Tristan Hamm moved to Oahu in 2012 from his native Canada and quickly felt at home, falling in with a group of locals who showed him their favorite hikes, beaches, climbs and surf breaks.
"I was in oil pipeline construction, which is the polar opposite of what I'm doing today ... but I was always inspired to travel," he said. "I started doing more trips and adventures. My friends caught on, and more and more of them wanted to come along. That was where the idea first started."
After more travels and some time spent getting to know the Aloha State, in 2016 Hamm launched the adventure travel company Revived Outdoors in Oahu, working with local guides to create trips focusing on social connections, personal development, Hawaiian cultural and historical education and community engagement.
"I created Revived Outdoors to give others the experience my friends in Hawaii gave to me," he said. "I want to help people shake up their lives, dive into new experiences, discover their potential and build a supportive community of friends."
Revived Outdoors uses two properties on the east coast of Oahu that can accommodate up to 30 people. Each party gets their own room, but group engagement is a crucial element of the experience. There is a full itinerary with guides, and chefs provide all meals.
"A lot of people who come to Hawaii and only see Waikiki don't see what Hawaii is all about," Hamm said. "They don't get the culture, and they don't leave a more educated tourist. Part of what we wanted to do is bring people to Hawaii to engage with local guides and learn more about the islands and the various issues and challenges it's facing along with appreciating all it has to offer."
Each trip is organized around a common interest, Hamm said, with invited speakers and activities tailored to the group and its particular focus. Activities include rock climbing, hiking, Hawaiian cultural experiences, surfing, snorkeling and presentations on a range of topics from leadership to mental health. The trips also routinely include a community project such as a one-hour beach cleanup.
"If you get 30 people all out cleaning the same stretch of beach, you can have a pretty big impact," Hamm said.
Revived Outdoors participants pledge not to geotag the places they visit, which Hamm said include several little-known sites, in order to avoid overexposure.
"We want to be for and not against Hawaii," Hamm said. "We want to educate people on its culture and history so they bring a piece of it home with them. We want to foster more culturally and environmentally aware tourists. We also want to bring jobs to local Hawaiians, work with local producers and products. Finally, one of our big motives as a company overall is to improve mental health through adventure and nature."
The company is running a few trips in Hawaii each month this year starting in February, with details coming soon along with a revamped website at the end of January, Hamm said.
Revived Outdoors has recently partnered with the nonprofit Hearts for Animals, donating a percentage of each trip fee to the organization that serves as an animal sanctuary and education center. In 2020 Hamm has plans to incorporate the facility that helps rehabilitate injured animals into some of the tour programs.
"We're also launching a vegan retreat this year where we are partnering with vegan chefs and athletes that we'll be bringing to Hawaii with yoga and other activities and fun options," Hamm said.
The company has expanded since its launch three years ago and now offers guided trips in California, Arizona, Utah, and Alaska. Revived Outdoors eight-day Hawaii trips include meals, lodging and activities and start at $3,000.