Some fresh air enthusiasts are opting to exchange vows and honeymoon in the great outdoors, with only their backpacks in tow.
Not only does backpacking offer an adventurous way to tie the knot, the scenery can make for some pretty spectacular wedding shots. Before you begin your trek, here are some things to consider.
Fitness level is key: If your significant other isn’t as experienced in backpacking (or vice versa), consider a shorter hike, with easy access to amenities in case you opt for some creature comforts along the way. On the other hand, if you’re both keen for an epic adventure, make sure you’ve trained adequately – exhaustion and injuries on route are a sure-fire way to kill the mood.
Pack the essentials and more: Poor weather, blisters and bugs are par for the course when you’re dealing with Mother Nature. Come equipped for all possible mishaps – and don’t forget the special touches too, such as portable wine glasses and candles for those romantic fireside meals.
Make it a party: If you’re not willing to forgo the guest list entirely, consider a hiking party with your closest companions. Include a copy of the route and some packing tips with your invitation – and be sure to book a camp site in advance to accommodate your number of guests.
Remember the paperwork: Come prepared as some national parks require a wedding permit in addition to a marriage licence. Consider someone with outdoor wedding experience to officiate the ceremony, too.
Where to go
Whistler, BC: Provides awe-inspiring scenery and a bevy of hiking trails for all levels of hikers. For an easier route, try a five-hour hike around Cheakamus Lake and you’ll be rewarded with views of turquoise waters surrounded by lush forests and mountains. (vancouvertrails.com).
The Pacific Crest Trail: It spans 4,265 km from Mexico to Canada, with deserts, forests and even glaciated valleys to explore. (pcta.org).
The Grand Canyon: Explore this multi-million-year-old rock formation by foot and camp under the stars. If you’re settling down to sleep outside of developed campgrounds in the North or South Rim, you’ll need to get a permit first. (grandcanyon.net/camping)
By Rosalind Stefanac