An interview with Jesse Maloney


What outdoor activity is your passion?
I love to explore. I pore over satellite images and try to find new and exciting places to explore that are off the beaten path - or off any path at all. There are so many amazing places that are out there but very few people ever find. Once I discover a new location, I enjoy trading the beta with other adventurers.


How did you get involved in that activity, and how old were you when you started?
While on a solo trip along Lake Superior in my 20s, I turned down a nondescript dirt road. It led to a beautiful beach and island that I’d never seen before. The road was public but the land was private mining land. I snuck in and scaled the 40ft palisades to the top of the island. I was awestruck at how untouched and serene it was up there. I thought to myself, “If this is here and no one knows about it, how many other places like this are out there?!” There are many.


What was the most epic trip you’ve ever taken?
I was on a small group trip in the Wind River Range in WY, we were supposed to meet a friend in the wilderness but our group fell behind schedule due to altitude sickness. I went ahead solo to find our friend. We agreed to meet at a more obscure lake (Little Papoose - saw it on satellite). I left the path and hiked through a boulder field and over a half mile of 45* scree to get to it. I made a fire on a large flat rock in the lake and took a refreshing bath. As the sun set, I laid down next to the warmth of the fire. I was encircled by jubilant blue mountains backlit by a fuchsia sky. The colors were psychedelic. That solo commune with the beyond was very memorable.


What is the most important piece of gear in your pack? (other than AKU footwear, of course!)
My mini portable auto flush coin-operated toilet with wipe dispenser; you can make a killing if you travel with the right people. Just kidding! Relax! My knife I guess. It has been like a loyal inanimate dog.


Where do you hope your AKUs will take you in the future?
I am a big fan of cold weather climates (Norway, Canada, Siberia, etc.) and really respect the cultures found there within. I would be interested in chit-chatting with some of the inhabitants. South America keeps singing like a siren in my ears. I love the Quechua people. In the near future, I’ll most likely be going back to Europe next year. This summer, I will be crossing the country (U.S.) with stops at Black Hills, Big Horn Mountains, Wind River Range, and Moab.


What AKU boots are you currently wearing?
Tengu Lite GTX. I’m doing my best to shred them but they withstand everything I throw at them!