On Parks Canada opening day, today, I registered myself and 3 others to hike the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. We are going to leave on July 24 and hope to return on July 30.
Tom and I had planned to hike this last year, but life got in the way. Downsizing, selling the house, and moving all took a significant effort and lo and behold- instead of training we would end the day with big glasses of wine. According to my reading, this was not on the list of VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO before hiking the West Coast Trail.
But, this is another year and we’re in a better place (literally) to train properly to do this. And it’s something we would really like to do. The best part? We’ve got a couple
hikers pack mules to come along! Annette and Denis will be joining us!
A few things:
- It clearly states in the literature that this should not be your first overnight backpack trip. Since I don’t own an RV and basically have only camped with my “backpack” in mom and dads trailer, does that count?
- Ok, seriously about the above. I think I’m going to have to try this out one time at least. However I’m scared about the below.
- YOU ARE IN BEAR AND COUGAR country. For some reason, I can never recall if you’re to stare down a bear or look away from a cougar. I feel like they are different answers. And if you get it wrong-you’re a statistic on the WCT. And people shake their heads and talk about the girl who stared down the cougar so the cougar pounced-CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!
- You have to bury your poop.
- Tide tables. Everything I read says this is very important. Sorta like the wildlife thing- if you get it wrong, you’re totally fucked. I’m sure it can’t be that hard-but that also sounds like famous last words.
- My backpack-since this morning, I’ve been mentally tallying the things I can go without so my pack is super light. And by go without, I mean put in Tom’s pack instead.
- The water situation. When I’m exerting myself, there is nothing I like more than a big swallow of cold clean water. Well, after probably about hour 3 of day 1, my fresh water will be gone and I will be looking to streams. Streams that need filtering or purifying because of the bear and cougar urine in it. I’m sure this water will not taste like my Brita water.
- Quads and Hammies- I’m about to get real serious about squats and lunges. The other important item they talk about is not going on this trip if you have knee or ankle problems. Well, who doesn’t have knee and ankle problems, I say! You just need to train that. And by train it, like actually train it and not think about how much you hate squats and lunges.
- About halfway there is a burger and a beer place.
If you’re interested in reading more you can click here: west coast trail
This is just the sort of thing I’m looking to do in this year off. It will be super challenging and I expect it will also be rewarding. It’s the hike of a lifetime!