I have recently been thinking back on my First hike, it started out as a journey to find out what I was made of. It took me about 4 months to search and google how to do this and eventually I went and bought the gear I thought I needed from the local Canadian Tire store and stuffed everything into a 60L backpack. My Pack ended up weighing about 50lbs+ walking around the house it seemed like it would be fine. By the second day on the trail I was sore, my shoulders hurt from my backpack, I had shifted the weight to my hips and now my hips were also hurting, my back hurt, but I am happy to happy to report that my legs were doing well. As I continued to walk further into the trail I decided at some point on the 2nd day that I would be finding ways to reduce the weight of my pack, I was not sure how I was going to do it but I was definitely going to give it a go. Sometime around when I decided I needed to reduce gear weight I was seriously considering turning back and heading home. But as I was ascending an incline on the trail I noticed some movement on the lake to my left and saw a large bull moose with a massive set of antlers coming out of the water. After it came out of the water it decided to was just hang out in the tall grass for awhile and I got to just watch this moose from a wonderful vantage point. I would say it had the biggest set of antlers I had ever seen but since that was the first moose I ever say it was the only set of moose antlers I had ever seen. The one encounter made the whole trip worth it. Yes I was sore and every step I took sent sharp pain through out my body but I had survived my first night alone in the back country and I had just seen a moose. So I kept hiking further to my next camp site, knowing that going forward I would only improve from this experience.
When I tell this story about the moose people assume that it was the best moment of my hike however the best moment of my first hike was what created change in my life after the hike. Had I not made the first time rookie mistake of packing gear that was too heavy and experiencing the pain that I did I would not have been motivated to find ways to reduce my pack weight.
The search for finding lighter gear lead me to the discoveries that quality lightweight gear costs a lot of money compared to heavier gear. I also realized that most gear is also made over seas so it occurred to me that I could source locally made affordable light weight gear to help people get out hiking. The other realization I had was how life changing hiking alone in the back country can be and that many people could benefit from a solo backing packing trip in the wilderness. So it became my mission to find ways to help people get over their fears and remove as many obstacles as possible to enable people to experience the life changing effects of being in the wild all alone, where you can only depend on yourself to survive.