Trading the Metro for the Mountains: Pursuit New York 2018

Experiencing my first ever summer camp as an adult with The Outbound Pursuit in Upstate New York

By: Emily Hlaváč Green + Save to a List

Anything that promises a weekend out of New York City is fine by me, especially when it involves an epic schedule full of exciting experiences you can customize yourself in a swish looking App. And as the first Pursuit to be based out here on the East Coast I knew it would be a melting pot of new friends who enjoy the outdoors, too.

Almost straight off the bus I wind up on the chair lift with a crew of climbers ready to take on the summit. The ride up is thrilling, giving a whole new perspective of a ski mountain without its white blanket. I haven’t rappelled in forever so taking that first leap of faith backwards over the rock face gets my heart racing. After a few steps down I relax, hanging there for a moment to look around. I catch huge smiles on the faces of others feeling the exhilaration of climbing outside for the first time.

Back down at basecamp the mountain carves out a golden sunset at dinner time. The tables are set and people spread out to mingle and chat through schedules for tomorrow. Tito’s are pouring ice cold moscow mules and the Kenwood wines are flowing.

Somehow a few of us misinterpret the “Night Cap Trail Run” and show up enthusiastically, drinks in hand. It’s been a while since I’ve run anything but Brooklyn pavement, let alone at night, but I’ve got a new lease on life in my Merrell trail runners and an awesome new running crew, complete with portable speaker and high energy levels. Turns out you can run with a post-hour buzz...

Adventure camp by day, festival by night. The best medicine for weary legs and sun tinged shoulders is chilling to good music outside which the band provides. I love the idea of a campfire as a conduit for stories. This is a chance to connect with people and really hear more about what brings us all to the Catskills together.

The next morning I wake up before sunrise and creep out of my tent and down the hill to shoot the mist over the valley. Loving every second of this quiet, I’m sipping on a freshly brewed coffee from Kicking Horse in a hammock. 

Before the day heats up we’re on the side of the mountain, mats amongst the dewey grass, breathing through a morning yoga session. This beats an indoor studio any day.

Later that day after learning about water filtration with the MSR team, a meditative yoga trail walk and a scenic hike, I go take a dip in the lake to cool off and dodge the paddle boarders.

As someone who believes one big hurdle in getting people outside sometimes is the unknown around cooking, I love seeing a new take on the camp taco being whipped up at the Backcountry Camping tent with Stanley, who did some very creative things with camp corn over the grill, halloumi steak, and pickled cucumber.

After happy hour on top of the summit, I go for round two of night trail running. This time it’s later and darker so when we finally pop out at the highest point on the dirt road the stars are sprinkled out over the valley.

Sunday’s are for sleep ins so I wait til the sun is up, squeeze in more yoga, more coffee, more biking before packing up for a sleepy trip back to the city.

Pursuit is like the ultimate adventure camp festival in what culminates as a really cool time to step outside of your usual routine in the city, try something different, and see what the East Coast has to offer. I’m stoked that I got to play, learn and build new friendships around a shared love of being outside.

If you couldn't make it to Pursuit New York, you still have time to register for Pursuit in Northern California! And check out some of the best gear from Pursuit.

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Photography & Story by Emily Hlavac Green

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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