Attempting to “plan” a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike has reminded me why I never plan ahead of time.
How one could even begin to accurately plan a five-month walk across the country is beyond me. However, in this case, a lack of planning could potentially result in my starving alone in the woods or being my being torn to pieces by woodland critters (namely, bears).
Fortunately, one again, the internet has offered up a solution.
CRAIG'S PCT PLANNER
One fine programmer and outdoor enthusiast known only as “Craig” has recognized the demand for a PCT planning platform, and he has come to the rescue of myself and my fellow hikers.
His website, Craig's PCT Planner (www.pctplanner.com), allows you to create what will ultimately become a loose guide to your hiking distances and resupply points along the PCT. I don't expect that any of the information produced will be 100% accurate (or even 10% accurate), but you will at least have some idea of where you will need to be making your way to next.
After many labor intensive hours spent checking and unchecking boxes, deciding where I would mail myself supplies, and finally just accepting that no matter how hard I work, after a day on the trail it would all fall to pieces, I came up with the following for my PCT hike.
In its more basic sense, the planner is a tool for deciding where you will stop and resupply along the Pacific Crest Trail.
For our more experienced users (or for those who do not wish to leave anything up to chance), you can plan the amount of rest days (zeroes) you would like to take between resupplying, the speed you want to hike while at certain elevations, the number of hours you wish to hike per day, or whatever other meaningless variables you can think of; just know that sticking to a plan for five months of hiking will be boring and impossible (and will ultimately kill you).
My “plan” greatly underestimates the number of miles I will hike each day and does not include any zero days. Hopefully, this prediction is at least correct, because should I go any slower than the plan predicts, I will almost certainly run out of food.
Only eleven more days now – let's hope I'm ready.