We met up with Careena Landriault, better known as Alexis Outdoors. As an avid outdoorswoman in Ontario, she has a mission to educate others about the great outdoors, especially women and young people, and a passion to teach the necessary skills to get people more comfortable with the outdoors. She started a youtube channel where she showcases her adventures out in the wild so others, who may not have access, can enjoy what nature has to offer. We asked her to tell us a little about herself and why she does what she does.
How I became passionate about the outdoors
When I was young, I was always very athletic and always played sports and was active outdoors, including hiking and exploring the woods. We used to live on a farm close to the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, Canada. I would spend countless hours exploring the woods and finding ways to get up to the lookout points on the hills that I could see from my house. I have always been very intrigued by the way people used to live before modern technology. I love taking everything down to brass tacks and doing things simply, and one of the simplest things in life is spending time in the outdoors, observing nature, and enjoying all the beauty and the fun you can have out there.
I remember always wanting to go out into the woods and learn how to start fires with more natural materials, not just a lighter and newspaper. I always found pride in trying my best to be as self-sufficient as I could, to be able to go out on a wilderness trip and overcome any problems or challenges that arise, pushing myself to go further. I wanted to experience the amazing things that people, who don’t have the drive to reach, never get to see.
Why I do what I do
I love adventuring, and I love sharing my adventures, either via YouTube or even with friends. I like to do the odd solo trip just to prove to myself that I can. But I’m definitely more of a social person. I love sharing my adventures with friends and loved ones, making those memories together and forming closer bonds that way. And I love sharing my videos so that others who maybe didn’t get to grow up and experience the outdoors from the get-go, like I did, can learn about it. Maybe they would be inspired to try a hike in the woods for the first time or go on their first canoe trip. This way, more people get to experience how beautiful our wild spaces are. In the end, the more people who appreciate our wild spaces, the more protected these spaces will become. Outdoor education, along with a love for nature, is mostly what I’m trying to spread to anyone who listens, watches, and cares.
My top five pieces of gear:
- A good knife! From protection to fire prep to food prep – a good knife is always an invaluable thing to have on my trips. I bought a handmade Puukko from an incredible maker in Finland named Saku Honkilahti, it’s my favorite knife ever.
- You can’t go far without a good pair of all-terrain hiking boots! My HAIX® Scout 2.0’s are my absolute go-to. The GORE-TEX® waterproof capabilities make them a no-brainer, and the bonuses being that they’re comfortable and breathable. I can wear them in any climate, in the winter my feet stay warmer because they don’t sweat and then get cold from the moisture, and in the warmer months my feet breathe comfortably. And they are high quality, meaning I’m going to be able to wear them for years and years to come!
- Fire Starting! I always carry a Firesteel (ferro rod). I love being able to collect some natural materials and start a fire whenever I need one to either stay warm, cook my food, boil some water, or just for plain entertainment.
- A Good tarp. On almost every trip I carry a good SilNylon tarp, my 10X10 Safari made by Aquaquest is my go-to, light enough and yet strong, with tons of tie-put points. Definitely a must for any chance of rain or wet snow in the forecast! Staying dry and warm is key to enjoying time outdoors.
- Down Puffy Jacket. There is nothing more versatile in my opinion for outdoor clothing than a down puffy jacket. It’s super light, is packs down really small so you can stuff it in the crevices of any backpack easily, it’s a warm and breathable layer and since I love going minimalist and lightweight on my trips it often doubles as my pillow! I’m a huge advocate of having pieces of gear that serve multiple purposes!
- I have to add a sixth… My dog Grizz. My loyal tripping companion and my eyes and ears for danger out in the wilderness! He comes with me on nearly every trip (only excluding extreme cold temps for his own safety).
You can learn more about Careena, aka alexisoutdoors, and check out some of her videos on her youtube channel: