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Just got off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. From the border

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Just got off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
From the border of Mexico the border of Oregon and Washington.
AMA
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Why didn't you go through Washington?
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>>617046

Didn't feel like hiking through Washington in late October, all of November and early December. On top of this the elevation change was on par, if not worse, than the section in the High Sierra which I found pretty taxing. After hiking 6 months I was pretty worn out.
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>>617054
meant to reply to
>>617049

Been away from this website for far too long.
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>>617054
As a former /WA/ bro I think you made the right choice, getting stuck in the North Cascades in late October/early November would suck.

Some friends of mine thru-hiked a few years and just barely finished in late October, even then the snow was starting to roll in heavy.
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What did your kit look like starting out and how did it change over time?
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Closest brush with danger? Did you meet and qts?
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>>617046
post more pictures
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>>617341
Like most other thru hikers I started out with way too much stuff. Within the first month I was able to rid myself of anything and everything I didn't need. Literally. If I didn't need it, I got rid of it. Grams become ounces, ounces become pounds. Two lighters? No way, I'm carrying only one, and a small one at that. A list of things I started out with but eventually got rid of would include: sandals, chaptstick, a big tube of toothpaste replaced with a small tube of toothpaste, any extra batteries for my headlamp, sleeping pad, bladder (in place of 3 1-liter smart water bottles), extra clothes, boots (replaced with trailrunners I found in hiker boxes, never spent a single dime on shoes), the brain of my pack (as well as cutting off straps that seemed to lack any purpose), and a bunch more stuff that I seem to have forgotten. The base weight of my pack at the beginning was about 30lbs, and the base weight at the end was about 15lbs.
Another item I got rid of would be my Sawyer filter. At this point I was 700 miles in, and in the Sierra mountains. The water was super clean, and honestly I found myself too lazy to continually filter water, and I'm one of those people that thinks most worries in the world are sensationalist bullshit. So I got rid of the filter and in place used a bandanna. Whether the bandanna actually did anything remains to be seen, but I can tell you I never got sick from any of the water I drank. Either I was insanely lucky, smart with the water I chose, or I have superior genetics.
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>>617349
Closest brush with danger would be around Mt. Hood in Oregon when I had to ford across this river that was known to be dangerous and difficult. To make matters worse it had been continually raining the previous 3 days and I reached this river at around 5pm. This was bad because this was a glacially fed river meaning it's water level increased dramatically. Point being, when I reached this river I saw literally hundreds upon hundreds of boulders being pushed downstream, along with trees. Being the stupid shit I was I went up and down this river for a good hour trying to find a crossing. None found. But in my time spent looking, the river was widening and I found myself sinking thigh deep in mud and having new forks of the river forming upstream of me (with boulders coming my way). I pretty much narrowly escaped from a shitload of boulders flying down at me in the water. I would have been guaranteed broken legs and probably a smashed in skull. I called it quits that day and found a camping spot about a mile back and hit the river in the morning, around 6am and the river was probably 1/8th its size. The other 7/8th was waist high mud.
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>>617349
As for qt3.14s, 9/10 girls would qualify. However most were either batshit insane, or incredibly independent. And I mean the latter in a respectful way, they would laugh at the concept of feminism. But most girls weren't out hiking the PCT to hook up with guys or the like, they were out there to be by themselves and contemplate life and such, which I respected. Alot of guys would waste their time chasing trailtail just to get rejected. To each their own I guess.
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>>617366
Honestly I didn't take that many pictures and I don't regret it. I could've whipped out my phone every other minute and it would've been justified. That's how gorgeous it was. However, I would've made no distance this way. And I was out hiking and camping for 6 months to enjoy it and soak it all in. Most of the time when I saw a beautiful view I just wanted to stand there in awe, not going through the hassle of taking out my camera and trying to take the perfect picture to capture what I was seeing and feeling.
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>>618164
I know two girls who have thru-hiked the PCT and you just described them to a T.

