Growing up in Chicago, Evan Chartier never knew what it was like to enjoy the backcountry. A veteran of the Israeli military, he spent his first years night hiking with an exceptionally heavy pack and no headlamp. However, Evan had a persistent dream for two years to spend a night alone in the woods. This dream became a reality the first day after he left the military, when Evan found himself trudging along Israel’s Sea to Sea trail with a heavy 70 liter Tatonka pack and a bright orange trash bag jacket. After completing the trail, he decided to hike the Israel National Trail with a group of friends. Two months, 600 miles, and a pair of leather boots later, Evan met the hiker that would change his life: Tom Fisher. Evan ran into this goofy cowboy one day in 2009, towards the end of the Israel National Trail, and Tom placed a pair of Gossamer Gear LT 4s into his open palm. “Meet me at the end of the trail. And ditch all your stuff.”
Four days later and roughly 30 pounds lighter, Evan became infected with the ultralight bug. It took a year until he finally made it to Campo, California, where he began a 5 month trek North on the PCT only to be caught just shy of Canada when classes began at Colgate University. Two weeks into classes Evan was accepted into Colgate’s Outdoor Education staff program and began a year of intense training. After becoming a WFR and learning to teach rock climbing, ice climbing, winter camping, backcountry cooking, and a number of other courses, Evan worked with the director of Outdoor Education to establish Colgate’s lightweight backpacking program. During his first year Evan co-led the first ever Spring Break Smoky Mountain lightweight backpacking trip, the first lightweight backpacking pre-orientation trip for incoming first years, and an ultralight backpacking seminar. Evan has continued to lead all three of these trips annually, and he has also taken on a staff position in Colgate’s Outdoor Education Rental Center where he maintains and repairs all types of outdoor equipment.
Home: Hamilton, NY
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Upper Staff at Colgate University Outdoor Education and Rental Center
Favorite Training Grounds: Between trips Evan tries to get to the Adirondacks as often as possible. Although he aspires to become a 46’er someday, he cannot ignore his favorite peaks Haystack and Dix and usually ends up hiking them first.
Current Plans: This summer Evan plans to spend several weekends in the White Mountains, an area that he has yet to fully explore. In August he will lead the lightweight backpacking pre-orientation trip to the Adirondacks for the third time. In early Fall 2013, Evan will most likely lead a lightweight backpacking seminar for his fellow staff members in the Lake George area. Evan is most excited for a long term project that he is currently working on, a secret international trip with a $10,000 grant given to Colgate Outdoor Education, but he cannot release those plans at the moment (he is sure that his staff member friends will read this bio page). Evan is also exploring the possibility of moving his Spring Break Ultralight Backpacking Physical Education course from the Smoky Mountains, where he has led for three years in a row, to somewhere in the SouthWest. Hopefully the Spring will give him another opportunity to teach ultralight skills to his fellow Outdoor Education staff members.