Brian Heifferon grew up in the sand and surf of southern California, taking family trips up north to the mountains and forests for camping excursions. It was those trips—those essential moments of connection outside with those close to him—that planted the seed of his love for the outdoors.
It’s no surprise then that even now, being outside is just a necessary part of life for Brian. But he isn’t just dedicated to his own time outside; Brian’s goal is to help others satisfy their craving for adventure. He thinks that what stops people from trying new things outside isn’t a lack of desire, rather a lack of access to knowledge and skills. Brian’s passion to provide these people with information about where to go, what to bring, and what to expect led him to co-found The Outbound Collective. The Outbound is an interactive, community-driven platform that helps you discover the best outdoor adventures and provides you with all the information you need to get outdoors.
As The Outbound’s community has grown into the millions, Brian and his team have consistently received the same feedback: members were still feeling too intimidated to try new outdoor activities. They’d always dreamed of trying something, but didn’t know where to start. Enter the Pursuit Series. These three-day, all-inclusive outdoor camps, founded by Brian and his partners Tyler Drake, Julia Stamps Mallon, and Bart Davis, allow participants to try their hand at over 200 different outdoor activities and classes, no matter their previous skill level. Experienced guides and professional athletes take the reins, allowing participants to sit back, listen, learn, and explore whatever appeals to them. The series debuted in 2017 with events at the Snowbasin resort 45 minutes north of Salt Lake City in Utah and in Sanborn County Park near San Francisco.
There are more activities than time available to do them all at the Pursuit Series; below is just a small sampling of what’s on the menu. Utah photos in top row by Clare Healy (@clarebhealy); Califronia photos in bottom row by Për Jerner (@perjerner)
Brian believes that adventuring, and learning new outdoor activities, just shouldn’t be so hard. Now, because of the Pursuit Series, it’s not. Whether you’re a beginner or expert looking to improve—in mountain biking, backpacking, slacklining, rock climbing, fly fishing, you name it—the Pursuit Series welcomes you with open arms. There’s expert-level instruction in all introductory and intermediate classes for every activity, so everyone can try anything, no strings attached.
Some of our very own Gearheads were invited to the Series to bring their expertise to the table, running bike repair clinics and leading night riding and hiking outings. They connected with participants, and shared their knowledge, and of course, had a great time doing it. In the same way the Series seeks to forge human connection, so do our Gearheads. The Pursuit Series offered the ultimate outlet through which to cultivate that.
Gearhead Connor Johnson shows a Pursuit Series participants some of the ins and outs of mountain bike tuning, below.
While discovering a new outdoor passion through the Pursuit Series would be a wonderful end result (and this is often the case), these events aren’t just about getting good at something over the course of a weekend. They’re about immersing yourself in something new and creating genuine connection. The Pursuit Series creates a community of people who love the outdoors, yes … but perhaps more importantly, it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t know one another, who wouldn’t have these experiences together, and makes them into an inextricable network of outdoor allies.
Brian’s goal has always been to create a community among curious explorers, and that’s exactly what he’s doing with the Outbound Collective and the Pursuit Series. Cultivating this outdoor-driven reality by basing it in an accessible, wide range of activities—that’s how the seed gets planted. Then, when the knowledge has been shared, connections have been made, and all is said and done, it’s time to let that seed grow.