I'm going to take a tour of British Columbia in Canada during the first half of September. Guided tour by bus, staying in hotels.
Itinerary: Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Prince Rupert, Prince George, Jasper & Banff National Park and back to Vancouver.
Weather conditions appear to be relatively mild and dry in that period judging from various weather web-sites, but I know that judging what clothes to bring can be difficult going from numbers alone.
Seems at the coast I can expect 15-25 Celsius,with nights 10 degrees cooler. Inland, especially at altitude in the Rockies, I have to reckon with somewhat colder temperatures, possibly just above freezing at night.
Seems that standard North-West Europe summer garb, with a light jacket and an extra sweater for colder days/evenings will do.
No need for a raincoat. Maybe a fold-able umbrella just to be sure.

Am I on the right track ?

Edit: After several comments and answer I have to clarify:
I'm mainly asking the question to check general conditions at the coast, urban areas and for stopovers during the way, considering what to wear in terms of normal sightseeing activity.
I'm well aware that conditions in the Rockies will be different and for that I will bring additional clothing fit for the situation. I have ample mountain experience, even though I'm currently physically not able to put it to much use.

  • 1
    Don't have sufficent experience of BC to say for sure but: high altitude outdoor activities without taking any waterproofs is probably irresponsible. Hypothermia can set in fast when wind and rain combine and you're X hours hike from shelter.
    – CMaster
    Jun 30, 2015 at 14:22
  • Are you going to be doing any significant hiking, i.e. being more than a few minutes walk from shelter, either bus of building? Jun 30, 2015 at 14:34
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    Vancouver-Prince Rupert is 1500km, Vancouver-Banff is another 850km, not counting returns. Are you doing all of this in 2 weeks ?
    – blackbird
    Jun 30, 2015 at 14:42
  • @Blackbird57 Nearly 3 weeks. August 29 to September 16. Vancouver itself is just in passing by. After my return to Vancouver I'll stay another 5 days with a relative in Belcarra. From there I'll be visiting Vancouver and the direct area.
    – Tonny
    Jun 30, 2015 at 15:10
  • @DJClayworth, CMaster. I'm not going to do any significant hiking. I have a medical condition that currently prevents me doing too strenuous walking/hiking. (I'm OK with a leisurely walk around for an hour or 2, but I have to avoid steep slopes and/or prolonged walks/quick pace.) I'm going to take a light-weight wind/water-proof nylon jacket anyway, that I can wear on its own or over a normal jacket. This has served me well in the past when traveling above the Arctic circle. At the North-cape in Norway it was -2 Celsius and quite windy. Wind-chill must have been -15 or so, but I was fine.
    – Tonny
    Jun 30, 2015 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


Your Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert sounds like it will be by ferry, in which case having a pile jacket and/or windbreak shell (rain parka also works) will be good to have if you want to be out on deck to enjoy and photograph the sites.

These same items (pile jacket, rain parka) will come in handy in the Rockies, as it will likely be crisp at night. And while the northern Rockies enjoy great indian summer weather in September, there is always a chance of an early winter cold front coming through at that time of year, including even a chance of snow.

I would skip the umbrella in favor of the rain parka, as it does double duty for cold.

  • +1 for skipping the umbrella, doesn't help much against horizontal rain and that fine misty precipitation
    – blackbird
    Jun 30, 2015 at 17:43
  • 1
    I would also bet good money that one of your excursions in Jasper will be to the Columbia Ice Fields - essentially a walk on a glacier. A warm jacket will be useful there too, Jun 30, 2015 at 23:31
  • @DJClayworth That's included yes. And I know how to dress for that. I have done this before inIceland, Norway, Sweden and have done mountain-hicking across glaciers in the Alps.
    – Tonny
    Jul 1, 2015 at 9:32
  • @Blackbird57 The umbrella was more intended for urban environments.
    – Tonny
    Jul 1, 2015 at 9:33
  • @Tom You're right about the ferry across the Inner Sound. And I will probably be doing a whale-watching trip from Vancouver Island as well. I've done whale-watching before in Iceland and taken a lot of ferries in Scotland and Norway: I am well aware how much worse wind-chill is on the water. I'm definitely be needing something wind-tight there.
    – Tonny
    Jul 1, 2015 at 9:50

No need for a raincoat. Maybe a fold-able umbrella just to be sure.

Am I on the right track ?

It sounds like you could be setting yourself up for a miserable time, mitigated only by the fact that you'll have a bus to crawl back into, and plenty of tourist shops that will sell you a souvenir sweatshirt or jacket to remind you of the time you got cold.

The British Columbia coast is a temperate rain forest. Sure, summers tend to be dry, punctuated by very occasional thundershowers. September is a transition period: fine weather is still likely, but the rain starts becoming an increasing possibility.

With an itinerary that takes you to the northern coast and Banff, I would definitely pack a bit more than just summer clothes. A fleece, plus a Gore-Tex shell and waterproof shoes would make your trip more enjoyable, even if you might get lucky and not need them.

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