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Activities

Why slacklining is good for you

I remember my first time getting on a slackline, or more accurately, ‘trying’ to get on the line. My leg was shaking and swinging as if it had a mind of its own, which induced a hearty laughing fit.

Slacklining is the skill of balancing or walking on a dynamic line. It originated with climbers who used webbing and anchors to replicate circus lines for the purpose of performing tricks. Recently, it has evolved into a captivating sport that attracts all types of adventurous souls. Laughter is one of the many benefits it has to offer. Not only is it fun, it has been proven to be good for you:

1

Relieves stress

One of the keys to success on the line is having a quiet mind. The less thought, the less wobble. Being fully focused in the moment creates a meditative state which helps alleviate the worries and frustrations of every day life. As mentioned above, slacklining also makes for many amusing moments. Everyone who starts out is humbled by its learning curve. It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.

2

Builds community

While slacklining appears to be an individual sport, it’s actually fantastic at building community. Wherever we set up a line, curious passersby always stop and chat with us. They are intrigued by its novelty. Within a slackline group, there is constant encouragement and support every time someone steps up. We celebrate each others willingness to persevere.

3

Develops appreciation for nature

Most slacklining is done outside, often in the forest or at the beach, settings which naturally inspire. Even the act of seeking out a suitable spot to set up a line invites a more attentive look at our surroundings. Wherever we go, we are on the constant lookout for sturdy trees of a certain girth and distance apart. It makes us aware of how much diversity exists in nature.

4

Promotes a healthy body

From the moment you step on the line, almost every muscle group is activated, especially your core. While playing on the line, your whole body is getting an awesome workout and you don’t even realize it. Numerous medical studies have shown that slacklining improves muscular reflexes, balance, coordination, posture, and agility.

Slacklining is an activity available to people of every age and ability. We enjoy it for all its benefits, but most of all for the way it keeps us young at heart.

If you would like a hand at getting your feet on the line, join us for our next slacklining adventure. We enjoy supporting those who want to try slacklining for the first time. Learn more.

Baz Cardinal

In Charge of Fun

Baz believes adventure begins with freshly-brewed coffee and ends with West Coast craft beer.

Kiley Redhead

Director of Adventure

Kiley believes adventure brings out the best in her and it has the capacity to do the same for others.

How to enjoy rainy day adventures

You peer out your window and see grey mist through a cascade of water dripping from your eaves.

For most, this scene doesn’t exactly elicit gleeful shouts of “Woohoo, let’s get outside!” As much as we all love having outdoor adventures under clear blue skies, it’s a fact of west coast life that we encounter more cloudy days in a year than sunny ones.

We live on an island in the shadow of mountains amidst a rainforest, so the subject of wet-weather activities is a frequent conversation in our household. Personally, I fancy any opportunity to play in the water, whether it’s in the ocean or on land. After hiking, I often return home with soaked clothes, covered in mud, and grinning ear-to-ear. My partner usually shakes his head in disbelief as he helps me peel off my dripping jacket. Even if you don’t have an affinity for the wet stuff, it shouldn’t prevent you from getting outside and playing, it’s simply a matter of being prepared, both mentally and physically.

Choose a wet-weather activity

The likeliest way to learn to love rainy adventures is to choose an agreeable activity. Strangely, many people don’t consider water-based sports when it’s precipitating, yet they are the most fitting options. You are already in the water, so what’s a little more wet? Kayaking, standup paddleboarding, open-water swimming, surfing, and sailing all make for invigorating outings on drizzly days.

As far as land-based activites go, the muddier the better: hiking, trail running, foraging, and mountain biking are all fun. Nature walks are also entertaining, especially when we take inspiration from our childhood and we go puddle-jumping.

Dress for a deluge

Having the appropriate clothing can transform a potential miserable experience into a pleasant one. Even though part of the fun of being out in the rain is getting wet, for our well-being, it is important to stay warm and dry. The right gear creates comfort and prevents cold stress:

• Wear moisture-wicking base layers to keep water away from the skin. Evaporation is the quickest source of heat loss in the body, thus it is important to keep our skin dry.
• Cover up with breathable, waterproof outer layers. Modern fabric technology gives us many options for protective outerwear including jackets, pants, gloves, and hats.
• Keep your feet dry with waterproof shoes or boots. This maintains warmth, and also helps prevent blisters or immersion foot syndromes.
• Carry extra dry clothing, especially hats, gloves, socks, and base layers, if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time.
• Bring waterproof covers to safeguard your camera, phone, backpack, etc. This is a good time to use those recycled plastic bags you’ve been saving.
• For water-based activities, choose wetsuits appropriate to the environment. Learn more about how to choose a wetsuit.

Bring a positive attitude

You may have set out with more favourable weather when suddenly a cloudburst let loose. Go with the flow. Let your hair frizz, get dirty, laugh when your snacks get soggy, and know there is a warm shower when you return home. Enjoy the experience for what it is – it may not be what you hoped for, but it is an adventure!

To enjoy rainy day adventures, often the hardest part is getting out the door. After that, it’s pure joy.

Kiley Redhead

Director of Adventure

Kiley believes adventure brings out the best in her and it has the capacity to do the same for others.

Hiking on Bowen Checklist

If you are planning a self-guided hiking trip to Bowen Island during the warm-season months, these are some recommended essentials to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

 

Pre-trip planning

  • Research your route. Find Bowen trails information here.
  • Check the weather forecast and plan for daylight.
  • Check the ferry schedule.
  • Decide on your transportation. Bowen is a walking-friendly island, you may want to consider taking public transportation instead of bringing your vehicle. Learn more about getting to Bowen here.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. File a trip plan using AdventureSmart’s online tool.
  • Pack your bag. Download your Hiking Checklist PDF.

What to bring

Clothing and footwear
  • Daypack for carrying items
  • Proper hiking shoes or boots
  • Weather-appropriate outdoor clothing (e.g. wicking base layers for warmer days, breathable waterproof jacket for rainy days, insulating layers for cooler days or evenings)
  • Sun protection including hat and sunglasses
  • Extra dry clothing (e.g. socks and base layers) for rainy weather
Essential safety items
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • Map and compass/GPS (Note: cell service in many areas is spotty or unavailable)
  • Whistle
  • Water or other hydrating liquids
  • Nutrient-dense snacks or lunch (find some suggestions here)
  • Phone to call in emergency
  • Suncreen
Optional gear
  • Hiking polls
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Emergency blanket or bivy bag

Safety tips

  • In the summer months, observe the local fire danger ratings. All open fires are banned. Please consider not smoking on the trails while the forests are tinder dry.
  • Most hikes on Bowen include hills of varying degree. Ensure your fitness level is adequate for your chosen route.

Trail etiquette

  • Many trails are dog friendly, however, some do require a leash.
  • Respect the environment. Please pack out your garbage (and your dog’s poop).
  • Bring your adventurous spirit and remember to have fun!

Be adventure smart. Even though Bowen Island is relatively small, you can still find yourself in a remote location. If you would prefer to hike with a local guide, check out our hiking adventures here.

Baz Cardinal

In Charge of Fun

Baz believes adventure begins with freshly-brewed coffee and ends with West Coast craft beer.