Max DesMarais is an avid hiker and founder of the Hiking & Fishing Blog and online store. He currently lives in Portsmouth, NH.
If Max DesMarais was a White Mountain, he’d be Bond Cliff. Why? “It isn’t the most popular mountain, it isn’t the easiest to access (nine miles to the summit), but it has a lot to offer if you make the trip. It is a unique mountain that offers some of the best rewards with just a little hard work,” he explained. “I would strive to be like that mountain.”
Max would know - he’s hiked all of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000 footers at least once. Hiking is a major part of his life, and it’s a passion he’s managed to make compatible with his other interests through blogging. “I started Hiking & Fishing almost exactly a year ago, in late March of 2017,” Max told us. “At the time, I had been getting very interested in digital marketing, and was working at a digital marketing agency, so really I was able to blend all of my passions together with this site, while also building some experience and skill set for my work. It allowed me to test what I was learning about on a digital marketing side, while also sharing my favorite activities. In 2016, I set out to do all of NH’s 48 4,000 footers, which I completed just before I turned 22, and I was completely hooked, driving to the mountains more than once a week, hauling my fly rod everywhere I went, and the blog just allowed me to share all of my experience.”
“I realized I have a passion for showing people the outdoors, and making it more accessible to people, which caused me to shift the direction of the blog to informational pieces.” This is where we found our connection with Max, this passion for making the outdoors more accessible to everyone. The unfortunate reality is the outdoors are not as accessible as many of us would want them to be.
“Some of the biggest challenges [in pursuing my passion for hiking] are the sacrifices you have to make. Many of my friends don’t have the same passions I do, so you have to make the choice to put your desires in front sometimes and skip out on things to make time for what you truly love,” Max says. It’s one of the very things that motivated him and the Ridj-it co-founders to start their businesses, this feeling of needing to sacrifice a social life in order to pursue outdoor adventures. “On the bright side of this, hiking can help you meet new people with a similar passion as well. Sometimes it is hard to justify long drives so frequently. I used to live much closer to the mountains, but working in Portsmouth has pushed me further away, making the weekly trip to the Whites far more demanding.”
Max is enthusiastic about what we’re doing here at Ridj-it. By carpooling, we’re making the drive to the Whites less demanding on hiking enthusiasts by sharing the work, and helping people create networks with others who share their interests - in Boston at least. We’re hoping we can start helping people in other parts of the US pursue their passions for the outdoors soon!
“Hiking is simply... what I want to do all the time. I want to hike every chance I get, explore the world, and hike all over the world. It connects me with the outdoors, relieves all of my stress and makes me feel at home. Hiking has opened my eyes to the world, and instilled this deep seated desire to explore everywhere, and experience the most beautiful places the world has to offer.”
We couldn’t agree more - the outdoors, the mountains in general, and the NH 48 4,000 footers - those places offer experiences that can’t be compared to anything in day-to-day life. The craziest experience Max has ever had in the mountains? It happened when he was all alone on Mount Isolation (the irony, we know). “I was near the summit, in an extremely thick brushed area, moose tracks were everywhere. I was running, took a corner and was face to face with a moose that stopped me in my tracks. For a moment, the big bull stared straight at my eyes, no more than 10 feet away, breathing loudly. I very slowly backed away as he stepped towards me. I felt like at any moment he would charge me, but I just slowly gained distance until I was able to grab my camera and catch him following me down the trail (in the wrong direction) for nearly 20 minutes. I have a short clip of when I finally got off trail enough to let him pass.”
Trust us, the clip is actually kind of terrifying - but insanely cool! We wish Max all the best in his future adventures - hopefully less dangerous than moose encounters - and hope we’ll run into him again out there sometime.