Begins: Apr 22, 2015
Date: Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Entry Visits: 3,083
Journal Visits: 4,004
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Mr. Mike Ferguson
At the beginning of January I decided for sure to hike the PCT this year, announced the news to family and friends, and began to plan. My best friend's dad, Jerry, hiked the entire PCT in '77 and again in '01, and offered to help me with planning my resupply. I am so happy to have the help. Even with Craig's PCT planner available for this one, I am so completely lost when it comes to planning hikes. I don't have much backpacking experience--my first trip was a summit of South Sister five years ago, and I've mostly taken trips on the OCT once a year since--and aside from that, for me, planning anything is generally a long and painful process, and one I will put off until the last minute if left to my own devices.
Okay, so I just said I don't have much backpacking experience... And I'd just like to assure anyone reading this that I didn't see the movie Wild and decide that the PCT was the best way to find myself. (I did read Cheryl Strayed's book last year though, and liked it). My family did a lot of camping while I was growing up, mostly while canoeing. Eight years ago I started canoe camping alone because my "weekends" were mid-week and/or my friend/boyfriend wasn't interested. In the beginning I was pretty nervous being a lone, young female out by myself, but in the last few years I've noticed that people automatically assume I'm camping with someone. The only trouble I've had from all this time solo is pain and fatigue from portaging an aluminum canoe all by my lonesome (the end result of a very bad decision made under the influence of too little sleep the night before). Other than that, I'm usually pretty good at evaluating risk and knowing my capabilities. Additionally, I'm a licensed EMT, and had previously been certified as a Wilderness First Responder via a class at my college. And I'm a member of our local search and rescue group.
To prepare for the PCT I've read blogs (Wired, Rocket Llama, a couple others on trailjournals.com), books (Ray Jardine, Strayed, another print version of a woman's trail journal), and gear review after gear review.... And opinion after opinion on the various PCT facebook pages I've been following. I've talked to two previous thru hikers about gear, food, snakes, scorpions, etc., etc., and listened to the fears of all the well-meaning people who love me and want me to be safe. I've evaluated The Gear That I Have, and The Gear That I Want, as well as The I Have to Have (Whether I Want It Or Not...ahem, bear canister). I've developed a rough resupply strategy and itinerary with lots of help from Jerry. As of this weekend, my animals all have great people to be with for the summer.
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: www.pcta.org