To prepare for our Air Nootka flight, we packed our gear neatly into our backpacks. “Christmas tree” packs with dangly bits are not recommended for the Nootka Trail. After we switched to boots at the Starfish Lagoon trailhead, we hiked into the muddy rainforest beyond this small wet beach.

Trip Planning

Location: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre
Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate
Duration: 1 day
Time: 0900 h – 1700 h
Cost: $95 CAD per participant
Dates: February 17, 2018
Location: Bowen Park Complex
Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate
Duration: 1 day
Time: 0900 h – 1700 h
Cost: $95 CAD per participant
Dates: March 17, 2018
Location: David Strong Building – UVic
Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate
Duration: 1 day
Time: 0900 h – 1700 h
Cost: $95 CAD per participant
Dates: Apr 21, 2018

Route Planning
• Guidebooks
• Maps
• Local Knowledge

Emergency Preparedness
• Plan
• Communications
• Group safety gear

Environment and Route Condition
• Temperatures, precipitation, daylight, ground cover, vegetation, sun exposure, water availability, wildlife, insects, remoteness, natural hazards
• Strathcona Trail and Area Conditions

Climate Research
• Temperature
• Precipitation
• Humidity, wind, cloud cover
• Historical climate data for a given area

Weather Information
• Windy.com
• Environment Canada
• Mountain Forecast
• SpotWX

Hazards
• Snowfields
• Avalanches
• River crossings
• Flooding
• Lightening

Alternative Plans
• Plan B and C

Lightweight vs Traditional Gear
• The lightweight revolution
Simplification
• Simplify, then add lightness

Multi-Use
• Decreasing your base weight

Weighing Gear
• Know before you go

Gear Lists
• Templates
• Personal
• Group

Appropriate Materials
• Synthetic vs natural

Layering
• Outer
• Insulation
• Base

Footwear
• Shoes vs boots
• Socks
• Gaiters

Organizing Gear
• Packing
• Stuff sacks

Backpacks
• Fitting
• Load distribution

Sleeping
• Shelters
• Tents
• Tarps
• Bags
• Pads

Trekking Poles
• Advantages
• Disadvantages

Nourishment
• Menu planning
• Breakfast and dinner menus
• Daytime snack recommendations

Electrolytes
• Common electrolytes

Hydration
• Drinking when thirsty
• Over-hydration

Water Quality and Purification
• Sources
• Tablets
• Gravity filters
• Pumps

Hygiene
• Washing
• Hand sanitizer
• Wipes
• Waste disposal

First Aid
• Philosophy
• Supplies

Required Supplies
• Notebook
• Pencil
• Personal hiking gear
• Snacks and drinks

Recommended Reading
• Skurka A. The Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide: Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail. 2nd ed. National Geographic. 2017. andrewskurka.com