Stealing Time

Photo Credit: Talon Gillis

Stealing Time

🕔Mar 09, 2018

Few people call a tent home year-round. Which means for most of us time in tents is precious. Stolen moments. Confining one’s existence into a tiny space forces a minimalist approach to life. Chances are, if you’re in a tent somewhere in northern BC, what’s waiting outside the flap is pretty incredible.

This past winter, photographer Talon Gillis took a tent, some gear, and his dog Wally and went out into the mountains. Setting up camp in classic Coast Mountains backcountry, the idea was simple: by being in the mountains already, Talon would have more time to explore terrain on his snowboard.

He’s no stranger to living out of a tent for a time. “I always set up in the most amazing places,” he says. “On the beaches, surfing; on glaciers in Alaska; on the rivers, fishing; or in the local backcountry.” But it’s not just access to recreation that motivates him. “I value the simple living it offers me,” he explains. Away from computer and internet, he’s not only able to focus on the simple pleasures of life—cooking, reading, chopping wood—he’s also in a better position to shoot photos, out in the landscape at both sunrise and sunset.

And the dog? They adventure together. “I feel like I’m not alone out doing these excursions,” he says. Wally runs right beside him as he snowboards some challenging terrain. “I’m just amazed at how well he adapts.”

Inside, it’s a similar story. “He knows his place in the tent,” says Talon. “We’ve worked out a system of how to shuffle around each other. He has his own spot to sleep next to the fire and every morning comes over for a short cuddle to wake me up.” He laughs and adds:

“He only stole food once.”


—Matt J. Simmons