One of my favourite parts of a trip is the planning process. You can get months worth of enjoyment from the planning and anticipation of a trip. We started planning our trip to the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island a least 4 months before the trip itself began. Lunch breaks at work were spent reading articles, reviewing maps and planning meals. We even got to the point of dehydrating all of our own food for the trip which was challenging and fun all in one. Putting this level of research and planning into a trip also helps you enjoy the trip more and ensure you are able to let go and fully enjoy the moment. Additionally, spending this time in advance allows the experience and details of the trip to stick with you for years after the fact (at least that’s how it has worked for me). I find I am able to relive special moments of past trips just by looking at pictures to trigger the feeling of freedom I had in those moments. Take a peek at a few such photos below from the West Coast Trail!
As with most popular adventures (at least the backcountry ones) you will likely have to book things well in advance in order to increase your chances of securing a booking and catching opportune weather. I would recommend that you start planning your trip from the time of booking if you haven’t already started. This will allow you to develop a solid plan and while leveraging the time to build anticipation / excitement for the trip.
Another recommendation that has proved true for my own adventures is to avoid planning out every moment of each day. Yes the goal is to have a solid trip plan the ensures travel logistics work out and that you have the right gear, the right amount of food and the appropriate amount of time for the adventure. That being said, don’t stress yourself out trying to create the perfect most detailed plan. It is important to allow buffers or to be prepared if and when things don’t go as planned. This is all part of the experience and having the right mindset can make a little hiccup or a little side excursion one of the most memorable parts of a trip.
Trip anticipation can be equally as exciting for a small outing as it is for a larger trip. I find myself scoping out hikes or bike rides for the next weekend using various 3D maps available online (google or FAT maps) and being super excited all week leading into the weekend. I will also take pictures of ridgelines or peaks that I want to explore so I can stare at them longingly when that last meeting of the day starts to run over time… again. I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Looking back through my West Coast Trail pictures brought me right back there again with the massive trees, moist air with a dash of salt, laughs with a good friend and afternoons laying in the sand by a bon fire, listening to waves crashing on the shore.