Finding the Wild - A Canadian West Coast Wilderness Adventure Dates upon request
All-inclusive 14 day wilderness training, deep nature youth discovery adventure
Minimum 8, maximum 12 participants, 14 years old and up
*Prices are based in CAD$ land costs and therefore subject to change
The Trip of a Lifetime
A fully guided, all inclusive 14-day ecological nature discovery of Vancouver, Salt Spring Island and Bamfield on Canada's unspoiled West Coast.
Join the trip of a lifetime! Learn wilderness skills. Commune with nature. Make new friends. Eat real food that you've foraged or caught yourself. Learn how to start a fire without matches and cook on an open fire without pots or pans. Find out what it's like to be a hunter-gatherer and discover the real tastes of nature's bounty.
Active, Exciting, Dynamic
From kayaking, cycling, hiking and swimming to foraging, fishing, nature training and campfire cooking, you will discover an entirely different way to live while learning a range of skills that will serve you for the rest of your life.
This tour begins in the city of Vancouver, where you can get used to a new world of sites and tastes. After two days of exploring, cycling, swimming and kayaking in the Deep Cove inlet where you can already begin to feel the grandeur of nature, we head to Salt Spring Island for four nights of camping at Ruckles Provincial Park. Here is where the real 'deep nature' training begins with 'Wisdom of the Earth'. From Salt Spring we take the ferry to Crofton and then drive to Bamfield for 6 nights of camping and wilderness living on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. We return to Vancouver via Nanaimo for one last night in the city and a farewell dinner.
Foraging, Fishing, Fun
Your time on this tour will be a busy and relaxed combination of learning experiences related to wilderness training and fun sporting activities that range from swimming and boating to camping and hiking. Sourcing food directly from nature provides a better understanding of wild edibles, whether that means heading out to sea to fish for salmon, setting crab or shrimp traps, gathering edible seaweeds, foraging in the woods for edible plants and berries, preparing and baking pizza in Bamfield's hand built clay bread oven or simply sun-tanning on the beach and swimming. But the flavours of all that we will eat, cooked in the open air over wood fires, will provide the most intimate and rewarding connection to nature.
Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is the jewel of the Southern Gulf Islands and renowned as the organic capital of Canada. It is nestled up against the east side of Vancouver Island and is about half way between Nanaimo and Victoria, the capital city of BC. Our focus here is direct contact with nature and preparing for the experience of wilderness camping in Bamfield. We will also enjoy the intense flavours of farm-fresh local produce that is sustainably grown and begin applying the experience we gain from our wilderness training to cook on an open fire. Though we are camping at an official provincial campsite right on the sea, the presence of nature is keenly felt and all around us we will see evidence of nature's grandeur.
Seeing whales, bears, wolves, eagles, osprey, seals and countless other wild animals is a highlight of this trip and we are careful to respect the species that we encounter.
Ruckles Park Campground
The Ruckles Park Campground, located at the southeastern point of the island, is one of the most beautiful spots on the island with 7 kilometres of shoreline, rocky headlands and tiny coves and bays. Ruckle Park provides hours or even days of enjoyable exploration. A mixture of forest, field and shore habitats makes it one of the most productive wildlife viewing areas on Salt Spring Island. We can watch sea lions and killer whales out in the sea, and mink and river otter cavorting along the shoreline. Tidal pools are filled with a brightly coloured world of crab, mussel, limpet, oyster, sculpin, starfish and more.
On Salt Spring Island, we spend 3 days in an intensive nature-training programme to establish a ‘deep nature connection’. Learning to make fire without matches, cooking without pots and pans, constructing shelters, identifying wild edibles and the lairs of wild animals and developing a keener sense of connectedness to nature are all part of this training. This invaluable wildlife experience will prepare the group for camping in the wild in Bamfield and also provide essential knowledge for survival and basic woodland skills. In Bamfield we forage with trained marine biologist naturalists and fish on the open sea for wild salmon. Hiking, kayaking, beachcombing and swimming provide further insights into nature's beauty and grandeur.
Fishing on the open sea
One wild salmon fishing outing in a sailboat or canoes is included in the tour and will undoubtedly provide us with one of the greatest taste experiences of the trip - campfire cooked wild salmon.
Bamfield is a charming blend of wild frontier and civilised overtones that combine with a breath-taking setting to create one of nature's most perfect paradises. On the west side where we will be camping, accessible only by boat, there are no shops other than the general store, which also functions as the social meeting place. This is one of the west coast's best salmon fishing resorts as well as being the home to the Marine Sciences Centre, Canada's premier coastal and marine facility for teaching and research.
Here we will confront the true meaning of natural, sustainable, ecological and fresh as we forage, fish and gather our own food from the sea, the beaches and the woods. Our campsite will be set up on Brady's Beach with its beautiful sandy shoreline where we will cook outdoors and discover the flavours of nature at their finest. Fresh west coast salmon grilled on an open fire, side stripe shrimp, Dungeness crab, wild berries, wild plants for salads and fresh baked bread or bannick from a wood-fired clay oven will provide unforgettable taste experiences that are the culinary apogee of the tour.
Dates upon request
Originally from Victoria BC, Geoffrey grew up on Vancouver Island and has been exploring the wild since his youth. He created the 'Finding the Wild' tour in order to instill a better appreciation of the wonders of nature in urban youth. Geoffrey has operated all of the 'Youth Taste Awakening' and 'Finding the Wild' tours, has a rich knowledge of the local flora and fauna and has personally tested and visited all of the places we'll visit. His personal contacts along with the best local guides will assure that your experience is unique & personalised.
Alison Carr's passion for sustainable food systems and supporting local agrarians runs deep, and continues to grow as she works towards her degree from the University of British Columbia in Environmental Science and Sustainable Geography. Growing up on Vancouver Island, her summers have been spent camping and exploring at various outdoor camps, volunteering at elementary schools leading outdoor activities and spending plenty of time island hopping. Alison has helped lead the Vancouver portion of the Taste Awakening Tour, and is thrilled to be joining the 'Finding the Wild' tour this coming summer.