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REVELATIONS OF A ROOKIE BACKPACKER | BY FRANKIE FOSS
Photos: Ben Johnson, Adam Foss, Frankie Foss


Inception of the trip occurred, as many grand adventures do, over one too many bottles of wine in our friend Ben’s Vancouver, BC apartment. The idea was to explore a remote archipelago off of Northern British Columbia’s notoriously rugged coastline via bicycle. It’s called bikepacking, and yes, it’s a thing. Our rookie status required us to start with the simplest of tasks. First up, discover what the hell this thing called bikepacking actually is.

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VOLUME I | PHOTOS AND STORY BY ADAM FOSS

Sixteen muscle-laden horses weaved untethered through an evenly spaced stand of white spruce. They climbed together, gradually, with loaded but balanced panniers, and a steady sense of purpose. I rode third in line behind head Gana River Outfitters guide, Rachel Ahtila, and her first hunter of the season, Riley Pearson. As we crested the rise, revealed below us was an expansive glacial valley, guarded by mammoth peaks of black and purplish-red rock. We rode on without pause, and as each mountain passed we gazed skyward, craning our necks in hopes of a glance at the white coat and curling horns of a trophy Dall ram. On the valley floor, the Fritz River wound effortlessly beneath us, eventually joining the Mackenzie River — North America’s second largest river drainage behind the Mississippi — hundreds of miles downstream.

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VOLUME II | PHOTOS BY ADAM FOSS AND FRANKIE FOSS
Words: Adam Foss, Reid Bryant and Rachel Ahtila

 

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GAZING DOWN THE BARREL OF A NET GUN | BY ADAM FOSS
Photos: Charles Post

Six desert bighorns tore across the talus as the chopper thudded in low behind them. A cascade of rocks slid out below them. Like a steer loosed from its pen, the first ram bucked over a serrated rim and disappeared into a fold in the mountain. The others followed. The helicopter pitched and spun like a mechanical bull, dropping its nose before shooting forth into the chasm.

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COUNTING OUNCES | BY ADAM FOSS

I’ve refined my system for about 15 years but write this with only one caveat — don’t simply take my word for it. Yes, these are my personal choices, but the ideal setup for you may vary based on your body type, hunt conditions and preferences. Furthermore, the best system for an individual is only obtained through the trials of personally testing gear in backcountry environments.

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RE-TUNED | BY ADAM FOSS

The low-lying Alaskan sun began to feel warm on my neck as we slipped into a moss-covered boulder field from the thick alder patch below. Arrow nocked, I glanced at the sparse grass blades rustling beside me, indicating that the morning thermals continued to strengthen. Peeking over the rotten cliff band revealed a handsome, heavy antlered non-typical Sitka blacktail below me, now up from his mid-morning bed. His gaze was focused down the mountain at my friend, Cole, who was 400 yards below us, intentionally crow-calling and buck-grunting like his life depended on it to distract the alert deer from my presence.

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THE SWEET SCIENCE | BY ADAM FOSS

With the mountains and trails still held tight in winter’s icy talons, I obliged to begin my new lease on archery at the only available indoor range in town. I figured significant change wouldn’t occur overnight, but taking the approach of one arrow at a time, I could begin to eventually see a gradual improvement. I was about to be proven wrong.

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WHAT’S IN THE PACK | BY ADAM FOSS

As backpack bowhunters, our obsession with gear will always border on fanatical. Whether packing for the hunt of a lifetime or just a weekend trip, being prepared can make the difference between cutting a tag or going home empty handed. The correct gear choices will keep you more comfortable, hunting harder and could even save your life.

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