I was recently contacted by the fine folks over at MadBody.com to do an interview with them about the Pacific Crest Trail.
Given that talking about the PCT has become a personal expertise of mine, I could not pass up the opportunity to do so with such willing listeners.
The following is what resulted from our conversation:
How does leaving your 9 to 5 job, packing, and hiking from the Mexican border up to British, Columbia Canada sound?
Sounds pretty cool, but no one has the time or freedom to do that, right? Well according to Tyler Fox, everyone does.
Our staff had an opportunity to interview Tyler to discuss his 2,663 mile hike from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. The first list of questions we had for him involved what really provoked him to set out on such a journey.
Fox emphasized that when obligations are at a minimum like they are for him, there is no better time to travel. He elaborated and said everyone tells you to travel while you’re young, and it’s a common regret for people. Fox didn’t want to look back and be one of those people. Instead, he had the courage to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Hiking through an entire country is remarkable, and with that comes a significant amount of physical stress. When asked whether or not he did any type of physical training prior to beginning his voyage, Fox said he didn’t do anything at all.
In fact, he indulged in any foods that were available to him before travelling, and at times he was eating 3 or 4 burgers in one sitting. Encouragement from family and friends didn’t hurt either, telling him time after time that certain foods will not be at his disposal while on the trail.
He gained 10 lbs before leaving, but was still extremely confident that he would be able to finish the hike. He knew it would be difficult, but if other people have done it, he knows he could push himself to get through it.
Fox stated that the first 100 miles or so was a complete physical struggle; every part of his body was aching, and his lack of conditioning was apparent. Even so, Fox knew his body would adjust and he would eventually get through the temporary aches and pains.
His hiking mileage per day became increasingly longer, a tribute to the improvement in his physical condition throughout the hike. With this in mind, staying properly fueled with adequate nutrition would seem to be a logical move.
The list below is covers the bulk of what Tyler ate during his hike:
- Trail Mix
- Clif Bars
- Peanut Butter
Being picky wasn’t an option for Tyler, as he began to look at food simply as fuel for his body to continue. After the first 100 miles, the mental battle began and the most challenging aspect of the trip seemed to never subside…questioning whether or not he was going to finish.
The peak of the wavering mental battle occurred shortly before Fox was going to meet with a visiting friend once he reached Portland. Fox already decided he was going to hop in the car and ride home back to California.
For whatever reason, this did not happen. Fox stayed on the trail and a huge reason being that he’d disappoint friends and family that have been tracking his journey.
While resting and eating at a local diner, a random, local man may have given the boost Fox needed to continue his quest to Canada.
The man stated that no matter where you are, whether it be on the Pacific Crest Trail or at home in California, there’s going to be good days and there’s going to be bad days. The bad times will pass, so keep pushing forward.
That’s exactly what Fox did, and he completed his hike, lasting a little over 4 months from May 2013 – September 2013.
He dropped a total of 20 lbs throughout the duration of the hike, and despite the hardships along the trail, Fox plans to hike through places all over the world. His next expedition is set to be in Europe where he will meet with fellow hikers he met on the PCT.
We can assume he is not working a 9 to 5 shift any time soon.