Maria Schultz is no stranger to adventure. Between rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and paddle boarding, she knows how to elevate an ordinary evening into an epic experience. You may have heard of her, or seen her navigating a secluded river on a stand up paddleboard with two dogs at her feet, a visual that is hardly forgotten.
As an avid adventurer, Maria has been all over the world chasing the road less traveled. From climbing Elephant Rock in Fontainebleau, France to paddling 100 miles down the Potomac River, she has carved a lasting legacy as an outdoor enthusiast. When asked where her favorite hangout spots were, she didn’t hesitate to narrow it down to “somewhere with no people and by the water!” However, her husband and dogs are always invited on her excursions, so much so that Riley and Kona, her adorable Australian shepherds, learned to paddle board so that they would never have to be left behind!
Maria’s philosophy toward her dogs is and always has been: you don’t leave them at home. During their weekends on the water, people often gawk at the two dogs sharing Maria’s paddleboard. Enough people commented with “My dog would never do that!” that she decided to write a guidebook, How to Sup with Your Pup, dedicated to teaching people how to paddleboard with their dogs. Training your dog to paddleboard is no easy feat and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, treats and waterproof gear for the unexpected “squirrel” moments. Maria reminisced about one when Riley jumped off the board and sent her and her camera sinking to the bottom of knee deep swamp water! The camera was later recovered and she laughed off the incident as an unforgettable dog-mom moment. It’s adventures like those that Maria lives for.
At the end of a long trip down the river, Riley, Kona, and Maria enjoy setting up a hammock and relaxing as the sun sets. Her favorite way to hang is in a GrandTrunk Double Hammock with a dog curled up on each side, dozing off with the sway of a slight breeze. From her experiences traveling the world, to her success as an author, Maria Schultz lives in the epic mentality of a GrandTrunk Ambassador. We take pride in our awesome tribe and Maria holds the title with integrity and inspiration! Follow her travels on Instagram @sup_with_pup or pick up a copy of her book to teach your dog how to paddle. No matter what you choose to do, get out and live!