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I’ve been juggling the role of outdoor educator and illustrator for the last 17 years, and the two careers end up contributing to each other. Most of my teaching experience is with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and most of my illustration work has been doing instructional cartoons for books and magazines with a focus on camping, skiing, and climbing. My introduction to lightweight backpacking came in 2005, when I received a phone call from Don Ladigin. He wanted me to do the illustrations for his book LIGHTEN UP! My first reaction was to say “No, thanks,” because I had just finished a series of instructional outdoor books, and they all ended up requiring hundreds of cartoons. I was sort of burned out. But, after talking with Don and reading his manuscript, I realized that this would be a really fun project, and I eagerly took on the job.


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