Dave Schumaker Interview

What draws you to the greater outdoors in general?

I spend most of my day indoors working, so during some of my free time, I like to enjoy a different setting. I enjoy the effort required to reach a summit, only to be rewarded with a picturesque view. It's something you simply can't capture in a photograph. 

Why do you like GayOutdoors?

Besides sexual orientation, the guys in the group have an obvious similar interest; the outdoors. Through the organization, I have had the opportunity to go places and participate in activities such as ice climbing and backpacking. It's a friendly group and the only "attitude" you will get is a positive and encouraging one. Did I mention all the sexy hiker legs? Oh yeah, GO has got em. :)

What would members be most surprised to learn about you?

I repair, restore and collect pinball machines. I am also a big fan of regional Mexican music including Cumbia, Nortena & Tejano styles. 

What was your first GO trip? How did it turn out?

I attended a "social" event at a members home in late winter. Everyone was very friendly and it made me look forward to signing up for some springtime hikes.   

Outdoor Adventures that should not be missed?

If you can find a place where you can have a wide view of the sky and absolutely no light pollution on a clear night, lie on the ground and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. You will see more stars then you have ever thought were in the sky. You will be able to see the cloud like stretch of stars known as the Milky Way. In fact, all of the stars in the visible part of the Milky Way galaxy. It's an amazing view, that requires little effort. 

Best outdoor advice you have ever gotten?

Be prepared. Follow the list of essential items from the GO website and keep them in your pack. I made the mistake of not carrying a hat, gloves and chemical hand warmers in my pack on two occasions. It can really put a cramp on your good time. These are now always in my pack no matter the time of year.

What is your the best view in New Hampshire?

That is, IMHO, personal preference. My favorite, so far is sunset on top of West Bond Mountain. From that peak you can see the Bond Ridge and no matter what direction you look, you only see the forest and mountains. No buildings, no antenna, no lights, no roads; except the sun & the stars.

What is your favorite National Park

I haven't been to them all, but of those the I visited, it would have to be Bryce Canyon & Zion National Park. I like the colors and the rock formations.

What piece of gear have you most recently bought?

Steve got a Helinox collapsible chair. It's small, light [under 2 pounds] and very comfortable. I think it is going to become a permanent item in my pack. 

Best gear-buying advice you ever got?

Getting a decent "breathable" rain jacket. Not only is the jacket great in the rain, but it can also be used as a wind breaker and will warm you up quickly on a cool morning or evening. I always keep it in my backpack because of it versatility.

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Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

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If you find it invigorating to hike along a mountain trail with friends not knowing what’s just around the corner, to get some fresh air, to stop and soak in the views on a summit, and to soak your feet in a mountain brook after a hike, give us a try!


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