So what do you do for a living? That is a question that Todd Soprych gets asked quite often. “Typically there is that air of contention in that statement, but now a-days I live for me”. Todd is the co-founder of a women’s specific wilderness guide service named Roam The Woods. Now before this venture he never once thought of owning a guide service, but life is a fickle beast. So the last several years of his life have been more of a checklist of cool jobs than any sort of traditional wilderness education. To date he has been a backpacking guide, a dog sled driver, and spent several thousands of miles embracing the heart of our country by doing thru-hikes on the National Scenic Trails in the United States.
Life wasn’t always this adventuresome for Todd; He was once an Intern working his way through the corporate life of architecture. In the summer of 2007 Todd quit a decent paying, 401k job in the architecture industry to walk the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. Now mind you this was before the big housing crash. “Friends and family thought I had lost my mind, but to be honest the everyday grind of the profession was wearing me down and I just needed a change”. At the time Todd thought he was only taking a 6-month break from that life style, he never knew it would have grown into what it is today. So of course in doing a 6-month hike the adventures start to list themselves in their own right.
The life changer for Todd was when someone in Vermont gave him a sled dog as a hiking partner for the rest of his journey. Todd was so impressed with her drive and work ethic, because let’s be honest, it was way stronger than his. When he finished the A.T. hike Todd wanted to learn more about sled dogs. So come fall of 2008 Todd was looking for sled dog jobs. He got pretty lucky and landed a job out in Bend Oregon, at the Oregon Trail of Dreams dog kennel to work as a tour guide for the up-coming season. Oddly enough he had placed himself, by sheer chance, with the only legally blind Iditarod racer, Rachael Scdoris. Todd spent 2 winter seasons working at the family run kennel and tour company learning a vast array of knowledge from everyone.
The summers saw Todd working as a backpacking guide with the weight-loss company Fitpacking. After numerous guided trips and another thru-hike in the making, Todd turned to a friend, and now business partner, from the dog kennel, and they started a women’s specific backpacking guide service. Roam The Woods was born mid July 2009. “People ask why I, being male, am the co-founder of a women’s program. To be honest, I want to give back to the hiking community that has opened me to this place in my life”. On his thru-hikes of the A.T. and PCT the ratio of women to men is skewed. On the summer guiding trips Todd would hear women in the group say, “I would love to do a solo hike, but it’s too dangerous.” Todd has asked a lot of my female thru-hiking friends about the dangers of being a female on a solo thru-hike, and they have all told me; “It’s safer in the woods than in the towns.” So his goal in this venture is to try and give a little bit of the love and passion of the wilderness back to people that have embraced and encouraged him on this life journey.