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Inspiration

The advantages of people-powered adventure

Outdoor activities can be propelled by many sources; we are most enthusiastic about expending energy of the human kind.

Your heart is pounding. Your lungs are heaving. Your muscles are on fire. Your senses are awake with the sweet smells and sounds of your surroundings. Your mind is rapt by the natural beauty. You are having the best time! Whether you are paddling out in the open sea or descending off the mountain trail, moving under your own power is one of the most satisfying aspects of having outdoor adventures. Physical exertion provides innumerable benefits to ourselves and to the world around us. Not to mention, you can eat a whole pizza without guilt.

Kindness to yourself

The obvious benefits of outdoor physical activity are that it enriches our health and overall well-being in so many ways:

  • Increases fitness, improves mobility, and boosts energy.
  • You have way more fun. It’s the difference between sitting up in the stands watching the game or being down on the field playing in the game.
  • It expands what you believe you are capable of, especially when trying something for the first time or exploring a new location.
  • Being immersed in a stunning outdoor setting is a natural mood enhancer.
  • To excel in a particular activity (or at the least not get injured), you are required to slow down and be mindful of yourself and your environment, which increases your ability to be present.
  • Over time, you realize it’s a miracle that your body can move at all, you develop more appreciation for your body.
  • To delight in nature – the birds flitting amongst berry bushes, the soft whisper of wind against your face, the sound of snow crunching underfoot – reconnects you with your own nature.
  • Exploring new territories gives a sense of freedom.
  • Whether or not you summit that mountain or achieve your top running time on the trail, you build confidence simply by putting yourself out there and giving it your best.
  • Feel the euphoria of simply being aware that you are alive.

Kindness to the environment

It is by choosing to play in nature that we tend to develop respect for the very environment in which we roam. People-powered adventures can help minimize our environmental impact:

  • Reduces noise pollution. Other than the occasional whoop of delight, there isn’t much intrusive noise.
  • Eliminates air and water pollution that is generated from carbon-fuel–sourced rides.
  • Immersing oneself in the natural ecosystem invokes a desire to protect and preserve.
  • Sharing space with wild animals, we learn to build a respectful relationship with wildlife.
  • There more we experience in the outdoors, the more we understand how necessary it is to honour nature as a sacred space. Let’s do our best, shall we?

If you’d like to experience that end-of-the-day sense of fulfillment that arises from having stepped out of your comfort zone and into the great outdoors, join us for your next self-powered adventure. Choose your activity.

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.

Watch adventure films uniquely Bowen

At first glance, you might wonder what locals get up to on Bowen, but there is more to see and do than meets the eye.

When you arrive off the ferry, you will notice the commercial centre is small – six restaurants, two pubs, one chocolatier, a few shops and galleries, some cafés, plus a smattering of other essential services sums up the hustle and bustle on our fair island. But if you look beyond the buildings, out to the sea, through the forests, and into the mountains, you will discover there is much more to behold.

The diverse landscapes of Bowen offer opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities, and not only are locals outside playing, they are also making films of their escapades. Here are some eye-catching films made by resident Bowen adventurers:

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.

Crave-worthy adventure snacks

Every individual has different requirements as to their nutrition needs when it comes to outdoor adventure.

Some can go for hours without refueling. For me, when I’m active even for a short time, I get what I call “hiker’s belly”. You can hear my stomach growling from 50 metres away, I’m sure of it. During high-intensity activities especially, I crave foods containing mostly fats and proteins. When prepping for heading into the wild, I draw upon my education as a holistic nutritionist to choose snacks from high quality sources of these macronutrients. These are some of my favourite foodstuffs and go-to recipes that do well to quell my hunger pangs.

Considerations

What makes adventure snacks desirable is that they are:

• Packable: They don’t take up too much space and won’t be harmed by getting “squished” in your pack or dry bag.
• Portable: They can be eaten by hand.
• Resistant to the elements: They won’t degrade too quickly in blazing heat or are still edible even if they get a little wet.
• Nutrient-dense: To maintain your energy levels.
• Satiating: They are filling and/or refreshing. This is an important aspect to maintain a positive mental state.

