C O N N E C T I N G T H E D O T S
For a few years now, we’ve been building ties with a diverse community of outdoor enthusiasts throughout North America. Be they surfers, canoers, fishermen, wildlife photographers, conservationists, entrepreneurs or farmers, we’ve come to realize that, no matter how they differ from one another, they are all empowered and driven by nature, adventure and sustainability. We asked ourselves: How is there not a magazine out there that truly connects the dots of this flourishing new outdoor movement? So we made one.
Let’s be brutally honest, we created this brand new publication in hyperconnected Montreal, tethered to phones and laptops, grateful for every digital distraction that passes across our screens. Yet, just like you, we aspire to balance our lives with greener cities, unplugged weekends, rewarding outdoor adventures, and perhaps dreams of someday pitching a home in an open landscape. Even if just for a day, we believe that confronting nature’s wonders in person, and not through a screen, can have a profoundly positive impact on one’s happiness, and creativity, as well as bring our attention to environmental challenges such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
We’re also inspired by the tales of those who live, work and play “beyond the bend”. This is why, for our first issue, we had really no choice but to ask the most fascinating adventurers, entrepreneurs and naturalists what lies at the heart of their connection to nature. Amongst other things, we learned from the wildlife protector Monsieur Pageau that looking an animal right in the eye can change your destiny, from the fly-fishing tribe Hooké that a group of like-minded friends can kick-start a movement, and from activists Dave and Amy Freeman that an outdoor adventure can be led in the name of an entire community.
In this issue, we also attempt to map the contemporary, visceral desire to disconnect from urbanity. Two essayists boldly investigate the issue: West Coast author Robert Moor mediates on the pros and cons of a wireless wilderness, and East Coast author Nicolas Langelier’s text evokes the “oceanic feeling” of connecting to something much greater. Outdoor adventurers and photographers Jeff Spackman, Michael Barrus, and Alex Strohl, and LA-based editor and novice camper Vivianne Lapointe seek to reveal the rewarding truths of nature’s ability to challenge our limits and break our notions of control. And for Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, overcoming the challenges of a deep wilderness trek has a direct correlation with the obstacle-laden path of entrepreneurship, not to mention similarly lofty responsibilities. It is with this same energy and urgency that young start-ups like Hipcamp, Colter Co. and Getaway House are inventing new models to allow people better, more sustainable access to the outdoors.
Our first edition is abundant in the stories and perspectives of this community of doers and thinkers. In each issue to come, we’ll introduce you to a new inspiring community, asking them about what drives them, what the future holds for their area of interest, and where their ethical boundaries lie. You can already find out what’s coming next in the last pages of this issue!
Henry David Thoreau once said: “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” This has never been more true. The question is: What is it that you are fishing for?
• The editorial team •
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We wish to thank our partner for this issue
T H E C A U S E
Thanks! One dollar from the sale of this magazine will be donated to a charitable organization. For each issue of Beside, we choose a different cause we find to be doing considerably wonderful work. We decided to kick-start this collaboration with The Outdoor Foundation.