PCT: 10 things I’ve learned from the first 1000 miles of PCT hiking

I’ve now hiked over 1000 miles on this PCT thru-hike attempt. What have I learned?

  1. Focusing too far ahead on a upcoming section of the trail often results in my tripping on the trail that’s presently under my feet. I must be present focused.
  1. Each hiker is on their own journey. I have no idea why you hike 45 miles a day and you have no idea why I hike 20. No one at home cares if we walk five miles a day or fifty. No one on the trail really cares either. We each hike our own hike.
  2. Ultimately, you will end up hiking alone a great deal of the time. Groups of hikers bunched up together and having a conversation on the trail are the exception, not necessarily the rule. Be prepared for solitude during the day.
  3. The same meals, over and over, become quite tedious. I expect that at any moment I will poop out a complete peanut butter and honey burrito. Variety is key.
  4. Day hikers smell wonderful. I breath deep and enjoy the smell of civilization. I recognize that even though I can’t smell it anymore, I reek. I really, really reek.
  5. Great vistas from higher elevations often equate to cell service. Just saying.
  6. I must be flexible. The trail, the hikers, and the weather can all change rapidly. I need to be able to adjust with my changing environment.
  7. I should have obsessed much less at home about gear choices versus pack weight and just lost 20 or 30 pounds before I started hiking.
  8. The trail can give you what you seek. Solitude? Check. A party in every trail down? Absolutely! Weed delivery via drone? You betcha! The trail is what you make it.
  9. Ultimately almost every single hiker has a remote support team. Someone who sends prepackaged food, gear, home made cookies, etc. I can do this alone, but it’s much more difficult and less rewarding for both myself and those that care about me.

3 thoughts on “PCT: 10 things I’ve learned from the first 1000 miles of PCT hiking

  1. Steve, You look AMAZING! Dad

  2. I am a bit concerned that my link only has nine items, must be that I need to learn number ten on my own? Not hiking 1000 miles anytime soon though. Congratulations on the strength you possess.

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