Classic on-the-go snacks

These provisions don’t take much time to prepare or can be found easily at your local natural foods store:

• Nuts (adventurers love nuts!)
• Dried fruits (some of my faves are dates or mango slices)
• Roasted seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
• Chocolate (go for quality)
• Personal trail mix (combine your unique preference of the above four ingredients)
• Olives (to satisfy those sodium cravings that arise from exertion)
• Chunks of cheese (aged cheeses tend to fare best in the elements)
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Oven-dried tomatoes
• Fresh fruit such as apple or orange slices (skip the banana, they don’t survive packing or extreme temperatures very well)
• Avocado (whole, sliced, or mushed are all good)
• Natural peanut butter or pumpkin seed butter spread on whole grain bread or tortilla wraps
• Veggie sticks (think carrot, cucumber, red pepper, radish, cherry tomatoes) with bean dip or hummus

A bit fancier

These eats require a little more pre-planning and effort, but when you are hours into a mountain hike or ocean paddle, you will truly appreciate it. My adventure buddy is big on eating healthy foods, not as enamoured with actual cooking. When I bring the snacks for our escapades, she comments that she eats better than most other times in her life. These are some of the recipes I enjoy making for the road:

Slightly spicy roasted pepitas
Roasted veggie and bean burritos (I add avocado and skip the cheese for my vegan friend)
Peanut butter energy bites
Chocolate banana bread
Homemade beef jerky
Beet hummus with za’atar pita chips
Pumpkin millet muffins
 Glowing spiced lentil soup (bring a thermos-full on your cold weather adventures)
Black bean and yellow rice salad (remember to take your spork!)

I love trying new recipes. Let us know what are some of your favourite adventure snacks.

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.

What adventure means

The word “adventure” likely conjures up images of remote locales and dangerous feats, but not all adventure involves perilous stunts.

Adventure simply means “to proceed despite risk”. While risk implies potential loss and does include the possibility of bodily harm, I would also suggest that there is an actual beneficial loss – the letting go of our own limiting beliefs about what we believe is possible for ourselves.

Don’t believe everything you believe

Even though I had participated in organized sports from as early as age five, as a youngster, I was informed by well-meaning adults that I was more of a “bookworm” person than an “outdoorsy” one. While it is true I devoured any reading material I could get my hands on and loved school more than almost everyone, I also accepted the label of “not outdoorsy” as fact. For the next two decades of my life, I believed that story about myself.

As it goes, my life experiences were created from my stories. I struggled with being in nature. As an example, I have less-than-fond memories of my Grandpa taking me on fishing trips – bushwhacking down steep cutbanks on blistering hot summer days, having to machete through thick brush, getting scratched by thorny plants, swarmed by biting flies, only to find our way to the riverbank where I would then get frustrated by tangling my rod in the trees or snagging my hook in the rocks. Nowadays, I would have a hearty laugh about the adventure of it all. Back then, I was not laughing. It hurts my heart to think of this as my Grandpa was passionate about the great outdoors and was taking me fishing because he loved me. But my limited perspective prevented me from enjoying this experience with him.

You are who you choose to be

I’ve always been an adventurous spirit in terms of how I inwardly approach the world. To have created and operated four different businesses over the last 18 years has required me to take many mental and emotional risks, however, historically I have been less comfortable with physical risk. In recent years, though, it has been through my earthly adventures that I have most expanded my own boundaries of what I believe I am capable of. Earlier in life, I had been operating under a false premise that a person had to choose between being “smart” or “active”. It seems ridiculous as I write that now. Obviously, there is no limitation to who we are. We can choose to express as many aspects of our being as we desire. Once I made a decision I wanted to be “outdoorsy”, I eased myself into activity starting with those with low barriers to entry such as hiking and snowshoeing.

My transformation was accelerated when I moved to Bowen Island because of my ability to live immersed in nature. Right outside my door are dense rainforest, awe-inspiring mountains, and the ever-inviting sea. This environment is ripe with ample opportunity for outdoor activity – everything from standup paddleboarding to foraging to rock climbing and so much more. Outdoor adventure has become a part of my daily life. I had never imagined that one day I would summit six mountains in eight days, fall in love with slacklining, or be can’t-sleep excited about winter camping on a cross-country ski trip.

What you have to gain

I believe playing outside has brought out the best in me and I believe it can do the same for others. Adventure has helped me:

• Become physically stronger and more fit
• Find peace by being more willing to let go of control (Mother Nature, she’s in charge)
• Face adversity with more humour (sometimes all one can do is laugh)
• Better utilize my strengths
• Trust myself
• Find coping mechanisms for stress
• Enhance my mental clarity
• Accept that sometimes life is hard and that’s just fine
• Acknowledge that we live in an abundant world
• Appreciate the beauty that is everywhere
• Get excited about waking up every day

Sure, adventure involves risk and does mean potential loss, but it more so means that we have everything to gain by releasing our self-imposed limitations about who we are.

What does adventure mean to you?

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.