As many of you may know, we recently took some time off and headed to Vancouver Island to hike the world famous West Coast Trail. We hiked the trail with close friends of ours, and had an absolute blast. This was our first ever backpacking trip – we have hiked tonnes, and camped tonnes, but never backpacked. With the West Coast Trail, you MUST pack out everything that you pack in.
We were not sure how much gear we would need, and as we started packing, the weight of our packs kept climbing. Sunny ended up carrying around 50lbs, Jess was around 40, but then dropped down to 35 after the first two days. Because of this, we decided not take any of our professional photo gear – just a small point and shoot. When we do the trail again, I think we would forgo some items and take our pro gear, because it is so worth it!
The West Coast Trail is not for the faint of heart, and we understand why people advise inexperienced hikers not to do the trail. Even though this was our first backpacking trip, we have day hiked up to 22kms in a day, so we felt prepared for the trail. We planned shorter days with lots of rest, and did not push ourselves more than we needed to. We also spent months reading, planning, training and prepping for the trail.
We would highly recommend it anyone with a sense of adventure – but do not become a statistic on the trail. Do your research. Train. Plan. Talk to others who have done it. If you do it properly it can be an amazing life experience. If you do it improperly it could be miserable, or you could be seriously injured or even die.
If you want any advice on the West Coast Trail, send us a message! We’d love to chat. Here are some of the highlights from our trip.