West Coast Trail Gear Questions
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Another Question on 10/07/2009 17:05:11 MDT Print View

I've got another JDF question. How does one get back to their car upon completing the trail? I realize there is the West Coast Trail bus, but that doesn't run at this time of year. I'm current plan (or lack there of) is to leave my wife at botancial beach and hitch hike back to the start to get the car. Is this road busy enough to hitch on with decent odds?

Based on Mike's suggestion and due to how long it takes to get to the trailhead from my house (5-6 hrs thanks to the ferry), I've revised my itinerary:

Monday: Arrive ~3pm, hike 2 kms to Mystic Beach
Tuesday: 7kms to Bear Beach
Wednesday: Hike 11kms to Chin Beach
Thursday: Hike 6kms to Sombrio Beach
Friday: Hike 13 kms to Payzant
Saturday: Hike 7kms to exit

Edited by dandydan on 10/07/2009 17:33:24 MDT.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Ride back... on 10/08/2009 16:18:33 MDT Print View

Dan -

Mystic is a good option, I like that little beach and have used it to test/experiment with new gear (easy bailout but still nice). Any day hikers will be gone by around 4:00 p.m. and you'll probably have the beach to yourself.

As for hitch hiking... not a great time of year for that although there is a reasonable amount of traffic that heads back and forth from Renfrew so you'd probably get picked up. You might want to make yourself a sign that says "China Beach"... you'll have a better chance at a ride if they know they are not stuck with you all the way to town.

Since it sounds like you will be at Botanical Beach on the weekend, there will probably be a few people around the beach when you arrive... try asking for a ride and save yourself the walk to the West Coast Road.

Edited by skopeo on 10/08/2009 16:21:31 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Ride back... on 10/08/2009 18:07:55 MDT Print View

Just one thing to make sure of before you get on the trail. When I was there last August I just happened to find a copy of the West Coast Trail Shuttle Bus time schedule at the Hosteling International Victoria youth hostel. There were also schedules posted on the signs along the trail, but the information was several years out of date.

Also, if you want a detailed map of the trail try to get a copy of the book "Giant Cedars, White Sands: Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Guidebook" by Donald C. Mills. It has the most detailed (but still rudimentary) map of the trail that I was able to find in Victoria. MEC and Robinson's Outdoor Sporting Goods Store, and the other hiking specific stores in town all didn't have any good maps of the trail. However, if you go to Ocean River Kayaks along the harbor, they had the book above and some very helpful and experienced staff members who took lots of time to give me firsthand advice for the trail (Well, the staff at MEC did, too).

Good luck!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Guidebook on 10/08/2009 18:48:55 MDT Print View

I would like to get a copy of that guide book. In the past, I've found that guidebooks can enrich a hike because you notice stuff you wouldn't have appreciated otherwise. I'll keep an eye open for this book.

The WCT Bus doesn't run after September. I contacted them and they told me to hitch hike :)

Mike: How long is the walk to West Coast Rd?

Edited by dandydan on 10/08/2009 18:49:28 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Guidebook on 10/08/2009 19:39:20 MDT Print View

Another option you might want to consider is to stop by the HI (Hosteling International) Victoria youth hostel on Yates street down by the harbor and ask them if they have any people with cars who are doing either the West Coast Trail or Juan de Fuca and see if there is anyone who is willing to share the ride. You could offer to pay for the gas. There are a lot of people in the youth hostel from around the world who come to the area specifically to do the walks, so your chances are high that you'll find someone. You could park cars on either end of the trail.

Try asking at the outdoor stores, too, like MEC, Ocean River, and Robinson's

Edited by butuki on 10/08/2009 19:40:07 MDT.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 10/08/2009 22:56:19 MDT Print View

Dan -

When you end your JDF trail hike at Botanical Beach there is a short walk to the parking lot (less than a mile). This would be the best place to try to scrounge a ride.

