Erin Gainey is one of Heat Factory’s newest brand ambassadors. Erin is from good ol’ South Carolina and moved to the Pacific Northwest just over a year ago to follow her college dreams of hiking in the PNW as much as possible which excelling in her digital marketing career. Washington has not yet let her down and so far she’s had a blast meeting all of the adventurers and hearing about their journeys that led them there.
Mitch Pittman was the first person I met out here that was completely engaged and involved with the outdoor community, not only locally but all over the world. He works at the local news station here in Seattle. He’s a phenomenal photographer [Instagram:@mitchpittman] but he is also a great friend that wants to push and motivate people to adventure more. His knowledge of the Pacific Northwest is impeccable and he’s more than happy to share his sweet spots.
What is your favorite activity to do outdoors and why?
I will always answer hiking because it gives such a high return of reward. Whether you’re climbing 20,000 or 6,000 ft., you get to experience the trail in every step and when you’re coming down the mountain, it’s like seeing it for the first time all over again. Perspective is key.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you out there?
On a family camping trip years ago I had to go to the bathroom so bad! No one realized that I had been drinking a ton of Kool-Aid all night so my mom thought I was just nervous and I didn’t want to go to sleep. No one would go with me so I got out of the tend and started walking towards the designated bathroom. I wasn’t 100 yards from the tent when I stepped on an armadillo barefoot. I woke the entire campground up with my screaming and yelling. Mom never second guessed me again and we all got a flashlight in our stocking for Christmas.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is hitting a trail for the first time with no expectations and being completely blown away at the summit. To put the cherry on top is being able to take friends hiking to a familiar place and see their first reaction of the views. It’s like watching fire ignite and there’s nothing better than sharing your passions with the ones you love.