Atlantic Roots

This is a quick post about the origins of 118 Degrees West.  It all started in a small fishing community on the Northern coast of Nova Scotia.

Me with a couple of the Northumberland Straight’s finest

Where most kids had gaming systems and cartoons my siblings and I had rabbit snares and fresh maple sugar right from the tree.  My love for the outdoors started young and was nurtured by family.  I grew up in the woods and on the beach, loving every minute of it.  Weekends were spent helping out around the family saw mill. Summers were spent mowing lawns, stacking hay bales and biking in the local park which usually finished with a nice refreshing dip in the Northumberland Straight.

A mountain bike was the first true taste of freedom and sparked the desire for more.  More jumps, more trails and ultimately more adventures.  It wasn’t until university when I discovered the true joys of hiking.  I quickly fell in love with everything hiking, especially multi-day self supported hikes.  The combination of a love for both mountain biking and hiking is what brought me to the mountains.  After spending many years exploring the East Coast it was time to head West.  So I packed up my trusty 2008 Subaru Outback (the Sube) and hit the road. My ultimate destination was Calgary where I had found work and which was also close enough to the Canadian Rockies for easy access and epic adventures.

Side note about the Sube, I put over 100,000 kilometers on it and it carried myself and some of my best buddies there and back again on some of our greatest adventures.  It has been coast to coast (like butter on toast!).  All the way from the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland to the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, with many adventures in between. The Sube has long since been sold and was replaced by a 2000 Toyota 4Runner with 300,000 kms on the odometer which I ran for 5 years very cost effectively and only recently replaced with a new Toyota Tacoma. The Sube gets an honourable mention here as it was the car that carried me to some of my first big adventures and across the country.

The Sube in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta during the cross Canada trek

The scale of my adventures has grown but I will never forget where it all began.  This is why I started 118 Degrees West.  You don’t have to start with scaling mountains or multi-day self supported hikes.  You can start with small adventures and little steps that will bring you to places you never imagined.  My passion is to show people that exploring the outdoors isn’t as daunting as it seems and for those who need a hand I’m more than happy to help.  In the coming weeks and months keep an eye out as I am currently developing our content and offerings.

Dave T

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