For my father being an outfitter was much more than simply selling his brand of adventure. It was about sharing an intimate love of wild places with like minded individuals. About knowing that each paddle stroke was a joyful release for each trip participant. In close to thirty years I have never seen him return from a season, not happy to have shared the river and himself with guests from around the world. The hundreds of stories told and countless cups of coffee as much the tools of his trade as a canoe, a paddle and a lifejacket. He made memories with his guests that would remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Growing up with a guide for a father taught me many things. Some basic, like the value of good rain-gear, dry socks and a secret stash of chocolate. Some more advanced items too, such as the evils of camping in sand, knots to use in a rescue situation and that you always double check how your boats are tied up for the night... But the most significant lesson was how to love a wild place.
"How do you come up with your menu?"
This might be one of the most common questions we are asked, usually shortly after fresh cinnamon buns grace the breakfast table, deep in the Northern Wilderness. Like anything, if you want to be good at it you have to practice. And to practice you have to enjoy it.
Late winter is a weird time of year for someone who identifies as an outfitter, conservationist or adventurer. We leave the well travelled paths that takes us to our happy places, the lakes, rivers, mountains and forests. We find solace in the yoga mat or a recommended ale, we trade in a hug from loved ones for the handshake of the cabbie. It is different. But this difference is essential and drives us to come out of our bubbles of nature, gear, photographs and maps. It drives us to connect.
This is why we do what we do. To share what we love. To remind people where our country came from and that if we are truly to realize our potential as a nation our wilderness will have to continue to shape who we are.
So, while we stretch stiffening knees after long flights, and search with sleepy eyes for a decent cup of coffee you can be sure we look forward to meeting you.
Toronto, thank you for having us. Your are lovely, your beer delicious and energy infectious.
Vancouver and Calgary, we look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
Vancouver Outdoor Adventure Travel Show: March 4-5
Calgary Outdoor Adventure Travel Show: March 25-26
Interactions with bears are a proper concern when some is considering a journey into our backcountry. Knowing what situations might arise, how to deal with them and prevent a negative outcome is worth putting some thought into. Nahanni Wild has been working and traveling through wilderness for decades and we are happy to share some of the theory and techniques that we employ on our expeditions
Suddenly awoken by the sunlight streaming through the small window of the plane I find myself struggling to put the pieces together.
Last night’s mad dash to pack up a week's worth of foul weather gear and accompanying surf equipment didn’t begin until the latest round of advertisements had been submitted to various magazines. Its pre-Christmas chaos in every office and I was behind schedule. Thankfully getting outside is a team sport at our house and with the (patient) help of my wife everything was packed properly and a ride given to the airport.
2016 will go down as our most successful season yet with amazing trips on the Nahanni, Keele and Mountain Rivers. With great water levels on our Nahanni River headwaters expedition, exciting wildlife encounters and our first all women’s trip under our belts we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
Summer 2016 found me with a little time to explore lesser known regions of the Nahanni River and Nahanni National Park Reserve...
In the 28 years since David began guiding on the Nahanni River much has changed. Boat construction (Grumman Canoes anyone?), safety equipment and techniques and even the menu available to expedition participants have changed. However, our love for the wilderness has only grown and our passion for sharing it with you has only deepened...
First season trips are coming off the water!