Mediaplanet sat down with TikTok travel influencer Ben Kielesinski to discuss travel tips, outdoor exploration for beginners and more!
What are some tips for beginners in outdoor exploration?
Start Slow! I was fortunate enough to grow up in such a wonderful area for exploring the outdoors, but like everything it was a slow process.
My Dad would take us camping for weeks at a time by the age of 3 and would give us the freedom to connect with nature at our own pace. That is 25 years of listening to the outdoors, making mistakes, getting dirty and most importantly, respecting nature. It is easy to feel like you have to go to the most remote places to truly be “exploring” but we have some of the worlds most gorgeous and accessible parks right in our backyard and they should be as highly revered as the most isolated mountain top.
Do you have any tips for traveling sustainably in Western Canada?
It is no secret we are a huge nation that has difficulties with public transportation to remote places, so, cut down on multi car trips and by getting together with a group of friends and squeezing into a car and hit the open road. Sleeping bags and trail mix shoved into every usable space, being able to recognize your adventure buddies by the smell of their prefered mixture of sunblock and bug spray and most importantly, you get to share the gas bill while using less parking spaces for the other explorers.Road trips, the most exciting start to any great adventure (in my opinion). And for those looking to get even more sustainable, ditch the car ASAP and burn calories over carbon while getting more leg room for one of our THOUSANDS multi day treks.
What are some of your most memorable moments exploring Western Canada?
Recently, I was following the herring migration along the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This yearly event brings our land and sea together in such a magnificent way. This spawning event introduces a massive biomass to the shoreline that not only is used to sustain the herring population but essentially kicks off spring for the entire west coast. Plants use the nutrients to bloom and grow both on land and sea, Sea mammals such as Grey, Humpback and Killer Whales come to shore to feed off both herring and the eggs and even land mammals like our elusive Sea Wolves come to feed from this event. I was lucky enough to see all this and remembered how much we all rely on both land and sea.
How do you find new places to explore in Western Canada?
We are fortunate enough that several lifetimes would but scratch the surface of each riverbend and shale covered scramble that we have access to here in Western Canada. but starting off with a map and zooming into strange valleys and distant peaks is a luxury us modern explorers have, from there guidebooks and google will be your friend to most of the trails you need. BUT for those looking for the legendary adventure, the once in a lifetime adventure, the GO FOR IT adventure… talk to people. Join a climbing gym, share some dried mango on your local summit, go to mountaineering screenings. That is where you will find the hidden hot springs, unbroken trails and the single digit summits. Stay safe and show love to mother nature <3