Samantha Kapaun


Corn fed and Iowa bred, Samantha’s heart was born a wandering one—always looking for the next big adventure. She graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Spanish and a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2009. Samantha spent a year designing electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems for a regional hospital in Iowa before deciding to explore the world and discover what she could really pour her heart into. Her journey took her from living and working in Iowa to living and working in Colorado, Peru, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  Along the way she taught Spanish and English as a Foreign Language, worked with people to explore the option of studying and working abroad, helped develop study abroad curriculum, managed partner relationships and online marketing for study abroad programs, and more.

After a few years abroad and working under a variety of professional hats, it became clear to Samantha that her real passion was people—listening to them, helping them experience the world, and sharing experiences with them.  Samantha decided to change career trajectory and moved to Ely, Minnesota where she took a job taking teens, college students, veterans, and other adults into the woods for weeks at a time both in the summer and winter. For the last five years, Samantha has been a part of providing experiences in the backcountry to a variety of people helping them to improve communication and leadership skills, to build confidence, and to create space for introspection.  She has also spent the last few years training and working with sled dogs, which is always a highlight of her year!

Samantha has fallen in love with the challenge of the outdoors, working with people, learning about herself through others and the outdoors, and the world of mushing. This expedition became a dream of hers that evolved from just a personal challenge to a desire to help humans reconnect with each other and with their roots. Samantha’s hope for this expedition is to bring awareness to the complexity of connection in our world, both human to human and human to nature.