Both pretty good looking, one is a high functioning narcissist with bi-polar tendencies and the other is just exceptionally self-reliant. And I don't just mean as a woman, she's one of the most self-reliant people that I know.
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>>618173
Oh, and #2 had just gotten out of a long, bad relationship so she was also one of the "gone to find myself" types.
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>>617046
Kind of sucks to see a thread like this die so I'll help with a bump. There's a lot of good information this guy has (if he's not full of shit like most anons).

I'm planning on doing a hike starting from the southern terminus to the cajon pass soon before winter sets in. Any advice on that section?

I was planning on dropping off my own water caches prior just in case, but it seems that if I plan everything out right, it shouldn't be necessary judging by halfmile's maps.

Next year hopefully I can do the whole thing, we'll see how things go though. Congrats though, you've still gone further than most people have.
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nice
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How did you schedule your re supply's or did you re-stock whenever you got into town? Did you carry a fire arm? Any other advice?

This is me btw

>>619878
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OP is back
>>619724
That section (as well as all of Southern California up to Southern Kennedy Meadows) is pretty barren of water. There is no water the first 20 miles until you get to Lake Morena. That's average for the section you are talking about. A good habit is to be drinking one liter of water every 5 miles. So if you do the math, you're going to be carrying about 5 liters of water. And with a liter of water weighing in at 2.25 pounds...that's not fun. For that section you'll be finding yourself hiking from a water source to water source and then camping there, unless you're comfortable with camping dry. There are water caches that Halfmile is good at listing, but it's a safe habit of never relying on them. This is especially important because it's late in the season and some water caches may already be abandoned for the season. There were a ton of hikers who found themselves dehydrated and sick because they weren't accustomed to the heat in the desert, so it's up to your own judgement on how you'll cope with that temperature and whatnot.
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>>619892
I didn't schedule any resupply and resorted to restocking in towns. This was due in part that I had no idea how the post offices or other locations would handle the packages. I regret not doing this because it is actually super simple and these locations know how to handle and deal with your packages. Just write the postage and then an ETA for when you'll get there and be sure to write a huge HOLD FOR PCT HIKER on there. They are used to this sort of thing, even the post offices. Use Halfmile's maps for all the shipping addresses, they are spot on and he gives you little directions on what to write on them and they are completely accurate. On a sidenote, Halfmile's maps are fantastic. They are free and I highly recommend using them, most if not all PCT hikers used them. However I suggest printing them yourself, and not using Yogi's website. In fact, don't buy anything from Yogi's website. She rubs most hikers the wrong way with what she says and does. Then again that's just bullshit trail politics.
Restocking yourself is far more expensive. Most towns you go to are small, and as such most things are extremely pricey. As an example you can find a single pack of Poptarts range from $1.00 to $3.00 and a small jar of peanut butter ranging from $3.00 to $8.00. The downfall of mailing yourself packages is that you may get sick of the food you sent yourself...and you now have 4-6 months of that shit coming to you. And you might find that you mailed too much food! This can be seen as a waste of money, but you can put what you don't want in Hiker Boxes for other starving hikers to grab.
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>>619892
I didn't carry a firearm. Nor do most people that do this, it's 5 pounds (1/3 of my ending base weight) of something you just won't use quite frankly. If you do, you're going to want to carry it on your hip at all times. A gun in your backpack isn't going to help you if you actually find yourself in a scenario where you need that gun. So now you're the guy who is always carrying a gun on his hip which doesn't look too friendly.

I found myself in the same situation as you, albeit I was 22 at the time and not a carpenter. No car payments, no mortgage, nothing holding me down. And I had the same exact thought process as you, this was the best opportunity at doing something like this I had for probably the rest of my life.
Go. Fucking. Do. It. Anon. You won't regret it, I promise.
Here you go for more research:
http://www.pcta.org/
www.pctplanner.com
http://www.pctmap.net/

There's other resources for other long distance hikes out there, such as the CDT and AT.
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>>619953
What is possibly the longest stretch without water on that section? 20 miles isn't so bad that's a days walk, so I could easily push that during the day. If we're talking somewhere in the range of 40-50 miles however, it may be a good idea to at least put a couple of my own strategically placed caches around long stretches.
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>>618149
I like this post. Nobody ever says what they didn't need like this.
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>>617054
Why is the guy in this pic carrying a backpack in his left hand, and another pack in his right?