The problem is that the main road back to your car (West Coast Road) starts at Renfrew which is about 3 miles from Botanical Beach. The road that runs from Renfrew to Botanical Beach won't see the volume of traffic that the West Coast Road sees but since it's Saturday, you'll probably have a pretty good chance of begging a ride.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Fees? on 10/09/2009 08:29:41 MDT Print View

I am rather curious as to the situation concerning a "fee" if any, for foreigners using these B.C. trails. It seems to me that we could benefit from charging a fee for the use of our lands and thus obtain money which could fund better wildlife programmes, forestry concerns and assist we taxpayers with the SAR costs we are burdened with when some tourist gets lost or flattened in an avalanche.

I would consider a flat $100.00 CDN an appropriate charge per person for using B.C.s wilderness and the government should implement this forthwith, IMO.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 10/09/2009 08:32:27 MDT Print View

Hey Kute - there is a fee for the West Coat Trail. Everyone pays it ($140) plus additional $$ for the park pass.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Fees? on 10/09/2009 08:34:14 MDT Print View

I think it's covered under a reciprocity agreement between our two governments.

We rescue lost blokes in Yellowstone and scrape them off the highways in Washington. And you do the same in your locale.

Edit: Well, thanks David. I guess we need to up the ante.

Edited by greg23 on 10/09/2009 08:35:32 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Fees? on 10/09/2009 08:51:41 MDT Print View

Ha ha, Dewey,

I've already had my say. You're not baiting me with this one.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Fees? on 10/09/2009 09:00:21 MDT Print View

WHAT!

Dewey is pulling our chain?

After posting less than an hour ago - "I would suggest, that you at least TRY to grow up and post something relevant to the issue."

Miguel, surely you jest...

Edited by greg23 on 10/09/2009 09:01:43 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 10/09/2009 09:13:50 MDT Print View

Too early in the morning for me to see the 'baiting.'

On a side note, I have done the WCT 4 times and happily paid each time. One of the best things about the trek is the people you meet, many of whom are from other countries.

Once again we ALL pay the fees ;)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Weather on 10/11/2009 12:51:57 MDT Print View

The weather is looking so-so for this trip currently. Weather network is calling for highs around 10 C (50F ?) and 2 days of rain mid trip with sun on the first and last two days.

I hope my tarp arrives in time for this trip. I've got an Oware Cattarp 2 coming which I hope to use in camp as a shelter for cooking, relaxing etc. With out relaxed schedule, should have a lot of time in camp and hopefully we don't have to spend a lot of that hiding in the tent.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Wet Trip on 10/18/2009 11:15:24 MDT Print View

It's looking like it's gonna be an awfully wet trip. They're calling for sun on Monday when we show up, but then rain for the next 4 days.

I personally kinda like the rain because it'll be such a great test for my gear and my backpacking skills in general (ie. can I start a fire? can I keep my down dry?) but I'm sure my wife doesn't feel the same way.

At least my Oware Cattarp 2 has shown up, so we won't be stuck in the tent the whole trip.

Unless the forecast changes significantly, I'm going to bring my Dri Ducks rain pants (instead of DWR coated hiking pants) and my heavier North Face Rain Jkt (12.7 oz) instead of my DriDucks jkt (7oz) because I'm going to be spending pretty much the whole trip it in.

Here's a gear list. It's heavier than I'd like, but it is a rainy, cold trip.

JDF Final Gearlist

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Packing on 10/18/2009 23:21:00 MDT Print View

I've got my Golite Jam all packed up now. I'm thrilled with how well everything fit in there.

In addition to all my gear, I'm carrying the food for both of us for this 5 day trip and I'm not even using the extension collar. I'm also carrying all the shared gear like 2 person tent, stove, pots etc.

If I was going solo, this would be enough food for 9-10 days and I could probably pack 14 days worth by using the extension collar....not that I want this to get any heavier.

As it is now, my pack weighs 26.6 lbs without water. That's heavier than I'd like for a frameless pack but it will be dropping pretty fast since most of that is consumables.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
West Coast Trail Gear Questions on 10/19/2009 08:10:38 MDT Print View

Dan - it will be super slippery on any wood that you put your feet on. Be careful and have fun!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
28 on 10/19/2009 09:06:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the advice...should be interesting.

Edited by dandydan on 10/19/2009 09:06:54 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Trip Report on 10/25/2009 20:42:45 MDT Print View

I posted up a trip report here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=25336

It was a wet and slippery trip (yeah we both took nice falls on the woodwork) but still a lot of fun.