“It’s all about exploration,” claims carpenter and snowmaker Rob Paulsen from Leadville, CO, the highest included town in the U.S. There he is effective nine months a year—sometimes 80 hours a week—so he can pay for getting the other a few months off to vacation. Involving shifts or throughout his restricted cost-free time, Paulsen, who rocks a mullet and a lacking front tooth, goes out in the wild just about every chance he will get.

Paulsen claims his nomad way of life goes back to his youth, in which he grew up in a military services loved ones, and it was popular for him to shift all-around. He put in the very first 10 years of his life in San Diego from there he moved to Japan for two yrs, and for the upcoming 10 yrs he lived in upstate New York. His career has taken him to Hood River, Oregon and Leadville.

Doing work to get to the outside

November is the start of snowmaking season, which signifies that on weekends he prepares the area slopes for opening day at Breckenridge Ski Vacation resort, in which he’ll perform all night. He’ll then head to his carpenter day position at Downstream Building. He’s also starting his individual development business enterprise. Stacking perform is only temporary—snowmaking season only lasts two months—but the more coin he makes goes far when it arrives to adventuring in the wild.

“I perform for a business that puts a superior benefit on way of life, so they are awesome with me getting a thirty day period off or getting 5 times off for a kayaking expedition. I just take a spend minimize for it, but it’s really worth it so I can do the issues I benefit.”

Residing the outdoor way of life

And the adventures stack up, with images showing him charging Course V rapids in his creekboat, head planted firmly ahead as he drops into waterfalls. Others clearly show a entire grin wrapping all-around his 26-12 months-aged confront, shirtless with a cold brew in hand, his mullet poking out in all directions. To Paulsen, it’s not plenty of to recreate in the sports he enjoys it’s all about living and respiration the way of life.

Rob Paulsen
Rob Paulsen

“Mullets are a thing in whitewater kayaking, an identifying mark. It is a person of people fringe sports in which every person is a little bit out there. It is what climbing was 30 yrs in the past,” he claims, referring to the hippies that brought medicine and the rock & roll way of life to Yosemite throughout the 1970s cost-free climbing revolution. Back again then, hardcore climbers wore white painters’ pants, paisley shirts, and headbands, and it wasn’t uncommon for them to just take LSD (as witnessed in Valley Rebellion). Paulsen claims that the identical counterculture adventure athlete vibe is alive today in adventure kayaking, and which is his attract to the activity.


Identify: Rob Paulsen
Title: Professional Entertaining Hog, Expedition Kayaker, Backcountry Skier
Location: Leadville, Colorado, elevation 10,152 toes

Paulsen pond skimming in Taos, New Mexico
Paulsen pond skimming in Taos, New Mexico Ethan Kirk

How did you knock your tooth out?

I knocked it out throughout a solo mountain bike trip outside the house St. George, Utah. My confront was all bloodied. I was on my way to assembly up with pals in Vegas to climb. I crashed in advance of assembly them at the airport.

Acquired stitches, but the medical doctor could not save the tooth, and we even now ended up heading climbing. I climbed extensive routes even though on agony meds. I had a blast for the rest of the 7 days, even with my tooth lacking. When I knocked my tooth off two yrs in the past, I’ve rocked the Joe Dust appear ever because.

What is your perfect expedition kayak trip?

I do issues like a few-day Course V-moreover river kayaking journeys in grizzly bear territory, in which you are far from assistance if you do anything improper.

Any guidelines for audience on living a much more fulfilled outdoor way of life?

If you are attempting to stay a much more fulfilled outdoor way of life, you need to aim on that. If you stay in a major town and perform in a superior-strain position, perhaps examine in which you stay. It does not cost a good deal to stay this way of life you need to aim on obtaining there.

My precedence was seeking to do that, and I adopted that. I also figured out that you could do development any where. Which is why I dropped out of faculty following a few semesters and began operating development to get a steady paycheck. Immediately after a person 12 months of perform, I took my very first a few-thirty day period climbing and kayaking trip.

I believe that that if you want anything poor plenty of, you are going to determine out a way to make it happen. There is generally a way to obtain your ambitions it’s hardly ever far too late for a career transform it’s just hard perform.

Rob Paulsen camping in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, Montana
Rob Paulsen tenting in Hyalite Canyon in close proximity to Bozeman, Montana Ryan Wichelns

How do you fill your times?

When I get off at 3 p.m., I fill it—depends on the season and why I love Colorado—I get fired up about kayak season, mountain bike season, and then ski season. We have a Monday night kayaking group in the summers in which we have kayaking beer slaloms. Catch an eddy, drink a beer which is how it is effective.

I get up in advance of perform and go on a ski tour because the mountains are proper outside the house in which I stay.

How do you make it perform?

I’m a carpenter, I frame, do finish perform, and I do tile. Whatsoever it is, I try out to be excellent at it. You can generally do much more to much better by yourself. To pick up new abilities, I watch videos of execs in each perform and kayaking and climbing.

I lived in my truck 12 months-round for 4 yrs, from mid-2016 to mid-2020. This season I obtained a place in Leadville to structure development plans and start my individual business enterprise. But I even now just take my truck out on the weekends and sleep in the back. It is generally ready to go.

For access to special gear videos, superstar interviews, and much more, subscribe on YouTube!