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Jennifer Potts



Trail Name: "SnackPack"


CPR/First Aid/AED, LNT Awareness, Food Handling

I am based in the St. Louis area. I've spent 19 years in the hair & beauty industry. In early 2016 I stepped down as a full-time studio cosmetologist and began to utilize hiking, camping, and backpacking as a way to disconnect from long workdays and to help cope with a loss in my life. It was then I found a passion for organizing group hikes and other events to connect with like-minded individuals in my community.

In my free time, I spend every minute I can getting sections completed on the Appalachian Trail, camping, roadtripping and visiting National Parks (28/63!) and traveling with my husband and our dogs.

My goal is to share with you an authentic and memorable outdoor experience. I strive to create genuine connections with people and help them find their place and their passion for the outdoors. There is no friend-family like a trail family; I can’t wait to have you join us!

Instagram: @jennythetrailhead

Sarah Lindgren

Sarah Lindgren

Yoga Instructor/



Karauna Yoga, Healing Chakra, Intro to Viniyoga, Intro to Purna Yoga, 200hr ERYT, YACEP & TSY, CPR/First Aid/AED, LNT Awareness, Food Handling

I love the honesty of the yoga practice and
how it demands self-acceptance, which is truly the heart of this practice. I provide a heart-centered approach to mind-body wellness
for adults and children of all ages and abilities. I
strive to assist my students in self-discovery, allowing for growth within their current capabilities and setting them up for success not only in their pursuit of yoga but in their daily lives.

As a Yoga Teacher, I’ve been teaching yoga since the summer of 2015, gaining 200-hour
certification in 2016 from Moksha Yoga in Chicago, completing the program with more than 700 hours of training. I continue to enjoy learning about this practice and developing
creative and challenging sequences as well as workshops relatable to students.


My mission as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher is to help make the world of yoga more accessible to all students through my classes and YACEP workshops. Showing them this is a practice to access the language of the heart not about touching your toes.

When I’m not meditating, or playing on my yoga mat you can find me in the garden.
Exploring Illinois with my family and whipping up tasty and nutritious food.

I can’t wait to meet you on the mat and together cultivate more.

Mike Buckel

Mike Buckel

WFA/CPR Instructor,




LNT Awareness, Food Handling, NIMS

I’m am a family man, happily married to my wife Terry for 35 years. we have two adult children and two grandchildren. We reside in Island Lake Illinois; our children live nearby. All the things I enjoy doing revolve around family, friends, and the outdoors. Over the years I have enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, working with my bird dogs, and off-road adventures. These adventures have taken me far off the beaten path. I have been lucky to explore Utah, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Tennessee, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, and of course my home state of Illinois.

For the past 30 years, I have worked in the Fire Service for 30 years, 25 of those years I was a certified Paramedic. I currently hold the rank of Battalion Chief for a suburb of Chicago. During my fire service career, I have specialized in training, safety, public education, arson investigations, and rescue diving being certified in both open water and ice diving. I know that my experiences in the fire service, background in emergency preparedness, and the time I have spent in the outdoors will add to the safety of your True North outdoor adventure.


I look forward to meeting you and being part of your next adventure!


Ingrid Sootla



Profile currently being updated, stay tuned!


Jason Schneider

Guide/WFA Instructor


LNT Awareness, Food Handling, WFA, CPR/AED, Paramedic/RAGBRAI Team Captain

I reside in NW, Illinois.  I enjoy being in the outdoors whether it is fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping or backpacking.  Cycling is a newer hobby that I started a couple of  years ago.  Last year in 2020, I decided to give long distance cycling a try.  I researched, planned and prepared then rode my bicycle 237 miles across Missouri on the Katy Trail. My trip was over 5 days and I camped along the way.  Since that trip, I have been hooked on bike touring and I have done additional trips.  I currently serve as the NW Regional Action Team Co-chair for Ride Illinois and I'm very active with the non profit organization Friends of the Hennepin Canal as a trail advocate and volunteer.

I am a paramedic/asst. shift supervisor and I have been an EMT in total for around 14 years.  I am a AHA CPR, First Aid and AED instructor.  I am married and have 3 children. I serve as the ministry coordinator for my church disaster relief ministry which includes planning and organizing disaster relief trips in our area and other parts of the country on occasion.

I am excited to work with True North Expeditions and promote their mission. I look forward to meeting so many new friends that share the same great passions..

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Heather Sipes



CPR/First Aid/AED,


I have always been drawn to the outdoors, and I’ve spent a good part of my adult life day hiking and car camping.  I started backpacking in the summer of 2020, and it was the beginning of a new passion.  I love to challenge myself and backpacking does that, both mentally and physically.  I find my peace in nature, where my mind can still, and I can truly be present in the moment.  


True North gave me the skills and confidence to make hiking an enjoyable part of my life.  I look forward to helping other beginners find their place on the trail.


Anthony Pompa



Trail Name: "Tesla"


WFA, CPR/AED, EMT-P, LNT Awareness, Food Handling, Avalanch Awareness, NIMS 

After serving 7 years in the military I became a career firefighter/paramedic. I have been a paramedic since 1999 and have also served as a technical rescue technician as well as a safety officer.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and have great admiration for the United States and its national parks and forests.


