We had the good fortune of connecting with Karina Benninger and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think that risk is an inherent part of our everyday lives whether we choose to recognize that or not. You take risks by taking on a challenge because you might fail, but you also take a risk by doing nothing at all – you risk remaining stagnant or missing out on something you really want.

I am the kind of person who has always been fairly risk-adverse, but if it feels right, I will take a calculated risk. I would say that for most of my life I have avoided risk, but as I have gotten older I’ve realized that I can’t wait forever to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. It’s now or never – if I don’t take the risks to get or do the things I’ve always wanted, I may never get the chance.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a content creator in the outdoors space on social media. I’ve been running my Instagram account, @kb.hikes, for almost three years. What started as a way for me to share my hiking photos with a like-minded group of people, turned into a giant community of outdoor enthusiasts who love the natural world and who want to work together to protect our natural spaces.

I’m excited about being part of this community because for so long I considered myself a beginner hiker and felt that I could really help other beginner hikers learn everything they needed to know about spending time in the outdoors simply by sharing my own experiences in an authentic way.

I remember the first time I recorded a video of myself speaking to the camera with the intention to post it to my stories. I was so nervous because I am the type of person who prefers to be behind the camera, doing the behind-the-scenes work. However, I knew that if I didn’t show my face, and show my personality to the community, nobody would care what I had to say. So I recorded my first video while out on the trail, albeit awkwardly, and shared it to my profile and didn’t check it again for a couple of hours! When I logged back on I saw messages of support and agreement and comments about the shared experience of hiking – and I realized that while it was a risk, it was a risk worth taking because it opened up so many more opportunities to share my stories with an audience that values the same things I do.

I hope to continue sharing my hiking and outdoor stories with fellow outdoors-people and I hope to inspire people to enjoy and protect nature!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in upstate New York and I would absolutely bring my best friend up to the Adirondack Mountains to spend a week. We would stay at a beautiful cabin on a lake – maybe Lake George, and each day we would go for a hike up a mountain to catch the views, and each morning and evening we would watch the sun rise and set on the lake. Maybe on one of the days we would rent kayaks and paddle around to explore the lake.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my friend and hiking partner, Carolyn (@cchikingadv) as she is the first person who agreed to attempt to do challenging hikes with me, and is the reason I have jumped into the outdoor world of hiking so wholeheartedly!

Website: https://kbhikes.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kb.hikes/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kb.hikes

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCTU3-ypQhOQZaJLStnSkWA

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.