Opening Statement

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Dreams

Backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, July 2016

In early 2016 I started thinking about thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  The idea grew on me until it simply seemed obvious that I should try it.  I'll start on April 1, 2017.

The reasons for taking a long hike can't possibly stand up to the sheer craziness of it.  It probably comes down to personality.  Based on conversations with friends, either the idea of hiking for five months either makes you jealous, or it seems insane.  For me, being in the mountains is both exhilarating and satisfying.


The whole trail?  I'm planning with the idea of hiking the whole trail in one season, but it's not my purpose for the hike.  If I have to break up the trip over more than one season, that would be OK too.

Hiking alone?   I expect to meet people on the trail, and a few people have said that they will hike with me for a week.  My wife plans to meet me along the trail every month or so.

How much weight?  Loaded for the trail, my backpack weighs about 40 pounds.  I'm not myself too "ultralight" as you can see in the picture, and I hope to lose a few pounds along the way.

Any worries?  Knees more than bears.  Deep snow this season may make some sections tricky.

How can I find out more about the PCT?  Google the PCT and you will find a huge amount of information.  Some resources that I can recommend:

The official source of information:  Pacific Crest Trail Association
A YouTube video of one person's hike:  Dundee Hikes the PCT
A book about a couple's experience hiking the PCT:  Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail
Cheryl Strayed's bestseller  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail