In the summer of 2021, Carter Obasohan decided to put the backcountry gear collecting dust in his closet to good use, taking a hiatus from work and driving across the country on a two-month adventure that would see him trek 212 kilometres through some of Canada’s most spectacular national parks.
In his new book Notes From Out West: A Canadian Backcountry Experience, Obasohan takes readers along his personal hiking journey from Saskatchewan’s expansive Grasslands National Park to the barren and boiling hot Albertan Badlands, across the Rocky Mountains from Yoho to the Athabasca Glacier, and west to the British Columbian Kootenays before heading to Vancouver Island for a five-day hike along the West Coast Trail.
If you want to visit these places but are unable to get there, this book is your chance.
Obasohan’s travelogue reads like a personal diary. It’s a campfire tale shared among friends, with honest accounts of the trials and tribulations that any beginner trekker can relate to: getting lost, forgetting a key piece of gear, pushing too hard on sore legs and wondering if your pack is actually getting heavier with each step.
His narrative follows the all-too-familiar tension between getting “bested by nature” when he doesn’t make it to the top of that coveted peak, as was the case at Yoho Glacier, yet feeling so amazed by the planet’s beauty that he’s compelled to keep going anyway.
For beginner hikers, this is a story of possibility. For avid adventurers, it’s a chance to reignite the awe-struck feeling of hiking for the first time. Obasohan’s words are a reminder to appreciate the journey, and not just the view from the top.
By the end of his summer stint, Obasohan is glad to trade his tent for a bed and say goodbye to dehydrated meals, as any hiker can relate to. But something tells us his gear won’t sit in the closet again for very long.
This was sponsored