I know these are general terms, but would you say "a lot" or "not many" people hiked the PCT this year with you. By which I mean how much time did you spend alone, and how much time were you hiking with people, or just barely out of eyesight of other hikers?
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How much of it is solid in the woods trail? I want to hike it but not if im just crossing highways
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>>620008
The longest stretch without water in this section could very well be 30 miles. It's been over half a year since I've hiked that area so my memories are pretty vague. It's not like you will continually go 20 miles without water, it's something along the lines of 20, 4, 10, 2, 15, etc. etc. In addition I never met, talked to, or heard of another hiker personally making their own water caches so I don't think it's required honestly. Halfmile's maps will tell you where water is as well as giving you alerts for longer stretches coming up. It's usually reliable, but I wouldn't rely on it 100%. There's also this app titled Guthook that gives you really up to date information on the water. How it works is that others that have this app will write down what the water situation was like and give you a date and time. And then when you get there you do the same, so it's way more reliable. The downside is that it costs money. I never used it (heard great things about it) but from what I gathered is that you pay something like $5 per section of the PCT or you can subscribe to use the whole thing or something.
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>>620013
I wish I could be of more help, but like I said my memory from early on is fuzzy. I was too lazy to write down most of this stuff at the time too, and as you can see I kinda regret it.
You won't need a hatchet, or a giant hunting knife, or candles, or a compass, or a first aid kit, or random ass strings. If you aren't using something every other day, you don't need it. It seems like the majority of /out/ has this fascination with bringing everything they think they might need out into the woods for any scenario which is okay. But I'm telling you right now that you'll be miserable doing that if you are doing a long distance hike like this.

Note: out of the PCT, AT and CDT only the CDT requires a compass. The former two trails are very well marked.
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>>620035

I don't remember, I think that dude was taking a weekend trip up Mt. Whitney with a friend and he was helping them out. Or maybe he literally needed an extra bag with all the shit he was carrying. Kinda dickish but I took the picture because I found it funny.
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>>620035
Over 3,500 people registered and received a PCT permit. I spent probably half my time on the trail alone. There are just so many characters and I've got to say, the hiking community is filled with nothing but great people. There were only 4 other hikers that rubbed me the wrong way. The best part of this is that if you find someone you don't like, just hike a little bit faster and longer and you'll go weeks or the rest of the trail without seeing them again. You find yourself in bubbles where you'll see the same group of say 20 every couple days as you hike. Jim might hike faster than me, but I wake up earlier and set up camp later than him so I'll see him briefly every day or so. Or with the pace of your hiking and camping you might leapfrog with your bubble and then hit it with them in a town or huge campground at the end of the week. It's really up to you. If you want to be alone it's very easy to do so. If you want to be around crowds of other hikers, that is also very easy.
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>>620042
I'd say the majority of the trail is innawoods. It's not like you are walking next to the I-5 up to Canada, not at all. I have to say though, the first 2 miles starting at the Southern Terminus were ass. You are literally walking down the street of this neighborhood. Most times you might pass an unpaved jeep dirtroad out in the middle of nowhere, I don't know if that is a dealbreaker for you. Out of my 2155 miles I'd say I crossed no more than 30 paved roads. At the same time, some parts of the PCT were just that, paved roads. Coming up to Seiad Valley you walk 6 miles on a paved road once you descend from this mountain. But that sort of thing is rare.

