All of my best backpacking treks have been to places where humans are scarce. I love barren beaches and jagged, litter-free coastlines; I love spotting wildlife and hearing nothing but the crashing ocean as I drift asleep.
But despite huge stretches of deep backcountry near my home on Vancouver Island, Canada, finding incredible trails that aren’t flooded with other hikers can sometimes be a challenge. Pick the right route at the right time, and hikers will feel as if they’re the last humans on earth. But choose a busy spot, and you might as well pitch a tent at the mall.
In the end, it’s a tradeoff. Trekkers who don’t mind mingling with tourists will have no problem locating backpacking routes. There’s even a world-famous trail on Vancouver Island designed just for them. But hikers who head into the wilderness seeking a more unique trek need to be creative. They must find routes that are less popular or rarely travelled in the off-season, but still offer a great backcountry experience. That sometimes means slogging through muddy terrain or hoping for a lucky break during storm season. It’s all about finding the right balance between comfort and seclusion.
Slick and Twisted Trails aims to inspire and motivate trekkers, including myself, to seek out unique or remote routes through the backcountry. This doesn’t necessarily mean shunning the best treks, just doing them differently.
Trust me: you can find a beautifully unique or remote wilderness experience. It just sometimes means hiking along a trail that’s slick and twisted.