This moment has been 10 years in the making. Back in 2006, a friend of mine asked me to join him on a backpack along the West Coast Trail. I had done plenty of day hiking and car camping, but have never backpacked before. I had no gear, no knowledge, no real understanding of what it takes.
"Yes!" I said, and the rest was history.
The West Coast Trail is not the easiest backpack to start with. Being a coastal trail, the terrain is fairly level, but we were not prepared for the endless amount of mud, rain, and sand. The low point was our second night when we arrived to camp sore, hungry, and in the middle of a downpour. We had no tarp or any shelter and tried to set up our tent in the rain. The whole thing got soaked and our camping mats were literally floating inside the tent. We just stood there in the rain, shiverring and feeling pretty miserable.
Lucky for us, a group of guys from Montreal were staying at the same campground and really saved us. These guys were pros and had a tarp, fire, and warm food going in no time. They really taught us that we had a lot to learn.
The trip did improve after that. We got our legs on the third day and the weather improved. As we got further and further, we started to really enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. The mental clarity that you develop while backpacking started to appear. Nothing mattered but taking the next step forward and enjoying the view around the corner. We were hooked!
Since then, we have taken many trips all over the United States and Canada and developed a real passion for backpacking and all the benefits that it brings.
Slowly over that time, the idea for Paria Outdoor Products was taking shape. I wanted capture what I saw and bring it back to share with others.
My first attempt was taking a real interest in landscape photography. Being able to take photos of the amazing places that I came across and share them with others was a rewarding experience. I still love getting up at 5 a.m. on a chilly morning and running around getting photos of a backcountry sunrise. However, I wanted more. I wanted to help people actually get out there and see these amazing places for themselves.
That's when the idea to create physical products came to me. What a great way to take my passion and knowledge and create something that would help others do what I loved. I was thrilled at the notion and Paria Outdoor Products was born.
Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park
Our goal is simple; create outstanding products that help you get out and experience the calm beauty of the great outdoors. We hope that this goal will resonate with you and that you allow us to be a small part of your upcoming adventures.
By the way, for those of your who are curious, the name Paria was inspired by the incredible Paria Canyon in southwestern Utah. The entrance into the canyon through Buckskin Gulch is something that I will never forget. The combination of orange/red canyon walls and turquoise water of the Paria River is stunning and creates a color palette that I wanted to capture as part of the company's identity.
Paria Outdoor Products
How did you get started in backpacking? Do you have a favorite trip that you think is a "must-do"? We'd love to hear more in the comments.