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Getting kids hooked on the outdoors

Getting kids hooked on the outdoors instead of video games and T.V. requires a simple strategy. Get them outdoors as soon as possible! Habituate them to it and keep them away from those other addictive alternatives. They need exposure and the more you do it and lead as an example the more they inturn will want to do it.  Make it your habit also. Well what if they already happen to be hooked to those dreadful habits? You have to go to drastic measures such as changing the wifi password or taking away the computer, game console, or T.V. for a set period of time. They will put up a stink. You have to endure that. Be the boss. Don’t give up! You want to start them on this path quickly. If you don’t the more of a challenge it will be to break them of those habits. What happens if they get out there won’t they get hurt? Getting kids hooked on the outdoorsBumps and bruises are part of the natural world  it will condition them to the fact that life can be painful at times. They will get stronger internally as well as externally. They will see things that will allow them to make sense of the real world around them so that if a challenging circumstance may come up it will be overcome first psychologically. Kids that are stronger this way are the ones who become leaders paving the way to a better future. We all want a better future don’t we. Children in nature are an endangered species. To get kids hooked on the outdoors we need to revive what we knew about the natural world that existed in us, transfer that excitement we once felt into them. Bring the natural world to them if you are in an urban environment. Put books and magazines about nature in their rooms or play areas. Get them to city parks, or if by the sea, walks on the beaches. Make them in awe of the natural world. A concrete world has a certain beauty yet isn’t the most healthy thing for our planet. What other creative ways can you think of that could help children love the outdoors?  Leave a comment below! Peace, Thanks for reading my article.

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SteelHead fishing with a trout rod?

Steelhead fishing with a trout rod this is my story

Well, it was a somewhat overcast day with the sun occasionally breaking out. It was May in Kitimat, British Columbia and I wanted to take my little one out on a fishing adventure to see his first trout. Possibly a cutthroat.

The truck bounced down the dusty country road. I was swerving down it trying as hard as I could to avoid the deep potholes to no avail. Constantly scanning the creeks and other tributaries that looked promising for the cutthroat trout I could show my son. It was a good 7 kilometers that I had found my spot. Steehead fishing with a trout rodYears before I’m talking 20 years or more I hooked a few steelies by mistake in this secret spot of mine. It was in mid-April that they had happened to bite. So being mid-May I was not thinking the steelhead could possibly be in this local at this time of the year. I also happened to be using lighter gear than I normally do. I was also upstream from that spot of mine. We walked through the dense underbrush as twigs and bramble poked and prodded our legs. My rod kept getting hung up in the brush and I had to find other paths or routes to get to this new fishing hideaway I had noticed from a distance in my truck. I took out my gear as my son looked on in curiosity showing him how to tie his first lure. Small and green in color. The water looked tranquil and flowed peacefully. Put me in a zen-like trance as I began my first cast. Opposite the bank I was on, the lure drifted gently down the brook. I felt a hit. Something had bit the lure but it never took. I was excited must be the cutthroat I would end up showing my son. Took another cast. This time whatever was in there grabbed at the lure. The water went turbulent as my little rod bent forward. This was definitely no cutthroat as I held on tightly to my casting rod. I fought whatever was in the deep flowing pool. It surfaced and a female steelie poked her head out of the water. I fought it for a few minutes until it spit out my hook.

“Shit!” I thought as I lost that beauty. Feeling defeated I took another cast. “What the…?” Another hit and this time a great big tug on my line. I could feel the weight of it and I thought “Oh… Oh… This is not going to be easy.”  And just as I thought that the powerful steelhead took off downstream like a bullet. I managed to tighten the drag just enough to deter its powerful run downstream. Here’s a little segment of what I went through as the adrenaline coursed through my veins.

