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Kiley Redhead

10 ways you know you’re “not” a climber

Climbing is not a sport people feel ambivalent about.

Some gravitate towards it with obsession. Others question why anyone would get up for it at all. If you’re not sure yet which end of the rope you fall on, these points might help you recognize if you are “not” a climber.

Your mind is in knots trying to remember how to tie knots.

The clove hitch, munter, prusik, or double fisherman’s? You may not be able to reproduce them, but you would order them at a bar because they all sound like the names of delicious cocktails.

You don’t cram your feet into shoes that feel three sizes too small.

As far as you’re concerned, foot binding is an antiquated practice that should have been outlawed in the last millennium. Plus, you prefer your toenails to be a healthy pink.

Your first choice of a hangout spot is not a precarious ledge.

If you are near an area that’s climbing worthy, chances are you will be spending time chilling on a ridiculously vertical piece of rock. Your idea of “living on the edge” might be more like sunning yourself at a clothing-optional beach.

You cringe when your skin feels dry.

To deliberately coat your hands with dusty chalk seems gross. Never mind come home with it in your nose, mouth, and eyes. You’re more the type who liberally applies lotion at the first sign of dehydration.

You don’t enjoy crushing your bits.

Whether it’s for reasons of sheer vanity or propagating the human species, it seems questionable to cinch your beloved jiggly parts into a harness, also affectionately known as a “sausage casing”.

You have trust issues.

With your life on the line, you’re not sure if balancing on minuscule footholds while dangling several metres off the ground on a rope that has seen better days with a relative stranger holding the other end, is the best of ideas.

You don’t show off your shredded skin and bloody gashes with pride.

The activity of climbing also includes falling. On hard, sharp rock. You think of broken skin as an indicator that something went horribly wrong and not a sign of a really good time.

You don’t stare out the window and sulk whenever it’s raining.

When the grey skies open, you excitedly bundle in your waterproof gear and get the heck outside. You feel vibrantly alive. You are not deprived of your joy in life because the “rock is wet”.

You wouldn’t purposely tie yourself to an anchor.

Your growth-seeking spirit does not want to be tied down to anything designed to hold you in place, especially something associated with sinking.

You don’t give a crap about getting to the top of anything.

Whenever you see boulders, rock walls, or 3000 foot monoliths, you recoil at the thought of scrambling up to their lofty peaks. You don’t even take elevators to penthouse suites. Too high.

If you’re still not sure if you are a climber or “not”, then you may just have to try it to find out.

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 with great gusto.

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.

An islander’s guide to visiting Bowen for city folk

You are excited to escape the city and set sail for your island getaway. You can already smell the salty sea air and feel the warm sun on your face.

We islanders enjoy having other people visit and experience what we love so much about living here on Bowen, however, we are also protective of this blessed place we call home. If you follow a few of these guidelines, you will be welcomed with open arms. Or, at least, you won’t have anyone rolling their eyes at you.

Consider leaving your car at home

Lighten your footprint by using your feet. Because who wants to head to paradise only to find themselves stuck in traffic and choking on fumes. You are likely escaping the city to immerse yourself in nature, so embrace your own biped nature. Know that everything essential on Bowen is within walking distance of the ferry. And if it isn’t, there are several options for getting around – scooter rental, public transit, plus an organized hitchhiking network. Catching a ride with a friendly local is encouraged, look for the designated LIFT stops.

Slow down

If you insist on bringing your vehicle, there’s not a lot of rules we take seriously here, but the speed limit (max 40 km/h) is one of them. Our roads are single lane, without shoulder, and are shared with pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife. Travel with care. There’s nowhere to get to that requires any urgency, anyways. Well, maybe except to the grocery store before it closes. Or to the beach before the sun sets. But if you miss the ferry, don’t worry, there’s another one real soon.

Our local restaurants are all amazing, and also operate on ‘island’ principles. Service is more about having an enjoyable experience than ushering people through a revolving door, which means sometimes it takes more time. Relax. That’s why you’re here anyways, right?

