You might wonder who captures all the incredible images of the 50 Campfires Field Trips. That would be an incredible photographer and kindred outdoor spirit by the name of Kylie Fly.
While she’s based in Salt Lake City, Utah the world of outdoor adventure is really Kylie’s home. She has rappelled waterfalls in Ecuador, explored Machu Picchu’s ruins, motor-biked in Vietnam, and backpacked in Cambodia. She skis, fishes, bikes, mountain climbs, hikes, and dives. She spent years volunteering as a humanitarian filmmaker and photographer in places like Haiti, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Peru, Ecuador, and Guatemala.
The 50 Campfires team counts itself blessed to call on Kylie’s incredible creative skills and unflappable attitude for its field trips. So we figured “On The Line” would be a great chance for you to get to know her better.
50 CAMPFIRES: What are your earliest outdoor memories, and when do you start bringing a camera into the mix?
KYLIE: Growing up in a family of eight, there was a lot of kids (six total). Going to the wilderness was how we stayed connected. My parents took us camping from the very beginning, three little caterpillars rolling around in sleeping bags (I’m an identical triplet!) with our brothers smashed on either side. It’s all I knew.
When I moved to China at age 20, I bought my first SLR camera and began shooting extensively. Travel really inspired my work and got me started in this field, but I always played around with disposable and film cameras from an early age.
50 CAMPFIRES: How has looking through the lens changed the way you view the outdoors?
KYLIE: There’s a fine line between experiencing a moment in a personal way, and capturing it at the same time. I make great effort to ensure I experience something both presently, and through my viewfinder. They both bring me equal amounts of joy and satisfaction. My goal through documentation is to store memories I know I’d otherwise soon forget.
50 CAMPFIRES: Name your three favorite locations for photo shoots.
KYLIE: Iceland’s entire southern region of the island, the British Columbia mountains of Canada, and Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
50 CAMPFIRES: Because we’ve worked with you, we can say that you’re one of the most adventurous and fearless travelers we’ve met. How did you become that way? How do you mentally prepare for new adventures you go on?
KYLIE: Thank you!!! I think it’s mostly just experience. I’ve been traveling extensively for a decade, but most of all – I’ve lived in other countries for various amounts of time throughout my 20s.
Living abroad is the best way to immerse yourself in another culture and invite an entirely new perspective on how to live your life. It changes your mindset, worldview, and builds your confidence. There’s nothing like travel to help you find out more about who you are, and how you fit into the rest of the world. There are many things that don’t phase me anymore, that maybe if I hadn’t been out of the country would have been scary. You just gotta start where you are. The best preparation is extreme enthusiasm, optimism, and a healthy dose of flexibility. Adventures aren’t adventures if everything goes right.
50 CAMPFIRES: What are three pieces of gear that you never travel without?
KYLIE: My camera, of course; several hats and beanies; and a good notebook for journaling.
50 CAMPFIRES: What advice would you give someone that wants to start taking better outdoor photos?
KYLIE: Get outside and start shooting! Find a mentor you admire and see if they’d let you shadow or assist them. Attend workshops hosted by artists you admire. Invest in your equipment to have something to start with, and shoot what you’re excited about.
50 CAMPFIRES: Name a place that you’re dying to travel to, and tell us your game plan to make it happen!
KYLIE: I really, really, really want to travel to Nepal! My game plan so far is just training and getting stronger and faster in the mountains so I can keep up with the pursuits I want to do. I want to put together a really strong story supported by brands who believe in what I’m doing and what I want to share with the world, and make it happen. My story will be meaningful and unique, but has to happen in the right time, and the right way.
50 CAMPFIRES: What are the most important lessons that your outdoor adventures have taught you?
KYLIE: We are all here for the same thing: To find happiness.
All the places I go and people I meet have taught me the universal understanding that to find oneself, you sometimes have to lose yourself first. Getting lost in the outdoors isn’t just literal, but also symbolic. Do things that scare you, and you’ll learn more about yourself than you could have ever imagined.
50 CAMPFIRES: Seeing as this is the annual “Food & Cooking Edition” of 50 Campfires Magazine, we have to ask: What is your favorite road tripping food or snack?
KYLIE: Hands down, Takis. The purple bag. I can’t go anywhere without them, and my fingers are permanently red from the delicious limey-spicy powder on each chip. Anyone who has spent time with me on the road knows that we had better find a gas station with Takis if we’re gonna make it out alive.
I love spicy things, I love limey things, so I especially love spicy limey things! These chips are the perfect combo of all my favorite super strong flavors, and they’re irresistible. My mouth waters just thinking about them.
50 CAMPFIRES: What’s your biggest “guilty pleasure” food or meal?
KYLIE: Probably just sugar in general. I know it’s bad, but I really love all forms of candy or sweets. Pizza is my favorite food, so that will always make me happy, but it’s pretty predictable. Takis is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, and a close second could be something like coffee ice cream.