It is unclear whether I have yet to fully appreciate the drastic lifestyle shift I am about to undergo, or if the prospect of sleeping alone in the woods for five months very subtly excites me.
What I do know is that after researching and writing about how to not be eaten by bears, all I can think about when trying to fall asleep is being eaten by bears.
I imagine bears coming into my tent at night, waiting for me to retrieve my food in the morning, sneaking up behind me, and even jumping out of trees (and note that in all said scenarios the bear goes on to kill me).
But enough about bears.
In exactly one month I will gather up all the gear I have so meticulously researched and then purchased or otherwise acquired and begin my walk north, from Mexico, to Canada. The big project now is organizing and arranging for my resupply boxes (and making trail mix).
A lot has changed from when we were a whole two months out.
When I thought I had “selected the equipment that…I will be taking with me”, I was wrong, as much of that equipment has changed, and a lot more equipment has been added to that list (overlooking clothing was a minor flaw in my original gear list). The gear situation is all but decided upon at this point.
Other than now being terrified of bears eating me, nothing has changed mentally as far as my outlook goes (still expecting a lot of butt chafe and bug bites). I have watched just about every Pacific Crest Trail (even John Muir Trail and Appalachian Trail) video on YouTube, every episode of Survivorman, and read what I believe to be every PCT blog ever created. All I can say is that I hope to make a short film worthy of your all’s attention.
THE SHOES | So from what it sounds like, the rule of thumb with shoes is that they will last approximately 500 miles. That means that a PCT thru-hiker would need five (technically six, but let’s say five) pairs of shoes to complete the hike. Currently I plan on using three pairs of shoes, and I will be using shoes a half-size larger for my second two pairs (because apparently your feet swell with all the walking and bear karate).
THE ICE AXE | I don’t really know about this guy. As it stands right now I do not plan on bringing an ice axe with me. The snow in the Sierra has been very disappointing this year, and I really don’t want to have to spend the money on and bring something that I will not even use. But who knows, this may be my biggest mistake of all.
THE TREKKING POLES | Most hikers use them, I’m not going to. I have never used trekking poles before, and sitting here writing this it is important to be that my hands are free (you know, for photo taking, berry picking, and hand-to-hand combat). The extra weight and cost wont be missed either, I suspect.
Next on the agenda is the packing and preparing of my eight (possibly seven) resupply boxes, the creation of various playlists for listening to, and the finalizing of any and all other plans I have deemed necessary for this undertaking.
Time to get ready for the first 700 miles of desert.