When people find out that you are planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, they will generally ask you the same set of questions (yes, this is a FAQ to prepare you for/answer your questions about a PCT thru-hike, not a FAQ for hikers themselves; but trust me, regardless of which side you fall on, you will want to know the answers).
By informing a person that you plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, you will find that 1) most people will not know what the PCT is, and 2) most people don’t do a very good job listening the first time around.
You will be asked at least twice, “wait, you’re going to what?”. And over and over you will have to answer (depending on the intelligence of the person asking), “I am going to a) hike the Pacific Crest Trail, b) hike from Mexico to Canada, c) go on a really long walk, d) go on vacation for five months.”
Following the initial question of, “wait, you’re going to what?”, and the repeating of “walk from Mexico to Canada”, here are the questions you can expect to encounter from friends, family, and strangers:
HOW LONG IS THAT GOING TO TAKE YOU?
It’s going to take around five months.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Yes I am serious, I can’t believe we are still on the topic of “how long”.
WHO ARE YOU DOING IT WITH?
Nobody, I am hiking the trail by myself.
Yes, but I am sure that I will meet hikers along the way to keep me company (I tried to tell you, people don’t listen).
WHERE DOES IT START?
The (southern) trailhead is in Campo, California, just over the border from Mexico.
DO YOU ACTUALLY GO INTO CANADA?
Yes, the trail enters British Columbia and ends at a place called Manning Park.
HOW MANY MILES ARE YOU GOING TO HIKE A DAY?
Based on no evidence whatsoever I plan to start at around 15-20 miles per day and work up to around 25-30 by the end of the trail.
ARE YOU BRINGING A GUN WITH YOU?
This question gets asked more than you would think, and no, I am not bringing a gun. I will fight the bears unarmed.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET FOOD?
I will be both stopping in towns and mailing myself resupply packages to replenish my food stock.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING TO PREPARE?
Physically? Not too much. Logistically? Quite a lot, including planning resupply stops and getting my gear together. Emotionally? I repress. Mentally? I’ll figure it out.
HOW ARE YOU GETTING BACK (TO LA FROM CANADA)?
I don’t know, train? Bus? My hitchhiking should be pretty well-trained by that point too.
ARE YOU CRAZY?
Because it’s going to be awesome.
Have more questions? You can always leave a comment, contact me directly, or find other fictional answers elsewhere on the internet.
My only question is: will I live through it to see Ron Burgundy return this December?