Saturday, August 8, 2009

Preparing to hike the West Coast Trail

Well, at long last, my opportunity to do the trail has come. In mid September, I will be flying home to Vancouver (from London) on 10th September and shortly after making my way to the trail.
What is the West Coast Trail?

In short, it's a not so short (75km) trail located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. The expected duration is around 5 to 7 days. This hike has been rated as best hike in the world by BestHike.

Why do it?

This trail has held great fascination in my mind for the last 6 or 7 years, ever since I missed an opportunity to hike the trail with friends in University. After hearing their stories of carrying all their supplies in backpacks (about 40lbs) and camping along the beach I have dreamed of doing this trail.

What to expect?

I have started training for the hike as I expect it to be quite a physical challenge. In addition to the distance and the duration, we will have to contend with ladders and really steep ladders. We will be crossing rivers with manual cable cars. Keep in mind this will be done while carrying a backpack weighing about 40 lbs (nearly 20kg), and most likely in the pouring rain. Wildlife (bears, cougars, and wolves) are a risk and so is hypothermia.

My training regime

I haven't decided how I am going to train over the next 5 to 6 weeks. It will certainly consist of some long walks carrying my pack and slowly increasing the wait. Luckily, the building I work in has about 20 floors, and this should be good practice for the steps and ladders of the trail.

I will be updating on how my training is going and once I complete the trail, I will be posting tales and pictures of my adventure.

In the meantime, do you have any great stories about hiking that you want to share? Please post in the comments below.

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