Training & Gear

What to Wear and Carry

Dress in layers so you are prepared to peel off a layer as you warm up or add a layer if it gets chilly. Definitely carry (or wear) waterproof rain gear each day. We chose these dates in September in part because the weather tends to be ideal for walking then. But weather on the Oregon Coast is unpredictable! We expect to walk rain or shine.

A light day pack is adequate to carry extra clothing, water, and snacks. We recommend starting each day with two full water bottles.

If you like to hike with trekking poles, you will find them especially useful on Day 2, when we will be descending a very steep, rocky trail down Cascade Head.

Download our complete Gear and Clothing Recommendations.

Footwear

You will be walking on a combination of beach and forest trail. Some trails are rocky and steep, with roots and mud in places. We suggest wearing athletic shoes, such as those designed for trail running or walking, or lightweight boots. As you prepare for CoastWalk Oregon, walk in the shoes you plan to wear at the event, especially if they are leather shoes, so your shoes and feet can adjust to each other before you put in 10 miles a day for three consecutive days. We’ve found that the best way to avoid blisters on a long hike (in addition to breaking in your shoes, and feet, by walking) is to wear shoes a half-size or more larger than your daily-wear shoes. You might find this article from REI on blister prevention and treatment informative.

We’ve just discovered something new: Dirty Girl Gaiters, very lightweight gaiters that help keep sand and debris out of your shoes. For women and men!

“The shuttle service worked well. The hikes themselves were fantastic. I liked meeting new people. The volunteers were wonderful. Great event!”

—Beatrice, Tillamook OR, CWO 2016

Training For CoastWalk Oregon

Don’t attempt CoastWalk Oregon without training! To avoid injury and enhance your enjoyment of CoastWalk Oregon, gradually lengthen your training walks.

You should be able to comfortably walk at least 6 miles and should complete at least one 10-mile hike in advance of CoastWalk to be certain you are able to walk that distance. Such training will not only increase your strength and endurance but will accustom your feet to many miles of walking and may help prevent blisters. Include some up-and-down walking in your training; every day of CoastWalk Oregon includes a headland ascent. Please check with your doctor if you have any uncertainty about your readiness for CoastWalk Oregon.

We expect participants to complete each day’s walk in no more than 5 hours, including stops. Portions of CoastWalk are close to roads, but other parts of the walk are on long sand spits or remote forest trails. Come prepared to walk the entire distance. There is no sag wagon. (But we won’t leave you behind.)