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201) Hike backcountry solo 13 Aug 2012

[The following is a designated ‘John-only‘ to-do]

I’d been out alone in the bush before, but never had I spent a night in the wild by myself. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now — a right of passage I suppose.

For my first solo backcountry trip, I picked a simple trail in Banff, Alberta. 6.7km hike-in with 550m of elevation gain; enough to get you sweating on a hot day, and enough distance to ensure that the sounds of cars and people are kept far at bay. Amazingly and fantastically enough I was the only person out there of the five available backcountry campsites, so I had the whole lake to myself.

It’s eerie but also incredibly peaceful being alone in a massive wild space. You become much more attuned to your surroundings, every sound and movement registers, keeping you connected.

Take a couple days and go out and enjoy your own private mountain lake some time. It will remind you of all the things that are important in life. (Like not getting eaten by bears.)