Outdoor Focus Winter 2017 - Page 19

A formula for the best bikepacking experience does not exist. But to stack the odds in your favour you should always try and seek out the limit of your current sphere. As Bill Merchant, an IditaSport veteran, adroitly observed, ‘we go into the Alaskan backcountry to find cracks in ourselves. We go back a year later to see if we have done anything about them.’ Moving to where the cracks are When our schedules become hectic, travel is often the first casualty enables the greatest learning to take place. I’ve found that these cracks start appearing at, or just beyond, the border of my current world. Ecologists know this phenomenon as the edge effect; it is at the boundary of two habitats where the greatest diversity can be found. This is where the noteworthy stuff happens. This is where stories are born. The unknown is always scary, but would you want to know your fate? Chances are we would do very little if we knew the consequences in advance. With naivety as your ally, make your move and you will find life will move too. Things will happen to help you out, that otherwise would not have happened. Most of the horrors I have portended have come true on the trial, but things have also happened to help to me out of those same holes. Don’t be over concerned with them. Don’t plan for them. I was once told that we tend to carry our insecurities, have a close look at