Wednesday, May 1, 2013



“You cannot travel the path until you become the path itself”
Ancient Buddhist saying
Hiking, besides being healthy and invigorating has always been a pleasurable way for me to spend time outside.  Hiking provides a physical challenge as well as a break from today’s hectic living and offers the tranquility of the forest as well as the thrill of connecting with nature.  Vancouver Island is rich with hiking trails and a moderate climate, allowing for year round opportunities of hiking where we can observe unique ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers.  The pleasures promised by a hike on one of the many trails never fail to tempt me to strap on a pack and lace up my hiking boots.  The scenery at the top of a mountain is without a doubt well worth the effort it sometimes takes to climb there.  Rock outcroppings offer rest spots with breathtaking vistas, eagles soar overhead and birdsong fills the clear, brisk air.  The rewards are immeasurable. 
There are no guarantees that the wilderness you’re hiking today will still be there tomorrow, therefore when it comes to sharing and enjoying nature a little consideration is crucial. More people are finding pleasure in the outdoors and the evidence of public recreation and the effect on the environment is becoming increasingly apparent. 

Even one hiker can have an impact on the fragile wilderness and hopefully we can retain the essence of the outdoors by using good ethics and practicing ‘no-trace hiking’.  Carrying out everything we bring into the forest, treating the forest and the trails with respect and leaving “only our footprints behind”.

So I encourage you to strap on a packsack, lace up your boots and hit the trails.  But before you head out here are a few significant points to keep in mind.
·        Insure that you are physically prepared
·        Carry a fully stocked backpack
·        Break in your boots before the hike
·        Wear wicking socks
·        Research your hike and be familiar with the area
·        Leave a detailed note as to where you are hiking and when you are expecting to return
·        Carry the ten basic essentials

1.     Water and plenty of it
2.     Food including high energy snacks
3.     Rain gear and change of socks
4.     Hat and sun block
5.     First aid kit
6.     Waterproof matches or lighter
7.     An extra layer of clothes
8.     Whistle
9.     Pocket knife
10. Compass and map of area

Once you are on the trail you will experience the inspirational rewards of embracing the wilderness, just watch your footing, respect the environment and enjoy the moment.
Happy Hiking!
This book was originally written as a tribute to my friend and mentor Marianne who at the time of the first issue was dealing with breast cancer. Marianne is well versed in wilderness safety and taught me many important lessons as we hiked. I compiled these lessons into this Hiking Book to share with you and designed the book to help you plan your hikes safely, and to carry with you as a guide.   Many readers found hope and inspiration in her strength and positive attitude as she dealt with her cancer treatments.  It has been over twenty years since Marianne first guided me on our initial hike together and ten years since the first writing of this book. At the time of the first writing, Marianne had hiked through her breast cancer treatments with the same quiet dignity and strength that she exudes on a mountain trail.
The hikes we shared during Marianne’s cancer treatments were not as strenuous as our usual weekly treks and yet they were especially meaningful.  Being on a forest path feed’s your soul and when you are feeling less energetic the essence of the forest energizes you.  The verdant forest, lush greens of the various fern’s, the assorted colors and variations of the wildflowers and the scampering of the forest inhabitants along the trail are a robust reminder of life’s ever changing cycles. Being on a forest trail renews our appreciation for all things living.  
Once Marianne’s strength returned we were back hiking with a renewed reverence for life and a reminder of the strength and beauty surrounding us in the forest as it does in our lives.
This book is meant as a guide to both those who are approaching hiking on Vancouver Island for the first time and for others who are already experiencing the pleasures of hiking. This anecdotal and informational account of hiking gives voice to the delight and lessons a trek in the wild imparts.
Author: Trish (BlackCrowCurios)

Question for the reader: 

What are your thoughts on development eating up the green spaces?



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