The 2019 Therm-a-Rest Winter Dream Team is a fun-loving crew of adventurers and explorers that, in our opinion, have some pretty incredible stories, objectives and pursuits. They share our draw to the great outdoors and also share our desire for a better night under the stars. We’re excited to share their stories over the next few months and hope you enjoy the adventures we share.

Without further ado, we give you our 2019 Winter Dream Team.

Amber Chang @amberkchang


Why is resting better outside important for you?
Sometimes with alpine starts, you get very little sleep so the quality of rest you get is extremely important and is a huge determining factor in how you perform the next day.

What is your greatest triumph in the outdoors?
Climbing and skiing from the summit of all of Washington’s volcanoes in a single season and calendar year.

Paxton Hall @paxtunz


What sport do you really want to learn more about and why?
It’s hard to even think about a new sport when I still have loads to learn about with backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, ice climbing, alpine climbing and trad climbing. That said I really want to get into bikepacking and mountain biking. I love the idea of moving through a landscape by bike with everything you need strapped to the frame (and not your back!). And mountain biking is just so damn fun. I haven’t had a mountain bike since back in high school and even then I had no idea what I was really doing.

Further in the future, bikerafting feels like a natural progression if I get a handle on bikepacking. That idea of moving through a landscape by land and water takes the concept to a whole new level that is super exciting and interesting.

Where do you really want to go and why?
I was driving through northeastern Oregon by Baker City on my way back from a hunting trip in southeastern Idaho when I saw a mountain range off in the distance. After some Googling at the next stop for gas I discovered the range I saw – the Wallowa Mountains, also known as Oregon’s Alps. The more I learned the more I began dreaming about a trip. It’s a high-alpine zone filled with white granite and clear lakes. Best of all, to really explore the range you have to put in time and effort as access is limited compared to other parts of the northwest.

Lindsay Falkenburg @tandemtrekking


Where is your favorite place to spend a day?
Outside… But honestly it really doesn’t matter to me where I am as long as there is fresh air and adventure. It could be the top of a mountain, an alpine meadow, a gravel bike path, a canyon in the southwest. I live for it all.

What is your most embarrassing backcountry moment?
When we were hiking the AT we went to sleep one night in a shelter in the Grayson Highlands – there were probably 16 other people in the shelter. That area of Virginia is known for its tiny little wild ponies, but we hadn’t seen any yet. That night Kyle woke me up, a heavy fog had the shelter socked in, and he was pointing to the outline of a large black creature, looming at the entrance to the shelter. Naturally I assumed it was bear come to eat us all so I sat bolt upright, clapping my hands and shouting to scare it away. At that point everyone else in the shelter woke up terrified. But I couldn’t hear Kyle shushing me, trying to tell me it was only a pony because I always slept with earplugs in. Things quieted down eventually and we all went back to sleep and Kyle and I got up early the next morning to leave before anyone else. I thought I had made it out alive until a couple hikers caught up to us days later and upon recognizing me immediately exclaimed, “Oh! You’re Ponybear!” And thus my trailname was born.

Vreni vom Berg @vrenivomberg


Who inspires you, both personally and in the outdoor culture?
Female role models were scarce. There was a handful of ladies that were killing it at skiing, but they barely made an appearance in movies or the magazines. Once I merged my love for climbing and skiing I learned about Hillary Nelson (The North Face). Seeing her having confidence, taking leadership and knowing her craft inspired me beyond words. My friends were my advocates. Pushing me, allowing me to learn and putting full trust into my abilities.

How did you find your passion? (thru-hiking, skiing, climbing, photography, backpacking, etc.)
Born and raised at the Arlberg – skiing and mountains are in my DNA. My very first Christmas gift was a pair of skis from my father. At six months old. Once I was old enough to ski (and talk) I apparently proclaimed that skiing is ‘too slippery’. Well that was a very long time ago and I have fallen for the call of the mountains. My childhood is filled with memories of hikes, cycling, forest forts, skiing… to pick one is impossible. The mountains are the place where I feel most comfortable. They are my roots. My happy place. My home.

Rafa Godoi @rafamundando


Why is resting better outside important for you?
Resting outside is just like hitting a reset button in life. It keeps me away from stress and helps me find the perfect balance to allow me to keep a healthy lifestyle.

How did you find your passion? (thru-hiking, skiing, climbing, photography, backpacking, etc.)
Growing up in Brazil, I was always exposed to the great outdoors. Whether freely running in the jungles, going to the family farm, or camping and fishing with my dad and brother… I always had the curiosity to go out and try all the sports I could. Having the opportunity to live in the PNW, has given me an extra boost to try all I can in my surroundings.

Ola Krol @olakrol


What is your favorite Therm-a-Rest product and why?
I will advocate for the Honcho Poncho until I die. It is single handedly the coolest piece of outdoor gear I own- perfect for every activity whether acting as an extra quilt when winter camping, fashionable color statement when chilling by the campfire & the best surf change towel for cold beach days.

Tell us about your first trip in the great outdoors? Did you have any mishaps, successes, a-ha moments?
I’ve been camping with my dad since I was 8, and continued through school, university and even now. Every time since then is a learning experience. And now 16 years later he’s still my go to camping compadre.

Kate Stelfox @hikertrashhoney


How did you find your passion? (thru-hiking, skiing, climbing, photography, backpacking, etc.)
My passion for the outdoors started at a young age when I would follow my family into the woods for weekend adventures or overnight trips. I never guessed that I would come to value the outdoors as much as I do now. I spend half the year outside on hiking trails and the other half wishing I was still out there.

Who inspires you, both personally and in the outdoor culture?
I feel inspired by Jimmy Chin – his documentaries, physical accomplishments and insane photography skills…. Wow.

Rebecca Ross @bexie_r

Rebecca is currently out of service adventuring in Uganda. Stay tuned and hear from her soon!