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What Others Are Saying About Reach Your Summit
I would highly recommend Mat (Reach Your Summit) as a backpacking guide. I have been a car camper and hiker for years, but had never done any backpacking. Once I decided to give backpacking a try I realized I still had a lot to learn. To get a jumpstart on my learning I decided to sign up for one of Mat’s “Backpacking Fundamentals” guided trips. My main goals were to learn the basic skills I would need to be comfortable going on a multiday backpacking trip, get an understanding of gear options and the right gear for me, and gain confidence through experience. There is no doubt that all of my goals were met or exceed on my trip with Mat.
The one thing I was most surprised about was how much of the value of working with Mat and learning started way before we got out on the trail. Going through the planning process Mat provided a ton of information from his experience and always answered my questions promptly. Being able to borrow some gear from Mat helped out too since there were some things that I was not sure about buying before I tried them out. Mat’s blogs were also a great source of information. Leading up to the trip I felt fully prepared and ready to learn more on the trail.
As the date of the trip approached the forecast was for rain much of the time and the rest of the group canceled. Mat being the true professional that he is did not cancel the trip even when I was the only one left. His words were basically “I’m committed if you are” and when I said I still wanted to go there was no hesitation on his part and I never felt as if he would have preferred to cancel under the circumstances.
Once on the trail the learning was nearly continuous. Mat readily shares his vast knowledge and experience throughout the trip and by the end I had definitely gained the confidence I was looking for. Signing up for a guided trip was well worth the investment. It would have taken me many hours of additional research and some difficult learning on the trail to gain the knowledge I did from working with Mat on one trip. Mat clearly has a passion for what he does and is dedicated to connecting others to the outdoors so they can enjoy them as much as he does. That energy and focus comes through from the day you sign up through the end of the trip. - Andrew
I met Mat from Reach Your Summit at an REI. Talking with him I told him that I would like to do some hiking, but I was very concerned about my back because I had back surgery. He explained to me that with the right backpack, shoes and other gear I would be able to hike and enjoy the outdoors. One of the things that he said to me that made a lot of sense was "hike your hike." I was not fully convinced, but after some thinking and watching many of his YouTube videos I decided to give Mat a call. We set up an appointment to meet for a consultation. At our private meeting we discussed all my concerns and options. After he answered my 1,000 questions, many e-mails, texts and phone calls, I made up my mind to give it a try.
I met up with Mat where he helped me to pick out the appropriate backpack that was best for me in size and comfort. He also advised me how to choose other items that I would need for hiking that would keep my backpack load lighter in weight.
The day of the hike we met at the trailhead parking lot, he went over my gear list. He showed me how to pack a backpack. As we hiked he was constantly focused with how I was doing and answering any questions that I had. He was teaching me the fundamentals of backpacking. He would slow down and give me time to rest when I needed it. Assuring me that we would get to the camp area and not to worry. His professionalism and knowledge is outstanding. I had a great time. I was very happy that with his help I was able to achieve something that I thought I could never do "HIKE". I highly recommend Mat to anyone who wants to hike, but are not so sure or anyone that wants to learn all about hiking. I do not have enough words to express my gratitude. All I can say is, THANK YOU MAT! - Lino
