Hi, I'm Karina!
I’m a weekend warrior who is always seeking new adventures and places to explore. Born and raised in New York State, my mission is to authentically share my adventures from the wilderness of New York and beyond to inspire others to find a connection with nature. I can often be found hiking solo, but I also hike with my young daughter, my husband, my dog, and my friends.
Hiking and the outdoors have changed my life for the better, giving me a newfound confidence and providing me with a refuge from the daily grind. I believe this can be true for anyone who seeks it, and my goal is to share my experiences and insights with others in the hopes that they, too, will find a love for the outdoors, and in turn, become good stewards of the lands.
I wander because I wonder
My core values are the beliefs I hold that guide me in all things related to the outdoors and beyond.
First and foremost, I believe that adventure is good for the mind, body, and soul – otherwise, why would I be here sharing all of my adventure stories with you? I believe that exploring new places changes your brain in positive ways, developing new mind connections and giving you a different perspective on life. Adventure allows you to get comfortable in your own skin and abilities, and allows you to feel more compassionate about other people and places. Adventures in nature help me to feel more connected to the earth and contribute to my overall wellness. Adventures are the tonic for my soul.
I believe the outdoors is for everyone – yes, everyone! I think that education is the key to good stewardship of the wilds and ensuring that we preserve these beautiful places for future generations. It’s okay to not have all the answers, but it’s your responsibility to educate yourself and apply that learning going forward. My goal is to continue to learn as much as I can and to always demonstrate behaviors that are appropriate outdoors in the hope that others can learn from them and model them in their own lives.
An inclusive community is the key to building trust and understanding among people, and the quickest way to share knowledge and information in a way that will be retained and respected. If people feel comfortable in the wild and in community forums, the more likely they will be to enjoy the experience, and the more likely they will be to take care of the things they love and encourage others to do the same. “People who fall in love with nature will be more likely to take care of it!”
Nature doesn’t need us – we need nature. Nature gives us more than we could ever give back, and it may not always be there for us in the future. It’s important to step back and consider how lucky we are to have these experiences and to live in this beautiful world each day.
Media & Press
April 2022 / Interview
I was interviewed by Shoutout Arizona for their series on “Taking Chances – Reflections on Risk”. The interview article can be found here: “Meet Karina Benninger | Solo Hiker & Outdoor Advocate”
Thurro & The Rugged Outdoorsmen IGTV Podcast
October 2021 / Live Interview
I was interviewed by Thurro Alexander, and JB & Mike from the Rugged Outdoorsmen for their weekly IGTV Live Podcast.
Watch the show here: KB Hikes Interview
Hudson Valley 360 Website
June 2021 / News Article
In June 2021 I partnered with @catskilltourism, aka the Great Northern Catskills of Green County to bring awareness to lesser-known hikes in the Catskills region, with the hopes of reducing crowding at some of the more popular hikes. The partnership and campaign was featured by Hudson Valley 360, a publication in the region. Check out the article: “Enjoying the journey from start to finish”
Magnificent World Blog
June 2021 / Guest Blog Article
I wrote a guest blog article about my experiences at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Check out my article on the Magnificent World Blog: “Minnewaska State Park Preserve – Mountains, Lakes, and Falls Await”
I Love NY Website
May 2021 / Internet Guide
My photo of Letchworth State Park was featured on the I Love New York website, as the cover photo of their “Family Friendly Summer Getaways” article published in May 2021. The photo was credited with my Instagram profile, @kb.hikes. Check out the article here: “New York State Family-Friendly Summer Getaways in New York” @kb.hikes featured photo.
Go Wyoming Chamber & Tourism Website
March 2021 / Photo Feature
My photo of Letchworth State Park was featured on Wyoming County, NY’s Chamber and Tourism website.
The Passion Project by Marie Auvi
March 2021 / Live Interview
I was interviewed live on IGTV for The Passion Project by Emily Marie Auvi of Marie Auvi. You can watch the interview here: KB Hikes Interview