Hometown: Juneau, Alaska
Profession: Wilderness Expedition Guide
Jacques found the outdoors from a very young age. He started out with hunting and fishing and immersed himself into the world of bushcraft before hitting his teenage years. All throughout school the outdoors always came first; you’d be more likely to find him building primitive shelters behind his family home than studying. He’d take every waking moment during high school to drive up to the north woods of Maine and New Hampshire, where he’d hike, mountaineer, and explore the natural world through the use of bushcraft and primitive skills.
As a young man, fresh out of school, Jacques was disillusioned with the constructs of modern life and had no desire to spend years stuck in a stuffy college classroom. Instead, he headed west for the first time, where he spent 90 days traversing the Rocky Mountains, off trail backpacking, white water canoeing, canyoneering and rock climbing. The west called to him like nothing else ever had before. He realized this is what he wanted, not for the outdoors to be a hobby but to be his entire way of life, his source of income, and his home.
So that’s what he did. Jacques went back east, purchased an old yellow school bus and turned it into his off-grid home. From there he started teaching science and wilderness survival in the mountains of California, wrangling bison in the canyons of Utah, and guiding ice climbing on glaciers, canoe trips on freezing lakes, and bear trips deep in the forests of Southeast Alaska.
Jacques’s dream since he was a little boy was to hunt and fish the forest and coastlines of the last frontier, and truly live off of the land. His last 5 years have been spent chasing his passions across the wild American west, and in that time he has developed an understanding of what matters most in this life. He’s learned what true suffering means, the power of kindness and love, and how to thrive in wild landscapes. Jacques sees his Alone experience as a way to deepen his connection to the land and show young people that beautiful and incredible things can happen if you follow your passions — even if that means going against the grain of society.
Here are the ten items Jacques selected to bring on his survival journey to the remote wilderness valley in Labrador, Canada:
1. Sleeping bag
5. Ferro rod
6. Bow and arrows
7. Trapping wire
8. Fishing line and hooks
9. 2-quart pot
10. Emergency rations