Constant La France
A Gatineau native, Constant grew up in nature. His playground was actually a forest that was in his back yard. At one year old, he found himself in a canoe for his first time. At the age of seven years old, he accomplishes his first real expedition: a four day trip with his parents in the region of the Goutte d’Eau. The following year, his parents bought a cottage, which gave him the opportunity to be in the forest every weekend. The family expedition also quickly became a tradition. While his parents played a large part in his love of nature, it’s the Camp Air-Eau-Bois (CAEB) that truly gave to Constant his love to explore and to be in the woods.
His first week at AEB was in 2005, at the age of seven years old. He came back completely in love with the camp and with the burning desire to go back next year, which he did. The two week stays only start at the age of eleven years old, so Constant had to wait four years before he could experience the longer expeditions. He then did two twelve day stays at the camp, which slowly developed his camping and canoeing skills.
It’s at this moment that Constant and Pascal became best friends. After having done a two week trip at AEB, they spent a whole school year in the same class, talking about camping and their memories from camp. After a few years of two week trips together, they decided to do a three week expedition together. It was the first time that Constant could really feel and understand what life in expedition was like and he really enjoyed it. After that trip, camping became the main focus of his life. He decided to do the longest expedition that AEB offered, the 27 day trip, which was also the only one that was white water canoeing. To be well prepared, he took a white water canoeing class with his father in the spring of 2013. Sadly, the 27 days was cancelled that year because of the low number of inscriptions that year. A little discouraged, he still wanted to go to the camp AEB, so he re-inscribed himself with Pascal for another 21 day trip. He did not regret the decision, since he met his future girlfriend during that expedition. The year after, Constant successfully did the 27 days. That expedition was one of the most enriching experiences of his life. Even with 22 days of rain out of 25 days, the canoeing of the Bazin River and the Gatineau River let Constant see how comfortable he was in the forest. He could really see some pristine nature for the first time. The next year, he decided to work at camp as a canoe repairer, which gave him many good skills for the upcoming expedition. The summer after that one, he worked there as a camp counselor.
Along with his numerous trips at AEB, Constant took the Cégep course which consisted of an 18 day expedition that combined cycling, trekking, canoeing, climbing, diving, kayaking, running and having a 48 solo experience, among other things. To celebrate the end of secondary school, he did a two week trip in the French Alps, where he learned to do some rafting, some canyoning, high altitude trekking and other interesting sports. Constant has also done numerous small expeditions all year round with his friends or alone.