My gear on the Pacific Crest Trail was mostly a gradual evolution from my Appalachian Trail and Long Trail thru-hikes, with some changes to reduce weight and additions for requirements in the desert and the Sierra Nevada.
For the most part, it was successful, in that my gear got me through the whole trail, although some of it did not work out near as well as I expected.
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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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