Hiking With Jason

Detached From Reality

Tag: Pacific Crest Trail

38 days out: Resupply strategy

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.

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Continue reading

50 days out: Planning

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

60 days out: Frequently asked questions

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

65 days out: Are you crazy?

Most likely.

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

The Big Three

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

PCT 2016 Gear List

Below is the gear that I plan on bringing.

For a more interactive view click here.

Item Item Name weight in ounces
Pack
Backpack Zpacks Arc Blast 22.5 oz
Bag Liner Trash compactor bag 1 oz
Food bag Zpacks Large Blast 1.4 oz
1.56 lb
Shelter
1 person tent Zpacks Hexamid 15.4 oz
Stakes Zpacks 6" stakes 1.6 oz
1.06 lb
Sleeping
Quilt Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 19.79 oz
Sleeping pad Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite 7.5 oz
Pad Gossamer Gear 1/8 pad-trimmed 1.75 oz
1.82 lb
Cooking
Spork Titanium Spork 0.5 oz
jar Jar for cold cooking 1.5 oz
0.13 lb
Water
1L water x2  bottle Smart Water 2.76 oz
2L bladder x2 Evernew bottle 2.4 oz
Filter Sawyer Squeeze 2.6 oz
0.46 lb
Toiletries
Toothbrush Toothbrush cut in half 0.2 oz
Shit Trowel Deuce of Spades 0.6 oz
travel size Sunscreen 1 oz
Travel size Toothpaste 1 oz
Camp Towel Lightload Towel 0.5 oz
0.21 lb
Misc
Headlamp Petzl E+lite 0.95 oz
First aid supplies/Meds Med Kit 2 oz
Pocket knife Swiss Classic SD 0.8 oz
Phone/Charger Galaxy S5 8.5 oz
Battery Anker Astro 6700 4.8 oz
Locator Delorme PLB 6.8 oz
Credit/Driver/cash Cards/Zpacks passport pouch 1 oz
Headphones Headphones 0.4 oz
Umbrella Liteflex Umbrella 8 oz
Camera Sony HX90V 8.5 oz
2.61 lb
Clothing (Packed)
Down Puffy jacket Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 7.13 oz
Socks Darn Tough 1/4 socks 1.25 oz
Beanie Mountain Hardware Micro 0.75 oz
Buff Buff 1.6 oz
Bug net Mosquito Net 1 oz
Base layer top Patagonia Cap 4 hoody 7.13 oz
Base layer bottom Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Bottom 5.64 oz
Gloves Mountain Hardwear PowerStretch Stimulus 1.5 oz
Wind jacket Zpacks Ventum Wind Shell 1.95 oz
Wind Pants Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants 2.61 oz
1.91 lb
Base Pack Weight: (Excludes Clothes (Worn) 9.75 lb
Sierra Gear
Bear canister BearVault BV500 40.2 oz
Ice traction Kahtoola MICROspikes* 12 oz
Ice Axe CAMP Corsa* 7.2 oz
3.71 lb
Base Pack Weight: Including Sierra Gear 13.56 lb
Clothing (Worn)
Shirt Kuhl Wunderer 8 oz
Shorts Patagonia Baggies 5" 5 oz
Watch Suunto Vector 1.88 oz
Shoes Altra Lone Peak 2.5 20.5 oz
Hat Outdoor Research Transit Hat 3 oz
2.4 lb

 

*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.

What is the PCT?

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, altitudechangePCTsnow 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.

PCT overview

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