Pic is a highway you pass under after descending Mt Jacinto and start the section leading into Big Bear.
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>>620088
And this is what I found under the bridge. This sort of thing happened all the time; it's called Trail Magic and is made possible by Trail Angels. Tears were always had.
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>>618168
where is that anon? i assume the southern sierra, but any more details to be able to identify that dome would be appreciated.
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>>620112
San Jacinto. Outside of Idyllwild. Absolutely gorgeous.
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>>620117
ah, tahquitz, duh. now i feel like an ass for not recognizing it.

you gonna hit the wa section next season, or have you accomplished what you want?
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>>620121
I accomplished what I wanted, living out in the woods for 6 months. The PCT was great for me to do this because instead of wandering around out in the wilderness with no real goal in place I was able to continually push myself North discovering new areas and bitchin' places to camp in the future.

I'll eventually do the Washington section, albeit not next season. Probably within the next 5 years when I have a complete free month to take off from work.
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>>620099
Laced with date rape
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>>620134
You gotta do the WA section eventually. Goat Rocks is fucking beautiful and the bakery in Stehikin is fantastic.
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>>620134
nice. if you can make it as far as you did finishing it off will probably be a breeze by comparison whenever you make it out that way.

of course this thread (where someone actually did something /out/) is being ignored by the keyboard warriors arguing over knives and patches
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>>620167

This
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Congrats man. You'll dig the WA section.
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So what was the strangest and weirdest thing you've ever seen? UFOS/Bigfoot?
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>>620148
>>620167
>>620200
I've heard nothing but great things about Washington. Like I said I want to do it, but have to wait for a more opportune time to do it.
>>620233
Two other hikers and I were night hiking in the desert and we were next to the L.A. Aqueduct. We were getting water from said aqueduct and generally dicking around in the area when we saw and heard a huge splash come from the middle of the aqueduct, like a huge rock had been thrown there. But there was no rock, and we all had each other in eyesight so we knew it was none of us who threw something. There was just a huge KURR-PLOOOSH in the middle of the aqueduct, with no reason behind this.
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>>620072
I'll have to check out guthook, might not be a bad idea. I'm sure not many hikers get the chance to set up their own caches if they are coming from out of state. I have the benefit of at least living here. Hell I could probably walk from a part of the PCT to my house, but I figure the cajon pass would be a good milestone.

I actually took my kids about 3 miles in from the cajon pass and camped out the night.
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>>620356
Earlier this year that is.
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how prepared were you for this thru hike? From what I've gathered, you need around $600-$700 worth of gear to attempt this.

How much money did you have saved up before you started the hike? I've estimated about $6000 on a savings account just to be safe.

General financial info is always welcome. How much is the permit, did you track expenses, etc..
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>>620356
That's definitely a benefit living in SoCal in regards to setting up your water caches if need be. Plus Cajon Pass has the famous McDonalds that every hiker hits up because it's right there on the trail pretty much and it's something you'll be craving.
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>>620417
>>620417
Decently unprepared honestly. I learned so much in my first month of hiking. You can go online and read blogs and stuff like here that I am writing, but the best way to prepare yourself is to hike a section or two and personally see what it is like. I had about $5,000 saved up which was both enough, and far from it. I frugally spent money when I didn't need to and as such I was absolutely broke when my hike ended. If you plan your food ahead and mail yourself resupply packages you can easily survive off $5-$10 a day when it comes to food. Otherwise it will fluctuate from $5-$20 depending on where you buy food. In Klamath Falls I found this store called Thunderbird that is basically Costco without the membership card. I was able to buy a week's worth of food for $19. In previous years PCT hikers had to acquire and buy something like 20 permits for the whole trail. But this year is the first year they implemented something known as the PCT Permit which is completely free. If you're hiking at least 500 miles you go to the PCTA website and apply for a thru hiking permit (applications opened up early February). It lets you hike and camp anywhere on the PCT no questions asked. And no park patrol or troopers check you. Except at Yosemite, they are pretty anal. I was there for 3 days and was literally checked over 10 times for my permit and bear canister. Like I said, other place don't even check you. I plan on applying for another PCT permit this year just so I can do some weekend hikes on the PCT without applying for other random small permits. They have no way of checking to see if you are actually hiking at least 500 miles or not. Also you'll need to get a Fire Permit for California which takes about 10 minutes online. You take a common sense quiz and print it.
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Can you share any stories in regards to some of the hikers and people you met who stood out?? In particular the 4 you mentioned who rubbed you the wrong way.