Support local business

Leave the Starbucks and McDonald’s behind in the city. We value that our businesses are locally owned and operated. It’s part of what adds to Bowen’s unique character and charm. It can be a challenge to maintain a business in a small community, especially during the quieter winter months, so share your love with the artisans and families of Bowen by shopping local. Besides, we have WAY better options on the island for coffee and burgers. But please don’t ask any of the restaurants if they offer “happy meals” for the kiddos. They do not.

Keep the landscape clean

You’ve come to be rejuvenated by the forests, mountains, and sea. We must all do our part to keep them pristine. Increased population during the visitor season strains our local services, such as garbage collection. If you bring trash from the city, please dispose of it responsibly. If you have carried your coffee cup all the way from town, take the extra step and carry it to the garbage can. Feel free to go the extra mile and join the latest social trend, plogging, and pick up any rubbish you find while exploring the island. Also, please do not smoke in the forests, especially in the summer months. We like our forests green.

Say hello

We islanders are a friendly bunch. It’s a telltale sign you are a city dweller when you walk past without looking us in the eye and saying hello. Or at least a small smile. It can be an adjustment if you are from a large city where trying to acknowledge every other human would be overwhelming. But here, it’s an aspect of what makes life so enjoyable. We love to engage in a brief dialogue with a passerby. It doesn’t need to be deeply meaningful, you can simply comment on the scenery, or that you like their funky purple hat, or whatever. Just take a moment to connect. You will be reminded about the goodness of humanity by doing so.

Figure out the ferry

We are a community that depends on the ferry for our connection to the world at large. The “Queen of Cap” is our lifeline, sometimes quite literally. We use it to commute to work, visit family, attend cancer treatments, etc. When the ferry system gets botched up, it’s one of the few things around here that raises our blood pressure. If you take note of a few simple rules, everyone will have a smoother sailing: do not cut in line; if you are travelling on foot, allow cars to unload and load before crossing the road and halting traffic; and when lining up to leave Bowen, observe the yellow crosshatches painted on the road that indicate “no parking”. Bon voyage!

Kiley Redhead

Director of Adventure

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

Six ways to cool off on a hot day

This summer we’ve already experienced scorching heat, sweaty brows, and sunburns – and it’s only June.

With summer comes long days of sunshine, providing plenty of time for outdoor adventures. After hours of roasting under the blazing sun, here are some of our favourite ways to chill out on Bowen:

Gobble up some ice cream

Almost everyone has sweet memories of sticky ice cream trickling down their hands and arms to drip onto their wet-from-the-beach swimsuit. Add more gooey goodness to your fond remembrances at:

  • Located on the pier, Branch and Butter serves locally-made Earnest Ice Cream with newfangled flavours such as Spruce Bud or Rhubarb Oat Crumble.
  • The window on the boardwalk at the Union SteamShip Marina gift shop serves up good old-fashioned choices like Strawberry or Chocolate, but feel free to mix it up with a scoop of Birthday Cake or Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl.
  • Cocoa West Chocolatier at Artisan Square serves a small selection of standby flavours from Mario’s Gelato.

Head to the nearest beach for a swim

Island living means exposure to constant breezes and brisk ocean water temperatures that will soothe your heat-agitated soul. There are numerous beaches to discover on our rocky shores, here are a few of the more popular ones for swimming:

  • Tunstall Bay Beach is family-friendly and it’s west-facing locale provides for great sunsets.
  • Roger Curtis Beach is popular for an end-of-the-day dip and is also one of the more dog-friendly spots on the island.
  • Seymour Bay is located near the golf course (yes, there’s a golf course on Bowen) and has lovely views towards the city.

Find a shady spot under a patio umbrella

Many of Bowen’s great restaurants also have great patios and for as long as we get to enjoy the dry summer months, they are usually humming with happy patrons.