My husband and I went on the Tunxis Trail Backpacking Fundamentals Trip with Mat and it was totally worth it for us. My husband and I had plenty of hiking experience and plenty of camping experience, but we didn’t know how to combine both into a backpacking trip. We are planning on doing a section of the AT next year. So we decided, since this wasn’t our expertise, we’d go to the expert, Mat Jobin at Reach Your Summit. We wanted to reduce the number of mistakes we’d make, if we did the planning ourselves. We were not disappointed!! Mat sent us a spreadsheet which helped us determine what we had, what we didn’t have and what we needed. He taught us not to pack for ‘fear’ or ‘what ifs’ because that would just add unnecessary weight. We went back and forth via email until we completely understood the process and finally came up with the appropriate backpack and gear list for our trip. Mat was very patient with us, explaining both sides of the spectrum, but ultimately letting us make the final decision. The first thing he taught us was how to pack our backpack. We stopped at an overlook and he taught us how to use our compass and maps properly. He taught us blister control, camp site selection and bear bag hanging. He let us borrow the items we didn’t have for the trip, so we could test it out in the field. We each had a different stove, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, water filtration. He provided meals for us. He taught us how to use everything and talked about the pros and cons to each. We left the trip feeling more comfortable with purchasing future items and the knowledge we gained with Mat. We couldn’t have done it without him. We recommend going with Mat on any of his trips! - Donna
Reach Your Summit's Backpacking Fundamentals Trip was very well organized, thought out and planned. I consider it a value in that gear was provided to try and multiple options were given and everyone was given an opportunity to try everything. It was also very informative! I feel more educated and prepared for trips like this in the future. The trails were great and challenging. It was in a beautiful area of the state that I didn’t realize was there. Overall it was a great experience and I will keep great memories of it for a long time. I’m very interested in future trips with Mat! His knowledge and understanding of all things hiking are really inspiring, and his passion for what he does is evident with hearing his history and all of the things he is involved in in the outdoors. This trip was a great success and I would absolutely recommend Reach Your Summit to anyone interested in getting outside. Thanks again! - Dan
My recommendation is without reservation. Mat’s communication from beginning to end was a cut above the rest. He is responsive, considerate, informative and inclusive. If you are looking for a conscientious adventure...you found it! - Mireille
I had the most tremendous experience. Mat is very skilled in everything outdoors and was quick to point out things on the trail. I felt that I have gained more knowledge in camping and feel more confident in my abilities to start planning overnight thru hikes. I would highly recommend the fundamental skills training for anyone who would like to develop the foundation to build upon for further hiking/camping experiences. I plan to go on future trips with Reach Your Summit to continue to expand my hiking/backpacking adventures. Thanks Mat for the greatest experience. You rock! - Annmarie
Just spent a wonderful weekend backpacking trip at Mount Moosilauke. This was my first hiking/camping trip and I learned a great deal. Mat is very knowledgeable and phenomenal to learn from - the detailed planning upfront before the trip is very helpful, and he is extremely patient and accommodating throughout the trip. Mat's passion and great appreciation of nature is infectious and I am grateful for the experience. I would highly recommend Mat and I look forward to my next trip with Reach Your Summit! - Rita
I went on Mat's January 1st hike to Mt Race this year. He is a great leader, came prepared to deal with various skill levels and brought extra supplies and snacks. I had been wanting to hike Greylock for awhile so I grabbed some friends and asked Mat to plan our day. He picked a great route for us, challenging us without discouraging anyone. He was super supportive, full of valuable information and ready with a backup plan when an unpredicted storm showed up. An all around great guide, I look forward to hiking with him again! - Tracy
Great detailed planning, personalized instruction from a very experienced guide. There was a focus on a great experience but Mat was also mindful of safety first and foremost. It was an outstanding weekend. I had a blast! - Scott
My girl Judy had a great time this weekend !!!
