Aug 23, 2008


Gordon River, West Coast Trail – Rain drools underneath our Gore-tex, 4km from the trailhead. The four steepest, muddiest, nastiest kilometers of the whole route, naturally. But we splash out anyway: we're too close not to finish the thing.

The ferryman's off for the evening, so we camp beside the river. David cooks pasta, wedged under the six-inch eave of the WCT sign. Our possessions – formerly damp from sweat and mist and falling in tidepools – reach a whole new level of wet. Supersaturation, I believe it's called.

My Tadpole tent lives up to its aquatic name: clearly it's trying to swim upstream. "Trenches might have been a good idea," I muse. Then I double-dry-bag the electronics and town clothes, and sleep curled around this pouch like a marsupial.

Well, sometimes I doze, sometimes I just watch the currents and eddies forming on the tent's floor. But the damp gear keeps me warm, as promised. And we are done, done, done with one of Canada's more infamous treks – and without significant injury. Aside from waterlogging, that is.


  1. Does damp gear really keep you warm? So you should stay in your damp clothes in your tent?

  2. Depends on the gear. Wet polypro – sure. Wet wool – fine. Wet cotton – certain death...

    The weather was pretty temperate or I wouldn't have field-tested in this fashion: I would have piled into David and Maria's slightly drier tent and huddled up for warmth.

    Dying of hypothermia across a river from an RV (caravan) park would just be the height of indignity.