Thanks for this thread, it's a dream of mine to one day be able to accomplish what you did.
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Greeting from San Jacinto peak anon, took this at the summit last Sunday after hiking the 22 mile Cactus To Clouds trail
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What kind of tent and sleeping bag did you use??
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>>620974
Hikers that rubbed me the wrong way: this one hiker that shared a lot in common with me. He was pretty nice and fun to talk with, but he was incredibly indecisive and leechy. He would ask everyone else where they were going and doing, say something opposite to just be a contrarian, and then you would wake up to him having camped right next to you. Also he always ran out of food, whined because he didn't have the right gear, etc. etc.
There was this one girl that was simply the personification of liberal arts tumblr. Everything she said involved race, sex, and minorities. Her average conversation would start "hey I was listening to this podcast about how asian girls have a really hard time dating white guys because they fetishize them, isn't that disgusting? You must think it's disgusting, right?" There wasn't a single other hiker I saw that fueled her fire or gave her the attention she was seeking. I did get her to cry once though. It involved Black Lives Matter.
The worst was this guy, his trail name Daydreamer. He was the moral police of everyone, including me. If it wasn't funny to him, it just wasn't funny. He had previously hiked part of the AT and went into hiking the PCT looking for a sponsorship. A self-labeled professional hiker. Started at the Southern Terminus barefoot to show he was hardcore shit and injured himself within the first week. From there he skipped around the PCT and never got his sponsorship.
The last was this one guy that I hiked with for a huge duration. He looked like Seth Rogen, laughed like Seth Rogen, and smoked just as much weed as Seth Rogen. Problem is, he ran out of weed. The kid had some serious anger issues. Like he was clearly a bully in high school and had a temper like no other.
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>>620979
I used a REI Quarter Dome I. It is pretty darn small and lightweight which is what I wanted. However it had a condensation issue where some mornings I would wake up with some water in my tent just from me being all toasty. This is a common problem other hikers had with the tent.
As for sleeping bag, I broke the bank and bought an Igneo 19 Degree. It's a down and got pretty wrecked in Oregon from getting wet. Other than that, light as shit and warm as shit and took up no space in my bag.

>>620976
Brotherrrrrrrrrrrr. I slept in the hut up there. That whole area is pretty much the first area of the PCT where it isn't complete desert. More than a welcome change of scenery. Idyllwild is the town time forgot.
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>>620610
The more I look into it the more unnecessary it's looking. I've been going over the map and there are only a couple stretches without water like that. As long as I'm aware of where they are it shouldn't be an issue.

I haven't eaten McDonalds in a while and since I'm being picked up there I think I can hold out. When I go to do the whole thing though I might have my wife bring me some huge, delicious, homemade carne asada burritos.

>>620611
>Also you'll need to get a Fire Permit
Glad I saw this, would have been pretty shitty to get turned around for something so stupid.
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>>618164
>trailtail

Jesus christ, is nothing sacred?
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>>617046
How long did preparations take you? And do you have an idea of the total cost of the thing? Congrats btw.
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So did you start super late or do you just hike slow? Injury? I'm just curious because I also hiked this year. I've been done about a month, but the guy I started with is still out there (Washington somewhere.) He may be dead.
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>>621065
This.
How strong of a hiker are you?? How many mikes per day would you average and how often did you take rest days?? Just wondering in case I ever decide to try it I can know or have an estimate of how long the whole thing will take to complete and what kind of pace to keep.

