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Hiking Smart: Packing for the West Coast Trail

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Hiking Smart: Packing for the West Coast Trail

Packing Checklist

Padded Backpack
  • pack should weigh a maximum of 1/4 (for females) to 1/3 (for males) of your body weight
  • padded hip belt
  • line your backpack with plastic bags
Sturdy Hiking Boots
  • high quality hiking boots with good ankle and arch support
  • soft rubber soles for better traction on slippery surfaces than hard soles
  • boots that are “broken in” prior to the hike
  • sandals or running shoes for wearing around camp and river crossings
Waterproof Rain Gear
  • durable waterproof jacket and pants, coupled with quick drying under-layers that keep you warm when wet, such as wool or fleece
  • warm hat
  • gloves
  • AVOID: Cotton, including jeans
Tent & Waterproof Fly
  • absolute necessity
Sleeping Bag & Pads
  • synthetic fills are preferable as down bags lose warmth when wet
  • insert sleeping bags into waterproof bags and carry them inside packs
  • closed-cell sleeping pad
Water Purification System
  • filtration system or purification tablets
  • water container
Lightweight Cooking & Eating Utensils
  • stove and fuel
First Aid Kit
  • basic first aid items, including treatments for blister and insect stings
15 metres of synthetic Rope & Bag
  • 50 ft of synthetic rope per group to hang food, use as clothes-line, etc.
  • High energy, lightweight, quick-cooking
  • AVOID: canned goods and excess liquids
Also Consider:
  • cash for unexpected emergencies (some places only take cash, such as the Nitinat Lake Water Taxi)
  • hiking staff or collapsible poles
  • flashlight
  • weather radio
  • garbage bags
  • zip-lock type bags for keeping permits and other small items dry
  • lighter or waterproof matches and fire starter

NOTE: Do not bring an axe, firearms or pets.