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Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: What's JDF? on 05/10/2009 20:35:56 MDT Print View

Hi Dan, welcome to the coast! JDF is the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, runs 47 km in length going south from Port Renfrew. Sort of the poor man's WCT but a lot more accessible and no reservations needed. Some people even prefer it. Sombrio beach and Chin Beach easily best any on the WCT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
- on 05/10/2009 21:08:18 MDT Print View

Oh yeah....someone did mention that trail to me once.

Why do you recommend gators? Is that so sand doesn't get it? Or mud? Or water? Would you be okay without them if you had higher footwear?

I've got some Gore-Tex hiking boots that are unbelievable waterproof...I've hiked through a hundred meters of ankle deep water with no leaks on many occasions (spring camping in low areas can be dicey!) Should I bring these? Or bring my lighter hiking shoes and just some other footwear to wear while these dry? I'm considering buying some water shoes that could suffice on the trail for a couple hours if my shoes get wet.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/10/2009 21:09:31 MDT Print View

The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is also open all year, unlike the WCT which closes down for half the year (unless you want to swim instead of taking a ferry). No ladders or cable cars on the JDF, however you still get lots of the charm of the WCT (like mud holes, log crossings, root masses and board walks). My avatar was shot on the JDF two weeks ago. The photo below shows why travel on these trails can be slow and it's a real advantage to carry as light a pack as possible.

JDF Trail

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/10/2009 21:11:48 MDT Print View

I just got back from the WCT. A few things:

-a tarp will work just fine. Take 8" Easton pegs from MEC and bury them. They work.

-no bugs on the beach at this time of year. Too cold at night so bug netting would be optional for sure.

-a down bag is fine but double bag it and use both a pack cover and pack liner for security.

-wear light hikers - forget the heavy leather boots. Your feet will thank you during your beach trek.

-bring several pairs of socks and robust rain gear. Don't forget gaiters - preferably shorties.

Short of buying really used gear, your price parameters are unrealistic. If it rains the entire trip this is a very challenging trek and it is best to be slightly overprepared in my opinion.

Couple of more notes for this year:

There are abnormal sightings of wolves in the area, likely being pushed west from the clear cutting being done. Be aware.

Carmanah and Tsusiat Falls has more drift wood than I have ever seen and there are limited places to pitch a shelter.

Landslide close to Pachena now means it is home to the longest ladder on the trail. Cedar smells nice if that is any consolation.

The trail has changed over the last couple of years and I suspect longer than the 77 kms total length (not including the vertical parts). There are two 55 and 33 KM markers; KM #4 is a 5 minute affair.

Have fun

By the way, my avatar is just ouside Cribs in 2007.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 05/10/2009 21:12:53 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Nice on 05/10/2009 21:13:21 MDT Print View

Wow that's a knarly section of trail! Hiking is really wet environments is going to be new for us (my wife and I). I'm not sure whether to try and keep my feet dry, or to just assume they are going to get wet and plan accordingly.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/10/2009 21:24:52 MDT Print View

I recommend a light GoreTex boot with shorty gaitors made of Schoeller type soft-shell fabric. You just need to keep the mud (or watery mud) out of the boot-tops. Some people (very few) do use running shoes, I guess it all depends on how close to the earth you want to get and whether you can stand putting on cold wet muddy runners in the morning :))

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/10/2009 21:35:41 MDT Print View

As far as the shortie gaiters are concerned - consider those made of eVent. Far superior to anything else with respect to being both waterproof and breathable.

I used Montrail Hardrocks (gortex) the whole trip and they remained completely dry. The soles were super sticky on the wet wood.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Gators on 05/10/2009 22:01:09 MDT Print View

Is a short nylon Gator like this good enough? At $6 these MEC gators are pretty appealing. I imagine they are just DWR coated Nylon.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp;jsessionid=3lLZKHSCYtVphQymQThyLM5vJ8dLh1VWGkpg4msTHJLkQx8ybqNd!-469273847!1242010146856?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302733919&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441775473

Edited by dandydan on 05/10/2009 22:02:05 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
WCT Gaiters on 05/10/2009 22:10:27 MDT Print View

Those should be just fine. Note that you put them on prior to putting your shoe on. Not a big issue. The good thing is that prevents water from inadvertently leaking in through a zipper or velcro. They will not be breathable, however. But for $6.....

The Integral Designs eVent shortie gaiters are about $25 I think.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
good to know on 05/10/2009 22:14:31 MDT Print View

Good to know about putting them on before the shoe. The way they are shown in the diagram does look like it would be hard on the undershoe strap.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
"West Coast Trail Gear Questions" on 05/11/2009 07:07:49 MDT Print View

I did the North Coast Trail last year in Mid/late May. It's the newest long distance trail on the Island. 90Km in length, it's very cool. Very similar to the WCT but a lot less crowded and more remote.

There were hardly any bugs. I did not need any bug spray.

We lucked out on weather but had both pack cover and pack liners. I was conservative and also brought a synthetic bag. Mtn. Harwear has a good lightweight synthetic bag: the ultralamina if you want to go that route. It is affordable. My friend used a very light down bag. But again we lucked out on weather.

Gaiters or rubber boots are essential. Especially if it rains....and it usually does. I used a short gaiter from Black Diamond, my pant legs were caked with mud about 30 cm above the top of the gaiter the whole trip. My friend had a full gaiter from MEC and was drier. I used a goretex ASOLO boot. I usually hike with mesh trail running shoes. The long stetches of pebble beach, boulder beaches, mud slogs and very rugged trail conditions made me glad I did. I rarely feel that way.

