pacific crest trail f.a.q.
So do you have to carry 5 months of food with you?
Hahahaha, thankfully NO. I would die if I had to carry that much weight. Every 3-7 days or so, the trail crosses a road leading to a nearby town where I will resupply food and other necessities, hopefully find a place to shower, and possibly take a zero (rest day) to reenergize myself.
Are you quitting your job? How can you afford to do this?
In short, yes. Since it will take 5-6 months, I can't really expect work to give me that much time off. And while I have loved my time at JH Specialty (esp. the people!), I might want to explore different options when I'm done with the trail. Maybe that means moving somewhere with mountains, or exploring missions opportunities, but you have to be willing to let go in order to take hold of something new.
Because I've been planning for a few years now, I've been able to snatch up gear when it goes on sale, which has helped me save money. I also plan on eating on a budget. I'll go into more detail in a future post, but if you really want to do this, start looking at your finances and make a plan!
How will you protect yourself? Are you going to carry a gun?
While wildlife and strangers might seem to be the biggest threats while hiking alone, statistically they're not. Of the millions of people who enjoy the trails in CA, OR, & WA, the number of bear and mountain lion deaths is in the single digits. And a little pistol isn't gonna do much to a bear.
Why are you hiking solo?
For one thing, it's pretty difficult to find another person you know who's willing to quit their job for 5 months to hike with you.
What if something happens and you get hurt? How will you communicate with your parents to let them know you're okay?
Though there is cell service in certain places on the trail, it's often unreliable. I purchased a Garmin Inreach Mini, a satellite messenger that will track my location and report it to my parents, send preset messages with ease, and can text if needed.
Are you going ultralight?
For the non-backpackers, this means that your pack base weight is less than 10 lbs (not counting food, consumables, and stuff you're wearing).
How can I keep up with you while you're out on the trail? Are you going to be blogging or posting on Instagram/Facebook?
I'm going to do my best to journal on my phone every day and post regular updates to the blog on this site when I have access to wifi in town.
Dang girl, this is awesome! Can I support your hike in some way?
First, thank you!
I really want to use this hike as an opportunity for good, since in many ways, thruhiking seems like a bit self-centered to me; it asks a lot of family, friends, and kind strangers.
I'd be so honored if you'd support me with a few pennies per mile (it adds up!) here. Or choose to sponsor a child. Plus I have some sweet rewards if you donate.
Can I send you snail mail while you're on the trail?
Yep, but as a heads up, it’s kinda complicated. I’m working on a post that will include detailed instructions about how to do this.
Is there something I can do to show I love you and support you during this hike that is less complicated than sending you a thing?
Yes! You are the best for wanting to encourage me! Here are a few ideas:
My food budget is one area where I'm definitely trying to save some money (read: eating a LOT of Ramen, Knorr sides, and instant mashed potatoes), so if you'd like to be a trail angel from afar and send a little money for a nice meal in town to my personal Square Cash account, I would love you forever. Again, this is TOTALLY not expected - but it's a convenient way you could be a part of my hike without having to worry about timing with mail.
More importantly, if you're a praying person, please pray for me as I prepare, and definitely while I'm out there, that I would listen to the Lord and not lose heart. Pray for the people I'll meet along the trail. So many are searching for fulfillment in life that only a relationship with Jesus can bring. Also feel free to text me/comment on Instagram/Facebook. I might not respond for a while depending on cell service/wifi, but I am sure it will be so good to get encouragement from people who know and love me while I'm out there.
Wait, so what exactly are you doing?
Starting in April of 2019, I'm solo-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - a 2,650 mile long trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada.
Can I meet up and hike with you along the trail?
While I would love to say yes, the reality is that meeting up and hiking is a logistical nightmare. Most people in the real world are on a schedule and have jobs, while my day to day will be hike, eat, sleep, repeat. My timetable is limited to how far I decide to walk each day - so planning/timing is really difficult. Also, I'll be hiking upwards of 20 miles a day once my body gets acclimated to constantly walking, and I need to get to Canada before the snow hits Washington in the fall. I don't want your body to fall apart trying to keep up when it's not used to hiking that far. Sorry ya'll.
Have questions about my thru-hike? Curious about the logistics of such a thing? Questioning my sanity? Then read on! This should address some of the more common questions and reactions I've gotten to my upcoming adventure.