LIHUE, Hawaii // Two months ago we logged onto the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources website to get a permit to backpack the Kalalau Trail. They only allow 60 permits per day and the entire next 3 months were sold out, except for 6 spots left on March 15th and 2 left for March 16th.
Two months later and after a 50 minute flight from Maui, we arrived at Lihue airport in Kauai. Only 5 days prior they closed the trail due to flash floods so we had been monitoring the weather daily. Besides an old tent I had bought about 10 years ago, and our two sleeping sacks, we felt vastly underprepared for the 22 mile roundtrip trail where there is no phone service or road access.
After arriving, we rented a car for a few days and drove to Kayak Kauai camping store and rented a mattress pad, a stove, and bought water purification tablets. From there we went to the grocery store and bought: 2 gallons of water, 4 Kind bars, 4 Clif bars, 4 apples, 2 oranges, 4 packs of ramen noodles, 2 cans of green beans, peanut butter, jelly, tortillas, oatmeal, beef jerky, M&Ms, and a bag of carrots. A sufficient amount of food for 2 people over the course of 3 days.
From here it was on to Walmart to pick up a lighter, a knife, and a pot to boil water. On the side of the road we saw 3 hitchhikers with camping gear and picked them up. It turns out, they had just hiked the Kalalau Trail yesterday and they gave us some great info and advice on what to expect.
We spent the night with family in Lihue, organized our packs, and got a good night sleep. We left for the trailhead at 6:30 the next morning, feeling much more prepared and confident about the intense 22 mile roundtrip hike and 2 nights in the wilderness.