About Me

My name is Nathan Menkveld. I have lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan my entire life and now attend Calvin College. I have always loved being outdoors, but growing up, I was much more focused on contact sports – I like to play rough.  Unfortunately, after many injuries (including breaking both knees and permanently shifting my clavicle slightly out of place) I am no longer able to play the sports I grew up loving.

In need of a new focus for my extracurricular activities, I signed up for Calvin College’s Wilderness Orientation Program. This was my first back-country experience, which took me to ­­Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. My childhood interest in the outdoors, which had taken me whitewater rafting, hiking, and rock climbing, transformed into a passion that is taking me all over the country and soon internationally, in order to explore my interest in greater depth. My favorite outdoor activities are backpacking, rock climbing, and white water rafting/kayaking but I enjoy nearly any activity that will bring me outside.

My first trip to Algonquin Park took place the summer of 2010, and since then my love for the outdoors has significantly impacted my life. I have received training from the AMGA in Joshua Tree, CA, earned my Wilderness First Response Certification in Flagstaff, AZ, and gained a Swift Water Rescue certification in Costa Rica. I have led numerous trips that have taken groups to Michigan, Tennessee,and North Carolina and have co-led a trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. I don’t know quite what it is but something inside of me comes to life when I am on the trail or standing atop a cliff.

I am currently one of the guides for Calvin’s Wilderness Orientation program and have an internship as a Software Engineer at Burke Porter Machinery Company. My activities allow me to practice my hard-skills as I teach others techniques to improve their abilities and to hone my soft-skills as I interact with many people on a daily basis and often need to manage groups of people.

Reasons for the Blog
I started this blog to begin to establish a presence in the outdoor recreation world.

I am planning to major at Calvin College in Computer Science with a minor in Business. I also plan to take a NOLS leadership course and certification. I would like to have this on-going project to document my experiences and help me share them with others. I also am hoping that this blog will open new opportunities for me, so please subscribe to this blog and tell your friends about it as well. Every person who visits this site helps it to gain legitimacy and helps me to establish myself. I hope you enjoy the site, now go take a look around!

P.S. I love comments and shares – so please feel free to leave your thoughts and click the buttons below my posts to share content!


12 responses to “Bio

  1. Todd

    27 September 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Awesome job Nate!

  2. Hertel

    3 October 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Looks like you are in your native environment!
    Dick H

  3. thebigoutside

    19 October 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Hey Nathan, thanks for the compliments. I’ve thought about linking with blogs but don’t have any plans right now. I’ll keep track of you, though, and keep this in mind.

    • Nathan Menkveld

      19 October 2011 at 4:51 PM

      Sounds great. I look forward to reading more of your adventures as my schedule allows.

  4. ucanpreschool

    20 October 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Impressive plans for the future are bound to lead you to greater places in life, mind, and spirit. Great photos!

  5. walkingthewalk2012

    26 October 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Hey man, decided to jump on over to your site when you posted on mine the other day. You’ve done some cool trips for sure, hope to get to do some of them in my future as well!

  6. An Antiquarian's Personage

    1 January 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I wish I were as involved in the outdoors! 🙂

  7. An Antiquarian's Personage

    1 January 2012 at 8:24 PM

    P.S. Thank you for the compliment 🙂 very appreciated!

  8. xidneyxhin

    12 March 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I like your personality!.. 🙂

    • Nathan Menkveld

      12 March 2012 at 8:50 PM

      Thank you very much! Also thank you for visiting my blog, i will be sure to stop by yours as well

  9. 72andrising

    22 March 2012 at 9:24 PM


    I am the publishing editor of 72&Rising Magazine, a magazine dedicated to all things water. The magazine covers everything from wildlife and conservation, science and research, people and cultures to photography, travel and adventure.

    We are currently in the process of redoing our website where we hope to have submissions from a wide range of people that love and are involved in water in all its forms. I recently came across your blog and wondered if you might be interested in contributing an article with images to our site? We would of course include a link back to your website.

    Many thanks

    • Nathan Menkveld

      22 March 2012 at 10:52 PM

      I would love to. I will send an e-mail your way shortly! Thanks!


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