Hiking in the rain on the West Coast Trail…it can be fun, honestly!

The title of this blog says it all. It’s not all doom and gloom, it really can be enjoyable to hike when mother nature is weeping. But how, you ask? Playwest Mountain Experience has some helpful tips. Read our top five tips to have fun when backpacking the West Coast Trail in the rain. 

  1. It starts with the right attitude. That may sound easier than it is but look at it this way; you could be working in the office instead. Take advantage of your time outside and embrace the beautiful surroundings. Oftentimes we find the west coast landscapes pop with drama and they can be absolutely mesmerizing.                                                                                                                                              
  2. GEAR, GEAR, GEAR! Being prepared with the right gear is crucial to having an enjoyable time on a wet hiking or backpacking trip. This can make or break the experience and it can also become a safety concern. Cotton = bad, Merino wool = good. Cotton holds moisture for longer, takes forever to dry and can cause chafing and blisters. Quick drying materials like synthetic base/mid layers are great. They dry quickly and are less likely to cause chaffing or blisters. Merino wool or other similar natural fibers are ideal; they can keep you warm even when they are damp or wet.  
  3. A Sil tarp is a great thing to have in your pack for when it gets really bad. There are several times in my hiking career that I have thankfully had that piece of gear in my pack. They have eyelets for fixing para-cord (thin rope) so that you have a way to hang your tarp off of trees or rocks and provide some shelter. Remember the “Parachute Game” when you were a kid? Everyone would hang on to the edge of the parachute, lift it up high and then run under and sit on the edge of the parachute. It would stay up in the air and you could see your friends on the other side. Sil tarps can be used the same way, they can also help retain heat when people are getting cold. All our guides on the West Coast Trail carry a sil tarp. 
  4. Hot drinks! If you are heading out for the day or a multi day trip, having a thermos with hot fluids is a great idea. Hot chocolate or tea (we love the Bugaboo Blue from Tea Etc. in Invermere BC) can cut the chill and warm the belly. If you have a Jetboil and/or a MSR Pocket Rocket you can boil water reasonably quickly. Other hot liquids like Liptons Chicken Noodle or Sushi Chef Miso Soup are also easy to bring. These are great ways to stay warm and cheer you up, even in the rain.
  5. Extra layers are also very important, especially on the West Coast Trail. We always recommend our guests have a set of camp clothes and shoes as well as their daily hiking clothes. Once we’ve made camp there is nothing better than taking your wet clothes off and getting into warm, dry layers. Pack extra layers away in a water proof bag of course! When suitable, a beach fire will start to dry those quick drying layers and boots so we will be ready, and happy to hike another day!

These 5 tips are just the start to having an enjoyable day on the trail in the rain. If you have been dreaming of hiking the West Coast Trail and would like more information head to this page to get some more details! Happy trails…even in the rain ; )

Share the Post:

Related Posts