Portrait Photo

The Purpose of this Blog

Outdorky is a blog dedicated to adventures (big and small), to goin' places, doin' things, and exploring. This blog is about exploring the wilderness around us and the wilderness of the heart.

I believe topics like the comparison of waterproof fibers or shaving ounces off pack weight have some value but only so long as they support the goal of exploring the outdoors. I don't think these things have much value in their own right and consequently they will not be covered in the same depth here that other blogs might.

About the Author

My name is Chris Marks and I am the author of Outdorky. Together, my fiancee Beylah and I, travel throughout the western United States mainly in our home state of California. I launched the site as a poorly conceived and rambling personal blog in the spring of 2009. By the summer, the blog had clearly developed into less of a personal mouthpiece and more of an outdoors blog as we started to log hundreds of miles on the trail.

In the summer of 2011 as my work started piling up I was forced to reduce the time I spent on the blog and by the middle of the summer the blog became effectively dormant even as it silently saw it's 250,000th visitor.

I am not a professional hiker (does such a thing exist?), or in any way connected with the outdoors industry. I am in fact an Environmental Planner for a firm located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Essentially we help eliminate or at least mitigate the environmental impacts of new projects (like residential homes, hiking trails, power lines). It's all very exciting I assure you.

You Can Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | Spotify

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is your favorite hike?

The one I'm on, followed closely by the next one I'll be one. Since I recognize that answer isn't very useful to anyone else - here is a list of hikes I'd recommend to anyone. Toss them on your bucket list.

  1. Yosemite National Park: Clouds Rest
  2. Inyo National Forest: Mount Whitney
  3. Jebediah Smith Redwoods State Park: Stout Grove
  4. Mt. Tamalpais: Steep Ravine
  5. Angel Island State Park: Island Loop
  6. Big Basin State Park: Berry Creek Falls Loop
  7. Point Reyes National Seashore: Palomarin Backpack Loop
  8. Marin Headlands: Kirby Cove

What resources do you use to plan trips?

I am a planner, professionally sure but its something I have in my bones. Before every trip I spend lots of time pouring over maps, photographs, and reading trip reports. I use the resources listed on the "Read" page as a jumping off point, then I google furiously. Since different trail reports often give conflicting reports, there is no easy short list of planning resources I can recommend.

Additionally, not all knowledge is available on the internet and there is still value in chatting up Park Rangers and other hikers. People are generally very excited to share their best finds and secret locations if you're just willing to ask.

What kind of photography equipment do you use?

I currently use a Canon 5D Mark II which I purchased in 2012 after many years of using a Canon 20D (almost 10). Most of the photographs on this blog were taken with the old 20D. I primarily use a Canon 17-40mm f/4 L but I also carry a 70-200 f/4 L and a cheapo 50mm f/1.8 as well. You can find more on my photography equipment on the "Photography" page.

Why did you start a blog?

Quite honestly I started this blog because I wanted a project for selfish reasons. I quickly found as I got more and more into outdoor activities I wanted to contribute to the conversations I kept reading. Our first few trips were marred by uncomfortable, heavy backpacks, swarms of mosquitos, and some genuine misery. We've come a long way from the early trips but this blog is still just as much about me sharing my experiences as it is about my learning process.

Most of your hikes are with other people, do you also like to hike alone?

My strong preference is to share the journey with good company. I will, on occasion go on day hikes by myself, but I prefer not to backpack alone. I actually do not consider it to be an especially enjoyable experience. Many disagree with me and feel its the only way to experience real solitude but I can't say I really enjoy it.

A bunch of your hikes are in a bunch of different formats, what's up with that?

When I started Outdorky I had no idea what I was doing. Really, I still only know enough to be dangerous to myself. The truth is one of my long-term projects is to standardize a lot of the old content. But... I don't have the time or the funding for that, so for now some of our posts will just be a little bit jankier than others.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, I really like a couple of your Angel Island Images. How can I get in contact with you to see about using them? You can reach me at molinaj@csus.edu