So this new years went pretty much as all my previous new years did. Party, drink, drunk and hungover the next day.

A few days afterwards I was thinking about what new years is, and how it’s supposed to be a time to start again. We’re all supposed to make resolutions about how we’ll be better people. How is getting overly drunk a good start to the new year?  

My buddy Chris called me later that day asking if I wanted to go on a hike. Great day to choose as its -18 and windy, but after being inside all day I needed to go somewhere. We drove out to where some of the local North Shore style bike trails were, parked the car and headed off up the escarpment. After a little while we got to the top and had a break looking out over carp and stittsville. We chatted there for awhile, then came up with a neat idea. Could we survive the night with only what we have in our pockets? We saw no reason why not, so we continued our hike to find somewhere more sheltered from the elements. Soon we came across a pond with a rocky outcropping on the upwind side. We decided that it looked like a suitable place for a shelter, so we began to collect our wood for the night. There was a bunch of birch close by that we grabbed, some of which still had a squirrels nut stash in the top. Bundled all up like a stretcher it was easy to carry over to our sheltered location.

Once there it was relatively fast to get a fire built and lit. (we had a lighter. I know, thats kind of cheating) With the fire going and a bench made of pine boughs it was plenty warm enough. We sat around the fire and enjoyed good conversation and herbs for a few hours before deciding that we may as well head back home. Even though it was well after dark the moon lit our way and it was a fairly fast hike back to the car. To me this is how the new year started. An adventure with a good friend.

To steal a line from Chris’ dad: “Always keep one foot on the planet.”