If your packing list for a backcountry hike or snowshoeing trip includes cannabis, British Columbia North Shore Search and Rescue would like to have a word with you.
Curtis Jones, a member of the volunteer SAR organization, wrote a piece for their website last week that expressed concern about a growing trend of health and wellness practitioners advocating the use of marijuana while in the outdoors.
Jones was partially reacting to an article from a local news org on the rise of yoga and fitness programs tailored to THC users; some of those programs even offer advice on hiking and snowshoeing while high.
He also pointed to Flower and Freedom, a Vancouver-based cannabis lifestyle website, prominently featuring an article called: “Outdoor Adventure Cannabis Tours Are Coming to Vancouver.”
The article profiles a cannabis tour group company run by an outdoor enthusiast who advocates the use of a variety of cannabis products while hiking and generally playing around in the mountains.
Jones is concerned. Not so much with people using marijuana in general, he goes out of his way to be as non-judgmental as possible there, but with people getting stoned in the backcountry and getting in way, way over their heads.
Jones’ main point is that as marijuana becomes legalized in more places, users with little experience may bring pot into the backcountry, unaware of their limits, experimenting with drugs in places not particularly conducive to having a freakout, or impairing decision-making.
There are plenty of advocates out there though, who support getting a little stoned before physically taxing activities. Some doctors think cannabis can help with endurance. Athletes in hard-hitting sports like football and MMA swear by the pain-reducing abilities of CBD oils.
You can find articles online about the best cannabis for hiking and mountainclimbing alongside news pieces about stoned hikers too panicked to make their way out of the backcountry requiring rescue.