I occasionally wonder if I talk too much about the woods. I probably do, but that doesn’t deter me in the least. It warms my heart to see evidence of that sort of passion elsewhere, too, and makes me feel less like a deviant.
I’d like to share a recent example of just this type of thing.
I have two friends that have recently become backcountry hiking partners. They’ve both taken quite readily to the outdoors, and are as passionate as I am when it comes to hiking and canoeing and, if it can be believed, gear. One of them recently got married, and the other was a groomsman at his wedding.
I submit, for your pleasure and perusal, his wedding toast:
In about a week and a half, I’ll be headed out to a bit of crown land with a friend of mine. It’s going to be an interesting experience, since I’m not used to letting someone else plan a route for me. I’ll be going in essentially blind, but that’s fine. I’m going with a standup guy, and we’ve both got good heads on our shoulders.
I like to make sure that every time I head out into the bush, I learn something. If I don’t, then all it means is that I wasn’t paying attention. For each trip, I also like to try and give myself some goals. They’re nothing crazy – sometimes they’re restrictions I place on myself, like not bringing a tent, or using a flint striker to start all my fires, sometimes they’re just an attempt to focus, like trying to keep my stuff together when portaging.
This time, navigation is key, so I’m going to set my sights on the orienteering skills I remember learning in junior high, about two decades ago.
Wish me luck. Continue reading