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Photography Blog

Sharing life's journey through visuals

West Coast Trail

west coast trail

Around 8 months ago, 7 inexperienced campers signed up for the West Coast Trail. A little over 2 weeks ago, we just completed this incredible trail. To describe this experience, it was challenging, but the views of nature and living within it for 7 days was so incredibly worth the extreme burning sensations within the hips, shoulders, ankles, and every other body part that we experienced. We were so blessed with beautiful weather and practically no rain (thank you Jesus!), which made the experience more enjoyable and easier.  

Highlights:

  • sleeping and waking up to sunrises(sets) 
  • taking off boots at the end of the day 
  • dinner
  • random motivation talks during the trail 
  • amazing views 
  • meeting friendly fellow campers/locals and getting to know their stories
  • great company
  • coffee 
  • the last ladder of the trip

Challenges:

  • squatting while pooping (absolutely exhausting - worse than the hike itself)
  • lots of bratty mice
  • hiking through loose sand
  • hips on fire from backpack  

camera gear

As a photographer, I knew that I needed to find the balance between taking photos and documenting the beauty of creation, but at the same time, I needed to make sure I wouldn't die doing so. One of my dilemmas that I struggled with months before the trip was what type of camera gear I should bring (weight and size being a big factor since every lb counts). I settled with purchasing a used Sony mirrorless a6300 and a Sigma Art 19mm f2.8 lens for the trip. I really wanted to pick up a 35mm f1.8 as well, but ended up sticking with the original combo and had no regrets at all! I'm super stoked and thankful to have been forced to keep the gear at a minimum so I didn't have to worry about lugging around a huge DSLR + SLR lenses + Tripod + filters and breaking my hips/back/life. Sure it would have been nice to have a zoom, but I absolutely loved the mirrorless and fixed mirrorless lens as my gear throughout the trip, which altogether weighed less than a couple pounds. One problem I anticipated was the mirrorless's poor battery life, but this was easily handled by a biolite solar panel which helped charge the same battery every night as the panel charged itself throughout the day. Overall, I'm super stoked with the quality of this little guy and how the set-up freed me from the technical complexities that my SLRs/lenses/filters would have placed on me. 

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Here's a photo highlight of 7 days worth of luscious rainforest greens, salty blue ocean water, foggy mist, rich orange/yellow/pink sunrise(set) clouds, endless ladders and busted up boardwalk.

DAY 1 - Vancouver to Nitinat: 

- Drove to Ditidaht First Nations land & camped in forest along Nitinat Lake 

DAY 2: nitinat to tsusiat falls

- orientation, water taxi to Nitinat, Brad's 54lb bag, solar eclipse, first ocean view, beach sunset

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DAY 3: tsusiat to cribbs creek

- best outhouse view, salmon lunch, boardwalk, 15km, arrived at campsite 8pm - too dark and tired for campsite photos

DAY 4: cribbs creek to walbran creek

- Chez Monique burgers, beach power naps, cable car, sand in tent, vibrant sunset

DAY 5: walburn creek to camper bay

- more ladders, more boardwalk, suspension bridge, tree roots that trip you, friendly family joins for campfire and stories

DAY 6: camper bay to thrasher cove

- beach walk, meeting a men's annual camping trip (their sons joined and trailed behind their dads... one being 69 years old!), boulders and even larger boulders, arrived at campsite at 12:30pm, chilled

DAY 7: thrasher cove to panchena bay

- the best sunrise of the trip, everyone's packs were pleasantly lighter (besides for Ben's), group photo, the last ladder that was literally vertical, team photo, bumping into our friends in Port Renfrew, hitting up Renfrew Pub for lunch and dinner, celebrating 3 birthdays