Darian Bacon (our site creator) is a renowned wilderness instructor and nature lover. He has been active in the industry his entire life, but started tying in his passion for teaching with his love for nature in 2008. Since then, he has volunteered his time with several different schools, wilderness events, festivals, and even created an outdoor nature gathering with his own vision, which still runs every year under new leadership.
As Wilderness Education was never a primary job for Darian, he was in a unique situation to work with numerous business models and organizations to see what works well and what needed improvement. He noted that with almost every group he helped with, they faced the same issues. These included:
- Low attendance for weekend or week long courses
- Trouble finding acceptable accommodation in nature, for a variety of learners
- Providing meals without learners needed to cook/prepare their own food (which takes up a lot of time)
- Marketting their courses
- Finding an acceptable learning environment to teach from (A nature classroom without bugs, weather, or distractions, but has comfortable seating, ample lighting, and good acoustics
Meanwhile, the learners had a desire to learn, but had similar concerns:
- It is tough to use up a weekend (or longer) to take a Nature class
- It can be complicated driving to the rural location after work on a Friday, and home for Work on Monday morning
- Childcare, Pets, chores… so many things on our task lists!
- Many users want the hands on experiences in nature, without wasting their “bush time” learning the acedemics (even though they’re required).
- Classes getting cancelled from low enrollment
As a professional Adult Educator, Darian saw a potential solution for all of these issues, and so much more. Thus, 7winds was created!
In recognizing that most people have the comfortable set up in their own home to watch videos and take classes online in their spare time, and at their leisure; all the academic learning required for Wilderness Education is taught in comprehensive online modules. This frees up the learners time in the bush for the experiential “hands on” learning which is taught both by exposure (“practice makes perfect”) and by the myriad of schools and instructors who are already so wonderfully set up to offer it.
Seeing the potential demand, Darian teamed up with Victor ______ (<<<So many surnames man… pick one! Also, if you have a page for your services, feel free to drop a URL here… and if not, feel free to make one on 7winds for yourself />>>>), to enhance our efforts beyond an online education system; by creating an online wilderness community which extends beyond learning. We now offer a single website to purchase gear, sell old items, list nature-based services, plan your adventure with a full mapping interface, meet like minded people to share your adventures with, and even find work in the natural world. We have increased our course criteria beyond “Survival” skills, and have opened our doors to the entire natural world, with Apiary and Fermentation courses starting in the fall of 2018. Our dedicated team of content creators are also hard at work creating skill based learning directories for our members.
So we’ve built the groundwork for a true community online. Now all that’s left is for you, the nature lover, to make use of it, and add to it. The growth of this site is based entirely on the adventures of our members. Is there a particular campsite or canoe route you love? Add it here! Maybe you’re already an expert in the field and have an article you’d like to submit to our site, we’d love to read it! Do you own a business that caters to nature lovers and tourism? Make sure you’re on our database so people can find you!
We also expanded our functionality to make sure Wilderness Schools, and Events organizers had a place to list their courses and upcoming activities for the community to see what opportunities are out there for them to find! We encourage our community to add events to our site for free!
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve crammed a LOT of features into a single Nature Focused website. And believe it or not, site membership is free! We do have paid courses, and non-invasive ads on our site to pay the bills, but that’s it!
We publish high quality and original adventure preparation guides, check sheets, articles, and videos to help you get the most out of nature. We also love seeing what our community is up to and posting their content (if they wish) for people to learn from.
The premiere online destination for all things nature. Right here, at 7winds.ca
Have a suggestion to add even more value to the community? Let us know here but in particular, we are currently scouting for the following:
- We’d like to partner with a reputable and qualified Wilderness First Aid provider to test drive our blended learning model with online/in class content.
- We’d like to find a recognized Organization of Apiarists to work with on our Beekeeping Video Series
- We’d like to hear from you, the learner; what classes you’d like to see us offer in the future
That’s about it! Browse our site, see what we have to offer, and be welcome, at 7winds.