  • The cheerful courtyard at Rustique Bistro is surrounded by grass, shaded by trees, and also dog-friendly. You know you’re not in the city any more when.
  • Located “up the hill”, the French-inspired comfort food served at Artisan Eats is loved by locals and visitors alike. Enjoy your breakfast or lunch on the terrace overlooking stunning Howe Sound.
  • One of Bowen’s newer-on-the-scene restaurants, Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar, has created a lovely gazebo-like patio surrounded by fresh flowers where you can bask in their Spanish delights.

Imbibe in a cold drink

Refresh yourself with an icy beer, unique cocktail, or fresh juice at one of Bowen’s favourite institutions. As an added bonus, each of these establishments also have covered patio seating to shelter you from the elements.

  • Hang out at Bowen’s newest establishment, the Bowen Island Pub, which offers chill west coast vibes with craft beer and locally-inspired cocktails.
  • A long-standing visitors’ favourite set in a historic building, the tap list at Doc Morgan’s will suit a variety of tastes.
  • The Snug Café is known for their breakfasts, which also includes a reviving selection of veggie juices or blended fruit smoothies.

Take part in an ocean-going adventure

Not every adventure with us is going to make you hot, some are specifically designed to keep you cool.

  • For those who want to gain confidence to go swimming beyond splashing about at the shore, learn important skills in our open-water swimming course, Intro to Ocean Swimming.
  • Hot to Cool will get you sweaty with our hiking adventure that leads you clear across the island, where you will finish off with an invigorating swim at one of our favourite beaches.
  • Explore the amazing underwater scenery that exists only in Howe Sound by learning to snorkel in our Under the Sea adventure.

Follow the locals

There are many hidden gems on Bowen Island so if you know someone who lives here, they can point you in the right direction.

  • If you’re lucky enough to be friends with a member of the Tunstall Bay Beach Club, ask them if they can bring you as a guest to lounge poolside.
  • Dine in the fields as the sun sets at the popular Long Table Dinners at Home Farm Gardens where local chefs prepare sumptuous meals using farm-inspired ingredients.
  • One of Bowen’s favourite summertime traditions is attending the Canada Day Celebration in Crippen Park where the local volunteer fire department showcases their fire trucks and turn the hoses on to soak all those who are willing to jump into the fray of shrieking children.

Kiley Redhead

Director of Adventure

Kiley believes adventure brings out the best in her and that is has the transformative 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:

Best places to rest in between adventures on Bowen

From earthy to elegant, Bowen’s welcoming lodgings have got you covered for the night.

Even though the island is close to the City, why spend only one day in paradise when you can stay two, three, or more? Whether you want to pare down to a simpler existence or indulge in all the creature comforts, there is a unique experience available for everyone. Once you have tuckered yourself out playing outside all day, these are some select places to turn in before heading out on your next day’s adventure.

Funky cabin in the woods

Nestled amidst five acres of forested trails, Wildwood Lane Cabins offer three rustic cabins, all updated with industrial and reclaimed timber features. Each cozy pad includes a fully-equipped kitchen and loft bedroom. You will feel as though you are deep in the backwoods, yet still have access to all the amenities Bowen has to offer.


Home away from home

Bowen Island Accommodations provides a range of homey options from beach cottage to luxury waterfront home. Each with gorgeous ocean views, you are sure to regain your energy by breathing in the revitalizing sea air.

Girlfriends’ getaway

At Tyee House, you will likely be invited to unwind from your day in the garden with your favourite bottle of wine. The delightful host provides epicurean breakfasts made from ingredients she picks up at the local farmers market. Lucky you! Grab your girlfriend and pack your bags – there’s a bedroom for each of you,.


Detoxify your life

The attention to detail is what guests appreciate about the well-appointed cottages set upon immaculate grounds at Nectar Yoga B&B. Each stay includes healthful breakfasts, yoga, and meditation lessons. For a more internal kind of adventure, experience their specialty – liquid detox weekend getaways.

