Hiking Adventures: Mount Benson (and a little life update)

Title: Mount Benson

Today I'm going to talk about my experience hiking Mount Benson. But first, I must tell you about our newest family member. Meet Olive:

A Border Collie mix sitting in front of a piano

We picked her up a few weeks ago at SAINTS Rescue, which is a rescue in BC, and since then we have been very busy! SAINTS Rescue is mainly a rescue for senior animals, but a group of puppies who were supposed to be for sale were brought in to SAINTS after a couple of them had gotten sick. Luckily all of the puppies recovered and found their forever homes, but it is an important reminder to adopt, not shop. I've learned a lot about puppies in the past few weeks and am absolutely in love with her. Just look at that face!

Okay, now let's talk about Mount Benson.

Mount Benson view of Nanaimo

If you are on Vancouver Island and want a good workout, try hiking Mount Benson.  It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to hike the orange route - it is definitely a climb, so be prepared!  There is another route that you can take that is less steep, but I hear it takes a bit longer to hike.  I did this hike at the beginning of October when the weather was still nice, but with the weather getting colder, I would definitely recommend checking the forecast ahead of time. It could be slippery on the trail, so be careful.

Mount Benson trail

I tried to prepare for the hike as best as I could, but there are a couple of things I would do differently next time.  For one, I would eat a bigger meal beforehand, and I would also pack more snacks to eat during the hike.  I ate a Clif bar and a few fruit leathers while I was on the trail.  These were good snacks, as they had lots of sugar to give me energy, but I wished I had something savoury to balance it out.  Try to plan ahead and think about what kind of snacks you know you would want to eat while you’re on the trail.  Also make sure you pack lots of water.  I packed two water bottles full, and that seemed to be enough for me.

For clothing, it will of course depend what time of the year you go.  It was still fairly warm when I went, so I wore a tank top, a light sweater, and leggings.  I had a small backpack to put my sweater in.  Water is the most important thing to bring lots of, so try to make the rest of your pack as light as possible.

Lower view of Mount Benson

I am excited to try Mount Benson again.  It was a great challenge compared to the hiking I had done previously, and the views of the city were beautiful.  There was quite a bit of smoke in the sky once we got to the top, but we still had 360° views.

Mount Benson view

Have you hiked Mount Benson before?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!