Most Interesting People in Maine – Aislinn Sarnacki
We were excited to catch up with Aislinn Sarnacki, who we find to be one of the most interesting people in Maine! We were really looking forward to learning more about her favorite things about the outdoors, and hear about her new projects. Whenever we’re planning a trip, we check to see what she has to say about it. She’s the One Minute Hike Girl – if you read the Bangor Daily News – Act Out with Aislinn – her trip reports are a staple of any adventurer. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and has a passion for the outdoors and exploring, and helping others. She’s recently published two books – Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, and the soon to be available –Maine Hikes Off the Beaten Path – you can preorder now. She also has recently started her own site, which we hope you’ll follow!
A MOMENT WITH AISLINN SARNACKI
Q: Your name/nickname/trailname?
A: Aislinn Sarnacki; nickname: Ace; trailname: I don’t officially have one, but my husband would like it to be “Wobbly Ankles.”
Q: Where are you from and where do you live?
A: I was born in Belfast, Maine, grew up in Winterport, Maine, and now live in Dedham, Maine.
Q: Your favorite adventure thus far?
A: That’s a tough one. Either my solo backpacking trip of the Bigelow Mountain Range or my annual family camping and hiking trip in Baxter State Park.
Q: Adventure goals?
A: Through my writing, photos and video, I want to show people the beauty of nature, get them interested in it, and help them experience it in some way, shape or form. That nature could be anywhere in the world, but I have a deep love for the many regions of Maine.
AISLINN’S PROJECTS – author. photographer. content creator. adventurer.
A: My project is multi-faceted. I started writing about the outdoors a (t the University of Maine when I wrote a creative undergraduate thesis investigating ways hiking can benefit your health. After graduating from the University of Maine in 2010, I started my career at the Bangor Daily News and quickly wiggled my way into the Outdoors section of the newspaper. And that led me to starting a hiking-related blog and video series, and publishing a hiking guidebook. So I guess I started all of those things because I’m passionate about how hiking and simply spending time outdoors can enrich people’s lives. I want what I do for my job to make a positive impact on my community, and this is the only way I know how.
Q: What do you hope others take from your project?
A: I simply want my work to encourage people to get outdoors more and try new activities. I hope my work shows people that it isn’t difficult to go hiking or birding or paddling, and it’s a whole lot of fun. I also hope that my work shows people why wild places are worth conserving.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about the outdoors and Maine!
A: One of the things I love most about the Maine outdoors is the variety of habitats and beauty this state has to offer, from the cobblestone beaches in the far east to the remote forestland up north. We have incredibly mossy forests and giant white pines, and we have open peat bogs and alpine areas. And because of this variety, no two hiking trails are ever the same.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring adventurers for becoming more involved your project or a similar project?
A: I always welcome suggestions of Maine trails to explore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the best hiking trails I’ve documented (and enjoyed) were suggestions by readers and viewers. And if you want to become involved in a similar project, I suggest starting a YouTube Channel or blog (or both) and trying your hand at sharing nature through writing, photos and/or videos. It’s not difficult to start your own website nowadays, and many options are free! Then share what you create through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
TIPS AND TRICKS FROM AISLINN
Top 5 tips you’ve learned when creating your brand that you might want to share –
- Be yourself, and share that with others. People like to see the person behind the camera or keyboard.
- Always think about how your creation (blog post, video, book) will benefit people. Are you offering information they can use? Are you offering humor that will cause them to smile?
- Be consistent. If you have a blog, start a post schedule and try to stick to it. For example, post every Wednesday. Readers like consistency, and it will force you to create, not put things off.
- Be open to improving and changing. Don’t be afraid of critiquing your own work (or listening to other people critiquing it) and deciding how you can make it better, one thing at a time.
- Communicate with your readers. Give people an easy way to communicate with you, whether that’s email or Facebook or whatever, then get back to them as quickly as possible.
What are your tips for surviving Maine winters?
- Find something you like to do outdoors. It’s too easy to be inactive all winter, cuddled up indoors, and that gets old fast. I suggest trying snowshoeing. It’s easy to learn, and it keeps your blood pumping, which keeps you warm.
- Hand and foot warmer packets. You know, those little chemical packets you can get at any outfitter. Keep them on you at all times.
- Find an amazing hat. I have a rabbit fur bomber hat from LLBean that keeps me warm on the coldest days. I also have a few favorite beanie hats that are lined with fleece. A hat makes a world of difference in your body heat retention.
- Wear thick, wool or synthetic, probably expensive socks. Cold toes ruin everything.
- Drink lots of hot beverages and get creative with soup recipes and slow-cook meals.
Tell us your favorite Adventure Quotes and Mantras!
“You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few brief minutes and then the wind blows away your footprints.”
“Intimacy with nature is acquired slowly. It comes not with one year out of doors, or with two. You look and listen, bewail your stupidity, feel that you have acquired little new information; yet, are determined never to despair or give up. All at once you know what you never dreamed you knew before.”
-Cordelia Stanwood, founder of Birdsacre in Ellsworth
To see why we consider Aislinn one of the most interesting people in Maine – follow her on social media!