Two Magazines Mushrooming Together
Words by Scrappers
Photos by Taro Otake
Did you know that Stay Wild has a Japanese sister magazine? Maybe you did know, but I just found out. The magazine is called Be-Pal. They have been publishing monthly for over 35 years. Dang! That’s a long time. We’ve only been at it for 3 years.
Be-Pal editor Sana wrote us about visiting Portland. He wanted to interview our magazine about Portland’s outdoorsy nature culture. We thought the best way to talk about that story would be on a drive to the coast together.
Our magazine is actually a family business. Amy “The Mommy” handles the responsible paperwork stuff, Camper “The Kid” keeps the wild alive, and me “The Scrappers” helps serve the story. The visiting Be-Pal crew was two writers Sana & Sako, the photographer Taro, and Rika translating our conversations.
Together we had seven people and our beat-up little car wasn’t going to fit everyone. We needed an Adventure Wagon!
Adventure Wagon is a new sort of van rental company based in Portland. They get Sprinters and build them out to be super handy for road trips. These vans are like a tool box for your adventures! Everything is adjustable, so if you need a bike-centric, camp-centric, surf-centric or seating-centric set up it can happen. Plus, they’re insulated, so you can sleep in them without freezing your buns off.
We went with the seating-centric set up and headed west. As we drove we talked about the cross over between our two magazines.
I asked Sana, what he thought Be-Pal and Stay Wild had in common?
“Be-Pal and Stay Wild both focus on a mix of many type of activities. The concept of Stay Wild is to be like a camp fire bringing people together right? That sounds similar to Be-Pal’s style. For 35 years we’ve covered many kind of activities; camping, hiking, trekking, kayaking, horse-riding, climbing, bonfiring, bush crafting, SUPing, glamping, travel, etc…”
Yeah, we like those things too, but are more interested in motorcycling & skateboarding than SUPing & glamping. Bonfires are awesome though! We totally have that in common.
The names of our magazines have a lot in common too. Be-Pal means “Be pals with Nature.” Stay Wild means “Keep true to your nature.” We’re both nature lovers!
I asked Sana what stories they were looking for while visiting Portland. He said, ”Urban outdoor lives of Portlanders.” Specifically, “How local people enjoy outdoor life and what their favorite goods and activities are.” They were also interested in “unique garage brands” like The Original Nomad, Hand-Eye Supply, and Breadwinner Cycles.
I wondered if there is a region of Japan that is similar to Portland? “Yes, Kamakura, Itoshima, Higashikawa etc... these are very small towns where artists and creative outsiders live. There are similar shops, brands, and mountains and beaches, so people who love surfing and snow sports live there.” Cool! I want to go see Japan’s Portland.
On the drive to the coast we stop to wander the woods. We tripped out on the shrooms off the trail and it sends us on a mushroom hunt. We all get our boots muddy. I find some tiny chanterelles. It's pretty late in the season, but we find the last two red huckleberries and eat them right away. They're still kind of sweet!
It's fun. It’s cold, raining, foggy, and super nice to have a big dry van to retreat to. The cup holder holds my mushrooms. Our Nau rain coats are drenched.
When we get to the coast the weather hasn’t changed much, but we’re here, so we pile out of the van and hike to Shorts Sands beach. I want to impress the crew with my fire building skills. I want to boil water over a campfire and make everyone coffee, but everything is wet and the best I can make is a smoke bomb. Good thing I brought a BioLite stove in my Alite Designs backpack and some dry sticks! Within minutes the water I got from the cold creek is boiling. I use a Stanley french press. It's tough and super compact. We drink together and flip through the pages of each other’s magazines under the loose cover of an evergreen. The rain kisses the pages.
Our magazines are from different places, but we’re all about the same thing. We love getting outside with our friends.