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Bobk - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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City: Mi Wuk Village
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 25, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Jul 10th, 2013
Trip Distance: 1,335.1

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,118
Journal Visits: 61,024
Guestbook Views: 3,894
Guestbook Entrys: 88

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

A Day on the PCT

At the risk of dispelling romantic notions about hiking the PCT, just what is a day on the PCT like? Well, here's a sample of what mine was like.

  • 5:30am Wake up and start packing
    • Put on clean socks and underwear from yesterday's laundry
    • Put as many snacks as will fit in the belt snack pouch
    • Put a pop-tart package (2 pop-tarts) in my shirt pocket
    • Put whatever full water bottles there are in the two shoulder pouches

      Habits are extremely important. Every item has its proper place in the pack or in my pockets and always gets put in the same place. Otherwise you go crazy trying to find it.

  • 6:00am Walk, every hour do the following
    • Eat a snack, the first one is the pop-tarts at 6am for breakfast.
    • My favorite snacks were Butter Finger, Ritz Fresh Stack, Fig Newton (2oz snack pack), Nature Valley Trail Mix bar, Peanut M&M (sharing size), Snickers, Skittles.
    • Eventually I figured out its a bad idea to eat while hiking uphill due to the risk of aspirating food. So I would modify the schedule as needed to eat on the downhill, either just after completing a big hill or just before starting one.
    • Keep an eye on the water situation and refill whenever possible and needed
    • Try to drink 1/2 Liter per hour, adding a flavoring pack like True Lemon or Crystal Light made it easier to drink more.
    • At an appropriate water source, do a quick laundry of socks and underwear from the day before, clip to pack to air dry
    • Stop and talk to people, take pictures of cool sights, etc., but avoid getting drawn into anything that takes too much time
    • Take a break every couple hours, normally this is coupled with refilling water bottles or swapping full one out of the pack, doing laundry, talking to people, etc.

  • 6:00pm start thinking about when it will get dark, check the map for appropriate campsites and if its a dry camp (no water) plan on where to fill up on water ahead of time.

  • 8:30pm or when it starts to get dark
    • Find a campsite
    • Set up camp: lay out groundsheet, put sleeping pad, sit pad, pack and its contents on top
    • Fill the water bottles as necesssary and take care of any other chores that require walking around
    • Sit down on sleeping/sit pad combo, take off shoes and socks and put on wool sleeping socks - I'm not getting up again
    • Get in down gear and under quilt as temperatures dictate
    • Make dinner by boiling water on the alcohol stove, assemble dried food in a zip-lock freezer bag in a cozy, add hot water
    • My favorite dinners were:

      • Mashed potatoes with stuffing, dried corn, diced sun-dried tomatoes, freeze-dried diced chicken, olive oil
      • Couscus, dried onion, dried corn, diced sun-dried tomatoes, freeze-dried diced chicken or beef, olive oil
      • Rammen noodles chicken or beef, dried corn, diced sun-dried tomatoes, freeze-dried diced chicken or beef, olive oil
      • Instant rice, instant black beans, dried corn, diced sun-dried tomatoes, freeze-dried diced beef, olive oil
        The freeze-dried meat was pre-packaged at home from #10 tin cans broken out into vaccum sealed individual servings

    • Wait for the food to rehydrate, while waiting snack on dried apricots or mangoes and eat some cheese
    • Eat dinner
    • Work on journal
    • Review the maps for the next day and stow them in the zip-lock bag carried in the chest map pocket.

  • 9:30-10:00pm Go to sleep

    At an average speed of about 2 miles per hour, a day like this will typically cover 25-30 miles.
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    Journal Photo

    Pacific Crest Trail 2013

    The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more:


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