This will be a list of all the mistakes I have made when hiking and preparing to hike the Great Divide Trail in Canada. Hopefully you can learn from my idiocy. As I haven’t completed the hike yet, I don’t have loads to add but I will add things bit by bit as I go along.
Waiting until Black Friday to buy equipment
I waited until Black Friday to buy camping/hiking equipment and this made me overly stressed as I tried to buy too much too soon. Most items were returned for something else anyway. In my opinion, you should look for items as soon as you can and find deals as they come up rather than wait for one specific day. Telling you how to shop is a bit silly, but who knows, there might be someone like me.
Permits are a real pain in the butt
I waited too long to book camping permits/reservations. Some are open early in the year (January 1st), some are available March 1st. I started booking them around March 16th, and by that time, some were already full up. I’ve navigated around this problem by booking camping sites in other areas not too far from the trail. When I’ve completed the hike, I will record a GPS tracklog and also look for sites that are legal to camp in and also free. Prepare your travel itinerary as soon as you think you want to do this hike, and book reservations accordingly. The chances are, if you know about this hike, you know about the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a lot more expensive and a lot more complicated than the Pacific Crest Trail.
I was afraid to spend extra time in Waterton, until I arrived as I didn’t know what to expect. There’s plenty of shops to buy extra food if you go through it, the campgrounds are stunning and I suggest spending an extra day there :).