Most of my time on trail was spent day hiking, I discovered backpacking later in life. What began as a form of stress relief for me quickly became as much of an obsession as it did a necessity. When I'm not backpacking, I'm planning my next trip.


My hope is that I can share the knowledge I have obtained as well as my passion for the outdoors with others. I also believe it is important to pass on the importance of preserving nature, especially to children.


Safety and planning are important to me. One of the biggest challenges of backpacking is proper planning. My goal is to make our clients feel as comfortable and safe as possible, I thoroughly enjoy taking care of all the fine details so our clients can fully enjoy their outdoor experience with us.

The Appalachian trail has a special place in my heart, as do the many small towns it passes through. These are parts of Americana most people will never see and are filled with some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

Robert Beattie

Robert Beattie

WFA/CPR Instructor,




LNT Awareness, Food Handling, NIMS

After serving 12 years in the Marine Corps, I became a firefighter/paramedic in 1996. I have been a Battalion Chief since 2010 and have also served as a technical rescue technician, State certified Incident Safety Officer, and Planning Section Chief.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and making it to every national park is one of the goals on my bucket list.
My trail experience is mostly day hiking and car camping but have since discovered backcountry backpacking and camping.
I am hoping to be able to share what I have learned with others, make new friends, and continue my education of the great outdoors.
I have always prided myself on being able to meet any challenge head-on with safety always in mind. I believe that each and every event can be made as safe as possible by proper planning or as I like to call it the “7 P’s”.

I hope I can find ways to help our clients experience backpacking and other adventures in a safe, fun, and engaging way.”


Alicia Davies



LNT Awareness

Trail Name: "Sparky"

I was born and raised in Springfield, IL. I grew up camping and fishing with my family-I love spending time outdoors. I attended college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where I  earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I currently  work full time with the State’s Attorney’s Office as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate.

When I’m not in the office, I’m either playing outside or planning adventures for a local adventure group my friend and I started in 2020. It has been so much fun meeting new people who have a passion for the outdoors and really being able to get them out of their comfort zone and enjoy nature.

I got my first taste of outdoor adventures while in college. I spent a lot of my free time in the Shawnee National Forest camping, kayaking, repelling and hiking. I was part of a Kayaking and Outdoor club and ever since then I was hooked! Aside from getting to experience some of the most beautiful and remote places in the country, there has always been something attractive about living a minimalist lifestyle, with complete freedom and solitude.

For me, the outdoors gives me a break from everyday life, pushes me both mentally and physically and drives me to rely 100% on myself and my abilities. I find that the outdoors is exhilarating and really gives me an appreciation for life itself.

I really look forward to meeting everyone and guiding you on your next adventure and being able to experience with you what life is really about.


Lesley Fong



LNT Awareness, WFA, Basic Life Support (BLS)

My first backpacking trip was 7 years ago.  It was a 4-day hut to hut backpacking trip in New Zealand. At the time I knew nothing about backpacking.  During that 4-day trip, the weather changed daily from hot and sunny, to downpours, a hailstorm, and snow! I suffered from hypothermia and hyperthermia all in the same trip. Fast forward to today, I am a hiking leader since 2016. I lead day hikes in Chicagoland areas, annual hiking trips across the states and overseas. My international hiking destinations include Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, France, and Iceland. Traveling is my hobby and have visited over 20+ countries.


I was so lucky to find True North Expeditions (TNE) 4 years ago which helped to transform me from a day hiker who knew nothing about backpacking to a real backcountry backpacker.  The skills I learned from TNE events are priceless.  I can’t wait to see you on the trails with TNE and share my passion for hiking, backpacking, traveling, and M&Ms.


Rochelle Palminteri


Trail Name: "Radar"



I currently live in southeastern Wisconsin but will forever consider myself a Yooper, being raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I grew up in a small town out in the country, where summer days were spent outside exploring in the woods and family vacations were always spent camping. I consider myself a “Weekend Warrior” always thinking about and planning my next trip! My weekends are spent hiking, camping, backpacking, exploring the outdoors, or traveling around the country trying to fit in as many miles (or air miles) as possible between Friday and Monday.

My backpacking experience began with a ten-mile hike straight up a Colorado mountain with a rented oversized and very overweight pack. Since then I have experienced a wide variety of locations and all seasons; from the higher elevation Rocky Mountains, to rainy days in Montana at Glacier National Park, to the desert in New Mexico, and of course around the Midwestern states that are closer to home!

Attending numerous backpacking events with True North has given me the skills and confidence to venture out on my own backcountry adventures, as well as the skills needed for trip planning for myself and friends. I look forward to sharing my time on the trail helping others learn and grow as well.

See you on the trail, I’ll be the one still carrying the heaviest pack of the group!

Dr. Robert Joseph DPM, PhD, FACFAS


I am an Associate Professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Health Sciences.  I have been engaged in outdoor adventure and discovery since my first through hike as a Boy Scout. True North provides an opportunity to combine my passion for education with the  outdoors through hiking, camping and kayaking.

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