As you all know, our biggest source of inspiration = YOU! We know you each have so much knowledge about the outdoors and we want to share your stories. The #Recreator Spotlight is your foolproof guide to the best camping spots, magical outdoor moments, hiking hacks and more! Each month, we'll provide you with advice + expertise from your fellow alder community members.
Meet Calla Evans, our first community member to be featured. Born and raised in Kelowna, BC; Calla feels most at home near the mountains and water. When she's not hiking in the lush forests of the PNW, you can find Calla working on her PhD, with a proposed project that will critically map how fat identity is performed on Instagram and the impact Instagram has on fat identity construction. She is currently involved in a research project that aims to identify barriers to expanding plus-size clothing options. Check out some of Calla's work here!
Tell us about a magical moment you've experienced in the outdoors.
"Coming over the last hard scramble on the Tunnel Bluffs hike near Lions Bay, BC and seeing the most amazing view of the ocean and islands, all spread out before me. It was absolutely magical and something I never thought I could experience! I am so proud that my body brought me there."
What are your tips for exploring the outdoors as an adventure lover?
"When you’re first starting out, stick to routes that have reliable cell coverage or know how far away cell coverage is from your route.
Start with easy routes. If you start a trail that feels too challenging, there’s no shame in turning around and trying a different trail.
Read hike reviews on sites such as AllTrails or in your local Facebook hiking groups. Sort by date to see the most recent reviews for current trail conditions.
Hiking with others can be safer than solo hiking, but it’s important you’re with people you can be honest with about your pace and priorities. The best hiking groups will always let the slowest hiker set the pace.
Try a variety of routes and types of hikes to figure out the ones you enjoy most! I love hikes with a lot of elevation gain, but not when there’s a lot of loose rock to contend with. Trail reviews help me to pick routes that I will like best."
What's your favorite local hiking route?
"We recently moved from Toronto to Vancouver mostly to be closer to nature. Our favorite spots so far include Golden Ears Park and anything on the North Shore. Golden Ears Park has so many great routes... Lower Falls is a wonderful beginner trail. My current favorite route is the West Canyon/East Canyon loop!"
What are your adventure essentials?
"Invest in good quality hiking boots, socks and poles! I find quality socks as important as good boots, especially when you’re crossing streams or wet areas; while hiking poles can help to take some stress off your knees and provide stability on rocky trails.
Remember your “essential 10” safety items: navigation items, headlamp, sun protection, first aid, knife, fire starter, emergency blanket, extra food, extra water and extra clothing. I also carry a whistle and bear spray. These items can feel like overkill when you’re first starting, but I find they give me the confidence to hike further than I would without."
What tunes get you movin'? Any recommendations for a summer hiking playlist?
Colors by Black Pumas
Lay Low by Dan Mangan
London by Benjamin Clementine
Swimming by Breathe Owl Breathe
Condolence by Benjamin Clementine
Cherry Lips by Archie Bronson Outfit
In Our Nature by José González
Bassackwards by Kurt Vile
Check out Calla's full adventure playlist on alder's Spotify account!
Photos by the amazingly talented, Rachel Barkman.
To be featured in series two of our #Recreator Spotlight, click here to submit your details. P.S. this is a paid gig + we'll hook you up with all your favorite alder items!