Lucie Levesque recently hiked Canada's gruelling West Coast Trail, solo! Even though every gram must be carefully considered, Hip Balm made the cut!
Lucie's Tips for Surviving the West Coast Trail:
- Pace yourself, physically and psychologically. In the shoulder season, the trail is quiet enough to challenge and reward a solo hiker, but busy enough to leave the heavy spare batteries and fuel at home.
- A whistle is a nice companion to your bear spray, and a comfort when there’s rustling outside the hammock. Yes, a hammock is doable, though beach camping may involve nestling into the sand behind a driftwood wind break.
- Fire...can provide hours of entertainment :)
- The ladders...are totally climbable, even with a very healthy fear of heights.
- Footprints in the sand mean you are going the right way! Tread on those prints to reduce strain and walk on the rock shelves when possible—they are absolute bliss compared to sand trudging! However, if you find yourself rock shelf walking for more than a kilometer, with unscalable rock wall to one side and ocean to the other, you will likely find yourself at an impassable surge channel and see me there, sweating bullets as I scoot my way back, jumping a slippery surge channel as a kindly fishing boat tracks my movement back to safety.
- Some of the must haves....water treatment drops (compact and effective), a watch (for tide tracking), a first aid kit (including ibuprofen, tensor bandage and bandages), toilet paper (wouldn’t hurt to create a budget…and stick to it!), hiking shorts (if you don’t mind a scratch or ten), wool base layers head to toe (with liner socks!), synthetic down jacket and sleeping bag (if the rain doesn’t get you the mist will), and a camera, of course!
- Pull up your socks and hold on tight, you’re about to blow your mind!