top of page

pacific crest trail f.a.q.

  • Whoa, another trail? What's this one?
    Starting in July 2023, I'm solo-hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail - a 1,200 mile long trail that stretches from Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean. It should take me between 2-3 months to complete.
  • Are you quitting your job again? How do you afford this crazy hiker lifestyle?
    Since I've moved to working seasonally for a Christian Wilderness Therapy program, I basically have the opportunity to renegotiate my contract every season. Since I can't start the PNT until the snow melts in Montana, I will still be able to help with the start of the season at Seeds. I started to feel the pull again towards another thru hike after my Machu Picchu trek in Peru. I missed trail life like crazy. And when I started reflecting on whether or not to do this hike, I realized the timing felt right again and I had a peace about it as I prayed. Financially, it helps a lot that I don't have any student loans or debt and I live beneath my means. (YNAB app for the win!) With this trip being a few months shorter, it's taken a bit less planning to save up enough. I have almost all the gear I'll need, and living off ramen and instant mashed potatoes on trail is pretty cheap. I mostly have to budget for town meals and hotels I'll splurge on.
  • 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. Again, I'll use my 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. It also has a panic button that will deploy search and rescue if me or someone in my group were to get into a life-threatening situation.
  • Why do you hike solo?
    First, it's pretty difficult to find another person you know who's willing to put life on hold and hike for 3 months with you. Hiking with someone else also can add extra pressure - you have to decide what will happen if something happens to one of you, and if your desired hiking style/pace is different, that could really test the relationship. Hiking solo allows me to push myself at a pace I know I can handle, and I can just join up with people hiking similarly as I go. I experienced this on the PCT and loved it! I enjoy times of solitude with God out on the trail as well. But while I'm sure I'll get more alone time on this trail than the PCT, I'm hoping to be a part of a trail family of people going at the same pace as me. Trail community is truly wonderful. There is an openness and willingness to connect with your fellow human that's just not as common in modern life. I can't wait to experience that again.
  • How will you protect yourself in Grizzly Country?
    On the PCT, I got experience dealing with black bears and even a mountain lion, but grizzly country will be new for me. As a precaution, I'll be carrying bear spray and also making sure to store my food to keep it safe from bears. At this point, I'm looking at a hybrid Ursack, Bear Canister, and hanging strategy along different points of the trail.
  • 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. My first priority will be staying in touch with friends and family, but I'll also probably continue to post photos on my hiking Instagram (@hikersteph) and Facebook. I really don't want to get too caught up in the craziness of social media while I'm on the trail, but I'm all for using this journey to inspire and encourage others.
  • 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, thru-hiking asks a lot of family, friends, and kind strangers. So to give back, I've decided to raise money for The Mooky Project, a charity started by my friend Pebbles that gifts cuddly sock monkey treatment buddies to kids at the hospital. You can donate here! And if you really want to buy me a burger or something, my Venmo is @Steph-Seitz
  • 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 don't want your body to fall apart trying to keep up when it's not used to hiking that far. Sorry :/ However - I am all for town meetups, especially if you're gonna be up north and the timing works out. I'm going through (or will be near) some rad places like Glacier NP, Port Angeles, Anacortes, Olympic NP, and Rialto Beach. So message me for ETAs, and we can try to get together over a burger :)

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.

bottom of page