MATT POLES

AT Halfway 2016-1.jpg
Nick and Matt Lake Anne Pass.jpg

Where do you call home?

I live in Quincy Ma, which is just south of Boston.

What do you currently do for a living and how did you get into this field?

I am currently an apprentice plumber, working on getting my master license so I can start my own plumbing company. I first met my boss while I was in high school and started working for him over some of my vacations. When I went off to college I didn’t think that plumbing would end up being my career. However, I continued to plumb on my winter and summer breaks, and going into my senior year I decided I would continue plumbing full time after graduation.

What Trail are you hiking for your upcoming Thru hike?

This year I will be hiking the Long Trail. While I was hiking the AT in 2016 I almost decided to divert from the trail and head north on the LT with one of my friends (PJs) that I had met a few hundred miles earlier in Maine. However due to logistics, aka not having a map nor knowing how far we would have to go until we could resupply next, or how we would get back to the AT we decided to just keep heading south on the AT. Since that moment I have been eager to do the LT, and finally this year everything has lined up that I will be able to do it.

What will be your starting base weight at the beginning of your trip (all carried weight in your pack, minus consumables like water, food and fuel)? What will your Max weight be with everything?

My starting base weight will be around 9 pounds. I’m guessing my max weight will be around 20 pounds, maybe a little heavier due to the fact that I’m trying to resupply only once or twice.

What are the Top 3 pieces of gear you can’t live without?

My Waymark Gear bag, my running shorts, and my LaSportiva trail runners

What Luxury items will you be carrying that aren’t critical to your survival or safety?

I’ll be carrying an external battery for my phone so I don’t have to worry about taking pictures or how many podcasts I listen to.

Name 1 thing you will miss most about leaving civilization for your hike.

I always miss a nice comfortable couch

What skill you would like to learn that would help you on the trail?

I would really like to learn better navigation skills. While I have not yet run into any serious problems with getting lost in the woods, I would feel a lot more comfortable if I had better compass and map skills.

What is 1 personal strength you feel will help you most on the trail?

The fact that I enjoy walking all day long

What is 1 personal weakness that will conflict with this strength?

Not liking to hike at night, I am always kicking rocks

Name 1 person, a trail celebrity or other, who has inspired you most to get on the trail.

The Hiking Viking

Name 1 animal you have seen or would most like to see on the trail.

Surprisingly I have seen a lot of black bears while on trail, and every time they surprise me, and scare the hell out of me. I would really like to see a porcupine, and bobcat while hiking.

Are you looking more for solitude or for a social experience on your next hike?

On this trip I am looking more for solitude. This hike for me is more about finding my limits and enjoying the tranquility that nature has to offer.

What lessons can we take from the wilderness, and how can we apply them to Urban life?

The wilderness teaches people that you really don’t need so much stuff in your life to enjoy it. It helps put into prospective what you really need in life vs. what you want. We can all do with a lot less materialistic items in society.

Tell us how we can connect with you and your organizations on all of your social networks:

I will be posting on Facebook Matt Poles and on Instagram, my handle is mpoles93.