Steelhead fishing with a trout rod my youtube video

Have you had any similar fishing experiences? Let me know in the comments below

 

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Hiking Butze Rapids in Prince Rupert, Canada

Hiking Butze Rapids in Prince Rupert is a really enjoyable experience. It starts out next to the Prince Rupert highway exiting the city. The trail is not even moderate but an easy trail to maneuver. Only 5.6 kilometers round trip.  So it is a great hike to take your kids especially when you get closer to the sea there is a secluded semi-rocky beach for them to explore finding aquatic creatures. This will keep them entertained for hours while giving them the much-needed exercise they need and the much-needed focus between you and your significant other that the two of you crave. The trail is wonderous to behold and traverse even if it happens to be drizzling in Prince Rupert. Which it often does. Usually, raingear is what this trail will entail. The summer months will offer some sunny days and you just might luck out.  Rain or shine this trail is a blast. The bush walk takes you across wooden bridges and walkways, crossing bogs and small streams. Inclines become apparent when close to butze itself or going back to the trailhead.  Some trees are hauntingly beautiful twisting up to the stratosphere. Also providing places to sit in the lower overhanging branches. No ticks to worry about here. There are various picnic benches and vistas to help you sit and relax while overlooking the harbor or rapids.

One of the many views of Butze Rapids

Whichever you get to first. Hiking Butze Rapids is fun and invigorating especially with the smell of the salty ocean in the air. Check out the video below for fun jaunt through the woods of Butze and subscribe! 🙂

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How to get more from a hiking experience

When you are out and about in the outdoors I find that if you are hiking for ulterior motives such as exercise or to beat that other hiker to the top it’s just not going to feel the same. You probably aren’t going to want to do it again. Don’t get me wrong some people probably really enjoy that feeling. How to get more from a hiking experience for me is more than just that. It’s about really taking it all in. The smells, the tastes, the sights and the textures. Really look around you, become a child again. Look at everything as it was for the very first time. Take off your shoes and walk in that ice cold steam. Watch that lady bug up close as it scrambles up a blade of wild grass in that alpine meadow. Take in deep breaths of the fresh mountain air. You could even climb a tree if you are capable of it. Hell take off your shoes and climb it. Just really be there in the moment. Make it almost zen-like and get away from all the worries of the world. This earth is unlike any other and I find the natural world has more to share than we give it credit for.  The sheer beauty of a mountain landscape can take your breath away. Being in the here and now and enjoying that mountain landscape can send you soaring. You can find yourself out here and let go of situations and things that had you down an hour before. Bringing appropriate food stuffs and staying hydrated can also make a hiking experience even more enjoyable. If it’s under 5 kilometers often fruits can give a person that oomph and energy to not make it burdensome and of course enjoyable to get to that next lake or view you really want to see. Over 5 and you will want to dry out those fruits. It still can get you the energy needed to continue on. Of course, bring proteins., dried meats and nuts can help with this. Food is vital and staying hydrated even more vital to getting more from a hiking experience. Keep a journal, pictures or even a video of the hike can reinforce how incredible the hike really was and make you want to go back. It will also help you learn the do’s and don’t’s of the hike so it’s not repeated or repeated for a future expedition. Be aware of your posture and take it slow if at all possible. Stretch before you head off so it makes for a less eventful pulled muscle ordeal. Shared solitude and the mystical elements of how you felt as a kid are what you want back. Unless your childhood wasn’t a haven, you can start afresh and get back a childhood never lived. How to get more from a hiking experience is to get out there and soak it all in you won’t be disappointed.

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The way we think about the natural world is broken

The natural world needs attention and badly. We as a species are highly destructive and may drive ourselves and numerous other species to extinction if a complete overhaul of our mentality about the natural world does not change drastically and soon. Many of you have children and we all know the path we are heading down. Older generations can see the implications of what is happening around us through the ages.

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5 things I wish I’d known before I set off backpacking

