Chris Johnson - Wilderness First Responder

On most days you'll find Chris staffing our apparel department, though he can cross departments and offer sound advice around the store. He's been working his magic here since the fall of 2008. He's a versatile guy who recently became Hoigaard's footwear buyer. His first goal as the new buyer is to increase our focus on technical footwear to support the camping and paddlesports departments. That said, he promises to continue with a good mix of the casual sandals and shoes long popular at Hoigaard's.   

Chris has some serious credentials as a camping/paddlesport professional. He has ventured north to the Boundary Waters (and beyond) every summer since 1993. His base of operations since '98 has been the YMCA Camp Widjiwagan on Burntside Lake where for the past 7 years he has been a trip leader, guiding fledglings into remote wilderness settings. We're talking arctic river trips and mountain backpacking treks beyond any communication or access to the outside world - and he hasn't lost a camper (yet). It helps that he is trained as a Wilderness First Responder - he can deal with those little emergencies that crop up from time to time.

When he is not guiding others and if the water levels cooperate Chris is a devotee of whitewater canoeing and kayaking. He can perform a mean eskimo roll. When in town he is a cyclist and bike commuter.

It's rare to see Chris without a cup of good coffee in his hand, so it's not suprising that coffee is the the first thing on his "list of favorites". Beyond coffee he mentions hops (home grown, in his case), portaging (most canoe campers prefer the part between the portages) and the crossbow draw (for those who are "Canoe" literate). His favorite piece of camping gear is the Backwood Bistro Coffee Press.

When asked about his least favorite things he vilifies humidity, macro-beer, inefficiency and potholes. He would go on if we gave him more room.

For hobbies at home he's an avid gardener and cook (using home grown vegies and herbs) and he belongs to the growing cadre of Hoigaard's home brewers, producing quality beers with his home-grown hops. If it's not a cup of coffee in his hand, it's likely to be a pint of home brew.