You’re doing what?
Ever since we announced our intention to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, reactions are pouring in from our friends and family. Some people seem to be genuinely excited for us, while others, I am sure, are questioning our sanity. Whichever camp you are in, you asked, and here are our answers:
YOU ARE HIKING A LOT ALREADY. HOW IS THIS TRAIL DIFFERENT?
It’s longer than the trails we hike during weekends or when on vacation. Much longer indeed. If successful, we would have hiked a total of 2,650 miles.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE YOU TO HIKE THE 2000+ MILES?
We are planning to leave around mid-April and if everything goes well we will be back around mid-September. That way we should experience the desert before it gets deadly hot (if we’re lucky) and we should finish before snow poses thread in the North Cascades (if we’re lucky).
SO YOU WILL BE ON HALF YEAR LONG VACATION! NICE.
It depends on what you regard as a vacation. Our jobs will be on hold while we are hiking, so in that sense, yes, we are going to be on vacation; but it is not going to be the kind of vacation when you sleep in and then spend your day relaxing at the beach and drinking Pina Coladas. In order to beat the snow in the Cascades, we will have to hike 15- 25 miles a day and that means that often we will have to be up and going with the first rays of daylight and we might not be able to stop and rest until very late in the evening. I prefer to think of us being on an adventure rather than on vacation.
WHERE EXACTLY IS THE TRAIL?
Pacific Crest Trail spans between a border with Mexico and border with Canada. Its first stage (for those who choose to hike it northbound) leads through a desert of Southern California, and afterwards, the landscape turns more mountainous as Sierra Nevada mountain range is encountered, followed by the Cascades in Oregon and Washington.
THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WILDERNESS. WHAT WILL YOU EAT OUT THERE?
Snakes, mainly. Southern California has an abundance of rattlesnakes which I’ve heard are especially tasty…. Just kidding. From time to time the trail leads through town or crosses a road that leads to town, where we will be able to resupply for the upcoming stretch. We compiled a list of these towns together with information on what resupply options are available to thru-hikers in each one of them.
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU STOP IN TOWN?
As of now, we have 26 resupply stops planned. 14 of them are in bigger towns with a major grocery store where we should be able to buy everything we need. 12 of them are smaller communities with limited options. We chose to buy supplies beforehand and will have a friend ship them to us as we near these 12 locations.
CAN I SEND YOU A CARE PACKAGE?
We appreciate the offer. We really do; however, we will only have a limited amount of space available for supplies. What doesn’t fit in our backpacks, can’t go. And in order to keep our pack weight low, we will have to be very picky about what we carry.
If you want to do something for us, say hi once in awhile here on my blog or on Facebook. Few encouraging words from friends and family are the best gift ever. Seriously. Just last week I got an unexpected message from a fellow hiker who finished reading my John Muir Trail book and reached out to let me know that he enjoyed it. It warmed my heart. I felt exactly the type of push I would need to overcome a hard climb or a shitty, cold rainy day on the trail. I will post a list of post offices we will visit, in case you wanted to surprise us with a postcard. But please, no more than that.
SO WHAT WILL YOU CARRY? ARE YOU DOING THE ULTRALIGHT THING?
We are trying to be as weight conscious as possible without jeopardising our safety. Many of the things we will carry are those we take on our weekend trips. We tested them and we trust them. This said; we made few changes. The most significant one is switching our shelter. We love our Big Agnes Fly Creek but for the PCT we chose Triplex from Zpacks which is lighter and offers two vestibules. We also opted to leave our Jetboil behind and instead we are bringing a stove with the ability to simmer. The complete list of our gear is a topic I will cover in more detail in another post.
ARE YOU GOING TO BLOG FROM THE TRAIL?
Yes, I’m planning to post frequent updates so that you guys can follow our progress. And if bear eats us along the way, you’ll be the first ones to know 🙂
Anything else you wanted to know about our upcoming adventure? Leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.
I am envious. Would love to take some time “off” to do something for myself. Love the Pacific Northwest. Good luck and be careful!
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I heard your interview on the cascade hiker podcast, great listen! I’ll be following your journey, all the best to you! Did you have the fly creek ul 2 previous to buying the triplex? How did you find it for hiking the JMT? Thank you Josh
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Hi Josh, we had Fly Creek UL 3. I know several couples who use the UL 2 version, and like it, but it felt too snug for us, pretty much our pads would be wall to wall and still overlap a bit in it. We opted for the larger one and we were very happy with the decision. The tent performed well on the JMT, I would not hesitate to take it again.
Maybe I’ll see you out on the trail when you hit Yosemite. My husband and I talked with a couple of thru-hikers one year near Glen Aulin. They gave us their blog address and we followed them. Turned out that they were friends of my cousin. Small world!
Ah, I love this time of year. It means I get a whole bundle of new thru-hiker blogs to vicariously live an adventurous life through haha.