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Coming from Overseas

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Coming from Overseas

Postby BurningPaws » Mon May 04, 2015 9:08 pm

Hey guys!

I'm Kasey, I'm from Australia and in approximately 3 years - 2018, my partner and I will be kicking off a thru-hike of the PCT in order to see the real America - not the stuff we see in media. As well as experiencing a whole different type of hiking compared to that we get in Australia!

Because I am from overseas I need to factor in a few more additional things and would like ANY advice people can give on these topics

- Visas. What Visa do I get? How long does it last? Can we get an extension so we can travel after? What happens when I get to Canada? Would I be able to leave from Canada?

- Resupply! Currently I am thinking of resupplying as I go and maybe doing up some boxes to post ahead when I get to big locations -any other thoughts?

- Getting to Campo. Can I get in contact with any trail angels to help? Or should I find a taxi then camp the night to leave the next morning?

- Official kick off date party - when do we find out the date of this kick off? I believe it is generally in Warner Springs. Because I'm from overseas, I would LOVE to meet everyone and really dig into the American hiking culture.

- Gear - is there any gear that I should look into buying in America only? For example, my cooking gear - I can buy some here but will the fuel be okay to use in America?

- I know in Australia - we have some scary animals, but creepy crawlies, snakes and Crocs don't really scare me, but BEARS DO!!! What type of bears would I be encountering, black or grizzly? What should I keep in mind?

- GPS maps of the trail. Where can I get them and what GPS do you recommend?


:P As I said, quite a list, even if people can offer advice on one or two things it is great appreciated!

Thanks guys!

Kasey and Dean
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Re: Coming from Overseas

Postby enyapjr » Sat May 09, 2015 6:52 am

BurningPaws wrote:Hey guys!

I'm Kasey, I'm from Australia and in approximately 3 years - 2018, my partner and I will be kicking off a thru-hike of the PCT in order to see the real America - not the stuff we see in media. As well as experiencing a whole different type of hiking compared to that we get in Australia!

Because I am from overseas I need to factor in a few more additional things and would like ANY advice people can give on these topics

Many of your questions can be answered by first looking through the "PCT FAQ" page, http://postholer.com/faq.php...
(Please note that some of the PCT FAQ info has not been updated this year - including what I previously provided!)
Also look through the PCTA, http://www.pcta.org/, and USFS, http://www.fs.usda.gov/pct/, websites.

- Visas. What Visa do I get? How long does it last? Can we get an extension so we can travel after? What happens when I get to Canada? Would I be able to leave from Canada?

You will need a "B2" visa for more than 90 days up to 180 days. As long as you are approved to enter Canada via the PCT, yes, you can leave from Canada; if you will reenter the US from Canada to travel home, you will need a "multiple entry" visa. See "PCT FAQ" page...

- Resupply! Currently I am thinking of resupplying as I go and maybe doing up some boxes to post ahead when I get to big locations -any other thoughts?

Supply as you go is quite common unless you have special dietary needs. You will definitely want to post ahead for some locations in northern CA and also much of OR & WA unless you definitely plan on going (far) off trail to resupply - that you can decide once on the trail.
There is also a new service starting this year: Zero Day Resupply, http://www.zerodayresupply.com/ - check it out (must register to see all the details; and he will also be using UPS in the very near future since some backwoods locations do accept USPS mail, he just doesn't have that on the site as yet) - prices are very reasonable and I plan to use the service quite a few times, especially on the northern portion of the PCT.

- Getting to Campo. Can I get in contact with any trail angels to help? Or should I find a taxi then camp the night to leave the next morning?

There are trail angels in the San Diego area that will pick you up at the airport (or train or bus stations), host you for a night or two, shuttle you around to buy any needed last minute supplies, and then give you a ride to the border early in the morning to start your trek... Don't worry about contacting any of them until the year of your hike - they will be there!

- Official kick off date party - when do we find out the date of this kick off? I believe it is generally in Warner Springs. Because I'm from overseas, I would LOVE to meet everyone and really dig into the American hiking culture.

Many thrus do not go to the kick off - if you start in the 'normal' time frame, you will meet many people while on the trail... If you definitely want to attend, the kick off is the usually the last full weekend of April.

- Gear - is there any gear that I should look into buying in America only? For example, my cooking gear - I can buy some here but will the fuel be okay to use in America?

You cannot travel (by air) with "fuel" (as you probably know!) - you would buy it once in the US... If you are buying a canister stove, just make sure it isn't a "bayonet" mount type, but the "threaded, screw on" mount (screw on gas canisters are the commonly available canisters in the US).

- I know in Australia - we have some scary animals, but creepy crawlies, snakes and Crocs don't really scare me, but BEARS DO!!! What type of bears would I be encountering, black or grizzly? What should I keep in mind?

Only black bears along the PCT; there have been a few sightings of grizzlies in far northern WA, but NOT on the PCT!

- GPS maps of the trail. Where can I get them and what GPS do you recommend?

You really don't "need" a dedicated GPS - most hikers that want GPS capability now use smartphones instead, along with GPS capable apps (a smartphone is a "multi-use" tool).
I'm a strong believer in not relying on electronics for navigation and carry paper maps (many available, including Postholer and Halfmile). I look at the paper maps far more than using my smartphone, but occasionally check location on smartphone app (average of once a day perhaps)... If you do get a dedicated GPS device, Google "Halfmile PCT" for GPS data in .gpx format.

:P As I said, quite a list, even if people can offer advice on one or two things it is great appreciated!

Thanks guys!

Kasey and Dean


Hope that helps get you started on your planning! You have plenty of time for much more research before your trek - have fun with it.
Happy trails!!!
Jim (PITA)


"The longing to be primitive is a disease of culture."
George Santayana
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Re: Coming from Overseas

Postby Warnervale » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:43 am

Hi Kasey, Hi Dean,

I'm doing my first US thru hike on the PCT in 2016. Been doing lots of research of forums, PCT resources and trail journals, wondering if you'd put any more planning into how your're doing it with managing job, rent etc. Mainly wanting a different opinion other than my own to see if i've left anything out of my planning?
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Re: Coming from Overseas

Postby kiwi stu » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:35 pm

Hi Kasey.
I live in Brisbane, Australia and am hiking the PCT in 2017 from Tuolumne Meadows to Manning Park.
I have been training and planning since March last year.
I have my own You tube channel that documents everything.
Go to you tube and search for PCT 2017, Stu's Big Walk
All the vids will answer all your questions about everything that you need to do when starting from Aussie.
From Visas to Insurance to Spot Devices and gear and food resupply.
I also have a Journal on this site under PCT 2017 you can go have a look at..my Journal name is Kiwi Stu.
Any questions feel free to ask me.
Cheers Stu
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