Ever wonder why the first thing you want to do after a day of hiking is drop your pack and take off your boots?………..It’s your feet saying “Hey, buddy, I’ve worked the hardest and need a little break…. some extra air and sunshine down here would be great and if you got some of that fancy foot cream I’ll take some of that, too.” Your legs may be tired from carrying you and your pack up and down hills all day but it’s your feet that are carrying your legs and everything above them and hiking long distances in the wrong pair of footwear can not only destroy your feet but also cause undue stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Think of “The Bones” song we all sang when we were children…
A big concern and a question often asked is how does one get food and water along the way. It’s an easy question to answer up front but much harder once you get into the details, how much, what type, how many calories, vitamins, variety of flavor, fresh, dehydrated, to cook or not to cook…….the list just keeps going and can be a bit overwhelming when your trying to plan for 5.5 months. Heck for me trying to do grocery shopping for a week can be challenging. I’ll start by explaining the three major resupply options and go into more detail about the food and water considerations in a later post.
As you can imagine thru-hiking the PCT requires some special gear. Most of it is very similar to the typical hiking and camping gear but with a large emphasis on being light weight and multi functional. Remembering that you will have to carry everything you need including food and water for 20+ miles a day. These two requirements help keep your pack weight to a minimum as well as provide you with clothing and equipment options to be comfortable and safe whether it’s 100 degrees in the desert or snowing in the mountains.
Food Food Food…..it seams so simple yet can be so involved. Thru-hiking a trail, hiking 20-30 miles per day will use up a lot of energy, far more than one often thinks. On average the good looking guy to the right at 6′-5″ and 210 lbs, will burn through an outstanding 5000-6000 calories per day. And not just for one day….that’s almost every day for 5 and a half months. For an easy reference that’s just over 10 Big Macs and considering most resupply points are between 3-5 days apart that’s equal to carrying 30-50 Big Macs in your pack!