The West Coast Trail in British Columbia, Canada was the longest trek I have done thus far and I really had a blast! I hiked the trail with Matt, his dad and his sister. I would definitely recommend this adventure for anyone who has a week off and would like to enjoy beach campsites, some good food (there are little “restaurants” along the way) and the amazing ocean views that this trail has to offer.
Here are five things that I learned hiking the West Coast Trail:
1) Bring your bathing suits boys and girls!
There is a waterfall on the beach that people like to take a dip in and a swimming hole along the route. It sure did feel nice to hop in after a few days without a shower ☺. Heck.. you may even want to brave a dip in the Pacific.
2) Pack as light as possible, but still have enough to be comfortable.
I got my pack down to 30 lbs and it really made going up all those ladders more enjoyable (that’s right the trail has ladders, bridges and even cable car crossings!). On the other hand, there were a few people on the trail with very small packs. One lady we spoke to was doing the trail in just 3 days and had a very light pack. I felt I had brought just enough for me to enjoy my time during the day and I wasn’t freezing at night because I didn’t pack enough either!
3) Layers, Layers, Layers!
I wore synthetic or wool base layers, like this Outdoor Research Women’s Astral Tank. My mid-layer was a MEC zip-up softshell. And, when it was windy, wet, or just a little cooler I through on my Outdoor Research Aspire hard shell. This clothing setup kept me comfortable as the weather and temperature changed throughout the day.
4) Gaiters are both functional and kind of fashionable too!
I bought these Outdoor Research Crocodiles because I was told the West Coast Trail could get pretty mucky. But, I must admit we were really lucky because it hardly rained at all during the 5 days we were on the trail.
It wasn’t until the last day that I decided I would wear them to see how they worked and felt; I wished I would have been wearing them the whole time. Even if it isn’t raining or mucky it sure is nice to prevent scrapes and scratches from bushes or branches and help keep sand out of your boots.
5) Lastly, don’t forget to pack some cash.
These are just a couple of quick tips that I learned. We had a lot of fun and I think it was enjoyable because we did our research before hand. It is a trail that you have to book a couple of months in advance and you have to make sure to plan your trip around some of mother nature’s forces such as tides.
We made sure to bring along David Foster and Wayne Aitken’s book Blisters & Bliss, an informative book with cute and funny illustrations by Nelson Dewey. I hope you enjoy your trip as much as I did if you decide to take the trek!!!Are you planning on doing the West Coast Trail? Have any more questions for me? Have you done the hike and have any more tips to share? Either way feel free to leave your comments below ☺