She learned more in the two days then she could have learned from reading or by trial and error for months. She left not sure about being out on her own but after this weekend couldn't be more motivated and looking forward to hitting the outdoors and trails again soon !!! - Jim
Just came back from an amazing Appalachian Trail trip! A BIG shout out to Mat @ Reach Your Summit for preparing us. With the skills you taught us, we arrived at the trail head fearless and empowered. Two women - a nurse and business women with no outdoor expertise. You gave us the knowledge and encouragement to take on and most importantly enjoy this backpacking trip. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us the tools and skills to fearlessly "walk in the woods". You have opened doors to new adventures and experiences I've not ever known. - Bambi
I went on the spring equinox hike of Bear Mountain today. Mat was courteous, well provisioned, and extremely knowledgeable. He was able to tailor the pace of the hike to incorporate the abilities of every hiker in the group. All in all it was a highly enjoyable experience and I can't wait to join in another Reach Your Summit hike! - Danielle
Mat has been our hiking guide for an annual hiking excursion I take every fall in the Berkshires. He is extremely good at what he does! He is so good, I wanted to introduce my love of hiking to my family and thought he would be the best person to guide us on a post-Xmas hike. We hiked up Alander Mountain, which was slightly challenging but very doable for my husband and son who are relatively new to hiking. Mat's knowledge about hiking in general, as well as hiking in the northeast, is extensive. He is thoroughly prepared and carefully tailors the trip to suit the skill and fitness level of the group. To top it off, he supplied us with the most delicious homemade dried bananas, as well as hot chocolate once we reached the spectacular summit. I highly recommend Mat to anyone who loves to hike, and even to those new to hiking who want to have a safe and informative introduction. I can't imagine a better hiking guide than Mat! - Penny
Attended the first ever CT National Trails Weekend hiking and camping trip last weekend. Mat was a fantastic leader - happy to share his vast knowledge of the trails and motivated us the entire way! I would definitely take another trip with Reach Your Summit again!! - Sabina
Fantastic guide! Very knowledgeable and informative! - Jeremy
We went on a guided hike of Bear Mountain with Mat. From start to finish it was great. Any supplies we may have need Mat had including snacks, bug spray, and even hiking poles. Throughout the day he passed along a wealth of knowledge and could pretty much answer any questions you may have or offer suggestions about gear and technique. We had a great day and learned a lot! - Joe
On National Trails Day (CT Trails Weekend), Mat led a group on the first ever backpacking event. This was a fabulous (and challenging) opportunity, and his guidance and support leading up to and on the adventure was stellar. Mat offers personal attention, so much information, is optimistic, motivating, passionate and, most importantly, fun. Personally, I learned so much from Reach Your Summit and about myself. Would join any RYS adventure again in a heartbeat! Thanks Mat! - Sue
Booked an adventure (AT overnight to Bear Mountain) with Reach your Summit after attending a "Fundamentals of Backpacking" course hosted by Mat. Hoping to get my pack weight down a few pounds and get a refresh on my batteries of basic hiking/backpacking skills. Mat far exceed the info I thought I knew and brought me up to speed. Not only on the basics, but the newest and lightest gear out there. And the proper way of implementing it in the field. With Mat's knowledge and attention to details we were able to drop close to 15 lbs of my pack weight. Made my back, legs and knees happy on our trip. Mat is an amazing guide and a true outdoorsman. Making sure to emphasize to our group about the "Leave No Trace" guidelines. All the time allowing us to make the decisions throughout the trip and only suggesting when he needed to to keep us safe and happy. You see, our trip was originally planned to be an AT overnight to Mt Greylock. But the day before our trip Mother Nature intervened and brought some really nasty weather forecasts to that area. Mat reached out to the group and informed us of this and a alternative trip...if we all agreed. Good thing we listened to the professional advice of our 8 yr guide because with our change of trip location we avoided high winds, torrential rain, hail and a miserable experience. We had beautiful weather, no bugs and an adventure to last a life time. Can't wait til next year to join in on another adventure. Thanks for doing what you do, Mat. - Darin
Just wanted to say thank you for leading my 3 day backpacking fundamentals trip in the White Mountains on Mount Moosilauke in New Hampshire. What made this trip a great experience for me involved our daily immersion in being on the Appalachian Trail and staying at the designated campsites with all its natural beauty and history, along with meeting so many thru-hikers, whether north bound or south bound or sectional. The hikers are so positive and friendly that you can make an immediate connection with them.
Moreso, I really enjoyed your dedication to helping our group become better hikers/backpackers through sharing your knowledge and experience while being so informative and enthusiastic. You always remained supportive and encouraging to those of us who are not as comfortable as you are.
