Planning Resources for the PCT Through Hiker
Go fast enough to get there,
but slow enough to see...
The following references are absolutely necessary and you cannot complete a long PCT trip without them:
The following references are strongly recommended:
Other useful references.
- The PCT Hiker's Handbook by Ray Jardine
This rather preachy book contains lots and lots of ideas on through hiking. The author is one of the most experienced through hikers in the world, and presents his ideas in this book. The author is also one of the most controversial and outspoken through hikers in the world, and you will have no problem finding lots of folks who disagree strongly with his positions and views. Here are some of their comments. Either way you should read this book, and decide what you think. One JMT hiker describes integrating of Jardine's hiking style into his own.
- The PCT mailing list archives is an attempt to organize the archives of the PCT mailing list into a format that would be useful to the through hiker for planning.
- The PCT mailing list. There is an ongoing discussion of through hiking, section hiking and anything else pertaining to the PCT on this list. If you have questions, or just want to correspond with others who have already walked the walk, then subscribe to this list
Get a dehydrator -- a good one, with a fan. Start preparing food for your trip
NOW. Food preparation is probably the most time consuming item.
While your food is dehydrating, and you are thinking about what you've read, ask yourself
Why do I want to do this trip? and How do I want to do this trip?
We can't help you with the first question, but we can give you lots to think about regarding the
second. Your most important decision is what to bring. Remember this axiom:
The more I bring, the more I'll enjoy my camping.
The less I bring, the more I'll enjoy my hiking.
Remember, the goal of your trip is to get to Manning Provincial Park. If you really want to just
camp, then this is not the trip for you. Carry only the bare minimum of what you need to stay
safe, and keep your morale up.
The trend in recent years, since the publication of Jardine's Hikers Guide has been
towards lighter packs. Bob Holtel ran the trail with only a fanny pack. But Bob took breaks from
the trail often, and had a huge network of helpers who brought him things. A pack weight of 10
lbs, without food and water, is not impossible.
To attain an ultra light pack will have to make lots of your own gear, including the pack.
Equipment available commercially usually had a lifetime guarantee, so the manufacturers
overbuild it so it will hold up, even with horrible abuse. This adds lots of weight.
A hint for food planning: find a large area, and lay out your food, grouped into daily meals, for a
whole month at a time. Then as you pack your resupply packages, you will assure that you don't
forget to put your breakfasts in one box....
Also, pack the boxes you will use last, first. You
will probably take more care in packing them, and you will need more care towards the end of
Back to the planning page
Back to the PCTA home page
This Page was created by Brick Robbins.
HTML Coding Copyright (c) 1996 Brick Robbins. All rights reserved.
Thanks to GORP for giving us a home.
This page last modified 8 October 96