This is the year! I’ve talked and researched and day dreamed about the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) for a number of years and am finally acting on this. Finances, gear, physically, and mentally, I am ready for this challenge!
As I count down to take off day, I become increasingly anxious, excited, and just straight up terrified. One minute, I feel completely ready and the next I am asking myself “What the hell are you thinking?!” There is a drive for me to over-plan, but really I know it will be ok. There are only a few things I need at this point and I mostly just need to focus on working and training.
Resupply: I am mostly vegan and food is the biggest concern for me at this point. So many thru-hikers have mentioned that you don’t need to plan and make all of your food prior to leaving. There are a number of stores that are accessible close to the trail that one can resupply from. What makes me nervous is what is available at these stores. There are too many thru-hikers, planners, forum posts about the food they are supplying with (top ramen and pop tarts). This is one area where I am a bit hesitant, as I am a food-snob. Are these stores only full of ramen, pop tarts and Jiffy peanut butter? If so, my body is going to revolt in shock from the high fructose corn syrup overload.
Anyways…there are a few health food stores that are nearish the trail, so I will be fine…right? Right. My plan is half food and supplies from home and half scavenging on the trail. Since making this decision, I’ve removed a lot of food from my Amazon wish list and am mostly focusing on mentally being ok with this. The trail will provide.
Gear: There are only a few things I need. I am going to hold off on buying 5 pairs of shoes and will buy along the way. Feet swell and “grow,” so I do not want to purchase shoes I will need to return.
A list of my gear with weight and cost is available here. This list has a few items that I have not yet purchased and others that I purchased over the past couple years and i have included estimated prices. I have not added weight and cost of everything, but will update in the following months. Everyone talks of a luxury item, something that the weight of it does not matter to you. I guess mine will be a journal and maybe an extra layer of clothes (I’m always so cold).
All things needed for the trail:
- Thru-hike permit – Applied for May 4th!
- California fire permit
- Canadian border crossing permit
- Plan for start date
- Driving or flying?
- Am I riding the bus or staying with a Trail Angel to start?
- Mail my first two boxes
Finances: I am aiming to complete the trail within five months, so my finances are based off of this.
- Rent: $2,250
- Dog food: $250
- Dog emergency: $500
- Student loan payments: $1,500
- Trail: $5,000 – 1k a month?