Meet Ben: Co-Founder of WIRTH Hats

 

Meet Ben: co-founder of WIRTH Hats, outdoors lover, and wanderer.

On Saturday, October 12, 2019 Renew Retreats is partnering with WIRTH Hats on a group hike to Cleveland Dam and Capilano Canyon. Post-hike we’ll stop by Hearthstone Brewery for beers and eats.

The hike is 3 hours (12 km) roundtrip and suitable for all levels. Proceeds from the hike will go to WIRTH Hats. We hope you’ll come! Learn more and sign-up here.

We sat down with Ben to learn more about WIRTH Hats, his off-the-grid adventures, favourite hiking snack, and more.

WHAT IS WIRTH HATS?

WIRTH Hats is a hat company committed to doing something about mental health. The hats are a tribute to loved and lost friends and a commitment to conversation and openness.

WIRTH Hats aims to break down barriers and promote dialogue to improve mental health. We are a social venture, with all profits going towards mental health initiatives.

Our goal is simple: we want everyone in the world to know they are not alone, and we believe owning a WIRTH Hat will help with that. By wearing a WIRTH Hat, we invite you to be open, to listen and to always remember – You’re WIRTH It.

Read Ben’s full story about how WIRTH Hats came to be here or watch the WIRTH Hats story below.

THANKS for sharing. we’re glad we can support wirth hats in one small way - with a community hike! what kinds of activities do you love to do outside?

My favourite outdoor activity is simply to wander. I love being able to explore, wander, get into the forest, and get off the track.

I also love camping and going to off-the-grid places or anything that is remote. I grew up fishing - so anywhere you can catch and eat fish and forage for plants and wild edibles.

what do you love about being outside?

The calmness of it and the curiosity it brings up in me. Being outdoors can just be so freeing, especially when I go on bigger and more remote trips.

When you are outside, you can put away the bigger stresses and strains, pushes and pulls of life, and give away your phone for a couple of days. I love the rejuvenating energy I get from being outside.

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

what’s the best adventure you had this summer?

I just did it! Myself and two long-time friends went to Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park located on the northwest side of Vancouver Island.

I have been wanting to go there since it came on my radar in 2010. You can only get there by boat or plane. On September 19, 2019, I accomplished it and got there by canoe.

It was definitely a mix of type one and type two fun. Two days of the trip were monsoon conditions but two days were nice.

When we first arrived to the beach and lagoon, coming around the north side of the peninsula, it was starting to get dark. We saw a wolf right on the beach and as we approached all these wolves started howling in the distance.

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

THAT SOUNDS INCREDIBLE! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SNACKS TO EAT on adventures?

The mini Oh Henry! bars you buy in the bulk section. A risk was taken [buying them] and it paid off.

Post-adventure I always look forward to a nice hash with onions, cherry tomatoes, avocado, hot sauce, and finely chopped potatoes.

NOW WE’RE HUNGRY. what’s next on your adventure bucket list?

A hike with WIRTH Hats and Renew Retreats on October 12 [good plug, Ben].

I really want to return to Brooks Peninsula during a better weather window and stay for a longer period of time. Going there confirmed how beautiful it is.

you mentioned you take a trip with this group of friends annually. why is that important to you?

It’s really important to us. Everyone is so busy and for us, going off the grid and on an adventure, it’s our way to deeply connect as friends. You’re not distracted by outside things. You’re getting out there, having great conversations, making food and drinking coffee together. It’s a special time and what keeps the bond strong.

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

SINCE WE CAN’T ALWAYS GET OUTSIDE AND GO OFF THE GRID, WHAT PRACTICES DO you use on A DAILY BASIS FOR SELF-CARE AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

I’ve meditated for a long time. However that looks, it’s important to take space for yourself. When we are at our busiest, those are the things that tend to get dropped - but that we need the most.

I also love playing basketball. It’s such a rejuvenating thing - catching up with a good friend while playing a sport and having a good workout.

what’s next for wirth hats?

Our next event is the hike with Renew Retreats on Saturday, October 12. Then on November 15, we’re hosting a screening of “All 4 One: The Tandem Tour Story” documentary at RYU in Kitsilano.

Last September, 4 members of the WIRTH team - including myself - raced a team of 4 British triathletes on quad tandem bikes from Portland to San Francisco in the first ever Quad Tandem World Championships.

The race lasted 14 days and it was one of the hardest things we’ve all ever done. But it was a rewarding challenge, with the support it raised for mental health and the hundreds of people we met as we traveled down the coast.

JOIN RENEW RETREATS AT THE SCREENING. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

Our one-for-one counselling fund is now live! We have the ability to pay for counselling for people who are struggling to afford or cannot afford it. If you are interested we want to talk with you. You can get in touch with the WIRTH Hats team here.

Later this year, we’re expanding our product line to include WIRTH toques. (Find the WIRTH Hats shop here.)

LOTS OF EXCITING THINGS ON THE HORIZON FOR WIRTH hats. THANKS BEN!

Meet Ben and the WIRTH Hats crew: Saturday, October 12 at 12:30 pm outside Hearthstone Brewery. We will hike to Cleveland Dam and Capilano and return to the brewery for a post-hike meet-up. Proceeds from the hike are going to WIRTH Hat’s one-for-one counselling fund.

Learn more and sign-up here.