Three years ago, I traveled to Georgia to begin hiking the Appalachian Trail, my first long-distance trail. In 2017, I returned to Vermont to hike the Long Trail, which shares 105 miles with the AT. And in 2018, I took a detour to the west to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Now, time to once again return to familiar ground. In just a few weeks, I’ll be back at Springer Mountain to begin a new hike: the Benton MacKaye Trail.
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I’m a big fan of statistics and numerical analysis, so once I got back from the Pacific Crest Trail, I started to look at my hike numerically, to see what insights I could glean.
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What should a hiker wear on the Pacific Crest Trail? I put together my clothes based on my experience on the Appalachian Trail, and that turned out to be a poor fit for the PCT. Read on, to find out why, and see what I’d take if I did the trail again.
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One aspect of any thru-hike that hikers have little control over is the weather. Mother Nature is fickle and can change on a whim. A difference of a few days can cause great changes in how a hike proceeds. While the weather can be planned for, luck also plays a big role in how the trail unfolds.
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I’ve previously said that nothing prepares you for a thru-hike quite like actually doing a thru-hike. With the Appalachian and Long Trails under my belt, I felt I had a good idea of what I was doing when I first set foot on the PCT. But, the PCT is a quite different beast from the AT, and as I made my way up the trail, the PCT made its own distinct impression.
It’s been nearly six months since completing the PCT — and a few days short of a year since I began the trail — which makes it long past time I write up my thoughts on the trail.
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