We’re nearly halfway through celebrating Earth Month and have lots more to share! A friend of ours, almost too appropriately named Forest Woodward, photographer and outdoor enthusiast, is living an entirely Deeds Not Words kinda lifestyle. Not only does he enjoy the environment in his personal life, he’s making big efforts to provide the same opportunity to underprivileged children by summiting Mt. Whitney with Summit for Someone!Your name leads us to believe you grew up surrounded in nature.
Good guess. Did I mention I have a sister named Autumn, and two brother named Rivers and Canyon? We were homeschooled, and the out of doors was our classroom. We grew up in the woods of North Carolina, in a house my dad built, on a mountainside that overlooked a natural playground straight out of Tolkien. We built lots of forts, hunted stumps with homemade bows and arrows, made disgusting soup out of wild onions and other roots (looking back they definitely weren’t wild carrots) and kayaked, hiked, camped and biked our way around the US.
What is Summit for Someone?
Summit for Someone is an NGO dedicated to raising funds that in turn make possible transformative wilderness mentoring expeditions for under- resourced urban youth.What inspired this climb? Why this non-profit?
I have a deep gratitude for the lessons I have learned, and continue to learn, through my frequent forays into nature. It is on high mountain ridges and glassy waves that I have found the scope of my imagination broadened, my appreciation for this world fullest, and understanding of self deepest. I chose Summit for Someone because I think there is a huge opportunity for under privileged youth to grow and gain confidence through the outdoor experiences that Summit for Someone provides.Deeds Not Words is our motto, what does that mean to you?
To me it means putting my ideals into practice, and then figuring it out from there. If I can’t live up to what I espouse, then I revisit my inconsistencies and move forward. It is so easy to live a life guided by abstract, well-intentioned ideas and preachings, but unless you are striving to manifest your ideals into action you’re going to wake up one day and realize you’ve missed out at your shot to making this whole world spin a little smoother.
What’s your personal style? What do you look for in your clothing?
When it comes to style, I like to surprise. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but given my background it’s never too hard. With a closet influenced by a strange dichotomy of experiences (backwoods stomping, UNC prep, outdoor adventures, and most recently living in the big city). I look for clothes that are rugged enough to stand up to my travels, but light and versatile enough to make the cut when I pack that “one way ticket bag”. At the end of the day it’s about being comfortable in a variety of climates and social situations, which I’ve come to find is often as much about a state of mind as it is about what you’re wearing.
Something you never leave home without.
My Keen A86 trail runners. Super light and sleek, they are the first thing I slip on when I arrive in a new place and want to go for a run or hike to explore.
How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?
I will be at the Salton Sea in Southern California (if you haven’t heard of it, look it up!), photographing for an ongoing personal project on the legacy of man made disasters and our seeming reluctance to learn from past mistakes.