Planning a resupply strategy is extremely tedious, time consuming, and incredibly important unless you’ve found a way to survive via photosynthesis. Since it is physically impossible to carry all the food necessary for a 5 month thru-hike resupplying periodically is necessary. There are a few ways to go about doing a resupply. Mail food to yourself ahead of time, buy as you come across towns, or a combination of the two.
Planning a 2,600 mile thru-hike, where do you even start? For most it may seem overwhelming due to the sheer amount of information you need to research. Luckily for me, I’m a weirdo and I absolutely love it. I have no problem spending hours upon hours researching gear, resupply strategies, trail food and reading other’s blogs. That’s my idea of a fun day. So here is how I went about planning my thru-hike.
TL;DR: Read trail journals and PCT related websites, patiently research gear using past hiker’s gear list as a template, and plan your resupply using Craig’s PCT planner. Continue reading
Whenever I tell people I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail I almost always get asked the same questions. Some of them are pretty ridiculous.
Are you crazy?
Most likely. Continue reading
I get asked this question quite often. Apparently quitting your job, walking 2,650 miles to Canada, sleeping with bears, and hitch hiking with strangers are not seen as rational decisions. Yet for some reason whenever I tell someone about my upcoming journey they talk to me for quite awhile, ask lots of questions, and usually finish by saying they are jealous. So maybe they are jealous that I’m crazy? I don’t know. Continue reading
Most of my time and energy was spent researching what pack, tent, and sleeping bag I would bring with me for 5 months. In my opinion this is the most important decision a thru-hiker will make. When it comes to these items lighter is better. These are the items you definitely do not want to cheap out on. You can easily save at least 2 pounds or more for each item over your general backpacking gear if you look into small companies that focus on ultralight gear. Zpacks, ULA, Gossamer Gear, Enlightened Equipment, and Tarptents are just a few companies that offer quality products that are extremely light. For me personally I saved close to 10 pounds when I switched my pack, tent, bag, and sleeping pad. Had I known or been introduced to ultralight backpacking sooner I could have saved myself a lot of money and back strain. Continue reading
Below is the gear that I plan on bringing.
For a more interactive view click here.
*These are tentative depending on snow levels the closer I get to the Sierras. As of right now it seems that it will be a normal snow year and these will mostly likely be used.
The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650 mile long trail that starts in Campo, CA on the border of Mexico and ends just past the Canadian border in Manning Park. The trail runs through, scorching deserts, snow packed high sierras, exposed lava fields, verdant forests, and more. You can go from an extremely hot and dry desert section to a snow covered mountain top in less than 50 miles. The elevation varies widely from 13,153 feet over snow covered Forester Pass in the high sierras to 140 feet when crossing over the Bridge of the Gods entering Washington.
Hikers have a narrow window on when they can hike due to weather. April is the most popular start time. Any sooner and hikers can get into serious trouble while going through the San Jacinto Wilderness since late spring snow storms are not uncommon. Also, entering the high sierras before June can be dangerous due to high levels of snow or late season snow storms. Hikers also have to finish before the early winters of Washington around early October. Many hikers have walked close to 2600 miles with only a few miles left from the border only to be turned back because of a sudden Washington snow storm.
Although the trail runs through isolated areas you won’t be alone or at least not for any length of time. Over the years the trail has gotten more and more popular. Below is a table listing how many permits were issued for 2013-2015. Although only about 50% of those that start a thru-hike actually finish.
For more information please check out the Pacific Crest Trail Association. If you are planning on doing a thru-hike please consider becoming a member and donating.