Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Life in the wilderness

In the beginning, many years ago I first heard that sound, then, but a faint whisper of some far away vision yet to be understood. It was a dream, a feeling inside and as the years went by the sound grew in meaning to me and became louder and louder still until it was all my mind could think of. It is the call of the wild and I put my trust in it because it lingers and is persistent on so many occasions. I answer the call and head into the backcountry.

To me the meaning of the call of the wild has changed over time. It is the understanding of the old ways of doing things in the wilderness; it is the love of traditional and simple means of living in the nature. It is the preservation of wilderness skills that have been discarded over time when their value from the mainstream has lessened, but their value in reality to the indigenous people across the seas, will never fade.

Long ago I had an idea that I wanted to live in the wild, so my journey began and I started to gather skills that would enable me to succeed in this. I headed to places like the Black mountains of Wales, The Galloway forest of Scotland and Glen Affric of the Highlands. I then broadened my scope and travelled further to learn wilderness skills from different traditional cultures. I went to the wild Northern Territory in Australia to learn from the aborigines’ and a Viking from the remote Telemark region of Norway.

I also needed to learn from the people in the past who survived the wilderness and so many years ago my attention was drawn to the west and the epic tales of the mountain men. I was inspired by tales of Jim Bridger, Hugh Glass, Joe Walker, Jon Colter, Old Bill Williams and Jedidiah Smith. These men were trappers of beaver in the Rocky Mountains, explorers of the west of North America. They travelled by pack horse and were wilderness guides and would send me to Canada.

The idea of living in the wilderness now broadened into travelling through and working in the back country, this brought me to Chilcotin Holidays to learn packing, guiding and shoeing skills. I have a new appreciation of the mountains and my desire to explore them is strong and I trust that it will become stronger yet if I stay away too long.

Learning and living these skills in Canada in remote camps in alpine territory comes natural to me and you have to be “ok” with being slightly wild yourself to succeed in the back country. Even if the weather was down near freezing I never had more than 2 layers because I copied the horses and had a layer of dirt on to keep the warmth in. So here I am learning survival skills from the animals. You have to be adaptable like this in the wild and go all the way or go back.

Life in the wilderness is hard but for me there is no other way, ‘The Mountains are calling and I must go’. This quote by John Muir is the beginning and end for me.

See you in the Mountains!

By Carl The Revenant.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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