Experience Wilderland Adventure Company with their Outdoor, Educational Tours!
Our Eastman team, Skylor and assistant-helper Danny, recently had a fabulous, unforgettable time with Wilderland Adventure Company and their snowshoe experience. Starting with learning the basics of snowshoeing, then beginning their trek through the Iron Wood Trail while listening to local and worldwide stories, then finishing the day bundled around the fire or in canvas tents with hot drinks and tasty Bannock, this experience mixes and mingles adventure, history, culture and food in a delightful, memorable way. But don’t take our word for it; read on for Skylor and Danny’s account on their visit and experience Wilderland Adventure Company!
If you’re new to the world of outdoor activities, or even if you’re on the more experienced side, Wilderland Adventure Company’s snowshoeing experience is a must and can be appreciated and enjoyed by all! Myself and Danny, who is twelve years old, aren’t exactly the most experienced of snowshoers. In fact, before heading out to Wilderland, we had only tried snowshoeing once on a whim last winter. While our solo experience wasn’t disastrous, we did come to the conclusion that we would need some help figuring out the techniques and how to find the charm of snowshoeing. Enter, Wilderland!Not to give away the big ending, but both Danny and I had an amazing time during our visit to Wilderland! The experience was eye-opening, offered the perfect balance of beginner ground and challenges, and while snowshoeing is certainly a workout, it was refreshing.
We travelled to Wilderness Edge Retreat and Conference Centre, where Wilderland’s base camp is located. The base is just outside, right beside the centre, and offers a spacious, comfortable location to prep before the venture begins. We were welcomed by Matt, owner of Wilderland Adventure Company, and Kevin, the lead guide and snowshoe wizard. As we waited for the rest of our group to arrive, we stayed warm in the woodfire stove heated canvas tent.
Let the Adventure Begin
Once our entire group had arrived, we met around the burning fire to introduce ourselves. In total, there were six of us and then our guiding lights, Matt and Kevin. Each of us had various skill levels with snowshoeing, with two quite experienced people. We then went over what would happen over the course of the day, followed by an introduction to how to snowshoe. This demonstration goes into the different kinds of snowshoes, how to pick the right size, what to do if you need to step over a fallen object while on the trail, what to do if you have fallen down yourself, and why snowshoes were used for travelling years ago. While snowshoeing is a very fun activity, it was a necessary and important method of travelling through deep snow years ago. By disturbing body weight with the use of snowshoes, this avoids sinking into the snow.
So with some techniques in our pockets and snowshoes on our feet; now it’s time to hit the trail with Kevin while Matt stays behind to prep camp for our return! Walking to and starting with the Iron Wood Trail provided an easy, flat land trek perfect for getting use to the feeling of using snowshoes and using some techniques. Iron Wood also provides some slight inclines, twists and turns, and spectacular views and scenery, making it an excellent choice for beginners to test their skills while being safe.Eventually, we ventured off the Iron Wood trail to try our very own Back Country Snowshoeing. This may seem daunting as there are more things to watch out for (fallen trees and branches, ducking down to avoid branches, uneven ground etc.), but it definitely completes the experience and offers a challenge. If you find yourself struggling, you can always take your place at the back of the group, letting other people create a makeshift trail with their snowshoes. Plus, you can always ask the group for a short break at any time too!
Throughout the trek, multiple breaks are taken where Kevin would share stories about snowshoeing, voyagers, the local area and even past experiences.
Back to Camp
The fun doesn’t stop after the trek! We were welcomed back by Matt, who stayed to watch over the fire and bring out some much-needed goodies. We enjoyed refreshingly warm cups of hot chocolate (or tea if preferred!) and tried our hands at baking Bannock over the fire. This was Danny’s first time trying Bannock, let alone cooking it himself, and with him being such a picky eater, I would say he was most nervous about this part of the day. We rolled out the ball of dough into a long “snake” and then twisted the dough onto a stick to cook over the fire. Then the big moment came for Danny. I will never forget his face as he bit into his first bite of Bannock, his nervous expression turning into pleasant surprise and his audible and slightly high pitch “Mmmm” of delight. Needless to say, he went back for seconds and for good reason because that Bannock was DELICIOUS! And, as an added bonus, you can take home your branded Wilderland Adventure Company camp mugs that you used.
After chowing down, it was a very easy, relaxing time. We circled around the fire or bundled up inside the tents, enjoying conversations. While the experience is around 3 to 4 hours, people are welcome to stay a little longer and are encouraged to explore Pinawa. Some activities in the area are the Suspension Bridge, the Sun Dial, and Pinawa Art Gallery.
In closing, Wilderland Adventure Company and their amazing, knowledgeable, and fun crew is an outstanding adventure for newbies or experienced people. This is one experience that Danny and I won’t soon forget, and it helped us find that charm that comes with snowshoeing. While we surely don’t know everything about snowshoeing and are still far from being experienced, it definitely helped build our confidence not only for snowshoeing but also for outdoor adventures in general. We certainly look forward to visiting Wilderland again in the future for the other tours they offer all year round! Until that time, we’ll definitely be hitting some other trails soon!
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