Hi, I'm Jini.
I'm the founder of Headlamp, a first-gen immigrant & a nature-lover.
I love the outdoors. But it wasn't always that way.
Most of my life, I grew up in cities and spent way more time in crowded trains and noisy markets than remote wilderness. But in my 20s, I traveled to the Sierras on a camping trip and got hooked. I started hiking and car-camping every weekend and then eventually picked up backpacking and trail-running. A few seasons later, I got into climbing, paddling and skiing. Now, it feels impossible to imagine my life without the outdoors.
But each time I picked up a new outdoor activity, I was overwhelmed by how difficult (and lonely) it was to learn without a supportive network or community. All my "outdoorsy" friends had way more experience than me. As a South Asian woman, I often felt like an outsider in outdoor spaces. More than once, I wondered if I had the right background or "look" to belong in the outdoors.
Over time, I found community and resources that helped me gain my confidence. I discovered that many outdoor activities, even ones that terrified me, were learnable at some level and that my background and gender did not prevent me from giving them a try (or even enjoying them!) Most importantly, I learned that everyone has a place in the outdoors, regardless of where they come from and what they look like.
My confidence in the outdoors came from others. I was lucky enough to find people with experience who were willing to teach me at my own pace. Without their support, I don't know if I would still love the outdoors as much as I do.
This is why I founded Headlamp. I wanted to create a space where folks who were interested in the outdoors could find teachers, guides and mentors passionate about sharing their knowledge. Whether you are a total beginner trying skiing for the first time or an experienced climber looking to refresh specific skills, this platform will connect you to the right resources. We help you find guides and mentors who are highly skilled and experienced, but are also committed to empowering you because at the end of the day, the outdoors should be a place where you feel safe (and have fun!)