I recently spoke to a friend who just returned from a season of tree-planting in Beautiful British Columbia. She reminded me that the ultimate gear test is tree-planting: if your clothes and boots can tough through a whole season without turning to rags and flapping shreds of leather, you have found the ultimate product of durability. Outdoor enthusiasts are always looking for the “right” piece of equipment to complement their needs, especially those who live, work or spend extended periods of time in the bush. As a former planter, I remember vividly this unavoidable seasonal dilemma: will my boots make it through one more season? Will my tent fly rip this year or the next?
Anyone who’s taken the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria remembers the awe-striking natural beauty of the Strait of Georgia which separates Vancouver Island from the mainland. Whales protruding from a deep blue main, densely forested islands plunging into the sea and bald eagles flying overhead. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful public transportation routes you can take in Canada.
I hate to disappoint some of you, but I did not complete the trail naked, eating twigs and berries. Here's the gear I used for my West Coast Trail fun.
My West Coast Trail (WCT) experience started with as a rather impulsive decision. I had been in Victoria to spend a week sailing in with my friend in the gulf islands (an amazing experience where wildlife –whales, dolphins, seals, otters, bald eagles, wild deer etc… met awe-strikingly beautiful coastal landscapes). Since we’d been anchoring in bays and camping on random islands, I had most of my lightweight gear with me, but I had given up my early hopes to hike the trail for want of time –I had only four days between the planned return from sailing and my flight home. But when we sailed in to Victoria a day early, I quickly did the math and decided that I could do the trail in three days (probably a foolish conclusion), bought a bus ticket and hopped on the trail the next morning.
Stretching 85 kilometers along the west coast of Vancouver Island, the West Coast Trail stands at the edge of the world. Snaking along the jagged contour of a hostile shore where the endless sea batters relentlessly the sharp rocks rising from its depth, this trail literally marks end of land and the western limit of the pangean coast. There are no roads crossing this trail, no village, no service station, just mile after mile of the jaw-dropping rugged beauty of the Pacific Rim National Park.
Originally dubbed the Dominion Life Saving Trail, it was first built in 1907 as a way for rescuers to reach survivors of the far-too-frequent shipwrecks of the treacherous western coast. Hundreds of people have been victimized in the countless wrecks that have marred this coast, the remains of some of which can still be seen from the trail. Today, satellite navigation and modern SAR has rendered the narrow trail obsolete as a lifesaving medium, and it has been recycled as one of Canada’s most beautiful national parks.
Welcome to Smithers B.C., where the grizzly bears and moose roam in your back yard and you are encompassed by the beauty of the Bulkley Valley with a wonderful ski hill and glaciers right outside your back window. What more could you ask for? Well a The North Face tent delivered by an Altitude-Sports.com staff of course!
At last, I have finally arrived! For those of you who enjoy the great outdoors and have never had the chance to visit, I highly recommend the trip. The Bulkley Valley has everything to offer; rafting, kayaking, incredible river fishing, hiking, back country skiing, camping. You name it, they've got it.
I feel quite close to Mr. Coldwell's tent now that I've traveled across Canada with it, so I feel the obligation to show it around a little.
Nine and half long hours later, including a lay over and delay in Vancouver International Airport and 2 tired children, we finally arrive in Prince George B.C. As I walk out of the plane, I instantly know where I am thanks to the unmistakeable smell of the pulp and paper mills! If you don't know what it smells like try to remember the last time you a took a bath with your child and they farted. Because adults don't do that sort of thing... I can’t believe I'm almost back in my old stomping grounds!
Too tired to even take a photo with the famous tent upon arrival in PG, we head to a hotel and call it a night.
After a difficult night’s sleep due to the anticipation of getting my feet on ground in the place I will always call home, Smithers B.C., we head out and say a quick hello to Mr. PG!
What's the craziest delivery story you've heard? Imagine yourself having placed an order on our website thinking that your package will be delivered by a busy UPS driver 5 days later. That's the way it usualy goes right? Now imagine that UPS driver actually being one of our great staff at Altitude-Sports.com delivering that very same package directly on your door-step! That could never happen...or could it? Well, my wonderful friends, that is exactly what you are about to witness!