How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?
I grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-lake and spent most of my time outdoors. My grandfather was a World War II vet and believed that young people needed to learn about the outdoors and how to survive.
What has been your favourite hiking trail or outdoor area?
I love the desolation of the mountains. I spent Halloween in the Adirondack Mountains near Mt. Marcy last year and it was spectacular. There is a certain awe that I feel in the presence of mountains that makes you feel very spiritual and close to nature.
Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.
I spent June and July of 2009 hiking the entire Bruce trail barefoot from Niagara to Tobermory. In Boyne Valley there is a place called Murphy’s Pinnacle. I arrived there late one evening and made the short trip to the summit. Although being only 500m tall, it was so beautiful and moving. I sat there and watched the sun set with my dog.
Have you ever been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.
I have learned good directions and have never been lost for more than an hour or so in wilderness. It’s surprising how when you step off trail to camp or relax how quickly the trail disappears into the woods and is difficult to find. Always use landmarks or temporary marking tape to not get lost.
Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?
During my Bruce Trail Hike, I awoke to hear a noise outside my tent. I gently unzipped the tent to find a huge buck staring at me. He breathed out and I saw the mist from his nose. It was a mind blowingly beautiful reminder of the wild place I was visiting.
If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?
I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. Each year I spend most of my free time in the wilderness. I’ve hiked through Algonquin park, Killarney park, and Frontenac park as well as travelled through the United States and walked barefoot on the Salt Flats of Utah, and the floor of Death Valley. From all those trips I’ve learned how beautiful Canada and the United States really is. I also learned that shoes are not as necessary as people may belive if you are tough enough to handle it. I’ve also learned that if nothing goes wrong, it’s not an adventure
What is your favourite outdoor website?
What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?
I always love military surplus stores, gears designed for our troops who are often called professional campers and of course Mountain Equipment Co-Op
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