new country I try to learn a few key phrases and pick up some local stories.”
This year, Kevin adds a new destination to his cap as he treks deep into the Colorado backcountry for the Fjällräven Classic US. Starting in 2016, it is the first Fjällräven Classic to take place outside of Europe. It also added a new dimension to the event: altitude. With its combination of raw beauty and principles of environmental stewardship, the concept won over US trekkers.
Kevin’s Classic US experience in 2020 is particularly unique, because he is trekking on his own. As with all Fjällräven Classic events this year, he is streaming his point-of-view through the route’s high-altitude woods, meadows and mountains for Fjällräven Classic TV. Though solo, Kevin feels well-suited to the task of guiding participants on the trek. Even if they are not there in-person. As he says, “I make my living showing people ‘the way’ and this is exactly what I’ll be doing on this trek. Through the lens of the camera strapped to my chest, I feel as if I’m guiding the world on one of the most special versions of the Fjällräven Classic.”
Though you would never have to twist Kevin’s arm to convince him to head off into the mountains, he believes Colorado is a perfect setting to stream a trek because its residents celebrate the nature in their own backyards.
“It’s the same kind of passion that I see in Fjällräven’s home country. It’s an inspiring setting in which to come together and I’m looking forward to showing people that trekking is always in their reach.”
Join Kevin on his solo trek of the Fjällräven Classic US. Tune into Fjällräven Classic TV starting September 18th
Introduced this summer, Fjällräven Classic TV is how we are getting people immersed in trekking in 2020. By tuning in, viewers can stream Fjällräven Classic events from the point of view of the trekker; digitally transporting themselves across the globe to the locations of our most popular Fjällräven Classic events. Like Germany, Denmark, the UK, the US, China and Sweden. Despite the challenges presented by 2020, we remain committed to giving people the ability to experience nature. Wherever they are.