A note from Maman on the Trail:
Meet Jane, a human of the outdoors. Jane lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and gets outdoors with her husband, Rob, and their 3 adult children, when they are around. Here is her story…
On her time outdoors…
I am an outdoor junkie! Those nearest to me will attest to the fact that without my daily outdoor fix, I am grumpy! I love to hike, bike, paddle and explore! My favourite cycling, hiking and paddling partner is my husband, Rob. We have explored the outdoors together for as long as I can remember and our favourite times are those spent with our children in the outdoors. I have recently moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to Vancouver Island. My new home is located in the spectacular Comox Valley – a locale known for hiking, biking, skiing, and kayaking. Heaven on Earth, to say the least.
My “children” are now adults, aged 22, 24 and 26 years, and they inspire me to get outdoors more. Their love of nature and the outdoors runs deep. I must confess that today, their outdoor skills surpass mine. I like to think that my husband and I planted the “outdoor passion” seed in all of them. My eldest son, Ian, recently rode his bike from Haida Gwaii to Mexico, self-supported. My other son, Adam, works as a Lead Guide for an Outdoor Adventure company. And my daughter, Emma, recently guided tours to Gwaii Haanas.
On raising adventurous children…
My husband and I have always loved the outdoors. For as long as I can remember, our holidays have included a tent, marshmallows and the great outdoors. It is so much a part of us, that when our children came along, we simply made a few adjustments and included them in the adventures. As they grew older, we adopted an “outward bound” type of philosophy, believing that growth occurs outside your comfort zone.
Of course, there are challenges when hiking, paddling, etc., with children, but in my opinion, the rewards are greater. It was a thrill to observe them exploring and learning in the outdoors. Their capacity amazed me and I learned to not underestimate their abilities. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them invent games without the aid of electronics. We bonded as a family and to this day look back on some of our early trips with fond memories.
This sense of adventure now seems to be a core part of them. They all value nature and the outdoors and enjoy sharing it with others. They don’t regard their adventures as risky…although as I get older I worry about the risks they take. In truth, I worry enough for all of them!
On the next adventure…
I must say, my favourite adventure is always the next one! 🙂 The decision regarding our next adventure is often based on available time away from work and, of course, time of year. We keep a white board in our home, with a trip wish list on it. I must confess that the wish list is long….but I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂 We strive to complete one long (3-4 week) adventure every year and numerous weekend and 4-5 day trips throughout the year.
I suppose time off work is one of the greatest challenges in maintaining an outdoorsy lifestyle, especially with respect to longer adventures. Having said that, a simple day hike on a quiet trail can be all one needs to fulfill that outdoor need. I strive to, at a minimum, walk in nature every day.
A little Q & A…
Q: What is your go-to adventure snack?
A: Trail mix… with lots of chocolate!
Q: What piece of gear do you never leave the house without?
A: My Buff*.
Q: What is your favourite nature quote, and who said it first?
A: “The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir
Q: What one piece of advice would you share with someone who is wary of or new to the outdoors?
A: Just start…..and be prepared. I keep my outdoor gear in good condition and always ready to go! I also keep a well-stocked First Aid kit, and for longer adventures, I spend time researching routes, etc. I highly recommend that folks who interested in getting started take a wilderness First Aid course and a navigation course. It sometimes worries me to see folks on the trails ill-equipped and reliant on cell phones for directions.
For more of Jane’s stories and adventures, you can follow her on Instagram, @discovertheoutdoors.
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