MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Summer 2020

FEET FIRST EDITOR'S MESSAGE Well, if there was ever a time to get outside and away from it all…. Summer in the Coast Mountains is about ditching the rat race and hiking, paddling, driving, or pedaling for hours to climb into Mother Nature’s bosom, pitch a tent, and bask in the silence, solitude, beauty, and adventure that only she can provide. Forging into the wild is an ingrained human trait, and it takes a well-prepared mind to assemble the right gear, read the forecasts, study the maps, and stay alert in the random entropy of the natural world. Because for all her sunsets and tranquility, Mother Nature is still a mother—which means she’s not afraid to smack some sense into us, especially when we’re not paying attention (and even sometimes when we are). We’ve all been there—the sudden squall, the capsized canoe, the slip-torn ligament, flash flood, or the that-seems-a-tad-too-close large mammal. Yet within these surprises, nature’s unruly refusal to stick to the agenda, the real fun lies—but only if you’re able to take your hands off the wheel and accept the anarchy. Don’t complain, camp in the rain… and let that societal need for control wash away down the hillside. This is why we camp; why we pack up piles of stuff and wade out into a world of chaos: to find moments of beauty and escape, and then stop there and sleep on the ground, knowing instinctively that danger (or at the very least a sharp inconvenience) may lurk behind every ridge, river bend, or peak of swell (or maybe just a rather loud domestic dispute over in Site 71). Camping is much more than luminous sunsets and the crackle-pop of a beach fire, it’s a chance to combine key elements of our history—an ancient trail, a cedar canoe, your grandfather’s hatchet—with the incredible technology of the present—sitting under a silk tarp, using a titanium spork to eat one-pot pad thai cooked over a micro-stove that sounds like a medium-sized aircraft. It’s creating comfort and simplicity in a harsh environment to help smooth some of the edges off our minds. Camping is simultaneously a challenge and a reward.It requires ruggedness and ingenuity, strength and wit. And at its best, camping is about escaping, persevering, innovating, failing, and returning with a greater appreciation for this wild ball of dirt we live on—and a greater understanding of ourselves. It’s also one of the only things we’re allowed to do this summer, so get out and social distance the old-fashioned way—snuggle up to Mother Nature and let her chaos clean your soul. –Feet Banks Self portrait SHANE ROY 17

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