Crossing Iceland on Foot

Łukasz Supergan posted a terrific summary of options for hiking across Iceland.

I’m looking to do some bike touring and hiking summer 2022. #research

Łukasz did the #4 route (green) in winter, for example.

He recommends we do it in summer.

Variant no. 2 may be the easiest, but it leads through the roads used by cars, which may be tiresome.

Variant no. 1 is more demanding.

Variant no. 3 is the fastest traverse from all of the options. Going east-west requires more time and planning, and it is combined with bigger difficulties (less roads, more paths and sometimes the wilderness, crossing the rivers, long distances with no water). Choose it, if you are sure of your skills and you can survive far away from people. …

Crossing Iceland. Part 1: the route and preparations

I’m also researching options for bikepacking Iceland.

Sun-hoodie for Hiking?

The biggest surprise for me on the sunny 😎 John Muir Trail 2021 was the number of hikers wearing sun-hoodies rather than the more traditional button down shirt, buff and/or bandana (that I was wearing).

Sun-hoodies are particularly popular with the ladies.

Should I switch?

Click PLAY or watch a review on YouTube.

Julie has been wearing the Columbia Hiking Sun Shirt. Her daughter thinks she should switch.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

HOW to survive the West Coast Trail

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

After hiking the West Coast Trail twice in 2021, I put together a video playlist with two goals:

1. WHY the West Coast Trail is our #1 hike in the world.

2. HOW to survive. It’s dangerous and challenging.

Below are all 7 videos. If they help, bookmark them and/or subscribe on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch the Introduction on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Bamfield to Michigan Creek on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Michigan Creek to Tsusiat Falls on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Tsusiat Fall to Cribs Creek on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Cribs Creek to Cullite Creek on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Cullite to Port Renfrew on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Nitinat Option on YouTube.

Giant BANANA SLUG in my Tent

On finishing my first West Coast Trail hike 1999 I threw my backpack into the trunk. Drove directly to my parents home hours away.

Two days later I unpacked. Found 2 banana slugs inside.

I’m more careful now to keep pot, mug and cutlery clean and packed away at night.

My tent zipped.

Yet I still had a banana slug in my tent this year. 😐

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Dientes de Navarino, Chilean Patagonia

One of the #BestHikes in the world.

Suzie Dundas posted a terrific trip report for Outside magazine:

Dientes de Navarino is a trek of superlatives.

It starts from the southernmost town in the world—Puerto Williams, on the 55th parallel. …

Our upcoming trek would cover anywhere from 35 to 45 miles, depending on what route we chose and how accurately our trackers would monitor our steps through mud and snow.

First trekked in the late 1990s but only officially (and partially) marked in 2016, around 200 people attempted the trail annually before its blazing. Since then, the number has gone up to between 1,000 and 1,500 per year. …

A Trek to the Edge of the World

How to tackle Chilean Patagonia’s Dientes de Navarino, considered the most unpredictable trek in the world

related – our failed attempt at Dientes de Navarino

How Hikers can FALL More Safely

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

The first time I hiked the West Coast Trail I fell 7 times in 7 days.

No injury.

June 2021 I fell only twice in 6 days. An improvement. But broke a camera on the first. And badly bruised my thigh on the second. 😕

About one in a hundred hikers are evacuated on the very challenging West Coast Trail.

MANY are carrying more weight than they can comfortably balance.

As a Gymnastics coach, I teach kids the safest ways to land and fall. In this video I’ve applied those same techniques for hikers. Absorb IMPACT FORCES over time and surface area.

BEST strategy is to pull in your arms (dropping poles). Take the first impact landing on your backpack.

Having things dangling can complicate. Keep your pack as compact as possible. Fragile equipment protected inside.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

BEFORE you hike — practice falling deliberately on to your pack (filled with pillows).

When it happens for real on the trail, it’s often FEELS in slow motion. Do not flail. Pulling in your arms should be highest priority.

Hiking Laguna 69 in Peru

YouTube superstar Kraig Adams headed for Peru to do the fantastic Huayhuash Circuit.

Unfortunately it was June 2021. Peru had become the nation with the highest COVID related death rate.

As a result, Kraig needed to switch to famed Laguna 69 out of Huaraz, one of our top 10 hiking towns in the world.

As always, his video is fantastic. By far the best I’ve seen on Laguna 69.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Day 6 – West Coast Trail 2021

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

Day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | gear | video | WCT info

June 14, 2021
Km 65 to Port Renfrew

I awoke in the morning wondering whether my injured leg could get me out in time for the 3:30 ferry across the Gordon river.

I had ALL DAY to make 10km.

My leg felt no worse. And no better. Every step hurt but it seemed full strength.

Two choices, both challenging:

  1. Inland trail (mud scramble)
  2. Owen Point (most difficult section of the WCT)

I headed for the shelf.

First challenge — many surge channels.

Happily, the tide was very low. Waves almost non-existent.

Best weather of the week.

I was able to jump or walk around all surge channels without trouble.

Plan worked. I reached Owen Point at exactly lowest tide.

A highlight of the West Coast Trail.

Next challenge: HUGE boulders and log walking.

As a former gymnast, I enjoy scrambles. No problems.

I arrived Thrasher Cove before Noon.

From here my guidebook estimated 4 hours for 6km all inland. It could’t possibly take me that long, even injured. 🤫 Could it?

The Thrash is a steep, switchbacking scramble from the beach up to the high inland trail.

It seemed to take forever to reach the famed Donkey Engine.

I started to worry about time. There is some gorgeous easy trail walking on the final 5km, as well. Nobody understands WHY this section takes so long.

Donkey engines were used to pull huge logs, back in the day.

I didn’t reach the final ladder down to the Gordon river until 3:25pm, 5 minutes before the (supposed) deadline to cross.

Whew.

As required, I waltzed into the West Coast Trail office to check off the trail. Relieved.

I had a second permit to start the next day BACK to Bamfield. A WCT yoyo. But had to cancel due to injury.

Easiest was to simply change the reservation. Out of the blue, I decided on July 3rd out of Nitinat.

Once the excitement of finishing ebbed, my leg really started hurting on the slow plod 5km into Port Renfrew town.

Just before I got to the hiker’s hut I had booked, 3 friends from the trail stopped to ask me if I wanted a ride to Nanaimo.

Sweet.

That was exactly what I wanted to do.

I collected my resupply. Cancelled my reservation at the hiker’s hut.

Got home before 9pm.

And I’m already looking forward to another West Coast Trail week in July.

Day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | gear | video | WCT info