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Whilst we are noticeably growing, Wild Earth continues to be a family owned and operated store out of Burleigh Heads in Queensland. We all love getting into the outdoors as much as possible ourselves, to road test the gear we sell and re-charge the batteries. With our ever expanding range of new brands and products we always have a long list of gear to field test and review. To help us with that, we've enlisted some of our favourite outdoor adventurers, to take new products in the field and give them a hiding. And they don't come any more passionate than the latest member of the Wild Earth family, adventurer Sarah Gallagher.
How I Stumbled Across Hiking by Sarah Gallagher
It's funny. A lot of people ask me when I first started hiking. I can roughly remember that my initial interest was sparked four years ago, when I first discovered the Royal National Park. It was a warm day and I had decided to go swimming in Bundeena for a little bit of peace and quiet.
I remember seeing groups of hikers walking up and down the beach and wondering why they were visiting such a remote area of Sydney. As far as I was aware, there was no overnight walks in the area. That night, I decided to look into the hikes in the Royal National Park and came across the Otford to Bundeena Coastal Walk. I couldn't believe there was an overnight hike that ran alongside the Royal National Park with cliff top views and deserted beaches. As I continued to look into it a bit more, I realised that there was no way I could walk 40 km's with a pack. Not only that, I didn't own a tent and I wasn’t a large fan of camping.
Fortunately, I had a very active upbringing. My family often travelled to the South Coast to surf or bike ride through the parks. Although my childhood evolved around adventure, I didn’t initially have any interest in hiking or camping. I hated walking in the bush and seriously despised flies. However, after discovering the Royal National Park, I couldn’t stop. I decided to trial day hikes in the park before expanding to overseas adventures. However, after my first overnight hike experience, I realised that I had found my calling. I was hooked.
My first real overseas hike was travelling to Nepal to complete a 16-day trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Ri. This was my first real experience at high altitude hiking and long hiking days. I really got excited about 16 days without a shower, no mobile phone reception and blistered feet. I stocked up on the essentials a few months before and off I went to Nepal.
Nepal was the real start of my hiking interest. I enjoyed every painful minute of the hike and could not stop talking about it. Before our trek even finished, I was looking up summiting Island Peak and completing the Annapurna Circuit. It was the first time I had really found a true hobby and I knew the rest of my travel would centre on hiking.
Now, having hiked around the world, I could not be more grateful for those hikers I envied on the coastal track. It took me a few years to build up the skills and gear. However, now that I have invested in the essentials, I am set for the next ten years. I’ve booked in a couple of treks in New Zealand and I will be heading off to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February. I could not be more grateful for the experiences and personal growth that I have learnt through hiking. I love being able to share these experiences with friends and meeting new people across the globe. Now, with support from Wild Earth, I look forward to travelling to farther and writing more about my experiences on the road. Make sure you tune in regulalry to come along for the ride...
Sarah's Gear List