» Canada’s wide network of trails can help revitalize local communities’ economies and support their overall well-being. They offer outdoor tourism, recreation, and transportation space that can be used while respecting new physical distancing requirements.
» Trails provide various economic benefits. Their construction and maintenance increases income and employment in the region where the trail is built and across the country through indirect and induced impacts. Trails attract tourists and local visitors, whose spending in turn leads to other economic impacts. Trails also support local businesses and increase property values around the trail.
» Trails as green infrastructure systems provide many of the benefits of grey infrastructure, such as transportation corridors and outdoor facilities, while having additional advantages of storm-water retention, flood control, carbon reduction, pollution reduction, and preservation of natural ecosystems.
» Trails offer a relatively safe activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence from within and outside Canada indicates trail usage is increasing because it is naturally physically distanced and seen by many as safe.
» By providing safe spaces for users to enjoy physical activity and recreation, trails help to improve not only physical but also mental health. The fact that nature and physical activity have been found to improve mental health has important implications for today’s high levels of pandemic-driven mental stress.
» Evidence also shows that increased physical activity among Canadians could lead to a reduction in many chronic conditions. In Canada, 44 per cent of adults over age 20 have at least one chronic disease. Trails, therefore, could play a significant role to play in improving the health of Canadians and reducing medical costs.
The wrong pair of hiking shoes can make your life a living hell. This video by Solomon explains why properly selecting the right pair of shoes will make all the difference.
In this video, photographer and mountain lover Dominique Granger explains how to choose a great pair of hiking shoes.
By following Dominique’s advice you are more likely to make the good choices.
Hiking can be enjoyed in all kinds of weather and across all types of terrain including forest paths, high mountains, slippery surfaces, rocks, rain and snow. All these elements should be considered when choosing your shoes.
This is an epic adventure, 40 days in the northern reaches of Quebec, travelling with traditional tools including wood-canvas canoes and fire irons for cooking over an open fire. It is a trip filled with unknowns for me, but there is one thing of which I’m sure: the 11 young women I’m travelling with, nine of whom are teenagers, will not see each other at their best. They are bug-bitten, cold and boob-deep in muskeg bog and have to carry an incredibly heavy canoe on their heads.
At the heart of this story is a summer camp – but not the kind most people know. This one is called Keewaydin, the second-oldest operating summer camp in North America. Its vision hasn’t changed since it was established in 1893: “a program focused on wilderness canoe tripping, with minimum time spent in base camp”. In its first 105 years only boys got the chance to go tripping, but in the past two decades girls have joined the ranks. I’m interested in how something established more than a century ago to promote manliness and “roughing it in the woods” can be relevant for teenage girls today. I wonder what kind of teenage girl would want to forgo life’s luxuries to spend a summer in the wilderness – but also know that, as a teenager, I probably would have been one of them.
Who better to see the world with than your best friend? Especially when your best friend is a dog. Tom Turcich of New Jersey and his adorable pooch Savannah have walked over 18,000 miles through the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Italy, Turkey and dozens of other countries over the past five years. It’s been a life-changing adventure. They’ve survived hardship, and they’ve experienced the kindness of strangers along the way. And they’ve still got miles to go.
But the pilgrims still come, in larger and larger numbers. If not explicitly the divine, what are they seeking? There are definite worldly benefits to pilgrimage. Almost everyone loses weight, for example (although not like I did — starting my Camino on the heels of a bout of stomach flu and thus in a radically fasted state, I lost 10 pounds in a week). Some treat it like a physical-endurance challenge, such as the shredded and tanned couple we met in Santiago de Compostela who had completed the entire 500-mile walk, starting in France, in just 24 days.
Some seek relief from emotional torment, and there is evidence they can find it: A study published in the journal Psychological Medicine reported that those who went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, (another major Catholic pilgrimage destination) experienced a significant decrease in anxiety and depression, sustained for at least 10 months after the pilgrims had returned.
You’ve learned how to find good firewood in challenging conditions and then use it to reliably get a fire going no matter what. You’ve learned how to layer for the outdoors. You’ve learned how to read a map. What’s the logical conclusion of learning all this and the other skills we’ve covered in this video series? The ability to experience new, riskier environments with confidence and comfort. With the right approach and gear, winter camping can be just as comfortable as camping any other time of year. Here’s how.
From the small lonely islands of Lofoten to the dancing northern lights in Senja, David Jervidal travelled with his father, Tommy Jervidal, for 10 days in the northern part of Norway – to capture some of it’s untamed wilderness.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety. With that said, the vast majority of people are good. Recognize the fear mongers. Be properly informed. Be aware of your surroundings. Be respectful — you are a guest in their country. Don’t attract unnecessary attention — you probably already stand out enough.
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Be more like Joe Public.
» Do what’s right.
» Enjoy the ride.