In closing, I have come to realize you are a younger generation Mister Rogers of the Outdoors: allowing others to share your genuine love of nature and all that it has to offer us. I can only wish you the best and continued success in your mission to help others enjoy similar experiences in the great outdoors! - Mike
We went on a hike in the McLean Game Refuge last weekend with Mat and it was great. The hike itself is fairly an easy one with a gradual rise to the summit and it's only the last stretch that leaves you panting and puffing!! Mat was our guide and he had excellent knowledge of the area, wildlife and also is very interesting to chat with on a host of topics besides the hike itself. It was a glorious day for hiking and Mat introduced us to a lovely new area for hiking. Thanks.. - Haripriya
I’ve been on multiple guided hikes with Mat this year. My trips are always safe, enjoyable and informative. I have also made some wonderful friends on our adventures. Nature is where I feel the most at peace and I am really glad I have stumbled across Reach Your Summit's offerings in our beautiful state. I am looking forward to getting involved in many more excursions in the future. Thanks Mat! - Patricia
"Mat thank you for all of your knowledge. I feel so much better prepared for our upcoming section AT hike. Your integrity, patience, and skill make you a wonderful teacher of nature and survival. Grateful for a great weekend in the woods!!" - Judy
Absolutely recommend!!! Mat took us up Mount Greylock last June and he made the trip absolutely the best! It was my first summit of such a high peak and his patience, encouragement and guidance really made this challenging hike an amazing experience! - Marie
I had the pleasure of taking the AT Backpacking Fundamentals Trip with Mat in August 2017. First, Mat is a warm, engaging and knowledgeable guide. He has such a wonderful enthusiasm for the outdoors and it is a joy to be in his company. I took this trip to learn some basic map reading and compass skills and to experience my first overnight trip with an experienced guide. The trip far exceeded my hopes and I was able to accomplish things I never thought I could. Mat was there every step --encouraging and supporting me on adventure and meeting me where my skills set was and challenging me to give a little more. I gave this trip to myself on the occasion of my 57th birthday. My son is out hiking the PCT and I wanted to challenge myself and experience a little of what life is like for my son. As Mat has thru hiked the AT, he had wonderful insights and stories to share about his hiking experiences while also relating them to our journey. I cannot recommend Mat enough. I learned so much and he is just one of the nicest people you will ever meet. It was a wonderful time! - Maureen
Many thanks to RYS, especially Mat for all the seminars, workshops and hikes he has lead and that I have been able to attend. Mat is very informative and knowledgeable. Whether he knows this or not, Mat’s leadership and guidance has helped rebuild my confidence to get back out on the trails. My sincerest gratitude. Thank you Mat! - Sue P.
I give Mat's Backpacking Fundamentals Clinic a thumbs up, excellent. The program was very informative whether you were a day hiker, thru-hiker, or just a periodic trail walker. Mat's presentation style is non-judgmental, interactive and comprehensive. - Michael
Mat provided a lot of great information about the New England Trail and gear suggestions. The seminar was interesting and Mat was very encouraging in getting attendees involved. - Tessa
I attended Reach Your Summit's Hiking New England's Long Trails Seminar. I loved the information about the North/South Trail and other regional trails. I also really liked the organized way the presentation was done and appreciated Mat's wealth of knowledge on the subject matter. - Sue B.
Harper's Bazaar - What You Should Know About Forest Bathing
Listen to Reach Your Summit guide & owner, Mat Jobin's, live radio interview from 6/27/17 discussing all things outdoors with host Suzanne Thompson on her show CT Outdoors. Click the PLAY button below to hear the full interview:
Listen to Reach Your Summit guide & owner, Mat Jobin's, live podcast conversation with Ryan O'Malley of To Summit Up. We discuss backpacking, long distance trails, LNT, diversity and equality in the outdoors, National Trails Day and all things outdoors. Click The Episode Title Above to hear the full podcast.
Listen to Reach Your Summit guide & owner, Mat Jobin's, live podcast conversation with Ryan O'Malley of To Summit Up. We discuss the Allegheny 100, backpacking tips, overcoming challenges on a thru-hike, opportunities for growth in the outdoors and more. Click The Episode Title Above to hear the full podcast.