Blisters, blood, sweat (lots of sweat), rattlesnake bites, torn muscles and feelings of complete inadequacy. These are all the expected symptoms of my first day on trail – exactly one month today.
Conversations with friends have all gone a similar way when I mention my imminent departure to hike the 2650+ mile PCT.
The conversations typically go like this…(friend is in green)
“Hi mate! How’ve you been?”
“Good thanks, yourself?”
“Just started a new job! / Just got a promotion! / Just won the lottery! / Just married Mr/Ms. world! / Just found the solution to world peace! / Just got back from Mars! / Just completed life!”
“Oh my word, that’s incredible!”
“So what are you doing with yourself?”
“I walk a lot.”
*Friend thinks about it*
“Oh wait… no it’s not. Why do you walk a lot?”
“Hiking the PCT soon. Need to get some training in so I don’t have to cry myself to sleep.”
Then there are several questions, which crop up time and time again. Here’s a quick-fire Q&A!
1 – What is the PCT?
It’s a trail stretching from the border of Mexico to Canada through the American wilderness. There’s more info on my first post too.
2 – Why would you do that?
3 – How many people are you doing it with?
It’s not a planned event as such. Although I’m currently going solo, that doesn’t mean I won’t meet people along the way, of whom I may choose to hike stretches with. It’s a heavy snow year in the Sierra, so it’ll be safer to go with others for river crossings etc.
4 – How long will it take?
Assuming an average of twenty miles per day with one rest day per week, it should take me about four and a half to five months.
5 – What about supplies?
I’ll carry all of my gear along the way, including food and water. Then I’ll resupply in towns along the way every few days.
6 – So you go through towns then?
To be honest, I don’t even know the answer to this question yet. My understanding is that the trail can be close to some towns, which I could potentially hitchhike to.
7 – How do you train for this?
Can’t say much else other than you walk a lot, on varying terrains whilst carrying a reasonable amount of extra weight. Take a look here!
8 – What happens in an emergency?
I’m going to get one of these!
9 – But what if you lose it? Could you not get a tracking device implanted?
No [Mum], I’m not a pet.
10 – Where do you sleep?
Ready for it…
For those interested, I will update my gear section over the course of the next week. Have just invested in a load of new gear, so spreadsheets and product testing is at maximum capacity! (Bear with me!)
My nerves are racing now with it being just around the corner. Growing up I never contemplated doing anything like this. Leaving loved ones and luxuries behind for such a length of time will be so difficult. Wish me luck!
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