We shared a small 2 person tent and brought an 8x10 Integral Design sil tarp to provide extra weather protection and cooking space in case of rain. With all the driftwood and trees plus our trekking poles we were able to create very effective shelters every night.

I'm not sure about the WCT regulations but BC Parks lets you make driftwood fires on the beaches on the NCT, so we cooked on fires almost every night and morning which allowed us to keep fuel weight very low. Tides clears out the ashes twice a day so it's fairly benign and the wood supply is endless.


Lots of black bears, we carried pepper spray. had a couple close encounters but no aggressive bears, just thick salal and bears hungry for berries that mostly ignored us.

have a great trip.

Edited by drown on 05/11/2009 07:08:48 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
WCT Gaiters on 05/11/2009 08:22:34 MDT Print View

Dan - the understrap is durable because it goes between the forefront of the shoe and the heel. I have never worn mine down. Because it is shockcord, you could always bring extra if that was a concern.

NCT - awesome - on my life list.

Yes to fires on the WCT beach.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Car on 05/11/2009 10:33:00 MDT Print View

How does one get back to their car at the start of the WCT once finished? Is there a bus? Or do you need 2 cars so you can leave one at each end?

Also, is there a bus from the ferry to the WCT? I'd rather not pay $60 x 2 to get my across and back unless necessary.

Rich Fredd
(rfredd) - F
return on 05/11/2009 11:31:10 MDT Print View

book with the convenient West Coast Trail Express bus. (If you book a return fare, this company will store your excess luggage until you finish the hike.)

public transport is also available between the two trailheads by van, and sometimes by tour boat

from http://www.besthike.com/northamerica/canada_west_coast/west_coast_trail.html

Rich Fredd
(rfredd) - F
gear on 05/11/2009 11:48:40 MDT Print View

for a group of 5....how many of the following do we need to bring:

1. Stoves
2. Pots
3. Water Purifiers
4. First Aid Kits

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: return on 05/11/2009 12:10:06 MDT Print View

Hmm....the WCT Express Bus is awfully expensive. It's about $135 for a round trip from the ferry. This whole trip is sounding expensive:

For 1 person:
- reservation fee = $25 (not required in late Sept.)
- camping fee = $140
- WCT Express Bus = $135
- Ferry = $13.50 x 2
Total: $327

And that doesn't include food or gear....

I think my wife and I are best off to take our motorcycles and leave one at the other end. It would be cramped to ride two up with our packs to the other trailhead but much cheaper. By doing it in late Sept on our bikes it would cost:

- Reservation Fee = 0
- Camping Fee = $140
- Ferry: $22.50 x 2 = $45
- Gas: $10
Total: $195 ($132 saved)

That's better but still a lot. The JDF and NCT are starting to look a bit more appealing. Anyone know the camping fees for these? The reason I prefer the WCT (aside from being famous) is the length sounds good for a 1 week trip with my wife. The JDF sounds short for a 1 week trip (45kms?) and the NCT might be too long (90kms??). I don't want to wear her out or she won't come again.

Edited by dandydan on 05/11/2009 12:14:27 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/11/2009 12:30:22 MDT Print View

The road to Bamfield (Pachena) sucks. It is 150km of pot ridden logging road. Personally, I would take the bus. I thought the NCT was only 47KM, but I could be wrong. The logistics to that area is worse and will require a boat ride.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/11/2009 14:05:57 MDT Print View

I think the trail itself is only 47 k but I combined it with some time/hiking on cape Scott.. maybe it wa smore like 60. The roads are quite crappy and the boat in is subject to weather. Good shuttle service available back from trailhead however.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 05/11/2009 15:59:09 MDT Print View

Yes! Aren't the roads bad! The potholes can swallow whole sub compacts.

Tim Quirk
(chicagoblue) - F
Gear List on 08/12/2009 22:46:21 MDT Print View

I know this thread has been dead for a little while, but I figured it would be better to bring this one back than to start a new one.

I'm getting ready for a 6-7 day trip on the WCT in mid September and was hoping to get a little advice on my pack list. I had a few things going in, and have purchased a few more things, but still have a few areas that I'll be filling in, and am hoping this community can help me out with that.

So, what I've already got:

Pack - Kelty Coyote 4500 ~5lbs
Tent - Kelty Gunnison 2.1 ~5lbs
Sleeping Bag - Alps Mountaineering Slick Rock 20F ~3lbs
First Aid Kit 1lb
Primus Stove and Head Lamp ~llb
Jacket - Outdoor Research Mentor 16.8oz
Outdoor Research Drycomp Compression Sack ~12oz

None of my stuff is ultra light, but I've gone as light as I can reasonably afford.

The things I'm still looking to pick up:

Trecking Poles - Do I need 1 or 2? Do I want ones with the pointed tip or with a rounder rubberized tip?

Mattress - I'm thinking of going with the Neo Air. Anybody used this mattress in a similar environment? Anything else a better option?

Gators - I'm thinking of going with something like the Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters (http://www.rei.com/product/721672)

Boots - I'm probably going to go with an Asolo boot, either Asolo FSN 95, Asolo FUGITIVE, or ASOLO POWER MATIC 300. Any thoughts and which would be best are appreciated. I've seen lots of reviews of the FSN 95 and the Fugitive, but I think the Power Matic 300 may be a newer boot.

Rain Pants - Something like the Marmot PreCip

Umbrella - Something light and strong


--

I'm hoping to keep my load well under 30 pounds, and with a group of 4 I think that should be easy enough. Is there anything critical that I'm missing? Thanks in advance for any help.