About Backwood Odysseys
Meet your Guides
Matt Gibson grew up in New Albany, Ohio during the days when New Albany was still a small sleepy town between Columbus and Johnstown. An Eagle Scout and avid hunter, backpacker and kayaker; Matt’s favorite motto in life is also the Scout Motto: Be Prepared. Matt has spent nearly 15 years working in the outdoor adventure industry, many of those years working for, with or owning Outdoor Specialty Stores where he developed and taught classes ranging from simple Land Navigation to Disaster Preparedness. In 1999 Matt thu-hiked the Appalachian Trail and since has added many more miles of trail experience using many different types of equipment in all kinds of weather extremes; winter being his favorite time of year to be outside.
Megan (Kostanski) Gibson was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio; graduating from DeSales High School before attending Otterbein College. As child she enjoyed art and nature alike. Megan has facilitated high ropes courses and team building events; as well as taught and led kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking and backpacking adventures for over 5 years. Along with her outdoor experience, Megan has educated people ranging from toddlers to adults in swimming. She believes one of the greatest enjoyments in life is watching people learn, grow and experience new things. Megan is a nature-girl at heart and loves spending time out on the water and in the woods. She is always looking around the corner for the next adventure.
Matt and Megan consider themselves among the lucky few to have found their better halves early in life, having met while both were still in High School. Matt was the Boy Scout and Megan was the Scoutmaster’s daughter; how they met is a good campfire story. Married in 2007; both regularly hike, backpack and kayak together as well as pursue individual hobbies. Currently living in the Columbus area, they have a strong desire to shed the city-life and eventually move into a rural area of the country with better views.
Meet your Assistant Guides
Maddie was rescued by Matt in 2004. The best guess to her pedigree is a Pitbull/Shiba Inu mix. Currently over 10 years of age, Maddie shows no sign of slowing down; still having puppy-moment bursts of energy regularly and will go “exploring” long and far if the gate is left open or the leash gets let go of. While not a big fan of mud or water, she loves carrying her pack on day or multi-day hikes and prefers soft squeaky toys she can shake the life out of. Maddie looks and acts aggressive at time towards other dogs but is truly a belly-scratch loving lap dog at heart.
Buzz Fledderjohn is a purebred Australian Cattle Dog, also known as Blue Heelers. Matt and Megan rescued him in 2008. Buzz gets his name from a Tom Waits song of the same name due to his disposition towards squirrels invading his backyard. Frisbees, sticks and balls are the toys of choice for Buzz when he is not taking whatever toy has Maddie’s attention. He is at home carrying a pack down the trail as well. Buzz is an amazingly loyal and friendly dog and is by far the greatest thing Matt or Megan has ever found via Craigslist.