Learn More
Oct 23, 2023 by Marc Peruzzi

Trade Secrets: How to Conduct Interviews in the Mountains.

Featuring WRITER-EDITOR Megan Michelson

Home Base / Tahoe City, California.

Insider Knowledge

If you’re spending time with a source in wild places, you’ll inevitably need to conduct an interview in a less-than-hospitable environment, like on a chairlift or a skintrack. Megan has chased sources up volcanoes in Iceland and up bootpacks from Alaska to Chile. 

Notes are still the most efficient form of reporting.

“The voice memo app on my phone is a favorite feature for recording those on-the-go interviews or sending myself a quick voice note,” she says. But make sure you have a backup in case the sound doesn’t record well: “I always bring a notebook and write down what I can,” she says. “Notes are still the most efficient form of reporting.”

Reporting is getting easier all the time, thanks to apps that record and transcribe. But keep a notebook in your pocket for efficiency and backup.

Quick Tip:

Pens freeze in cold temperatures, so Michelson always brings a sharp pencil or two in her pack. Also, pick up a few water-resistant notebooks (Field Notes make a good Expedition Edition) so your paper doesn’t get soggy in a storm. “The last thing you want is to have a brilliant idea, a stellar quote, or a good detail you observed in the field, and lose it to a smudge,” says Megan. “Come prepared with a few methods to record your thoughts.”