Preparing for a Wildlife Trip & What to Bring Aboard

We often have people ask questions about what to bring on our trips. While there is, of course, no right or wrong answer here are a few guidelines on what will be good to have when coming out on a trip with West Coast Aquatic Safaris.

What to wear…

Whale watching trips usually require that we venture out onto open ocean. While adventurous, these trips can often be a little chilly.  I am always amazed at how much colder it can be on the water than on land, so therefore, I always encourage more layers rather than less when heading out on all our aquatic safaris. In an effort to make your trip as comfortable as possible both WASCO and NANUQ are covered and heated. However, when we find wildlife, you’ll want to get as close to as possible, which may mean leaving the warmth of the windowed cabin and getting a little salt air on your face! Likewise, although we provide industrial Helly Hensen rain jackets that do an awesome job of keeping you dry, a few layers underneath is always a good idea. A warm hat, and a pair of gloves are also great to bring along.

Seals on the water in Tofino

sunshine and snow, neither uncommon!

Although our bear watching trips are on the Inlet side in protected waters, they are often earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon, which will mean slightly cooler conditions, so… bundle up and grab a warm drink before you hop aboard!

When the rain moves on and we get some sunny days, it’s important to remember sunscreen and sunglasses. Anyone who’s ever been out on the water on a sunny day without either of these will be able to tell you why. And remember, just because it’s sunny it does not necessarily mean that it’ll feel tropical on the water. Remember your sweaters!!

For those of you exploring the Hot Springs, you’ll also want to bring a swimsuit and a towel. There are washrooms, change rooms and a place to leave your things at the Hot Springs and you’ll be thankful for a change of dry clothes for the boat or plane ride back.

Hots Spings Cove bathing

Hot Springin'

What to drink…

Water! While it is true you’ll be sitting atop of a lot of water and it does rain (a lot) here in Tofino, it’s always a great idea to bring a bottle of water with you on the boat. While we encourage re-usable bottles (and Tofino has some of the best tap water in the world), if you forget, we also have bottled water for sale in the shop.

Those that have chosen for the full day adventure of the Hot Springs will also want to bring a lunch. Several shops in town have great take-away food and some will even let you pre-order to pick up in the morning before you hop on the boat.  Check out Red Can Gourmet, Breakers, Tuff Beans and The Common Loaf for some delicious sandwiches and snacks.

Cameras etc…

When you see humpbacks, grey whales, sea lion, otters and eagles, you’ll want to snap and picture or…50. So, don’t forget your camera! Admittedly, it can often be a little tricky to take photos of whales (they never stay still for too long) but

Happy guests aboard our whale watching boat

A warm, dry and happy crew up top WASCO on a true Tofino day!

try your best and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Hot Springers, leave your silver jewelry at home! The diluted sulfur in the pools at the Springs can, and does tarnish silver. It’s easy to buff back out, but will likely give you a bit of a scare when your fingers go green.

Phew, that seemed like a lot of information, didn’t it? I hope this makes you feel a little more prepared for your West Coast adventure! Anytime you have more questions about what to bring on your trip, please feel free to give us a call!

Leave a Reply