Have you ever met someone and thought, "This person is my spirit
animal"? We here at Tec Labs have our very own spirit animal, and
he is our co-worker Gabriel Starr. He is our go-to guy on all
things outdoors because we are fairly confident he has tried it
all. We are usually left in awe when we hear about his latest
weekend adventure or upcoming excursion. We decided that we needed
to ask him some questions. So, please enjoy our very first Tec Labs
Q: We know you LOVE to be outdoors, but what activities
are your favorite?
A: Each season has its own special activity. In the winter
it's snowboarding, spring is mountaineering, and the summer is
backpacking, rock climbing, and floating rivers. Year round I love
hiking and trail running with my Black lab mix Benaiah. Being
outside with B is really my happy place no matter what we are
doing. But if I had to choose one activity it'd be
Mountaineering. Depending on the mountain, and the time of year,
getting to the summit can incorporate a little bit of everything;
Backpacking, Skiing/snowboarding on the approach and/or the
descent, and alpine rock climbing if it has a pinnacle summit. It
also requires a lot of planning, physical and mental stamina, and
maybe technical skill, again depending on the mountain. Along with
the view from the summit, meeting and overcoming those challenges
is the most rewarding feeling.
Q: Has there ever been an activity you have tried, but
wouldn't do it again?
A: Extreme downhill mountain biking. I really enjoy mountain
biking on moderate trails, but as soon as you throw in log ramps,
big drops, and steep banked turns, you can count me out.
Q: What is one (or some) of your ultimate outdoor goals
or bucket list adventures?
A: Climb Denali in
Alaska. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America at 20,310'.
I am not the type to want to climb Everest or anything like that.
Anyone with $200K can hire Sherpa's to escort them up Everest.
There are many smaller more technical peaks that I would find more
enjoyable. But standing on top of my home continent would be
special for me.
I would also love to go climbing and trekking in South America.
Peru, Chile, and Patagonia are all on the list.
Q: Where are some of your go-to locations to get your
A: I grew up backpacking the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness with my
dad, so going back and re-visiting some of those places is always
special. Mt. Hood is the closest, and most accessible mountain with
a lot to offer, so I go play on it every chance I get. In between
trips to "get my outdoor fix" I really cherish Silver Falls State
Park. It's only 15-20 minutes from my house, and with over 50 miles
of backcountry trails, it's perfect for evening trail runs with
Q: What has been your most memorable adventure thus
A: I have many great memorable trips so here is a couple: In
2015 I climbed all three sisters, and broken top in 5 days which
was very cool to see all three sisters from so many different
angles. Another very memorable trip was taking my dad up Mt. Shasta
last year. He is the one who instilled a love of the outdoors in
me. Helping him to the summit of a 14,000ft peak is a memory I
won't be letting go of.
Q: Besides Tecnu :), what is a must-have in your
A: Duct Tape! It is perfect for unexpected gear repairs and
first aid. I take a few feet of it on every adventure.