We continue with our series of interviews, by introducing you to Sander from the Netherlands. We asked Sander to answer some questions for us for a couple of reasons, one when you think of the Netherlands you don’t immediately picture adventure, day long treks, and beautiful woodland areas, and yet Sander’s Instagram account has been full of all of those things as he looks to reconnect with time spent outdoors as a kid, and has absolutely found a way to create headspace and adventure time on his doorstep.
The second reason is that Sander is an advocate of just getting out there with what you already have. Kit is nice to have, but should never (aside from a few safety precautions of course) be the thing that stops you getting out there.
So with that said, let’s meet Sander .
1. What’s your name, and where are you from?
Sander de Bruin, from Loosdrecht, the Netherlands
2. Everyone has their own unique story about why they first started spending time outdoors and/or got into a specific activity or community. How did this go for you?
It’s a nostalgia thing for me. My pops used to always take me out to the woods, teach me about nature, and we’d do multiple-day treks across the swiss alps on summer vacations.
It’s something that always stuck with me throughout my life and later translated into an urge to spend time on foot exploring nature.
3. Where do you spend most of your time outdoors, and why?
Naturally closest to where I live, the woods and lakes in central Netherlands, for easy weekend escapes and day hikes.
But when extra time allows I like to head to Germany for multi-day treks.
4. What is the best thing that a closer relationship to the outdoors has given you?
Mostly decompression. It helps to catch a breather from the busy week, or life in general. Spending a few hours in nature does wonders for the soul.
5. Any downsides?
It’s an addiction, be careful.
6. Do you look for a sense of community? Or is outdoors time alone time?
I enjoy it most when in solitude, but love to bring close friends along at times. That said, I also enjoy events like Fjällräven’s Classic series, where you go on a trek with hundreds of like-minded people.
Having adventures with strangers is a great way to make bonds for life sometimes.
7. How could outdoors spaces and activities be more welcoming and inclusive? Is cost an issue in your opinion?
Cost doesn’t have to be an issue to enjoy the outdoors, it can be done with very basic and cheap kit. Start there and you’ll gradually get a sense for where you might want to spend a little more for quality, and which cheap bits of kit are just as good as the more expensive ones.
8. Are there any places you really want to go?
I have a long list of trails I would love to hike, but the dream is to one day thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. 2190+ miles, 5-6 months of just one foot in front of the other.
9. What’s your favourite outdoors related product?
An amazing performing rain-jacket that’s also very lightweight.
10. And your favourite social account/website/print mag?
I’m a fan of the Canadian adventure YouTube channel, Justin Outdoors who really focuses on sharing tips, tricks, and gear recommendations for backcountry and outdoors experiences.
Similarly the YouTube channel Homemade Wanderlust is inspiring, originally starting out as a channel to document her (Dixie) own thru-hiking journey taking on the Appalachian Trail (AT), it’s now expanded to documenting her backpacking journeys on the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, The Camino de Santiago (French Way), Pinhoti Trail, Florida Trail, Foothills Trail, Kilimanjaro in a bid to encourage (and educate) more people to take on thier own epic adventures.
11. What snack are you gutted if you leave behind?
Mah beef jerky.
12. What it’s the most interesting development or trend happening in the outdoors space at the minute, and why?
The massive switch from the classic hiking boot to trailrunners since hiking gained popularity across social media.
People now dare to do multi-day treks across mountains in trail runners with mesh uppers. 10-20 years ago people would’ve looked at you funny.
I personally think it’s a very positive development as weight matters in footwear for long distances, plus it allows you to grow the strength in your ankles much more than with classic high boots, which equals fewer injuries.
13. Finally what’s the one piece of advice you wish you knew when starting out, or would like to share with those starting their outdoors adventure journey?
Just. Get. Out.
You only need a backpack, a decent pair of shoes, and a water bottle.
All the rest is extra.
When Sander isn’t yomping around the Netherlands and Germany , he’s probably in his home studio working on beats under the alias Lemonface as part of the SuperNiceMusicGroup label.
He’s recently released a new EP, ‘Trail Magic‘, partly inspired by his time out in the trails.
You can (and should) check it our here. The Track Hiker Funk is on the moi outside office rotation regularly at the minute.