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I used to go into the woods and imagine that I was the first to walk on a piece of ground and my footprints were the first to leave their mark. I was drawn to the idea of pristine wilderness. My imagination was romanced by the possibility that I was the first human to walk or paddle a place. I would see footprints from a past hiker and feel somehow disappointed or… Read More

Forgotten gear, soaked clothing, cold hands, even a minor oversight in preparation can turn a backcountry trip uncomfortable. In most cases, discomfort is not life-threatening and a little bit of suffering adds a little poeticism to the story. However, there can be a fine line between the discomfort we come to expect in the backcountry and the kind of discomfort that can eventually distract us from looking for animals, interfere with sleep,… Read More

I recently changed the declination setting on my compass from 11° 22.26′ West to 22° 49.56′ West when I moved from Peterborough, Ontario to Nain, Nunatsiavut, Labrador. If you have ever used a compass to follow directions or navigate to a point on a map and you are unsure what I’m referring to here, you may have found yourself slightly off your target.