I can’t believe I’ve finally made the decision to section hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I’ve taken the plunge and started purchasing ultra-lite backpacking equipment, at holiday discount prices, for the past few weeks. I’m going to have to post the equipment list I’ll be using to begin this epic journey, in later posts.
I haven’t been much of a backpacker in the past, with about 1.5 total weeks spent overnight, in the course of my life. I have spent several overnighters, with my son, several years ago, but nothing recent. However, I did feel comfortable with almost all aspects of backpacking, except the sleep situation. Also, I have been dreaming of the time when I could hike the PCT as my wife and I are already Trail Angels and love the PCT. We have been handing out Oreo Cookie packets and Starbucks Via coffee packets for about five years. My wife and I have already day hiked about 250 miles of the PCT in Oregon and Washington, so we’re familiar with the trail. 🙂 I expect many of the best visual eye candy to be outside of day hiking range, which is why backpacking the PCT is so compelling.
I’m planning on covering a section of the PCT, in Oregon, as it’s the easiest terrain for beginners. Also, my plan is to only section hike the PCT in nice weather (I’ll be prepared for the bad also) in order to up my chances of success. I’m either going to travel north, from Ashland Oregon, or north from the Waldo Lake Oregon area. If everything goes well I’ll spend up to 3 weeks on the trail. If things don’t go smoothly then I’ll still need to stay out until the following weekend until my wife and son can pick me up. I’m hoping to keep up a pace of 15-20+ miles per day? It will take about 10 years to complete the PCT if I average 250+ miles per year, but we’ll see if this goal is realistic, or if backpacking so far is for me?
My biggest fears are as follows: Sleeping, water crossings, carrying such a heavy backpack and health issues. I always carry a Delorme InReach emergency satellite beacon on day hikes, and I will continue to carry it on the PCT! Edit: Can’t believe I forgot my biggest fear – That a wildfire will breakout while I’m on the trail!
I’ve decided to start the hike alone as I am hoping to meet someone with similar capabilities and a compatible personality. That seems to be the advice of most PCT thru-hikers, on the Facebook pages.
So the moral of this story is that I’m extremely excited……and scared! More preparation and writings to come in the months ahead.