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Our Guides


We have the best guides in the outdoor recreation industry. Our guides are highly experienced and certified. Our guides have thousands of miles of backpacking experience. For every trip at least one guide is a certified Wilderness First Responder. All of our guides are trained in Leave No Trace. Most are Leave No Trace educators. Many of our guides are employed full time in the outdoor recreation industry.

Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp. Andy Niekamp is the Chief Adventure Officer for Outdoor Adventure Connection, which specializes in backcountry adventures. Andy has backpacked over 16,000 miles including four end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail and thru hikes of the Buckeye Trail, Ohio To Erie Trail, Florida Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Long Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Colorado Trail, Superior Hiking Trail, John Muir Trail and the Bartram Trail. Andy is founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, the largest outdoor recreation group in Dayton, Ohio, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Andy Niekamp grew up and lives in Dayton and has a passion for long distance hiking which he shares with others. Andy brings his wealth of backpacking experience and his passion for hiking to this program. He has two rules for his backpacking trips. Number 1: Be safe. Number 2: Have fun!



Glenn Roberts. Glenn has been backpacking for 30 years, and still hasn't figured out whether he has 30 years of experience, or 1 year of experience 30 times. All of his backpacking has been in the eastern U.S., mostly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the occasional trip to the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Many of Glenn's trips nowadays are long weekends, with the occasional week-long trip. He is a recreational backpacker; He goes out there to have fun, not to prove anything to anyone. Glenn has led youth trips, was a Scoutmaster and a volunteer for a troubled teens program. Glenn is a gearhead, so don’t be afraid to ask him about gear and equipment. Glenn, who is in his mid-60s, provides insight and perspective for older hikers, whether they are just taking up backpacking or looking for ways to continue to participate. In his other life, Glenn is a CPA with Clark Schaefer Hackett. Glenn is a happily married, a proud grandfather, and a chess player. Glenn is the author of two popular articles: How I Got This Way and Where Can I Backpack?.


Tama Cassidy. Tama is a full-time naturalist for the Miami County Park District. She loves to hike, backpack, and be out in nature. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator. She hikes sections of the Appalachian Trail each year. In her spare time, Tama can be found underground exploring wild caves. She and her husband were invited to a weeklong underground expedition in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico. She's rappelled Golindrinas Cave, a 1,200-foot pit in Mexico with her daughter and husband. Tama is experienced in canyoneering at Zion National Park.


Kristy Matheson. Kristy's passions are yoga, wellness and being in nature with just about any outdoor activity. Kristy is an experienced hike leader and an active member of the Dayton Hikers group. In her professional life she is a Licensed Social Worker, and Certified Dementia Practitioner. She is a talented motivational speaker on topics such as women's wellness and the therapeutic benefits of nature based adventure. Kristy is a 200-Hour Certified Yoga Instructor. In addition, she is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED. Kristy and her husband have three children and live in Germantown, Ohio. She looks forward to sharing her passion of nature, adventure, yoga and wellness with you.