Meet the Explorer: Tedi Searle

Def: (noun) one who creates & seeks out people & activities to bring happiness, strength, and ease suffering.

Short Biography

My name is Tedi Searle, and I’ve lived in Northern Utah since attending college at Utah State University. I’m an outdoor and sports enthusiast. I like to cabin camp as well as hammock camp. I currently partner with various companies for trailrunning and hope to offer workshops here in the near future.

What do you do for a living, how did you end up in that field? 

My name is Tedi Searle, and I’m based in Utah. I’ve been a PE and Health teacher for the past 13 years. I finally retired from education this past year for similar reasons as explorer Jeremy Jensen and Royce. I loved inspiring my students and more importantly, they inspired me. Like Jeremy, I wanted to build a more intentional lifestyle around the things I loved that included inspiring others and spending time outdoors.

Now I’m a photographer, public speaker, and fitness instructor. I am a big outdoor fan: trail running, backpacking, horseback riding, and outdoor sports tournaments. I love being outdoors and being fit. I got into teaching and coaching because I love helping people to improve and do something they weren’t sure they could. That’s always fun. I always wanted to do photography but didn’t make the time until 5 years ago. Turns out I had a passion for it and I’m good at it once in a while. For more about me, you can check out my Instagram and website.

When did you first start enjoying the outdoors? 

As a WA native, I’d ride horses all day long if allowed. My mom was always trying to get me to learn cooking and I’d disappear to the barn or somewhere outside. I do enjoy cooking now but given the opportunity I’ll always choose to go trail running or other outdoor activity.

During my time in college, I spent more time riding horses, climbing, boating, and discovering the adventure lifestyle locally in Utah. It was later, I spent time doing humanitarian trips with youth internationally during grad school. 

I actually didn’t love hiking much growing up but fell in love with trail running after going through a divorce. I’ve always loved the mountains and I’ve been running since grade school. I just had never put the two together until then. It was therapeutic and addicting.  

Now as a Utah local since college I love how easy it is to be in a canyon in 15 minutes, we are pretty spoiled, the mountains are literally out our backdoor. 

What is your favorite place to explore?

Right now specifically Mt. Rainier. However, I spend most of my time in the Utah mountains. My favorite place to explore is mountains and forests with green, I’m not much of a desert fan. If it’s mountains and green it gets me excited.

How many of the 50 United States have you visited? Favorite? 

I don’t know. Utah is a fav but it’s where I spend the majority of my time. I like different states for different reasons. My favorite forest is the Redwoods in California and the favorite trail is the Wonderland Trail in Washington. My favorite trail running canyon is Millcreek canyon because it’s easy to get to and the trails are runner-friendly. I’m currently working on running trails in all 50 states in the next 1-2 years. Follow my adventures or recommend a trail on my instagram.

How many countries, where? 

I’ve spent most of my time exploring the states but Fiji definitely had some beautiful islands with natural streams and outstanding coral and seashells on hidden beaches. I’m looking forward to doing a couple of workshops and races internationally this next year.

Best hike you have ever had? 

Mt. Rainier is taking the cake. I just finished 30 miles backpacking and the scenery was indescribable. Sure this will change as I explore more.

Essential items for summer hikes/winter hikes in your opinion.

Depends on the type of trip. To be honest I mostly trail run. That’s 1-3 hours and I am a big fan of the bare essentials, some water, I use a Nathan running vest, and a couple of small snacks if it’s a longer run. Then I always carry my phone and wear a RoadID. As far as longer trips, like backpacking trips, I have a different list. The gear and food has to be light enough that you can do 3+ days. It is minimalist so you want a lightweight sleeping pad and bag and cooking utensils!! Here are a couple of minutes of my tips from my Mt. Rainer backpacking trip. In the winter Spikes! When I discovered trail running crampons that was a game-changer. The biggest essential life-saving item no matter the season or the trail is a Road ID. I own about 5 of them and wear one of them all the time.  Link for a discount to RoadID.

Most comical hike/adventure story? 

Honestly just laughing with friends while out in nature has created many comical stories. It’s simple silly things like being out on a trail at 11 pm at night and having 4-5 pheasants fly up next to us surprising my running friend who yelled at the top of his lungs about a cougar and practically ran me over to run down the trail while I sat laughing. BIRD! 

Scariest hike/adventure story? ​

Perhaps not the scariest in the Halloween sense of scary but definitely scary and heartbreaking to me. Havasupai Falls is super popular as a camping destination point. It’s as beautiful as everyone says and has some of the best bathrooms I’ve experienced in the backcountry. However, as a horse rider and trainer, I was appalled and heartbroken to see how the horses, donkeys, and mules were treated. I had signed up to use the mules to haul our stuff to the campground at the suggestion of several friends. Several of the horses had cuts and wounds from ill-fitting harnesses, they were strapped with no regard to the weight of the luggage or size, thin beyond description, and several had hooves that were so neglected to cause lameness. Once in the village, seeing the pastures and the condition of the animals in those pastures, it was devastating and disgusting to me. While this has been improved due to an intervention from complaints, the condition of those animals is still not at a level so I can support camping there. To add injury to insult, literally, I had a friend a couple of years ago get life-flighted off the falls when she fell off a ladder. So all in all, I think that about sums it up.

Upcoming trips planned? ​

I just ran a 138 mile Ragnar Relay with 7 others at Grand Targhee overlooking the Tetons this past weekend. I usually trail run 2-3 times a week which is like a mini trip every week. As far as bigger trips I’ve got a couple in the works with a travel adventure company to host some trips internationally. My next trail race is in southern Utah in the fall and I’m always looking forward to our yearly Ragnar Trail race, which we haven’t chosen the location for next year yet.

Favorite outdoors gear/lifestyle companies? Any local?  

A couple of companies that come to mind that are local to me in Utah are Altra running shoes and Naawk products. Naawk has awesome sunscreen products for trail running and while I’m not sponsored or affiliated with Altra running shoes, I’m a total convert to their running shoes after a foot injury. My doctor recommended them and I have been extremely happy with all 8 pairs of my shoes that I’ve gotten since trying them out 2 years ago. 

I also have a good partnership with RoadID and get a lot of great gear from them which is awesome and is included in my giveaways. I love their wristbands. I know the staff and they are fantastic. I think Cotopaxi is great from a brand perspective. They have fun colorful gear, great customer service from my experience, and they are involved in cool humanitarian and environmental projects. I just really admire the work they do and the projects they are involved in. 

What does conservation mean to you? 

It means actually getting off the couch and going out to the beautiful places. Secondly, it means taking care of nature and the animals to the best of our own ability, whatever that is for each of us.

What can we do to make sure our parks and wildlands stay clean and pure forever?  

First take care of them when we visit. Whenever I’m out backpacking and trail running we pick up trash left behind from others. It’s amazing how many water bottles are left out in the wilderness. 
Secondly I’d agree with Royce Fonseca “Educate and share the experiences with other’s so they see the importance of it all.”

Tedi, thank you a ton for sharing this amazing content and outlook into what the outdoors mean to you. I love your passion for our wild lands and the explorative mindset you possess. Looking forward to see your growth track as you pursue a more intentional lifestyle geared towards the things you love. Stay in touch!

Follow my Tracks: @Gtcarden

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