Q#1 Where do you go ?
A: Trails that get me through some nice old forests and up to the alpine where there is water and the possibility to return by a different way via some peaks and ridges.
Q#2What do you pack for day trips and longer hikes ?
A: Being prepared can give you great comfort in a difficult situation.Rain gear,warm clothes,food,water,whistle,,flashlight with extra batteries and i have an emergency kit containing matches, compass,knife,first aid kit.Since I don't like insect repellent I bring a mosquito net that sits over my cap.A longer trip includes tent,sleeping bag,one change of clothes,stove with extra fuel and a sound plan for a safe return.
Q#3 What things are unsafe to bring ?
A: Things that have a strong scent can be attractive to bears and mice for that matter.Avoid spilling foods and seal them well.Another thing not to bring is an impatient attitude.It feels good to ease into the experience while getting alert and focused .
Q#4 What are the dangers and how do you prepare.
A: Hypothermia is the big concern as accidents happen when your core body temperature drops and your brain isn't functioning properly. Breaking a leg on day #2 of 10 is a good reason to focus on the trail while watching out for critters.In the wet coastal rain forest the dampness can really cool you off so warm drinks are great during a rest and lets not forget about keeping hydrated internally as we huff our way up.
Q#5 Animal sightings and encounters ?
A: There have been many.When you get yourself around some habitat and sit quietly eventually it all seems to unfold for you.On a few occasions a large animal has wondered by seemingly oblivious to my presence.During a' weather' day [rain and fog ] at a high camp I was sitting quietly on some thick moss by a small clearing when suddenly a bear wondered through with his snoot to the ground looking for food.It didn't seem to realize that I was there.In that situation there is a chance of startling it so it was a huge relief to hear it leave.......heading towards my camp....and good to know the food was tied high.The greatest feeling of danger occurred when I came upon a big bull moose with a cow high up in the rockies.It lifted it's giant head and I avoided eye contact while smoothly backing away and around the area.Oh yeah and the time the grizzly growled at me...that gets the heart pumping and is to be avoided!
Q#6 How long have you been doing this and do you run into other people in the back country ?
A: Over the past 40 years many of my trips get beyond the beaten path.Every now and then I'll run into fellow hikers but i tend to go on weekdays in whatever weather usually only seeing people near the trail head.
Q#7 Environmental changes ?
A: Here in British Columbia forestry is a huge issue with many complex angles.It is astonishing to fly or look on google earth at how much has been logged in the past couple of decades.In the past couple of years it has become an accepted practice to spray ROUND-UP [ defoliant ] on clear cuts to control the invasive plants .I was shocked to pass through one of these areas in the Rexford valley near Chilliwack lake where a sign said there would be a helicopter spraying.I could pass through but the American team that was climbing and camping on Mount Slesse above were unaware and unable to get out of the way.
The pine beetle has killed a huge area of trees but in the haste to rescue wood value and mitigate fire hazards many stands of other more valuable timber are getting scooped up in the process.Now that wood doesn't have to be processed in the local mills logs can be shipped down to huge mills on the coast where 30% are shipped away RAW !
The glaciers are melting presenting a host of water challenges.Fish farms are allowed drift net pens even though the science and experience of other countries shows detrimental environmental effects such as sea lice out-brakes that threaten wild fish.
You are welcome to add your questions to the comment box.