Things I Have Learned in a Year of Preparing to Hike on Canada’s Great Trail

As I head back to Ontario after 40 days and 750 km of training to pick up the extra gear I need to start my hike in St. John’s Newfoundland along Canada’s 24000 km long Great Trail I got to thinking about the past few years of preparations for this trek.  In the end here are the 12 things I have learned in a year of getting ready to hike across Canada:

Preparing for a hike is like another job

Preparing applications for sponsorship and grants are like two other jobs (I have a huge amount of respect for those whose job it is to apply for these and for those who have to sort through all the applications they receive.)

Preparing physically to hike might actually be like two other jobs as well

Preparing to hike can lead to headaches, arguments, and frustration but it also gives you a heck of a lot of inner strength and faith in yourself!

Lighter supplies and a lighter bag are essential to your success and happiness! Yes your quest for the “right” materials can feel endless in terms of research, lead to endless returning and repurchasing and endless debating….but, at one point you have just got to let go and get going.  You soon realize that you need less than you realize, that it is best to keep things simple and recognize that you can’t prepare for everything.

Listen to those more experienced than you: adapt, improvise and move forward with your plans.

Listen to those who disagree with your plans! Where important make sure to learn, adapt, and improvise from them. 

Realize that haters are going to hate. No matter your plans, your intentions, your goals, someone is going to create an arbitrary line to judge you by.  You are going to be judged, critiqued…and at times there will be no end to the negativity.  But there is also no end to the support, positivity, and amazing times you will have online and on the trail.  Listen to all the messages, and hold on to those that support your dreams! Be respectful even when you disagree – hold yourself to a higher standard.

Time moves quickly! Three years to prepare, one year to sell my house, gather sponsors and promote the #Hike4Birds – and it has all passed in a blink of an eye.  The message being, get out an explore the world while you can, because before you know it the moment may well have passed by.

Have your own goals. And stick to them.

Stay calm, spend time in nature, explore the world, and love the adventure!

Be humble, be strong, and what you don’t know nature will teach you soon enough. Sometimes the answers have always been there, we just have to stop an listen from time to time.

Extra : No matter the challenges you face, you will find The Way and everything will work out…..

See you on the trail….

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