If you're looking at hitting the road, let us introduce you to perpetual traveler Nick Hoffman. He hit the road as Kenny Chesney's fiddle player years ago and has been on a wild ride ever since.
Naturally, his Outdoor Channel TV show is called "Nick's Wild Ride," and reflects Nick Hoffman's wanderlust and curiosity about our fascinating sporting world. All that time on the road taught him a few things.
Q&A with Nick Hoffman
G&F: You travel a lot. Do you need to have a certain attitude to always enjoy it?
NICK: I am traveling over 200 days per year. I'd be lying if I said that it's not hard sometimes, being away from family, home, my dogs, and my own bed. Those things can make you homesick. So, it really is all about attitude and preparation. You have to remind yourself that even though you may be tired, you are in an amazing place, doing something special. That keeps me going and appreciating it all. And the more prepared you are with the right gear and the right physical and mental state, the easier the trip is.
We get it. At G&F, we say "the right gear matters." But what do you mean about "the right physical and mental state"?
NICK: The average person has never been on a plane for more than a few hours. If they are going to Africa, for example, it's likely a 12-hour plane ride. That's stressful, and it can wear on you. I am a believer that little things in gear — travel pillow, pair of earplugs — help tremendously. Also, if you're out of shape, a long trek in a terminal to make a connection will wear you out and make you miserable. You want to get there and feel fresh and ready. Always remember, you might be doing something many people might not ever have the chance to do. That keeps my spirits up, my energy up and I can do my job well.
What's the one piece of gear you have to have with you in all travels?
NICK: I never leave home without a LifeStraw water filter bottle. If you needed to, you could drink water out of the sink of an airplane or from a toilet. And I actually had to do that once! It takes the worry out of staying hydrated anywhere in the world.
When did the wrong equipment screw up your adventure?
NICK: My first backcountry trip I totally underestimated the value of good layering and good rain gear. I was cold and soaked for a week and therefore, miserable. Now, I get the best outerwear I can afford — period. Nothing ruins a trip like being wet or cold or both.