Brooke on a recent hiking adventure enjoying a Mount Timpanogos Sunrise. PC: John Gaynes
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Join Tribe member Brooke as she shares her story, her passion and energy for all things adventure and the great outdoors, and her love for Bali and Batik...
After graduating from college, I spent some time in Bali, Indonesia where I hiked, ate well, and fell in love with the beautiful culture. One of the aspects of Indonesia that has inspired me was the way the Balinese people intertwine nature and art. Moss covered statues carved from stones, beautiful handcrafted Hindu offerings made with rice and flowers on the sidewalks, and the vibrant textiles that mirror colorful native spices and flowers. The sacred, and stunningly beautiful temples are as much an outdoor space, as an indoor space. Creating batik art, participating in religious dances, and shopping in the vibrant market are all events that happen outside. The Balinese people taught me a way of life that is full of beauty, art, reverence, and nature.
Since I have returned to the states, I have found myself longing for this way of life. Not only do I like my home to be filled with inspiration from our natural world, but I also like to express my personality with vibrant clothing and beautiful accessories while on my outdoor adventures. In a world of black and grey and single-tone outdoor accessories, it isn't so easy to do this. When I first saw the beautiful packs and Threads (the interchangeable front design panel) on the Ethnotek Instagram account (@EthnotekBags), I knew I wanted to bring one along with my on my mountain bike rides, summits, and climbing trips.
When I received my Raja pack, I studied the many pockets and zippers, deciding how to best use the pack for outdoor adventures. Having a pack that is hydration compatible is essential for my mountain biking and hiking outings. I used the laptop compartment to house my 3L CamelBak by leaving the zipper open just enough for the hose, and threading the hose through the ring on the shoulder strap. The side pockets (and pocket on the Thread) are amazing for holding items that I want to be readily accessible. I love to stash my headlamp, GoPro, and a few pistachio chewy bites in the left stretch-mesh zip pocket for quick access. The right side pocket holds my cell phone, car keys, and sunglasses. I like to use the front pocket on the Thread to hold larger items that I want to access without having to dig through the main compartment (maps, guidebooks, and more pistachio chewy bites).
One of the aspects that I love about the Raja pack is that the side straps allow me to control the size of the bag. This allows the pack to be used for many different types of travel and adventure...
When mountain biking, I like to pack light and minimize bulk. I pack essentials, like a multi-tool, mini bike pump, shock pump, spare tube, rain jacket, head-lamp, and GoPro. With the roll-top functionality, I am able to strap the bag down, making it low profile, and easy to ride with.
For a hiking trip, I usually need to pack a few technical layers, extra socks, and more food and water. The straps not only allow me to adjust the size of the pack according to the amount I need to carry, but they also hold my hiking poles on the side for stretches of technical scrambling when I need my hands to be free.
On climbing trips, the large size of the Raja pack really comes in handy. My 70-meter rope, 20 quick draws, harness, down jacket, long sleeved shirt, rain jacket, and food (we usually eat well during long days at the crag) fit nicely in the main compartment of the pack. With my climbing shoes and chalk bag clipped to the side straps, I am ready to go.
Being able to bring this beautiful piece of culture on my outdoor adventures has enriched my experiences. Not only does the stunning batik thread stand out in photos, but I have also had several people come up to me and ask about my pack. The Balinese people taught me that interaction and communication with others is an integral part of life. The beautiful Batik threads are a reminder of the Balinese culture to me. It brings me much happiness to incorporate culture, beauty, and art when I’m out adventuring.
Brooke is an absolutely incredible hardcore chick and outdoor rockstar! She is quite the adventurer and we're beyond full of gratitude she has chosen Ethnotek to carry with her on her everyday trailrunning, hiking, biking, climbing, soon-to-be-skiing (with her VaRuna rain cover) and all-around mountain-conquering adventures. Check out Brooke's instagram @BrookeGaynes - it oozes FUN and ADVENTURE and will inspire you to get up and get out. There is a big ol' world out there that deserves to be explored!
Never stop adventuring,