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 late 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. Bring a flashlight or headlamp for the start of Day 1. Day 2 is a particularly long day, given the long return shuttle; we recommend bringing extra snacks or even lunch to have on the bus ride back. Download our complete Gear and Clothing Recommendations.
Day 1 will be mostly on beach, after some scrambling through dunes. Day 2 is a combination of beach, flat trail, and paved road. Day Three is half on beach and half on forest trail, some of it steep and with mud, roots, and rocks in places. We suggest wearing athletic shoes, such as those designed for trail running or walking, or very lightweight boots, every day. 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.
On Day 1 you may prefer to wear waterproof sandals, but bring a small roll of adhesive tape to slap on any hot spots that develop (likely to happen if your feet aren’t accustomed to being in sandals for a long time, especially since you’ll be crossing small creeks and possibly getting your feet wet and sandy).
“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! Make a plan to gradually lengthen your training walks to avoid injury and enjoy yourself. Include some up-and-down walking; Day 2 includes 790 feet of elevation gain, and Day Three more than 900 feet. (Return CoastWalkers: that’s significantly less elevation gain than in 2017, but still, the more you train, the more fun you’ll have.) We strongly urge participants to work up to comfortably walking at least 6 miles and to complete at least one 10-mile hike in advance of CoastWalk to be sure you are able to walk that distance. There will be no sag wagon. Please check with your doctor if you have any uncertainty about your readiness for CoastWalk Oregon.