GDTA Winter 2022 Webinars

This winter the Outreach Committee presented four GDT trip planning Webinars:

  • Webinar 1:  Planning and Preparing for Your GDT Hike
  • Webinar 2:  Gear
  • Webinar 3:  Resupplying and Food Preparation
  • Webinar 4:  Training and Injury Prevention

These webinars were well attended. For those not able to attend, videos were posted on the GDTA’s YouTube channel.  Links to these videos are also included here for your reference.

Planning and Preparing for your GDT Hike Webinar

The Planning and Preparing for Your GDT Hike Webinar was the first webinar. It was held in January before permit reservations opened up in order to be able to assist thru-hikers with the reservation process and all the planning leading up to it. 

Three very experienced recent GDT thru-hikers – Eloise Robbins, Charlene Deck, and Austin Hager, provided details of the many aspects to planning a successful GDT hike. Some of the topics covered in detail were:

  • Nature’s challenges along the GDT and how they affect itineraries, daily distances, food carries, etc.
  • Difficult stretches in each section and advice for their challenges
  • Reserving permits
  • Resupply information and advice

Here is the video of this webinar:

Gear Webinar

The Gear Webinar was the second webinar in this GDT trip planning webinar series. Thru-hiking gear was discussed in detail by three thru-hikers, thus providing slightly different preferences and emphasis. However, a common theme was keeping the gear as light as possible AND ensuring it was up to the challenges of the GDT – colder and rainier weather, and trail roughness.

Four very experienced and knowledgeable presenters did a thorough job of covering this topic. Dan Durston, owner and founder of Durston Gear, also known for his 2017 “yo-yo” GDT thru-hike, started off with a detailed review of his thru-hiking gear list, including gear weights. He was followed by Justin Outdoors, a 2021 thru-hiker and YouTube videographer. Justin also described his gear list in detail. Both Dan and Justin included “dos” and “don’ts” given the challenges of the GDT. Austin Hager, thru-hiker and GDTA board member, then displayed some very informative photos of what the GDT terrain is all about, followed by his gear list. Austin’s photos really emphasized the need to carry a bit more weight, than typically carried for thru-hiking in more gentle environs further south. Last but not least, Kelly McDonald, a very experienced section hiker, gave an in-depth discussion of personal communicators.

Here is the video of this webinar:

Resupplying and Food Preparation Webinar

This webinar was basically all about food. With that said, it was broken into major parts – resupply and food specific topics. Austin Hager, a GDT thru-hiker and GDTA board member started off discussing resupply issues. He then moved on to thru-hiker food, and was joined my Melanie Sampson, backcountry chef extraordinaire and active GDTA member.

Austin begun by walking us along the GDT section by section, identifying and providing information on resupply options along the way. Considerations for both food and gear resupply were covered.

The webinar then moved on to food ideas, with Austin starting off with the more traditional, off the shelf solutions. Melanie then joined and discussed additional delicious possibilities available when dehydration/rehydration food preparation are added into the mix. Other topics covered were calorie allowances, cold soaking, and packaging.

Here is the video of this webinar:

Training and Injury Prevention Webinar

The fourth and final webinar was the Training and Injury Prevention Webinar.

In this webinar, Krysta Norwick, a physiotherapist and owner of Cairn Physiotherapy, thru-hiker, and outdoor enthusiast, applied her physiotherapy training as she discussed common thru-hiking injuries and their prevention. This includes training to prevent injuries and in general make for a successful thru-hike. In addition to thru-hikers, this is applicable to weekend and section hikers too. 

In 2020, Krysta thru-hiked the GDT solo from Waterton to Mt. Robson. Much of this material was developed during Krysta’s preparation for her thru-hike and from her thru-hike experience. 

Here is the video of this webinar:

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