Meet Mack Carson, one of the co-founders of Packup. Mack is a ramen and pho aficionado, travel fanatic, avid alpinist, and finance whiz. After receiving his BComm in finance, Mack spent four years working in commercial real estate finance where his team sourced over $500 million in funds for clients. He recently traded in his suit and tie with the goal of getting more involved in the start-up world, as he has always been keen to continue his lifelong learning, and have the chance to grow a business from its infancy. Mack recently moved out west, and has been settling into his new home of Victoria, BC.
Worst experience in the backcountry?
I think if you spend enough time doing this stuff, everyone ends up with a poop story. Maybe I’ll save mine for another special blog post. A memorably bad experience was getting way off route mountain biking the Bow 80 loop, on some bad navigation advice from a passing hiker (lesson learned). We had already forgotten our lunches in the car that day (another lesson learned), and had to bushwack and walk through creeks for the better part of 4 hours with bikes on our backs to reach a nearby fire service road, before limping ourselves back to the car by nightfall.
Would you rather camp on a beach or on a mountain?
Having just moved out west to Victoria, I’m thinking I need to open myself up to more beach camping - let me know if you have any hacks to deal with sand in your tent.
What is one thing you learned about yourself recently?
There is a direct correlation between time spent outside and my happiness. Sometimes I go through stages of life where I need to remind myself of that.
If you could camp anywhere in the world next weekend where would you go?
Sombrio Beach on Vancouver Island. I’m wanting to get more into surfing!
What are your favourite outdoor activities?
Ski touring, mountain biking, and backpacking. I would love to spend more time surfing, climbing, and bike-packing.
What is one item that you couldn't live without?
The Paprika 3 cooking app. Lululemon ABC pants. My bike. My 150 foot yacht with supportive staff.
Share about a time when you felt the most alive and fully yourself?
Any time I'm out travelling. I also spent a summer during university in 2015 living and working in the mountain town of Jasper. At the time I was working as a hotel bartender so that I could cover living costs, and have a bit of savings for tuition. I lived in an absolute dump of a staff accommodation for $250/month, but met some amazing people on my floor (shout-out to Patrik and Callum). I was able to run, climb, scramble, and ride every day, practically giving myself tendonitis in my knee by the end of the summer. It was a simple time in my life, surrounded by good people.
What injustices in the world make you angry?
Racial inequality. I grew up with a lot of friends from all backgrounds and ethnicities, and always want to see them be respected and succeed in life.
Is a hot dog a sandwich, and why?
Is a burger a sandwich? A hot dog is a hot dog. Welcome to my Ted Talk.
What is your biggest dream in life?
To live bold and grow old. I’d love to get back into the real estate side of things in the future by owning my own hostels that give people a platform to affordably explore places that I love.
What motivates you to work hard?
Personal learning and growth.
Was the outdoor lifestyle something that you grew up in or was it discovered?
My dad was a big backcountry hiker and mountain biker when he was younger. My first backcountry hike was with him at 11 years old, on a route known as Nigel Pass in Jasper, AB. I remember being bonked out of my mind, but was very much hooked on trying to get backcountry days in from then onwards. As I turned 18 and got out of racing bikes, I began focusing a lot of energy on getting out on outdoor excursions with friends.