I have come to the righteous conclusion that rainforest suck.

They are valuable, perhaps even crucial to the continued existence of life as we know it. They are home to an unparalleled diversity of species. They host a wealth of medicinal plants that modern science is only now beginning to learn. They house countless cultures, some of which stand the peoples least affected by globalization.

And they suck.


As the name implies, there is the constant rain to deal with; you become soaked almost immediately, regardless of protection or the amount of current precipitation. What is not soggy from sky, vegetation, or sweat quickly becomes musty and damp from the humidity.

Vegetation is so think that travel must be accomplished either on trails or on waterways, the latter by boat or by wading. Firstly, no matter what anybody says about macheteing a trail out of dense forest, it’s a bitch. Secondly, due to the nature of rainforest, any trail you do succeed in clearing turns instantly to a long, narrow mudhole, and is then soon recolonized by vegetation unless steady traffic or maintenance beats it back.

Boats typically work well, if you have one. Most visitors are lucky to have a raft or canoe, which are fine for dinking around, but are less than ideal for daily work. Oh, and ‘typically’ does not apply to the twisting, rocky rivers of B.C., because you can’t get a boat through boulder rapids in four inches of water. But that’s why you brought chest waders! Because you really enjoy twisting your ankles on unseen and uneven stones and salmon carcasses, trying to avoid grizzlies in the one place they are sure to be found and where they are also unable to hear or smell you, walking kilometres at a stretch against flood currents, every day. Except it’s not every day, because the river floods when it rains and you can’t get to your study sites anyway.

Speaking of not being able to reach the study sites, why am I here again?