For awhile now, I have been following Nathan’s adventures and the great content he posts on Instagram. I am always pumped to see the amazing detail he showcases in his photography and videography. Recently, I reached out to see if he would be interested in an interview, allowing me to pick his brain about the outdoors, conservation, and truly living life to the fullest. Quickly his response came through, and there we are, an awesome setlist of answers from a great guy. With no further ado, take it from here, Nathan!
What’s up, everyone! My name is Nathan Lee Allen. I’m a travel, adventure, and commercial photographer/videographer based in Denver, CO but originally from Louisville, Kentucky. My goal is to inspire and equip people to “Choose Adventure” each day through my monthly adventures and the content I create.
What do you do for a living, how did you end up in that field?
I’m an Instagram influencer and commercial photographer, now breaking into video and YouTube. I started out in marketing and social media management, and grew my channel and client work until I was able to go full time.
When did you first start enjoying the outdoors?
Since I could walk. The outdoors were in the very fabric of our family.
What is your favorite place to explore?
Haha this is so insanely hard. In the United States, I’d have to say Yosemite—but I could name like 50 other locations. International, I’d have to say the Alps or Norway. But I think that will change once I go to Peru and Patagonia this year.
How many of the 50 United States have you visited? Favorite?
I’ve been to 46! My top 6 would be Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Wyoming. Can’t do just one. Too many good ones!
How many countries, where?
Too many to count, but I would say in the 20-30 range. I studied abroad so I got to see a lot of Europe, and then my social media adventures have taken me to a lot of places.
Best hike you have ever had?
Wow. Again, tough question. I’d have to say possibly Maroon Peak or Longs Peak in Colorado, because of the conquering element to the hike. Some ridge hikes Kauai, on the Nepali Coast were insane though.
However, I’ll be doing Ausangate and Huayhuash in Peru, the W Trek in Patagonia, and a few backpacking trips in and around Banff/Jasper/Yoho this year, so I think one of those may surpass them all.
Essential items for summer hikes/winter hikes in your opinion.
A reliable layering system; baselayer, midlayer, and shell is crucial. A durable, comfortable day or multi day pack, and if you are doing long treks, a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. All super helpful.
Most comical hike/adventure story?
I mean there are a ton haha. One of the funniest was when we bailed on climbing Capitol Peak in Colorado because my friends freaked out and thought they heard a bear growling, but we come to find out it was actually a cow mooing…haha we laugh about it now.
Scariest hike/adventure story?
I almost fell off a downclimb on the back climb of Lone Eagle Peak. The wind whipped my pack and threw me off balance, and if I didn’t grab some holds quick enough, it would have been a really bad end to my day.
Upcoming trips planned?
Dude, some of the best! So stoked. Banff, Peru, the Seychelles, and Fiji, to name a few coming up.
Favorite outdoors gear/lifestyle companies? Any local?
I do a lot with Haglöfs, a Swedish outdoor brand that is massive in Europe and breaking into North America. They make incredible gear and apparel, but also have a super responsible way of manufacturing and designing gear. Of course, I also love Patagonia and Arc’teryx. MSR or Nemo for equipment.
In terms of local, I love Smartwool—based in Steamboat. Legendary baselayers and socks.
What does conservation mean to you?
Leaving this world better than I found it, and never compromising the planet for my own selfish gain. I want my kids and their kids to fall in love with the planet, the same as I did.
What can we do to make sure our parks and wild lands stay clean and pure forever?
Just don’t be selfish and take shortcuts. A lot of the issues in National Parks—trash, not packing out what you pack in, or even something serious as a wildfire—can be fixed by people just being responsible and thinking twice about what they do, how the consume, and how their actions can have a negative ripple effect on our planet.
Thank you, Nathan! I was so happy to hear what the outdoors mean to you, and seeing your passion for the wild lands at a young age. Sharing your thoughts as an influencer will hopefully have a large impact on the folks reading the interview. Looking forward to continued conversation!
Check me out on Instagram: @Gtcarden