While I wasn’t able to tie myself to a tree during the Clayquot Sound protests, and stand up for the West Coast environment that I treasured, I dug into what it all meant. During this research I learned about the West Coast Trail (WCT). It was a trail of endurance and breath taking beauty. I was told that I would have to climb rope ladders and cliffs. I would have to cross rivers, navigate tides and arrange for ferries. The road to each trailhead was a dirt logging road. With no-one to take me there and no-one to hike with, I would have to put this aspiration on hold.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. I was having lunch in Vancouver with family and my longtime friend D. D is an avid hiker on the lower mainland. He proposed we hike the PCT. Having studies trail sections of the PCT and read several blogs, I knew I wasn’t ready for this, nor did I think this should be our trial co-hike. Then my inner voice said, “How about the West Coast Trail?”. My outside voice echoed. That was that.
Though I had hiked and camped since infancy, I had not done any multi-day hikes a strongly suggested requirement for the WCT. This was on the top of my list along with regular terrain hikes, somewhat a challenge close to Toronto. Upping my gear game was next. I had two years to watch sales and collect 100 km on my new hiking boots.
The stars had further aligned. My parents had moved to Vancouver Island 5 years ago. This provided me a great home base and emergency contact. They kindly offered to drive us to our Trail Head camp in Port Renfrew and to pick us up in Port Alberni when we finished.
I listened to podcasts, read blogs and read the WCT section of the book, Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
Below is my gear, excluding the dehydrated dinners, eco soap and solar charger shipped directly to my parent’s house. Also absent is the stove fuel and bear spray that will need to be picked in Nanaimo, because these items are prohibited on airplanes and won’t be couriered. For a complete packing and food list see “What’s in My Pack“.
I organized and labelled all of my snacks and meals by day.
My pack all ready to go.