Hiking the canadian rockies, What I wish I knew ….

This Summer (2018) I spent six weeks hiking the Canadian Rockies. It was incredible but here are 10 things I wish I knew / was glad I knew before my trip….

1.Find accommodation online but then call the hostel to save money
Websites such as hostelworld are fantastic when finding a location to stay. But often it is much cheaper to call up the hostels and book over the phone. Also sometimes the hostels will have more beds available than advertised online. So even if it’s ‘fully booked’ give them a quick call.

2. Download the app ‘All Trails’ 
All Trails was incredibly helpful when on the hike. Especially when locating the start point and a place to park. 

3. When in a national park, find the information centre
Ask the information desk about areas that are closed, where there is bear activity (to avoid), and also ask them which hikes are best. The local insight is so helpful. 

4. Buy power packs 
Your mobile phone is very important whilst on the trails; emergancy calls, capturing the moment or natigating your way down are just a few reasons you need to have your phone charged at all times. When taking pictures it is so easy for the battery to drain. I would take two battery packs on each hike. 

5. Pack your bag right ….
The mountains are so unpredictable when hiking, you will need to prepare for anything and everything. 

Here is what was typically in my bag;
– Water (lots of it)
– Waterproof trousers 
– Thin layer top
– Fleece 
– First Aid Kit
– Mosquito Spray
– Food (trail mix and a sandwich)
– Battery Packs
– Tripod
– Bear Spray (must have)
– Paper copy of the days hike (pick them up at the information center)
– Sunscreen

6. Hike Canmore! 
Banff and Jasper are beautiful, but Canmore is also amazing! The moutains around Canmore have rewarding views and the trails are quiet (even in peak season). 

7. Buy a tripod to take your photographs! 
I solo hiked the rockies for 6 weeks and took my photgraphs on an iphone hairbobbled to a £20 tripod (yes, you read that correctly). Setting up the tripod meant I could capture the photos I wanted. Have a look at some … 

8. Hire a car 
Hiring a car made getting to the starting trails so much easier. It wasn’t cheap but it meant I could hit the popular sites early before the crowds, and get to the quieter more challanging mountains.

9. Sing on the trails
Singing on the trails loudly will keep the bears away! People buy bells but they are not very loud and so some deem ineffective. Shouting loudly “YO BEARS” or singing on the trails means that you can be heard by animals and they will move away. Bears are most dangerous when they think you are ‘sneeking up on them’ so make some noise people.

10. Buy good hiking boots!
You are going to be doing a lot of walking on a hiking holiday, so get shoes that will last the miles! My shoe from Solomon were perfect, I specifically purchased a high cut that protected my ankle – it was needed.

Need specifics? want more advise ? comment below; 

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