Do you think I will die?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 21.7%
  • No

    Votes: 18 78.3%

  • Total voters
    23
D

deleted user

I closed my account
Long time, no post!

I've been kicking it at the Slab City Library for a couple months after my crash-landing in Tucson following my exit from three years of commune life. It's been cool to match some real life faces to screen names on this site, and it has been a decent learning experience for gathering more knowledge to live on the road. Now I think I have the next adventure sorted:

I have nearly everything to begin hiking the 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada some time between March 10th and April depending how prepared I feel. A feat accomplished by a smaller amount of people than have stood atop Mount Everest. I'm missing some bits of gear, but hoping to manifest them or get used to the poor person equivalent (instead of a nice water filter, using bleach drops or iodine tablets/ primal rock or grass filtering). I'm reading five different books about the trail, tales of experience online, and starting to train pretty well. I am walking with a weighted pack (though not nearly as heavy as it will be with 8 liters of water and a week of food) roughly 7-12 miles every other day. While doing weight training/ yoga on between days. I have quit smoking, drinking, and am even on day two of no coffee.

I am putting in whole days of research and reading. Memoir experiences give a gist of the most memorable hard times. I train for those. My journey has a harder edge than the average yuppie though, as they usually to do the trail with $3-10k eating well in towns alongside getting hotels. I’m looking at being in the wilderness for 3-7 months for the majority of the adventure. With the exception of a few hostels that are donation-based or accept work in exchange for amenities. Some towns seem to have free public showers on the trail. Up north the streams become more common, but first is a thirsty 750 mile desert of southern California. I plan to accept all food offered, restock from left behind caches, accept over abundant food from people who can afford to mail their meals ahead at every free package center, and hitchhike to nearest towns that takes grub stamps. I have a list of all the Trail Angels along the way and how to reach them for the free services they offer. I plan to fly signs to exchange work for supplies in the bigger spots. My pack is going to be goddamn heavy, being a military rucksack and pounds over any REI pack. I plan to attempt going an average of 10 miles a day, except when it is relatively cool out.

I think I can do this. I think I’ve secretly always been training for this. My whole life I’ve been walking around with heavy backpacks. The last couple years in communes I practiced, walking 10-20 miles with at least 30 pounds on my back. Always figuring I was going to end up some lone modern ascetic wandering the planet. Something like John Francis, Mark Boyle, Daniel Suelo, or Peace Pilgrim. It’s always what spoke to me the most, I suppose. The PCT is a test run.

It is reclaiming the trail from rich people, for the lower class to enjoy. It is a 2650 mile psychological wall that guarantees I never lose myself in a bottle or spiral of nicotine cravings. I’m beginning on my birthday for that reason. This year is different in that I’ve always been scared to begin such an adventure, as there was always something to cling to. Now there is no family, no commune, no close friends, and all I have is my pack. It’s exhilarating and at the same time terrifying, as even most dirty kids I meet seem to have helpful parents. All I got is a place at the library in Slab City to stash my unneeded pack weight until next season (thanks @VikingAdventurer). I want to become something different and carve my own way through what I've learned from all different kinds of nomads.

I think the deadly edge will keep me cautious and be aware of surroundings.

Death is possible, but that’s okay. Seems only a few people have died on the trail, but most people have emergency funds. I imagine it must kill some authenticity of the adventure to be financially well-off. Don't know if that will be what can kill me. Yet, the PCT seems more like training wheels than going all Christopher McCandless about it.

Either way, I’m reporting in after these last few years of communes, city bohemian subcultures, and now Slab City: I want my own adventures. I am tired of the emotional weight of others, at least for a while. I want my own adventures. I want to stop standing in place and all the fake gestures that comes with people. I just want to live simply and accelerate my health.

I suppose any advice surrounding non-bougie ideas for saving pack weight, desert/ snow survival, or knowledge of the trail itself would be good to hear.

When I hit the trail, I’ll try to update my status (or failure) on this thread along the way.

Later, I’ll compile my notes, journals, and best pics into some articles on here.

Thanks for reading,
SHADOW
 
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Xongile

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You better go in late April, you will freeze and have to go through snow up to your knees in the High Sierras which don't recede until mid May at the earliest.
 
D

deleted user

I closed my account
Yeah, I've been all over that website.

And you're not entirely right (I've seen many professional hikers echo this link on backpacking blogs and Reddit for 2018) in your Sierra opinion, the weather is changing more and more to suit earlier hikers from what people predict based on the last couple years/ almanac. Plus there is good spaces and supplies to extend camping to wait out the snow. But I do prefer the idea of solid snow over growing bodies of water.

Maybe if we get there, we can compare afterward.
 

Xongile

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All your answers are on (((YouTube))). Search for pack outs and FAQs from previous thru-hikers and post comments. Many will get right back to you and will be eager to impart their learnings on to you. Whatever you do don't go to REI, I have never met a REI guy that knew squat about real hiking, and the ones that do just shill out for whatever merchandise they can push you out the door with. Search sub 8 lb base weight and you'll see that everything it handmade in the USA for the most part except pads.
 
D

deleted user

I closed my account
Know all that basic stuff...

But thanks for the reminder.

I'd never buy REI anyways for the price, when getting used to a couple more pounds in a military rucksack worth a quarter of the price will get the job done.

Plus I seem to be gifted those constantly.

If you had any specific YouTuber, I'd give them a gander.
 

iamwhatiam

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Damn, I'd wait a little later to start personally. I don't really care for hiking through snow if I can help it. I'm just planning to do Section K and/or J this year. Got a new backpack, dog-pack, water filter (Sawyer squeeze), some bulk freeze dried foods, a pocket stove I scored from a trailhead that someone left behind, new lightweight tent. Ready!

