Backpacking for beginners!


Is the wilderness calling you...

to the beautiful JDF trail or the breathtaking beaches of the West Coast Trail?

Both these hikes are amazing and have their many challenges. Are you eager to lace up your boots and toss your pack on your back but not sure where or when to start? The planning can be overwhelming. I have hiked both these trails several times from both directions. I frequently run portions of the JDF trail so I’m very aware of the current conditions.

Recently, in August of 2019, I spent 9 days in Wales, hiking a portion of the Pembrokeshire Coastal path, such an amazing experience! I’ve hiked or did trail running through several of the local mountains in Vancouver, Whistler, Kamloops and Kimberly.

As well, I spent 3 weeks hiking through South America in Bolivia and Peru’s 12 day mountain trek to Machu Picchu. I’ve taken all the do’s and don’ts from my experiences and designed Trail-FIT to give you all the information you will need, so you can plan your next single day or multi-day hiking adventure with confidence.

“When is the best time of year to go?”

“How long of a hike can I physically do?”

“Am I fit enough?”

“What gear do I want to bring and what gear do I REALLY NEED?”

“Will I be safe?”

“Do I have a backup plan if I get injured on the trail?”

“How will I organize my transportation before and after?”

“How well do I really know my hiking buddy?”

“Is there help on the trail if I get injured?”

“What food do I want to bring and what do I actually need”

“Where and how do I get clean water”

What to expect


Arrive at Mel-FIT, park ONLY in the Princess Auto parking lot, gym is down the side, sign waivers and get settled.


Welcome and overview of the day.


Start the day with a circuit workout in your runners, set up for all fitness levels. Then we will switch into our hiking boots and your fully loaded backpack and repeat the workout again, this gives you a sense of what you’re in for on the trail!


Pack Chat and Safety! We will go through common concerns that many new hikers have. Starting with what essentials to pack along with the pro’s and con’s of each item. We will show you the “Smart Pack” system for your backpack and all its items, as well as how to fit the backpack to your body. Once we’re comfortable with our packs, we’ll discuss trip planning, trail safety and first aid kits. I will have my tent set up with all the essential equipment and we will go through each item. This is where you will empty out your pack and decide what is essential and find out what you might have missed.

12:30pm – 3:00pm

With packs ready we leave for Witty’s Lagoon, on Metchosin Road (approximately a 12 minute drive from the gym, you are responsible for your own transportation). With packs on, we hike 1km to the beach. From there, we will set up a mock camp and cook our meals on our stoves, just as if you were to arrive at your destination and set up for the night. I will bring several freeze dried meals for you to sample! We will discuss camp safety, animals in the area, where your food goes at night, fire set up etc.


Pack ‘er up! We will set our timers and take it all apart, this way you have a very good idea of how long the set up and take down is. This is VERY important because if you’re planning your hike along the beach, you have to be ahead of the tide coming in. By doing all this, you will feel confident and ready for whatever adventure you choose to do. After we’ve packed up and have left no trace, we hike back up the trail to the parking lot!

Required gear for the best experience

Backpack / hiking boots

Workout gear / runners

Weather appropriate clothing for hike down to beach

Snacks and your lunch

If you can bring your hiking boots and ALL your hiking camping gear in your bag ready to go, you will get a truer experience. If you do not have all your gear, please borrow a backpack and fill it with 30lbs. of sand bags, water bottles, kitty litter!