People of the Outdoors is my latest series whereby I acknowledge those individuals who are inspired and motivated to spend their lives in the Great Outdoors. This series forms a selection of personal interviews and imagery taken from these dedicated individuals.
The second interview is by Outdoor Enthusiast Mathias, who fully enjoys utilising the wild outdoors, at any given opportunity. He is based in the Netherlands and enjoys exploring some beautiful natural outdoor spaces, right on his doorstep, and further afield.
Mathias produced this short film, that helps to capture the essences of one of Europe’s finest wilderness.
You can follow Mathias on his website https://www.starthiking.nl/ where he will document his all of his outdoor adventures. Also look up his Instagram Page where he shares some of his adventures @starthiking
Hi, my name is Mathias. I was born in Chile but grew up in the eastern part of the Netherlands (Twente). I live and study in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where I finished an MSc in Business Administration last year and am finishing my LLM in Corporate Law now, hopefully graduating soon. I love the outdoors and am starting up an outdoor endeavour called ‘Start Hiking’ aimed at helping people to get out there for their first hike through inspiration, knowledge and small scale gear rental.
I hope for my website will be online some time in March.
Where is your Outdoor Playground?
I love the colours and roughness of the Scottish Highlands (including its unpredictable weather). Another plus is that it is so easy to reach from the Netherlands: just over an hour flight (while the clock goes back an hour as well) and you're in the Highlands. Even though you are (almost) always close to civilization you can really feel ‘out in nature’, which makes it a great playground for beginners.
What I like about Lapland (wouldn’t call myself an expert as I have only walked Kungsleden) is the wildness and the remoteness. Once you pass Kebnekaise on the Northern Kungsleden, you will only encounter some basic mountain huts until you reach your final destination Abisko. No cell phone connection, no notifications, and no way out. Just myself and nature. Another plus is the amount of daylight in summer or early autumn, no head torch needed.
A honourable mention must go to Torres del Paine in Chile, where I walked the W-hike, for its roughness and out of this world natural beauty!
Mathias video captures many great experiences from his visit to Scotland and the Highlands.
What inspires you and motivates you to spend time in the outdoors?
I really like the combination of physical exercise, making miles, and the mental tranquillity you'll get from being a week in nature. There is something peaceful about being in nature, being away from the fast-paced life. After a week of hiking my muscles are sore and I am mentally recharged and calm. Another part of the fun for me is the ‘survival part’, relying on your gear to cook food and sleep under the stars whether there s a lot of sunshine or a fierce storm.
As I said, my current occupation is very theoretical and I (am afraid that I) will end up in an office job too, so these hiking trips in the outdoors are my way of getting my desired portion of nature.
What activities do you like to do in the Great Outdoors? And why does this mean so much to you?
I love multi-day hiking trips, where I combine hiking and wild camping. Another hobby of mine is photography and videography, so I will always take my camera with me on my hikes (and sometimes even my little drone). The photo albums and videos always remind me of the beautiful hikes I made, so I'll find myself going through them often when I am longing for the outdoors.
I also love alpine skiing. The beauty of the alps is just staggering, especially in the snow.
Can you describe your perfect day out?
The perfect day out would be on a remote hike, in the middle of nature, with beautiful weather. On the perfect day, I would pitch my tent on the beach of a lake or close to a lovely river and enjoy the sunset while eating a delicious meal.
If you could go on any adventure, in the Great Outdoors, where would you go?
I have a couple of hiking trails on my bucket list including: The Skye trail on Skye in Scotland, Affic Kintail Way in Scotland, the John Muir Trail in the USA, The O-trek in Torres del Paine in Chile, Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, Höga Kusten trail in Sweden, and Kungsleden, Sweden in winter (on snowshoes or cross country skis). So any of those would certainly be a good choice for me! But if I have to choose, it would be the John Muir Trail!
Finally, can you give the readers a motivational quote for others to follow?
Just go! The main thing is to just go. I hiked my first trail when I was 20 and I didn't have any gear. I bought a good tent, mat and sleeping bag and walked the West Highland Way in my jeans. Even though those jeans were written off at the end of the weak and never dried after rain, I never had any regrets of just going. So just make your plans, book your ticket and get out there!
Once again, I have managed to complete another informative blog post and the second in this particular outdoors series. On completion, I want to extend a big thank you to Mathias for his positive contribution towards all things outdoors and of course this particularly interview, on what the outdoors means to him.
Mathias has described some of his wonderful adventures and I’m sure that he will have many more to come, in the future. I also want to wish him all the best, with his new website, which seems a great concept and I’m sure it will be a great success.
Continue to enjoy exploring, adventuring and challenging yourself in everything you do.
You can also find more People of the Outdoors here.