I can access the PCT from a side trail that connects to it from my town here (Darrington, WA). If you find yourself there hit me up if there's any way I can help. Or maybe we'll cross paths on the trail. My dog's name is Shadow too!
 

Tude

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Sounds like you have done your homework, have a great plan in mind and getting some good input here - go and enjoy and be safe. Do check in with stories and pics to let us know how you are doing!
 

Coywolf

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I would absolutely buy at the very least a Sawyer water filter. (Under 20 bucks)

Using iodine and bleach for that amount of time WILL have adverse effects on your body.

Have you done any long term thru hiking before? Because, and I'm not trying to talk down to you, some of the things you are saying can be severe rookie mistakes.

Such as using a military rucksack. Your pack and shoes WILL be the most important things on the trail.

Most PCT hikers use food caches to get through the longer sections of that trail, what is your plan for resupply?

Try not to get caught in the national park sections or some of the Sierra wilderness areas without a permit, the rangers have been know to kick people out to the nearest trailhead, and write tickets.

The southern end of the trail has VERY long sections without water. Water storage is essential.

As far as saving packweight, I would invest in good gear.

The PCT ain't nuttin' to fuck with! Haha

Sounds like you got it though, the trails Gods will have your back.
 
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paiche

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I hiked most of the PCT. I did it real cheap. Let me know if you have any questions. It likely wont kill you. There are a lot of rattle snakes, big kitties and grizzlies out there though! They were never a problem though. My biggest problems were WATER and my energy level due to a serious lack of fat in my diet, especially in Kings Canyon, I starved myself pretty good had to catch fish and forage on wild onions, that was pretty rough.
 

DrewSTNY

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You got the right idea. Pretty damn inspiring, dude.

Have a think about this... Weight is an issue, how about making a sack out of scrap tyvek and dental floss? Not being a deuch here. You made it, you repair it. The support internally is your ground pad. It makes a bucket pack you can chunk all your stuff into. If it rips, you can repair it or make another. Custom made thru-hiker ultra light gear isn't much more than a nylon sack with arm straps.

I like the idea of flying a sign along the way, just have to be careful not to take too long, or you might be waiting for the next season while hold up somewhere in the Rockies. If you make Summit county in November, you can flop at one of the resorts and make bank working the slopes.

10 miles a day is like 9 or 10 months, so you will probably have to winter over somewhere. Are you going north or south?

Second the Sawyer. It will save your life. Or at least get a steri-pen. Might get lucky and find one in a cache. Fuck, PM me your Addy and I will gift you a filter. That's no joke there. I'm sure you've looked, but learn how to distill water with a sheet of plastic, cactus, and piss. Slow to generate any amount of water, but will be welcome if you get stuck in a dry place. I love the desert, but dying thirsty scares the hell out of me.

Best of luck, April isn't far away.
 
D

Deleted member 20975

I closed my account
I like this. I like nature and all that shit so a hike like this is awesome. I just watched a movie about a girl doing at least most of it. Just be as prepared as you can and use your survival knowledge, thats about all you can do. I dont know if my body could take that right now. Id have to train for sure. Im a little beat up nowadays though. And personally i hate alot of gear. Maybe youll reduce weight as you go, i dont know. Its a bit of a time schedule trip i guess but in general adapt as you go. If you stop up in a city panhandle, dumpsterdive, hit up soup kitchens, dollar stores to resupply. Me being canadian i would do the SBD route. Not that im planning on it at all. I do plan on taking random ass hiking trips that go from one place to another though. A mixture of back country and walking through towns. Like literally google mapping a destination and clicking the on foot route. My love of the road sometimes is the personal time, the isolation with freedom. Anyway before i ramble anymore i wish you luck and safe travels. I hope you do it and get what you want from it. I believe alot of peope will respect your journey and want to help when they can aswell. Im sure alot of people on the trail are willing to give. Cheers.
 
D

Deleted member 2626

I closed my account
on little. what I like to hear. I'm sure you'll run into the yuppie consumerist of most expensive Chinese gear like the Appalachian trail. I like how you mention people who have fully made their lives like this, away from societal parameters. all about mind I can say when it comes to commitment. I wish you well. I'm sure you'll meet someone. I know of a modern nomadic sheepherder in Ashland you could may be meet. I'd always thought if I end up out west for good I'd live a lot along the pct with pack goats and use it as a highway to areas and towns. kind of like you, no god damn rush as most because its a vacation and gotta get back to a ceo slave job. I do agree with snow I'm the high country till may at least. mthood I hitched through a foot in mid may
 

Dameon

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Personally, I'd spend a month working some job and invest in some decent lightweight gear. With careful shopping, you should be able to at least get a pack, sleeping bag, and tent designed for backpacking. Just get a water purifier, they're not expensive and it's stupid to not have one. You can get a Lifestraw for $15, so there's no excuse. If you shit yourself dehydrated and die over $15, you're an idiot.

I've had friends do chunks of the PCT and apparently there's boxes along the way where hikers leave extra food which may provide decently, but you don't really want to rely exclusively on charity, since you might not see another person for a week, and towns you run into may not be into supporting your hiking trip. Keep in mind the towns you run into are very small towns where resupplying will be very expensive. You could easily wind up too hungry to make it to the next food source. I'd definitely learn the wild edibles of the route, as well as any dangerous lookalikes, and practice setting snares.
 

roughdraft

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I believe in you Shadow! I think its perfect for you. But also @HundredsOfMiles did the purification tablets on the PCT and completely fucked up his teeth, so keep that in mind

I second all of this

having used the tablets myself

i now own a Katadyn pump, think it was like 40 bones but you may be able to find one cheaper. totally worth it
 

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