Spring 2019 Letter from the Editor

A few years ago, we vacationed in Idaho and were stunned by its beauty, especially the Sawtooth Range. We spent a few nights in the little town of Stanley for some day hikes and I kicked myself for not bringing my fly rod when I caught sight of the Salmon River. This issue’s cover story, about a hunt in those gorgeous mountains, has put the destination back at the top of the list for me—and I suspect it will for you, too, regardless of whether or not you hunt.


We also have a story about the lure of fishing, some great training tips for your pack llamas, advice on how to avoid losing your goats, a knot style everyone should know, camping gear recommendations for quadriplegics, and much, much more.


The stories in Pack Animal appeal to a wide variety of outdoorspeople, but it’s only a small part of what’s happening outside your front door. Although many of us retreat into nature in part to find solitude, our shared love of being out there binds us together and builds community. Social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) is a great tool for this, and it’s also a great way to become more familiar with a wide variety of people doing a wide variety of things in the great outdoors and to celebrate all of it. Not overly familiar with people of color (POC) in the outdoors arena? Follow Outdoor Afro or Melanin Base Camp or Native Womens Wilderness. Know nothing about gender identity and sexual orientation beyond your own? Follow Queer Nature or QPOC Hikers. Think you have to be a size zero or clock twenty miles a day to be an outdoorsperson? Try following Fat Girls Hiking or Hike It Baby or Unlikely Hikers.


No one’s an expert in everything, and there is a lot to be learned by listening to other people and giving some thought to their stories. And if there’s something you’re passionate about? Consider finding your voice online and sharing it with others, because the next-best thing to being outside is talking about being outside with people who love it just as much as you do!


I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to also share your stories here, in the pages of Pack Animal. Interested in joining our ranks? Drop me a line at alexa@packanimalmaazine.com and let me know what you’re thinking!


If you need a bit more structure and guidance, consider writing 500 words for a column that will launch in the summer issue: Wilderness Wisdom. Can you tell us how to find water or build a survival snow cave or avoid getting lost? Have tips on mitigating altitude sickness or heatstroke or the onset of hypothermia? Personally, I’d like advice on how to get kids to walk further than 50 feet before stopping to look at a bug for ten minutes, but I’m open to whatever you’ve got!


In the meantime, enjoy the polar vortex and, if we’re lucky, the heaps and heaps of snow that come with it!


Happy Trails!
Alexa Metrick, Editor