Around the Bend: The Healing Power of Moving Forward Through Nature

At Cairn, we love to team up with innovative brands making a positive impact on the world and this year, we’re excited to announce that we've again had the opportunity to work with BioLite. Check out the Spring 2019 Obsidian Collection, featuring BioLite's new Headlamp 330. Below is the powerful story of Jet Garner, one of the BioLite Ambassadors that put the Headlamp 330 to the test on the trail.

“[Thru-hiking] is very empowering - it’s such an intense and incredible feeling. I find myself craving the mystery of what’s around the next bend or what’s on top of the next mountain.” ~ Jet, BioLite Ambassador.

Jet Garner is a Navy Veteran who was medically retired after two tours in Afghanistan. Upon returning home, he became interested in reconnecting with the outdoors. After participating in a Sierra Club program attempting to measure the impact of nature on the effects of PTSD on veterans, he began planning his first solo long distance hike - 1200 miles on the PCT.

"I thought, a thousand-mile walk, how bad could that be?"

Turns out, brutal, humbling – and life-changing. There was challenging elevation, harsh weather, and exhausting days. There was also captivating landscapes and an undercurrent of self-reliance that enabled Jet to reconnect with himself and the world around him. Unfamiliar territory was no longer grounds for stress, but opportunities for constant wonder and discovery. "I was totally hooked," says Jet.

This summer, Jet set out to hike the Colorado Trail. As an experienced thru-hiker, his gear requirements were strict. When it came to a headlamp, he needed one with limited ounces and long run times. He agreed to put ours to the test. After a few days, Jet found himself slipping HeadLamp 330 on well before dusk so he could hike past sunset. He no longer felt rushed to get camp set up before dark and took his time on the trail wherever he wanted.

Jet wrapped up his Colorado Trail trek in July 2018 and reports that HeadLamp 330 has earned a permanent spot in his pack. He's been using it regularly to light evening hikes and while guiding kayak tours in Point Reyes National Park.

To learn more about Jet’s experience on the trail, watch BioLite’s mini doc filmed on part of his Colorado Trail Thru-hike.