At Overland Solar, we believe that the trail comes first. As adventurers, we strive every day to work with those as passionate as we are, to deliver the best in portable power solutions. Without further ado, we are excited to announce our new Brand Ambassador program and introduce Ryan Scavo!
If you were to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Wild Mountain Mama.
What drove your interest in the outdoors?
Ever since I was a kid, I was getting outside. My family encouraged it a lot. I’d go get outside, come home, and then get back out there. It helped I grew up in the hills of Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time rollerblading, scooting around, and exploring the woods and trails.
Is there someone in particular who inspired or encouraged you?
Both my parents and my older brother encouraged me, even Sam, my boyfriend at the time and husband now. We went camping and hiking on the weekends. It was a major part of my childhood.
How did your passion for fly fishing begin?
As a kid, my dad took me fishing occasionally – spin fishing actually. When I met Sam, he asked me if I wanted to try fly fishing. I was 18 or 19 at the time. One cast and I was hooked. In fact, I stole his rod and went by myself until I finally got my own set-up.
Do you remember your first hike?
My first backpacking experience was with my boyfriend at the time. The worst trip ever! The gear was heavy, it was hot, and it was buggy. One moment the sun was shining, next thing you know, the rain dumped down. It was a quintessential Pennsylvania trail. We came across different landscapes and experienced different weather. It was humid during the day, at night it was cool. That sold me. When I realized we can do this by Base Camping, we got ourselves a Jeep Wrangler and Subaru Outback.
And what is the best adventure you’ve been on?
For work, it would have to be my trip to King Salmon, Alaska. I got to take a little puddle jumper into Katmai National Park and talk with folks all about sustainability. On a personal level, it would have to be our trip to Puerto Rico and St. Croix - we explored the rainforest, ate delicious foods, and did some amazing fly fishing. Hooking into a tarpon with a fly is an unreal feeling!
The best photo you’ve captured?
We were on this 5-mile uphill ski through the San Juans, during the last ski trip of my pregnancy. I was mentally and physically preparing for a whole different dynamic.
Your go-to gear?
For any trip, it’s my Nikon D7200. It’s basically attached to my right hand. Apart from that, a solar panel, a water bottle, and we need the AeroPress so we can make coffee. You always need coffee.
What do solar panels mean to your adventuring?
They give us the power we need. I need my camera and phone. It’s almost like a lifeline, a resource to do what we love to do. Power. That’s why I love overlanding, the things you miss from home, you can bring with you. You can choose not to do them. But having the option is awesome.
What’s the most important thing you learned on the trail?
Patience. For sure. It’s one of the most important things. It’s not going to go the way you want it to go. You’ll have a lot of worries. Did I pack enough food? Did I bring the right layers? Why is this taking so long? You learn the need to be flexible.
How did having a kid change it?
It added a new level. We had two dogs so we were relatively settled. But we needed to figure out time, eating, diapers, scheduling everything right, what he needs to wear, his sleep system. It’s accommodating another small being. We can’t just grab our bikes and go anymore, but I'm ok with that because we’re able to expose the little dude to the things we love now, even if it takes an extra step. I hope he becomes an outdoorsy kid. He already has a bike addiction. He sits in his chariot and doesn’t want to get out!
One thing you would tell someone going into the backcountry for the first time?
Be patient with yourself, with your environment, and your gear. We don’t have it all the time. Be patient and have an open mind. You’ll learn things about that place and yourself. Every time I go, I learn something new, even if I go to the same place time and again, or with my child, I learn something new. Give patience to yourself and the people around you.
So many things! I’m going to one of the most iconic festivals in Colorado. Quintessential Bluegrass. Then I’m off on a road trip across the country with my family. I’m constantly thinking to myself: Who am I? What am I doing? And why am I here? I want to grow and have new adventures. I’m trying to grow my photography and grow my child and challenge him. And he challenges me.
You went skiing while pregnant, and also with your child. What would you tell women and moms who are passionate about adventuring but look at pregnancy and motherhood as limitations?
Believe in yourself. Believe in your child or children. Seek experience to empower the children you love and instil passion and appreciation. You can’t sugar-coat it. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be tough. As a woman, as an athlete, as a mom. I didn’t know what mom’ing really was, until I was in the thick of it changing dirty diaper in the backcountry. Believe in yourself as an outdoors’ woman. There’ll be ups and downs and challenges. But there’s going to be celebration. And it’s amazing.
We’re very excited to be working with Ryan wish her a warm welcome!
You can check out more of Ryan’s work in the links below!
Skiing While Pregnant: http://www.outdoorwomensalliance.com/backcountry-skiing-while-pregnant/
Badass Moms in the Backcountry: https://www.coalitionsnow.com/blogs/tips/badass-moms-in-the-backcountry