Expert Spotlight: ExpertVoice Ambassador – Ed Booth
By David Shum
Copywriter at ExpertVoice
January 19, 2021
Meet Ed Booth, between taking care of dental patients as a dentist, he is an avid outdoorsman. He's completed courses from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is an active member of the Leave No Trace program. As a dedicated member of our community, Ed has left 38 recommendations on different products and been certified on over 120 different brands on ExpertVoice. His invaluable voice and expertise has led him to become a key member of the Expert Collective, a group of ExpertVoice ambassadors. As part of our 2021, Raise Your Voice initiative, Ed has nominated an organization that he believes deserves a grant from ExpertVoice, you can read more about it here.
Introduce yourself – What’s your name, where are you from and what do you do?
I’m Ed Booth, a member of ExpertVoice and a recent ambassador for the Hike/Camp Collective, beginning last summer in 2020. I am very honored to have been chosen to serve in this capacity. I guess all my personal experiences and “jobs” made us a good match.
Tell us about your experience with ExpertVoice. How is being on ExpertVoice beneficial to you?
I first heard of “Promotive” after completion of a NOLS WFA class back in 2013. Everyone seemed stoked about officially passing some of the crazy rescue scenarios they put us through during those two days and the chance to score some really great gear as a NOLS alumni. At the time, I was pretty set with most of my outdoor stuff. I had a relationship with our local REI and received specific discounts they would offer after taking numerous classes – backcountry cooking, map and navigation skills, winter survival, AT through hike preparation, hammocking and even van-life. I enjoyed sharing all these with my 12 year son, a memory I will always cherish, (especially now that he is 20 and away from home in college).
My real appreciation for then Experticity (2016) was when I was planning to do a NOLS Alumni Course in the Dolomites of Italy, hiking for 9 days on the Alta Via #1. Although REI and Great Outdoor Provisions were helpful, my “let’s do this right” personality kicked in. Thus my new habit. This is NOT Instagram Influencers or Google 5 star “stuff”! You actually have to pass Edu-Games and learn about companies and their products. Also, the members are super good at answering small details I might not have even thought of in the Experiences section. Given this great platform and discounts, the least I can do is return the favor and help out with honest reviews doing my part for the title of being a “Pro.”
Tell us about your involvement with NOLS and Leave No Trace. What have you been doing with the programs?
Outdoor activities are a cherished commodity. One of my scoutmasters said this one night while we huddled around a beautiful, crackling backcountry North Carolina mountain roaring fire. It is not a commodity that belongs to us and until we see the land as a community to which we belong, then we’ll begin to use it with love and respect. Wow. Blew us all away with that one. It wasn’t until sometime much later I found out somebody else said it, Aldo Leopold. But it stuck with me, thus my journey.
I became involved with Leave No Trace, took a trainer course with the PATC in Shenandoah National Park and then the next evolution to become a Master Educator. The NOLS recertification became a “Woofer” challenge to take on the full 80 hrs as WFR and so on. The like-minded people I have met during this wonderful journey seems to have similar ties to why I became a dentist, challenging myself to get accepted at Emory University School of Medicine, qualifying for hospital dental privileges and serving as an instructor at one of our schools. I still have a full-time private practice and teach LNT Awareness Clinics and even an online Virtual 3-Day Trainer Course in Utah last month. Almost every outing calls on my NOLS Leadership Principles whether it be a group or solo outing, and hopefully not always the Wilderness Medical part.
Tell us about the organization you nominated for the Raise Your Voice campaign. Why is it meaningful to you?
My passion for one of the greatest schools I have ever attended and my submission for “Raise Your Voice”: Oak Ridge Military Academy. You can’t pose your way through that kind of daily scrutiny and pressure. You’re going to mess up and utterly fail at something. Now what do you do? And you certainly don’t get rank pins for just showing up.
My school has survived tumultuous times since 1853, yet somehow, some way it still exists. Maybe our future leaders in military, civilian, medicine, NOLS Instructors and LNT curators of this beautiful land are there now. In fact, I know they are.