West Coast Trail - Vancouver Island

Discussion in 'Canada' started by postman_twit, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. I'm organising an exped to do the WCT in June next year. 10 of us going, mostly ex- Mil with a couple of plod thrown in. I'm after any pointers anyone may have for cheap accommodation whilst in the area plus any advice for sea kayaking exped providers. Hoping to do the trail over 5 days then 3 days kayaking.


  2. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    Make sure you all have a eTA before you travel.

    Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

    In fact do that first so if some of you are rejected you have time to apply for visas.

    Get good travel insurance with specific provision for the sea phase. Too many Brits come out here and fail to have the right insurance (relying on their credit card insurance which normally has exceptions for anything more taxing than a brisk walk around the mall).
  3. Many thanks Guns. I'm asking nice and early to try and get all these potential niggles squared away.
  4. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    I'll ask around (I live the other coast in Ottawa) and see what I can find.

    A mate and his wife did this last year. I get details from him but they had a cracking if scary time (big storm).
  5. Thanks again. We have a lad who did it 15 years ago advising us but as they were all current Servicemen on that trip they made use of the local Barracks transit accommodation.
  6. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    Also, based on ex-squadies, make sure all of your team are eligible for visa free travel. Drink driving convictions catch people out, as does the odd ABH charge. I was on exchange over here and the High Commission often had to deal with Army personnel denied entry for AT (not covered under Visiting Forces Act) because of a little hiccup. Easy to fixed with an application to the Canadian High Commission for an entry visa but takes time.

    And before people come back with the use a NATO travel order, it only applies to official duties under a NATO common Visiting Force Act in the host country. AT is not always recognised by the Boarder Agency, it is a grey area under the VFA. In fact just having a NATO travel order doesn't t mean automatic entry to a country, but it often helps.

    Here are some websites recommended to me by a mate

    west coast trail preparation guidebook map

    Trans Canada Trail | Trails BC
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  7. My wife is from the island I'll ask her tonight if she knows anywhere.
    However having been there twice on holiday, the word"cheap" is missing from the vocabulary of anyone from the island
    You will probably fly into Vancouver City (which is another cash-dyson) from there you need to make your way to the ferry (you can fly but its pricey) the ferry is much cheaper. You can get a taxi (expensive) or a coach/bus (not so expensive) from the airport to the seaport. I recommend staying in the city for a few days at the end of your trip because its a great city and the birds love an English accent (which I found out after I got married).
    There is a military base in Comox that you might be able to blag into letting Veterans (they do quite a bit for their veterans) do a charity walk (or whatever bollocks you want to make up) around the Island.
    Kayaking on the east side of the island looks calm and tranquil, on the west side of the island it looks likes a horror movie.

    Jack Daniels is uber cheap.
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  8. Thanks Stacker really helpful. What have you done with the real Stacker?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. ****, I forgot to attach my bill to the end of my post.
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  10. I've just spoken to the wife, and after 20 minutes she stopped laughing about finding cheap accommodation on the island.
    She reckons that when doing the trail, your accommodation can be cheap because you'll be carrying it on your back. People on the trail normally camp out.
    Apparently you have to book in advance, you cant just rock up. (its very popular). You get given a map and tidal times (because you can only walk on some coast areas when the tide is out).
    Ive just googled some pictures and there are some pretty steep wooden ladder/steps to be climbs (with your largepack on your back)
    Comox camp is on the opposite side of the island to trail so not much use really.

    This might provide some more guidance. They also do Kayaking

    West Coast Trail

    If you do decide to stay in Vancouver city we paid 240 Canadian dollar (about 145 quid) a night in the Days Inn and we had to ******* cook our own breakfast pancakes in the morning. (We later stayed in in the Empire landmark hotel which was little cheaper and much better)

    Basically its a nice area with lots to see but you need to spend quite a bit to see it.
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  11. I'm visiting Ottawa early next month, what brand of shorts and T-shirts do you recommend?
  12. I'm fully up to speed on the trail it was accommodation before and after that I was trying to get the low down on. Wasn't too sure if there was any bunkroom type of cabins available for hire. We've allowed 5 days to crack the trail, 3 days for kayaking plus a couple of days R & R.
  13. You could try here
    aa Hostelling International Canada - Auberges de Jeunesse du Canada > Book Now
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  14. IWC

    IWC Swinger

    I did the trail about 18yrs ago, I was going to do it on my own but was accosted in Bicheno by a French Canadian lesbo who was terrified of bears (she was hard as nails) so did it with her in the end. You have to carry everything you need on your back (then) - food/booze included. Camp where you like on the trail (usually near or on beach). Campsites either end of trail the way to go for accom on the cheap. Advise taking walking poles with you for balance clambering over huge tree trunks, branches, dodgy terrain etc with large backpack on. Some black bears around, no grizzlys though.
    Stayed at cheap hotel with strip club on ground floor for r&r at end in Victoria. Had a great time.

    Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Thanks again Stacker. I do hope none of your fans are reading this, they'll blow a gasket trying to find fault.