A piece of history

A century ago, Bowen Island was a premier resort destination for adventure seekers who travelled from town by steamship. Now operated by the Union SteamShip Company, these historical cottages have been preserved to maintain their original character. Located in the heart of Snug Cove, each differs with a range from one to five bedrooms.

Room with a view

Bowen Bay’s Nest is a 2-bedroom luxury, self-contained suite overlooking Bowen Bay with views to the Sunshine Coast and beyond. This modern oasis entices you to slow down, connect with nature, and take it all in.


Kick up your heels

The guest suite at Evergreen Accommodations is a spacious private apartment, perfect for putting your feet up and soaking in the ambience. Originally built in the 1940s as a recreation hall for a nearby resort, you will feel reminiscent of those marvellous times with access to the grand dining room, sitting room, and historic dance hall.

Romantic evening

The Chocolate Suite at Cocoa West is located in the centre of the artisan community surrounded by shops, art galleries, and wellness studios. Once you are ready to retire to your den, dim lighting and dark chocolate makes for an night of sensual indulgence. Sweet dreams.

Get the gang all together

Bowen Island Lodge is one of the few accommodations on the island capable of hosting large groups. The scenic oceanside setting has inspired a recent remodel of the rooms and suites. With boardrooms and a full-service hall, they are all set to host your next educational seminar or corporate event.

Furry-friends welcome

Bowen Island is an animal lovers’ paradise. With beautiful forested trails and dog-friendly beaches, you and your pooch can go almost everywhere, including to stay at the Orchard Barn. Located on a beautiful five acre property, guests will have private access to a converted barn with 1,500 sf of living space surrounded by large gardens and orchards.


Kiley Redhead

Director of Adventure

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

Four outdoorsy events to check out this summer

Whether you want to be inspired by other people’s stories or get your own feet wet, adventure is waiting for you.

These festivities are about celebrating the great outdoors, they are also about people who love to be outside. Behind each of these events are impassioned locals who believe in the power of adventure to enhance lives. These are a few of the organized events you can join in on Bowen Island this summer season:

Bowen Island Adventure Film Festival

When we started the film festival three years ago, we didn’t realize we were also planting the seed for what is now Bowen Island Adventures. At the time, we simply wanted to connect with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and offer a platform for people to share their stories about their love of sport and to celebrate the extraordinary nature of Bowen Island. This year’s event will again showcase a diverse array of adventure-loving residents doing everything from scuba diving to rock climbing, right here on our beloved island.
Saturday, May 26th, 2018
For more info:

’Round Bowen Challenge

Organized by Brent O’Malley, the intrepid owner of Bowen Island Sea Kayaking, this race to circumnavigate 32 km around Bowen is one of the West coast’s biggest kayak events. The ’Round Bowen Challenge is open to paddlers of high performance kayaks, fast sea kayaks, sea kayaks, OC 1’s and 2’s, and standup paddleboards. The race ends with a dock party, awards ceremony, and the now famous salmon BBQ at the Bowen Island Marina.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
For more info:

Swim Bowen

A force of nature herself, Mary Letson, the owner of Positively Fit, is pro-active in the fitness community. She created Swim Bowen to help fundraise for islanders who are undergoing cancer treatments. This inaugural event is a 1,000 m open-water swim, which can be done either solo or in a relay team. Grab your goggles to go for an invigorating plunge and then unwind with the post-event festivities at the Tunstall Bay Beach Club.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
For more info:

Handloggers Half Marathon

This challenging 21 km mountain trail run takes racers through some of Bowen’s most scenic trails. What started out as an idea during a trail run, the first event took off with just five hardy runners. Six years later, the Handloggers Half Marathon has grown to involve over 70 racers. Supported by a strong volunteer contingent, this event is spearheaded by co-organizers Phil Osborne and Alicia Hoppenrath, who are both also founders of the Bowen Island Trail Society.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
For more info:

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.

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.


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
• Bean dip or hummus with veggie sticks (think carrot, cucumber, red pepper, radish, cherry tomatoes)

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 (add avocado and skip the cheese for vegan friends)
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.