West Coast Trail Packing Guide
The West Coast trail is known as “the hike of a lifetime” not only because of its amazingly beautiful scenery, but also because it is the hike of a lifetime for most, meaning it will be the longest and most challenging most hikers experience. With the hikes average duration being anywhere from 6-9 days it will not only test you individually, but also all the equipment you bring and use. Here’s our team’s suggestions of what to get for yourself before taking on the hike of your life!
Sturdy waterproof boots
We think the Asolo hiking boots are the best suited for such a demanding hike, made with the best soles on the market, Vibram. These shoes will be able to support you and your equipment, while still providing unparalleled comfort. The Fugitive GTX are a great option for the men on the trip, with its one piece water resistant upper with a Gore-Tex lining these boots provide breathability while being water-proof, our favourite feature of these boots in the rubber capped toe, reducing wear and tear on the boot. The Drifter GV EVO is what our team believes to be the feminine counterpart to the fugitive, with the same one piece upper with Gore-Tex lining these boots perform at the same level, just a slimmer fit for the women.
The West Coast is known for its rain, and how frequent it rains, make sure to bring tons of waterproof gear and clothing! Having a good quality rain jacket could mean the difference between finishing the hike of a lifetime or having to peel off early. The Patagonia Torrentshell is one of the highest rated and reviewed rain jackets on the market this season, while also having a completely reasonable price point of $149! Waterproof or at minimum resistant pants are also a great idea for this hike to assure you’re comfortable from head to toe! Black Diamond has some amazing breathables waterproof pants for both men and women, we suggest looking at the Highline stretch!
Food and Cooking
Preplanning each of your daily meals can not only make sure you’re fully energized for the hike, but also assist in reducing excess packing. Packing light weight and fast cooking foods allows the reduction of packing and the ease of being able to refuel quickly in the middle of the day along with after setting up camp each night. OMEALS has tons of options for easy and quick meals, they even have some deserts to make camping and hiking as luxurious as possible! As for how to cook these meals we always recommend the Jetboil brand in general when looking for a back-country stove.
Tent & Fly
Of course, with all the rain a waterproof tent and fly combo is a must have! Making sure you and your gear stay dry throughout the night is super important, especially with all the physical excursion you’ll be doing throughout the day of hiking and enjoying the beautiful trail. The MSR Mutha Hubba is a fantastic option for keeping you and your gear nice and dry.
Sleeping Bag & Pad
Having a waterproof tent is a must have but staying comfortable in that tent should also be a high priority on your list for such a long hike, the time in our tent is used to recharge for the next day. I always suggest, not only, a sleeping bag but also a sleeping pad as well! While the right sleeping bag will allow you to be at the proper temperature while sleeping, having a pad can assist in temperature regulation along with improving the overall comfort of a night’s sleep. Exped’s Synmat line has the perfect size sleeping pad for everyone, providing comfort and added relaxation throughout the night. As for the right sleeping bag, that all depends on the time of year and weather forecast for the time you’re planning on tacking the trail on. Our team loves The North Face sleeping bags, along with the Marmot sleeping bags!
No Matter the outdoor activity, I always make sure I have a first-aid kit handy, with a 6-10 day hike ahead of you, this is a requirement. Having a first-aid kit, while you might not be a medical professional, is something that should always be on a hiking trip. Cuts, scraps, sprains and breaks are all very possibly, and even likely when taking a trail of this magnitude on, having a first-aid kit included in at least one if not all packs on the trip can assure that no matter the scenario you are faced with you will be prepared to assist. Adventure Medical has all kinds of first-aid kits available, from basic, to a full blow emergency kit, have a look, and find the right one for you!
While carrying around rope doesn’t seem like the most important piece of equipment it definitely has its benefits of having one handy, primarily for hanging food in trees so you don’t lore all kinds of creatures to your camping site. These ropes can also be used to assist a member of your hiking crew up a steep and slipper portion of the hike. Make sure you bring a rope that’s 15 meters, or 50 feet, long minimum! Of course, with a trip like this there’s bound to be tons of little pieces I’ve missed here, we just wanted to help with the main necessities as we see them! Let us know if we’ve missed any of your backpacking trip essentials!