Dulkara Martig is a woman enamoured with outdoor adventure. She hikes, rides, runs, paddles, eats, drinks and sleeps in the outdoors whenever possible – and it seems like it’s pretty much always possible. Born on the West Coast and bred in Nelson, New Zealand Dulkara is everything a Macpac ambassador should be: authentic, capable, and perhaps above all, eager to spread her infectious love of the natural world to as many people who will listen. We threw a few probing questions her way to see how she’d handle the heat
Let’s start with a hard one – how old are you?
Where are you from?
Nelson, New Zealand.
Can you describe yourself in 50 words or less.
I love backcountry huts and rivers, bikes and boats… and mango lassis. I’m happy wandering around with grizzly bears but I’m afraid of dancing in public! You’ll usually find me bush-bashing, scrambling up a mountain or immersed in a creative project. I have a special toe.
Nice – and with 5 words to spare. What’s your earliest memory of an outdoor adventure?
Walking the Croesus Track when I was 5 years old. We lived in the Paparoa Ranges so it was right on our doorstep. I stopped walking several times along the way and sat down on the track to write about the adventure.
You’re a multi-discipline wilderness adventurer… how did you get such a broad skill set, and how would you recommend someone gets involved with the types of stuff you get up to if it’s their first time?
I’ve always dabbled in many things – whitewater and sea kayaking, hiking, light mountaineering, skiing, mountain biking. When I got into packrafting it was a way to combine many activities on one trip. That’s what really inspired me to go on multi-discipline journeys. If you slowly build up a base of skills in different sports then things tend to evolve naturally from there. I think the key thing is finding like-minded people – friends who are excited by the same sorts of trips. Always be aware of your limits… the learning never stops.
What do you love about being a Macpac ambassador?
I’m excited to be involved with a brand that has its roots in New Zealand, to build on the stories and outdoor culture in my backyard. Most of my first gear was Macpac. I was obsessed with purple as a kid. I had a sweet purple Macpac sleeping bag and backpack.
What piece of Macpac kit do you never leave home without?
My Pisa Jacket. It’s my favourite insulating layer… super cozy but doesn’t compromise movement at all.
Tell us about your best day in the outdoors in 50 words or less.
Summer solstice in Alaska. We saw lightning set the tundra on fire, camped next to a beaver dam and watched two grizzly bears plod off into the distance. The next day we arrived at the junction of two major valleys and saw thousands of caribou stream past us. Then we packrafted down a beautiful river with splashes of bright red salmon running upstream.
Who’s on your fantasy dinner party guest list?
My dream dinner party is actually just with a bunch of my closest friends from different parts of the world. We would meet in a Himalayan village and eat curry and butter roti and drink chai. Or maybe we would just eat quesadillas at Ghost Lake Hut!
If the world was about to end, where would we find you, what would you be doing, and who would you be with?
Soaking up golden hour in the mountains outside a backcountry hut with a couple of good mates. Somewhere like Adelaide Tarn Hut, the Copland Shelter or Esquilant Bivvy. We’d probably be drinking tea and eating gingernuts!
How would you sum up your approach to life?
I follow my curiosities and chase things that excite me, often initiating projects and creating unique opportunities. I consciously live in a way that feels authentic to me as opposed to living the way others expect me to. When I’m on long journeys in the wilderness I feel happiest and most alive.
Feature image source: Dom Channon