Jonah McDonald grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he learned his love of the south, barbeque, and the blues. Upon graduating from college with a BA in history and religion, he decided to embark on a pilgrimage–hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. After six months and 2,172 miles on foot, Jonah completed the Trail and settled in Atlanta and became a Montessori middle and high school history teacher. He soon developed an integrated wilderness program at his school, teaching wilderness skills and leading day hikes and backpacking trips for teens. After five years of teaching, Jonah decided to set out on his own, starting Sure Foot Adventures. He now helps schools around Atlanta develop their own wilderness programs and leads trips with all ages.
Jonah is trained as a Wilderness First Responder and is certified in Wilderness First Aid and Professional CPR. Since the Appalachian Trail, he has gone on many adventures, including two multi-week trekking expeditions in the Alaskan Arctic, bicycling the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, and hiking the Colorado Trail, the Bartram Trail, and the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Jonah is also a professional storyteller and is an active member of the Southern Order of Storytellers. He loves throwing boomerangs, reading, and bicycling. Together with his wife, Dana, he raises chickens in his backyard and exults in nature, exercise, and playing basketball.
Sarah Rumble, Guide
Sarah Rumble spent her childhood in the great Buckeye State near Youngstown, Ohio. After moving to Snellville, Georgia, she discovered her love for the outdoors late in life while attending Georgia College and State University. It was here that she majored in Psychology, which introduced her to the field of Wilderness Therapy. The idea of using the wilderness as a catalyst for real change in the lives of others led her to pursue a second degree in Outdoor Education, honing skills in everything from kayaking and rock climbing to hiking and group facilitation.
Sarah worked for a company that did just that and spent over 3 years backpacking with troubled youth in the North Georgia Mountains with Second Nature Blue Ridge. The woods quickly became her second home. Some of Sarah’s favorite adventures outside of Georgia include hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and exploring Yosemite National Park. Sure Foot Adventures has allowed her to continue living in the wild and share new adventures with those who seek to find some peace, yet still challenge themselves in the wilderness.
Sarah is a Wilderness First Responder, First Aid/CPR, and is a Crisis Prevention Trainer. When not with Sure Foot, she continues to work with children at a pediatric facility in Atlanta, explore Atlanta with friends and family, and loves singing, playing guitar and the fiddle, and playing soccer and ultimate Frisbee. Sarah always brings a disc out to the woods…so get your throwing arm ready!!
Ben Fowler, Guide
Ben Fowler, a native of Atlanta, GA, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Asheville. His passion for the outdoors began at a young age in the mountains of Dahlonega as a student under Mark Warren, a naturalist and director of Medicine Bow, a “primitive school of earthlore.” While in Asheville he continued his pursuit of outdoor education and worked for the university’s Outdoor Recreation program. As a trip guide with UNC-Asheville, Ben was able to travel across the Southeast rock climbing in the New River Gorge of West Virginia and paddled canoes as far south as the Everglades National Park.
Ben began working as a guide for Sure Foot Adventures in 2012. He was immediately attracted to Sure Foot because of the opportunities “for adventure, outdoor education, and transformational experiences it provides people of all backgrounds and allows them to ‘wake up’ from urban life and feel life out-of-doors.” He has a keen passion for rock climbing and wilderness primitive skills. Ben holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder of WMI, American Red Cross Lifeguard, and participated in the American Canoe Association Level 4 Swift-water Rescue Course.
“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold