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Never Looking Back(pack)

There’s a lot about the backcountry that suits me and there’s a lot that hasn’t historically been my cup of tea. But somehow, I have come to admire the challenges and beauty the backcountry has to offer. The sweaty gasps for breath after pushing through a huge incline, the fields of alpine flowers welcoming you as you reach the top of the mountain. There’s so much power to be embraced.

The depths and range of beauty in the backcountry has always enticed me but if you told me two years ago I would be comfortable hiking 14km with 1,400m elevation gain in one day, I wouldn’t believe it. I grew up in Ontario, so there are no real mountains, although some people say they’re going on hikes, I’m sure all BC hikers would scoff at what we consider a hike.

Not only had I never hiked before, but I am not athletic at all. You should see my attempt at playing basketball, it’s quite sad. I have a lanky and uncoordinated body and I’m okay with that! Other than walking and at home Pilates I don’t do any physical activity because nothing has ever spoken to me.

Of course, as soon as I moved to BC that all changed. Martin (my partner and one of the co-owners), took me on my first hike in May 2020, Evans Peak in Golden Ears to be specific, and if you know the hike, you know it’s not the most chill. It destroyed my legs but was one of the most rewarding things I’d ever done. As a young woman who has basically been told all her life she’s not physically equipped for most things, plus having asthma, conquering a huge mountain was deeply awakening. This lead to a string of backcountry camping trips.

For me, the backcountry isn’t just about the hike, it’s about the experience with mother nature. Getting nice and dirty, hugging the trees, smelling the fresh air, touching the freezing alpine lake. The only word that perfectly explains how I feel every time I’m standing on the top of a mountain, is humbled. The mountain wins every time, standing there, solid and strong as you huff and puff your way up. Nature has so much to offer us, it’s just a matter of getting out there and listening. The backcountry has taught me both how and why we respect the land. My awareness and desire to protect the earth has grown immensely since I started hiking.

That’s where my passion for this company comes from. Who knows when or if I would’ve become a backcountry enthusiast if I wasn’t with Martin. I can’t imagine my life without the backcountry now. I want everyone to have the same opportunity as I do. I want to be the person who helps you experience the depths the backcountry has to offer.

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