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Staff Interview: Matt Wagner

matt-wagner-pic.jpgAs a Channel Marketing Manager, previous product manager and Dealer Service Agent, Matt really knows Wenzel inside and out. Working with outdoor gear lets him combine both work and passion. Matt loves camping, gets competitive at disc golf, and is always up for a winter hut trip on skis. When not in the mountains, you can find him jamming out to some live music and hanging with his wife and 2 chocolate labs.

Can you remember and describe your first camping trip?

The clearest memory that I have from that first trip is the huge cloud of fireflies that surrounded our campsite as night was falling. My brother and I were mesmerized. Seeing that for the first time was a surreal experience that I think is somehow connected to my desire to maintain an active outdoor lifestyle.

What camping gear do you bring for your dog, Lily?

If you’re camping near your car, don’t skimp on the comforts. That goes for you and for your pets. Your dog gets cold too, so if you’re bringing a sleeping bag and a coat for yourself, give some thought to what’s going to keep your buddy warm and dry if the weather gets rough. Bring towels, blankets and even foam padding to give him or her a comfy retreat after the day’s activity.

What’s the scariest wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?

Some of the scariest encounters I have had have been with Moose. Once a young male came through the trees while some friends of mine and I were Bouldering. My dog (Lily) ran over and barked at it. The Moose didn’t seem bothered at first but then suddenly reared up and charged at Lily. At this point everyone scrambled to the top of the highest rock within reach, and we prayed for Lily to escape from danger…which she did. She dodged and ran far enough away that the Moose lost interest again and continued on its way. We continued climbing, but it was shaky for a while.

If you could go hiking anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have lived in Colorado close to 10 years, and I would have to quit my job and travel for a year or more just to feel like I’ve seen every part of my home state. When I think about what I get out of a trip abroad compared to what it costs, I usually find myself grateful for what we have right here.

If you could go camping with anyone in history, who would it be and why?

Jack Kerouac, for his observations and his pure zest for life

Where is your next big adventure?

I love camping in Utah. If you haven’t done it, laying a pad and a sleeping bag out directly on the slickrock and sleeping under the stars is a liberating experience.