Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Canada

The reputation is that the Juan de Fuca is easy compared with the longer West Coast Trail. Not so. It is just as challenging though in different ways. (It’s even more important to hike at low tide on Juan de Fuca.)

A personal, detailed and honest account of a physically challenging adventure, Mike Rocheleau posted this travelogue and excellent photos:

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail – September 2006

They spotted a bear a one point but had even more trouble bear-proofing the food at night:

We chose the risky course of wrapping our two food bags in two garbage bags, putting them alone in one of our packs and then wrapping that pack in the tarp. We covered the tarp in large rocks so if a raccoon or something disturbed it we might know before it was too late.

I’ve had to resort to that strategy in the past. You normally don’t sleep well wondering what animals are getting into your grub.

Luckily, the food was untouched next morning. (Note to self: research the new Ursack system to prevent this problem in future.)

In any case, Mike and his partner survived Juan de Fuca. They are even considering the West Coast Trail for next summer.

The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is 47km (29mi) on the west coast of Vancouver Island close to Victoria. We recommend 5 days, 4 nights on the trail for an optimal experience. But you can easily vary the route for shorter hikes, if you are short on time.

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packaged hiking food

It’s been years since I last tried any of the custom packaged hiking food. In the past they were expensive — and no tastier than my tried and true home made recipes.

2 servingsBut in a weak moment at Wal-Mart I grabbed a package of Mountain House – Chili Mac w/ Beef: 2 servings.

Excellent.

I would buy it again. Tasted great and the stand up pouch is convenient. Simply add 2 cups of boiling water and dinner is served.

I added shredded sharp cheddar. Mmmm.

Add a comment below if you have a packaged hiking food to recommend.

JETBOIL cooking system – update

UPDATE 2 – The Winehiker did some research into the much acclaimed JETBOIL stoves. His conclusion:

Until JetBoil and other campstove manufacturers adopt product policies that incorporate zero waste and a more open design approach to fuel type, canister reuse, and fuel distribution systems, I cannot in good conscience buy or endorse their nonrefillable products.

Dropping the eco-ball: camp stove manufacturers – Winehiker

===

UPDATE 1 – after a couple of trips with my new Jetboil Personal Cooking System my experience is “thumbs up”. It’s the easiest stove I have ever used.

A couple of cautions though. Do NOT fill the pot above the “fill line”. If it boils over you are in trouble since the pot is physically attached to the stove.

Also, I found it very difficult to find fuel canisters, even in large cities. And since I was flying between destinations I had big problems. You need small canisters with valves made to the EN417 specification. Only JETBOIL and Snowpeak canisters fit, so far as I know.

The JETBOIL website is not exactly up front on this point. Bad JETBOIL.

=== original post July 14, 2006

Upstart JETBOIL took the Backpacker magazine award for best stove in 2006.

I went to order their Group Cooking System with 1.5 Liter Cooking Pot from Amazon. Built-in igniter, 1.5 liter pot, weight 1lb 3oz. Packed size: 7 x 4.5 inches.

Ultra-efficient, it looks great. (Note: it still suffers the same decrease in performance in cold weather as other propane / iso-butane canister stoves. You are advised to keep the fuel in your sleeping bag at night.)

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Problem. Amazon will not ship this product to Canada. When I contacted the manufacturer they told me they have not yet found a distributor.

Simple Hiker blog

We just added a link to SimpleHiker.com edited by Josh Wilkins who is into topics “Vegetarianism, Veganism, Gourmet, Green, Technology, Simplicity and Travel”.

You can find Simple Hiker under Blogs in the right hand navigation menu.

We feel the best shout out to good stuff on the web is a permanent link. Thanks Josh! Keep up the great posts.

We have also subscribed to the SimpleHiker.com RSS atom feed.

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books – Anthony Bourdain

There’s only one cook who will be highlighted on besthike.com, my culinary travel hero Anthony Bourdain.

I recently got the chance to see Bourdain at a Vancouver book flogging event. He was irreverent, controversial and extremely entertaining. I got an autographed copy of his most travel related book — A Cook’s Tour — companion to the TV series of the same name on the Food Network.

In July 2005 his new TV show, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, premiered on the Travel Channel.

Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines