Hiking The West Coast Trail -Introduction – 1/5

“We should do the West Coast Trail [WCT] before the end of the season” said Flo

“OK”, said Scott. And that was all it took. Would I regret this?

I didn’t know much about the WCT but I had heard of it from Tom, one of the wilderness guides on my Bowron canoe trip. He guides trips there so he’s pretty familiar with it. Flo and I had recently done the Lions Ears in North Vancouver, and I had missed out on doing Skyline Trail in Jasper (from lack of planning), so this was the perfect opportunity for me to do some more hiking. We booked our places, as well as the shuttle to and from the trail.

The WCT officially operates between May 1 and September 30 and they regulate numbers so you need to be ‘on it’ when trying to book your place. There are a few reasons why they do this. They want to ensure that the trail isn’t too busy; there are limited camping spots and they want the train to retain a certain wilderness factor about it. The fees  is $24.50 reservation plus $127.50 for the trail. This goes towards maintenance of the trail, funds the rescue teams and the ferry operators. It seems pretty steep but it all goes into the trail.

Packing

I was pretty confident with my packing. I had my nice new Osprey hiking pack, which so far had only been used for getting to and from the airport.

I had all of the essentials, tent, sleeping bag, Thermarest, Stove, spare set of dry clothes and food. I brought everything that I thought I needed (and checked with Flo) and no other luxuries apart from a note pad, small book and my SLR.

It would turn out that I could have been more tactful with what I packed. There were many things that I could have left behind or made smaller. No book, and reducing food would have made a difference as well as carrying only 3 days worth of tooth paste, reducing first aid kit and not carrying full capacity of water (seeing as we could fill up from rivers). You realise that all the little things add up to unnecessary weight. Especially when in reality, we are not a week away from help – Anyway, I will fill you in on the impact that had in the following posts.

Oh, and this was also my first multi-day hiking trip. The general advice is that this is for ‘experienced’ hikers, and shouldn’t be anyones first multi-day hike

  • You can find out more on Flo HERE
  • You can find the official WCT site HERE
  • You can book Shuttles from HERE
  • You can find the preparation guide HERE

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