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West Coast Trail and What to Bring
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Coastal Bliss
(coastalblissadventures) - F

Locale: Canada-Vancouver Island
West Coast Trail and What to Bring on 11/09/2010 15:21:18 MST Print View

BC's West Coast Trail is a pretty long, rugged hike. The gear demands are pretty high. Commercial companies like Coastal Bliss Adventures get a food drop in the middle, splitting the weight of the food up into two. They get some pretty darn good food that way! But not everybody can do that.

Minimizing food weight is great, but the gear can be a big problem, too. This takes some research and some plain old culling-not easy for some.

We want to start a discussion here on good, light gear and whether to include or exclude stuff on a West Coast Trail trip.

Let's start with tents. We have an MSR 3-person Mutha Hubba, a 2-person Marmot Aura, and 2-person Kelty Gunnison. These are all under 7.5 lbs.

All of these tents we have found to be great, as long as you know how to put them up. The most problematic one was the Marmot. The asymmetrical poles take some getting used to. The Mutha Hubba is a bit pricey. They all performed in the rain.

We bought a bunch of Keltys for our guests to use. They are light and easy to put up. We use these on our West Coast Trail and North Coast Trail trips.

What are your experiences of great tents that are easy to put up, stand well on sandy beaches and rough forest, hold up in wind and rain, and have good space for people and gear?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ... What Not to Bring on 11/09/2010 15:38:24 MST Print View

You might not have noticed, but this is BackpackingLIGHT...


If your web site photos are indicative of your approach, this discussion will be a short one.

Shilling your services is OK, provided you disclose your association, but you might be preaching in the wrong church.

Edited by greg23 on 11/09/2010 15:57:12 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
West Coast Trail and What to Bring on 11/09/2010 15:45:11 MST Print View

"Let's start with tents. We have an MSR 3-person Mutha Hubba, a 2-person Marmot Aura, and 2-person Kelty Gunnison. These are all under 7.5 lbs."

Let's finish with tents because my baseweight for the WCT last year was just under 9lbs. My shelter was 18oz.

I've done it 5 times and most people on the trail pack much too heavy, as the above pictures confirm.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
sign me up for everest on 11/11/2010 14:14:05 MST Print View

they must be going to everest with those packs ... lol

Jim York
(jimbawb) - F

Locale: PNW
9 days? on 11/11/2010 18:09:00 MST Print View

And 9 days to go 75k? 5 miles a day? Man I'd go nuts going at that pace...

Go sell crazy somewhere else. We're all full up here :D


Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Achieving Coastal Bliss on 11/11/2010 20:35:47 MST Print View


You may have pigeonholed yourself with the discussion already by asking the question, "do you have recommendations for heavy gear that can replace our heavier gear?"

You came to a radical place asking for a marginal solution.

How about a radical change in how you are looking at things by eliminating the need for a "tent" and instead focusing on the need for a "shelter"?

The following paragraph is a single sentence that should be spoken aloud with vigor and increasing volume, with a crescendo at the end.

Ultralight shelters (tarps, floorless full perimeter tarps, single wall ultralight tents, etc.) have been used successfully now by many people for long enough in conditions that are foul enough that learning about some of these more radical options, and the skills required to keep your clients safe, comfortable, and happy, that you have an opportunity now to RADICALLY transform your business, and your client experience, and differentiate yourself from the throes of adventure travel companies that are doing the same old thing in the same old way for a client market that frankly wants to find increasing enjoyment from the outdoors rather than willful suffering!

Ask a question, e.g., about how to go tarp camping comfortably in foul weather and the forum members here will rescue your company and transform your business trajectory forever in the best possible way, because, quite simply, your clients will have a lot more fun and a lot more energy to enjoy the incredible West Coast Trail which is one my personal favorite hikes in the world.

Yeah, so ... sorry about this ... I have a little bit of passion for ultralight backpacking, I reckon.

nathan matthews
(nathanm) - F

Locale: Bay Area
google spam on 11/12/2010 10:33:47 MST Print View

Perhaps I'm more cynical than other BPLers, but I'm surprised to see people responding to this post (and the other one by the same poster) in good faith. It looks to me like a pretty transparent attempt to drive traffic to the original poster's site, and to improve that website's rankings in search engines. In other words, it's hard for me to think that the original poster is actually interested in the BPL community's feedback.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
WCT pack weights on 11/12/2010 12:31:21 MST Print View

I had the pleasure of doing this wonderful trail in July, during a stretch of absolutely perfect weather. For me it became a question of too many days and not enough kilometres. I was carrying food for six days (just in case) and finished the walk in four. At no time time did I feel I was doing a "hard" or strenuous trail, although I was fascinated by the engineering involved in all those ladders and cable car crossings. But I was struck by the level of difficulty reported by most of the hikers I met and passed on the trail. Most of these people were young, relatively inexperienced or novice hikers, and I would say the usual pack load was 40 to 50 lbs, with more than a few lugging combat loads of 60 to 65 lbs. My start weight was 24 lbs, and of course I was carrying all of the necessary gear for what should have been a wet hike. I was wearing sandals. Many of these people were really suffering, and it was clear that many were not enjoying the experience at all. They just wanted to get the damned thing over with. No wonder. I wouldn't a hundred yards to the corner store wearing a 60 lb back pack, let alone drag myself up a hundred and fifty feet of vertical ladder.


Jillian Napen
( - F
But what is the right ultralight gear for a supposidly? really wet trail. on 02/12/2011 15:52:58 MST Print View

Well I'm going to admit I'm new to ultralight backpacking. Last year I got my pack weight down to 34lbs for a weeklong hike. Now the thought of all that rain and mud on the west coast trail has me apprehensive. Any suggestions on the right clothing choices to stay ultralight and dry? (Or at least dryable?)

I've also heard the trail is really humid. Would I be stupid to take my down quilt with me on this one? My tent keeps the rain off pretty damm good, but humidity?

Edited by on 02/12/2011 19:01:16 MST.