Yesterday I spent 5 hours packing for my vacation! As you read this I am somewhere on the road between Edmonton, AB and Victoria, BC. My parents and I are taking two days to do the drive so we can meander through Jasper and Kamloops on our way to the coast. I am incredibly excited to be heading to the West Coast Trail but packing yesterday was super stressful. Additionally, as soon as I picked up my fully loaded pack and almost fell over, I got reeeeally nervous. The hike is almost the only thing on my mind right now so I though I would give you an insight into my packing, my preparation, and my feelings towards the hike right now.
Two things I am most nervous about:
- Not being able to read tide charts correctly. Yes I lived on the coast for over a decade and I still haven’t taken the time to understand tide charts. I have researched the tide highs and lows during our trip but the numbers really mean nothing to me.
- Climbing the many many many ladders on the trial with my giant backpack. I almost fell down my stairs yesterday with my pack on… how on earth am I suppose to climb 70 ladders along the trail?
Two things I made room for in my pack:
- Peanut butter. Obviously. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a day you could have bet a million dollars I would carry the extra weight of peanut butter just to top my morning oats with it on the trail.
- Coffee. Instant coffee, but still. My dad and I are both addicted so it was more necessity than accessory in our packs.
Two things I am excited for:
- The smell of the ocean. I miss it. Living in Alberta I get a lot of canola field smells, cattle smells, and oil rig smells, but I miss the crisp salty ocean air.
- The challenge. I know it’s going to be hard, probably one of the toughest experiences of my life. I haven’t done as much hiking as I wanted to this summer so I am nervous about my experience level but I am hoping my fitness will pull me through and I am stoked for the challenge.
Two things I didn’t even think about:
- Toilet paper. My dad asked me yesterday if a half roll of toilet paper was enough for the six days and I honestly had no idea. I don’t know how much TP I go through and it didn’t even cross my mind to gauge how much I would need. I get that this is TMI… whatever.
- The cold. Okay, well I did think about this but after having a summer of 25+ degree weather all day every day in Alberta, I kind of forgot how cold the coast can get. I’ve been religiously checking the forecast for the coast for weeks and I am packed for the best and the worst. The nights only look like they dip down to 10 degrees… I can handle that.
Two things that I haven’t worn before that I packed:
- Socks. A bit risky wearing unworn socks before without trying them out. 😉
- A long sleeve Marino wool shirt. Just like on a running race day, it’s recommended to never try anything ‘new’ on a multi-day hike for obvious reasons. I think my socks and shirt will be pretty safe, it’s my new 65L pack that might take some adjusting. *internally screaming*
Two things I get to do BEFORE the trail:
- I get to spend an evening with one of my awesome friends in Victoria on Monday night. I haven’t seen her in ages and I think the last time we hung out was at Big Valley Jambouree a couple years ago!
- I get to drive through one of the most beautiful places in the world today – Jasper. Anyone who hasn’t been to Jasper, AB is truly missing out!
Two things I get to do AFTER the trail:
- See one of my favourite people on the planet – James! I’m staying with James for almost a week after we finish the trail and I am so excited. I think I might actually NEED the week of relaxation in Vancouver after the grueling hike!
- Getting a massage. I have booked a massage for a couple days after the hike at a sports medicine clinic in Vancouver. I think I am more excited for this than I am about seeing James. 😉
I will be documenting every moment up until we leave for the hike and then providing a solid recap when it’s (hopefully successfully) done! Today we are making our way to the toasty interior of BC and stopping in Kamloops!
Any crazy hiking stories for me that will make me even more nervous?
What have you forgotten to pack for a trip?
Who ran SeaWheeze?! How did it go?!