1. Start Early

I had hiked a particular mountain in my hometown many times on my own or with a buddy and made it to the top in a set period of time of three and a half hours. This time, however, proved to be a bit more of a challenge because I had an entourage accompanying me. My uncle, my cousins and one of their friends. In my young egocentric mind, we were all going make it to the top. My uncle was in his 40’s(not physically fit at the time), my cousins and their friend in their early teens. They neither knew the terrain very well or had the agility to really have a set pace. We began the hike in early October and started late at about 10:30 a.m. Up we went seeming innocent enough. No incidents. By the time we got three-quarters of the way up the sun was getting somewhat low on the horizon. I was pushing for the top not taking into consideration the limitations of my group. We made it to the second peak but I wanted the top. Up I went with my cousin and friend in tow. My uncle and his daughter stayed at the second peak. The sun was getting closer to the horizon by now. I could hear my uncle yelling at us to come down. I pretended not to hear and kept going.(young and full of myself) We made it to the top. The sun was very close now to setting. I hurriedly took them back down my uncle had a look of scorn on his face as well as worry. Still light enough to see. We went as fast as we could but the night overtook us once we got out of the alpine and half way into the forest. Still light outside in the forest canopy but dark as oil on the path that was supposed to lead us to safety. We were panicking by now my uncle lit a piece of wrapped newspaper on fire to give us light. It went out soon enough. My cousin Sandra was crying making the situation even more frightening for the rest of us. I could feel the anger reverberate from my uncle. I knew he wanted to clobber me but restrained himself. He had one last option and grabbed a stick and took off his shirt and made a crude torch. This got us far enough the path finally opened up to a starry night and the truck that would lead us home. Moral of the story always start early, be prepared, know your group’s limitations, and bring a helmet in case your uncle ever wants to clock you.

2. Make sure your hiking boots/shoes are broken into

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Hiking Onion Lake Trail, Canada

Hiking onion lake trail in a relaxed, not a Chop! Chop! fast paced bushwalk will bring tears of joy to your eye metaphorically speaking.  The trailhead starts between the towns of Kitimat and Terrace in the incredible province of British Columbia, Canada. As you start it Onion Lake can be immediately seen to your left. A deep lake often thought to be bottomless. And a possible reservoir that flows to the ocean. The real goal, however, for the hike, is to make it to a secluded lake called Upper Clearwater.

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What a view

Visit

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The amazing faces of Ferry Island

This magnificent area is situated in the city of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. Carved in the cotton wood trees that encircle the Island situated between two fiords of the Skeena River.

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About

Hello and welcome to the Fearless Backpacker. Hiking has always come naturally for me from the time I was four or five years old my brother and I would traverse the wilderness next to our house. We would explore and explore some more, finding abandoned tree forts and dusty dirt roads.

My dad and I (1978)
My dad and I (1978)

My father, a large influence in my interest in backpacking, would take us for vacation rides across British Columbia, Canada, I would always look outside the car window longing to get out and see what every nook and cranny in the forest or mountainside was hiding. The very first mountain I ever climbed was at seven years of age called Chase Mountain (7,277 ft, 2218 m) in Chase, British Columbia. As a teenager, I have scaled about five mountains in British Columbia a total of twelve times. Chase, Dubois, Claque and Elizabeth and one unnamed mountain. My father would take our family and friends continuously up various trails around Kitimat a town I grew up in. This was always exciting for me and I loved the natural world that encompassed me. Trees such as the giant Sitka spruce, the magnificently red barked cedar tree, the mountain hemlock, the douglas fir are but a few of the natural wonders around our neck of the woods.

What got me excited the most were the little critters that frequented the wilderness like frogs, salamanders, squirrels, rabbits, porcupines, beavers, and birds. Also the bigger animals like bears, wolves, deer, and moose.

Mother grizzly and her cubs curious about their surroundings(photo by Allan Colton)
Mother grizzly and her cubs curious about their surroundings (Photo by Allan Colton)

These always made the trails, meadows, and forested areas more exciting, and believe it or not made you feel not so alone.

I grew up with a family that initially loved the outdoors: outdoor camping, swimming, and hiking. I was the one who continued to hold onto that fascination. The natural world was my friend, no matter what bumps, scratches, insect bites, or bruises I endured. The mountains always held a look of utmost grandeur for me, the trees were a mystical and unexplored unchartered territory, the lakes, and rivers a source of unending sustenance and beauty, wildlife a gift to us all, entertaining us and showing us what true freedom really looks like. These things captivated me and I have been unable to let go of. I am not only an avid outdoorsman but a blogger, photographer, and youtuber. All on the subject of bushcraft and outdoor adventure.

Really hope you enjoy my blog as much as I did in making it, may your backpacks stay light and the outdoor rivers, lakes, mountains, and creatures of the forest a gift until the end….

Marcus

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