Congrats btw, you're a fuckin beast brother.
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>>621000
>There was this one girl that was simply the personification of liberal arts tumblr. Everything she said involved race, sex, and minorities.

You should have thrown her from some cliff or something.
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>>620976
Viva lo Mejico-
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>>617046
How many Euros did you met there? And how can an Euro get a permit to do the trail during 6 months?
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>>618181
Haaaa, not a femanon, but I'm going to become one of those types once I finish up school, find myself and all. Plan on buying a truck and heading north sometime next year and just exploring. Eventually ill create a thread of my own and ask for tips and shit, but that's for another. How much did the trip cost overall anyway?
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>>621136
I think she said she spent somewhere about $5k, which is pretty inline with what OP spent. She said she could have spent less, but she took a lot of zero days, visited friends along the way, kind of treated it like a walking vacation at times.

The other one, the crazy ass one, she spent almost $7k, but she got sick at one point and had to spend a week and a half stuck central Cali recovering.
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>>621074
Not OP, but in the desert I started out doing 15–20 miles a day, moved on up to 20–25 miles a day by about mile 300, with the occasional 30+ and a 51 mile push from Lake Isabella to Kennedy Meadows. My mileage dropped significantly in the Sierra– back down to the high teens and low twenties, but I ramped it back up leading into South Lake Tahoe: 25–30 miles a day. I kept that up for the rest of California and Oregon, more or less, though I did do a string of 30+ days in a row before I started to feel really brutalized. After that I didn't put in more than one 30+ mile day a week, though some of them were substantially longer: like another 50+ mile day into Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel.) My mileage dropped again in Washington, 20–25 a day, because the terrain got harder, the days got way shorter, and because I was hiking with a big group. Instead I started making more sustained pushes, say 15+ miles without stopping. My best was 21 miles in three and a half hours, but I was running it and it was all downhill into Stehekin.

It took me a little over five months, but most people can finish comfortably if they keep a steady 20–25 mile a day pace and don't get vortexed to hard in towns along the way. Also, if you push too hard for too long you WILL injure yourself.
>>
>>621164
As for days off I took... a lot– more even than I took on the AT. I took three days for kick-off (which was a waste of time, but I was meeting friends), I took a day in Idylewild because my feet were fucked, I took at least a half day, sometimes two, in most towns in the desert and two days to go to LA, two days in Mojave, two and a half days in Kennedy Meadows. Took extra days in Mammoth and Bishop, booked it to Tahoe and then spent four days there for the Fourth of July, got trapped at a rave in Belden Town for three days, and then pretty much only got into and out of towns real quick from the rest of California. In Oregon I spent a day in Ashland, two days in Bend, two days in Government Camp, two days in Portland, and then only one zero in Washington. I also took lots of extra days for side-trips: ie Whitney, Half-Dome/Yosemite Valley, Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Theilsen, South Sister, Three-Finger-Jack (scary as fuck, do not attempt), Goldmyer Hot Springs, ect.
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>>621002
Are you Andy from death grips?
>>
>>621065
We're getting 164" of snow at the high elevations in WA this weekend. Your friend is going to be the next iceman.
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bump for actual /out/ oc
>>
Thought I finally nipped the whole PCT thruhike dream in the bud but then I see this thread. I just need to go and do it.
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>>621043
Not OP, but a female thru-hiker on the AT near Hot Springs kept mentioning how she was renting a room by herself at the local inn. It happens.
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>>625099
I really would want to get some trailtail. You'll never see these bitches again and they're in good shape and could ride your dick for hours.
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>>620976
Is the PCT now a trail for illegal beaners heading north?
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>>617046
Congratulations! I'm planning on going in the spring, and am trying to finish in the fall. Wish me luck.

I want to hammock, though. Could you tell me if there were any long stretches without trees? I know the desert is going to be iffy, but I don't know how long it takes to get through. Would it be smart to start with a tent, and send it home after I get through the desert?
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Just got my medal in the mail!
Thread posts: 72
Thread images: 27


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