WHO WE RIDE/PADDLE/HIKE WITH: ANNIE LE

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MARK SIREK
MARK SIREK Administrator Posts: 296
edited August 2023 in THE GEAR LAB

Words and Photos from Annie Le @AnnieLe

WHO ARE YOU?

Annie Le

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm a general outdoor freelancer; I do a mix of outdoor education, taking people hiking and camping in the mountains, as well as adventure tourism, gorge scrambling, rafting, and so on. My specialist skills would be cycling and bikepacking, and I'm most excited about the work I do guiding folk on how to do both. I also try and do writing and photos and am always very excited when someone pays me to do them!

WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE, AND FOR HOW LONG AND WHERE?

I bike, run, swim, hike, packraft, and camp. Mountain bike bikepacking is probably my favourite thing to do; the places you can go, the ground you can cover, and the immersive joy of riding technical trails and flowing down a hillside is hard to beat! I'm mostly found in the Scottish Highlands, where I currently live. I love travel and exploring new climates and cultures, but there's a balance to find between loving travel and loving the environment and trying to reduce my impact. So mostly, I ride from the door, but occasionally take a flight somewhere a whole lot bigger than Scotland.

WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH US AND OUR GEAR?

A friend started a wee backcountry shop, and he needed a few folk to chip in on an order to get some HMG gear so he could stock it. I bought a porter pack, which genuinely changed my relationship with rucksacks and hiking. I've since been asked to test a few other things and feel very humbled to be able to do that. Hyperlite gear is what I associate my best trips with.

WHAT THREE ITEMS FROM US ARE YOU MOST OFTEN USING AND WHY?

My Porter pack comes on every mountain trip and often big bike adventures where more space is needed. I find it so comfortable. I can load it up with overnight gear and a week of food and be completely self-contained and comfortable to carry over mountains.

The 'Mid 2 is probably my fav bit of gear, though, and not because it's incredibly photogenic! It's a tent that has been home to me through some of the wildest, most challenging trips of my life and has always meant there's somewhere safe to lie down at the end of a long day.

More recently, I was asked to test a Mid 1 prototype, and although it's not exactly the same as the final version, it's become my go-to solo tent for any adventure. It's so spacious and packs so light that I can always fit in some extra snacks.

ANY PARTING WORDS?

It can be intimidating to look at the adventures that other folk do and to think you always have to be in the most rugged places or travel abroad or be out for a long time. So many of my nicest nights out are ones that I've done in my local hills, some even squeezed into an evening after work. It's all amazing–all of it brings joy, and for me, it betters my mental health. So, I'd say go out when you can, even if it's a few hours to watch a sunset or sunrise.


You can follow more of Annie's awesome adventures on her Instagram page.