The New Outdoor™ is all about intentionality, approaching outdoor as a part of everyday life rather than separate from it, and expanding your idea of what it means to be outside. Kina Pickett and his family couldn't be better examples of that. Kina's outdoor evolution from a solo professional athlete to a family man who cares more about who he's outside with than what he's doing outside is exactly the kind of outdoor we want to champion - and build products for. Read on to learn more about Kina and his vision for what "outdoor" can be.
So this is our story...
I grew up in Vermont and skied competitively from a very young age. Once I graduated college, I knew I wanted to be out West. I ended up moving to Jackson Hole in 1996. There, I immediately connected to the mountains and specifically the incredible backcountry skiing. I quickly went pro, and spent 12 years skiing all over the world.
When I moved to Bozeman in 2008, I met my wife, Nellie. She grew up with eight siblings on a 3000-acre ranch in Northern Montana five miles from the Canadian border. We connected immediately. When we had kids, we knew we wanted a different kind of life. We wanted our kids to be wild, connected to the land, and well-traveled. When COVID hit, I decided there was no better time to be outside and away from people and bought a 27 foot off-grid Airstream.
I had no idea that what seemed like a simple thing would end up benefiting our family in ways I can't even describe. In the past year, we have traveled over 30,000 miles. We have been across America four times and from border to border. The kids have seen both oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, mountains of the west and the east, the desert, and everything in between.
We have learned so much as a family, and this kind of life has brought us tighter as a unit. This kind of life has benefits that are so incredible, especially for the kids. Now that my entire family is on board, the mission is simple: let's ACTUALLY live life. Let's create the only thing that you can't take away, and that lasts a lifetime — experiences. In my mind, creating these experiences is the best gift I can give to my kids. It will without a doubt shape them into something incredible. The takeaway from this kind of life, a solid connection to land... it's way more powerful than you think.
To me, The New Outdoor means a better way to approach spending time outside in general. In the old outdoor, there was little inclusion and there was always a mission. The older you get, and specifically when you have kids, this all starts to change.
What has changed specifically in my life is setting priorities that focus primarily on spending time outside in a more meaningful way, which for me is spending time outside together as a family. When I went from professional athlete to a family man, the adrenaline chase of competitive skiing changed to the thrill of finding a way to be outside with the people I love the most, as often as possible.
My family has chosen a path that keeps us close to the land. I feel like we are losing this connection as a society, and both my wife and I want to raise children that understand the importance of this connection, and educate them and give them the tools to thrive in the outdoors.
As I was on the hunt to find a brand that I felt aligned with this path, I was at a loss. There are SO many brands that are sport-specific and extremely technical, which is fine when you are a professional at the top of your game, but that is not me any more. To me, Topo was the brand that I felt most deeply connected with, both from a product and a philosophical standpoint.
Their clothing and gear is everyday clothing for me and my family. It has great style, yet it is incredibly functional and durable. As a brand, Topo is approachable, kind, open, and simplified. They approach their passion for the outdoors in the same manner as I do. They believe it doesn't matter what you are doing. What matters is that you spend lots of quality time living a life close to the land.
Keep up with Kina and his family on Instagram at @beyondland_roadtrip.