Well, the time has come for me to start making plans and preparing for my next big adventure, thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) a path some 2,663 miles long beginning at the Mexico border and ending eight miles in Canada at Manning Park. It’s pretty hard to believe that I’m less than four months out from beginning another hike, starting in late April of this year. Can’t wait to venture up the west coast through areas that I’ve never visited before and I’m really looking forward to seeing. So what better way for me to see this part of the world other than hiking through it one step at a time.
It’s always fun going through my gear and making sure it’s all in good condition for another long journey. Of course, there’s always something new, gear wise, that I just can’t do without. The good news for me and from a pocket-book stand point, I don’t plan to make a lot of changes to my gear. The only real items I’m changing out will be my trekking poles and camp shoes. I just bought a new set of Black Diamond Ultra Mountain Carbon Trekking Poles. I’m hoping that they’ll work as well as my old Black Diamond Trail Shock poles did for me on the Appalachian Trail, but be lighter and more compact.
I’m also hanging up my Crocs and going with some super lightweight Vivobarefoot Men’s Ultra Pure Runners for my new camp and town shoes. Believe it or not, they’re a good bit lighter than Crocs and they should be able to be stored inside my pack with ease. I’m pretty excited about these super shoes for sure. I’m so tired of my old Crocs just hanging on the outside of my pack. These Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure Runners are “the lightest amphibious running shoe ever made for land, water and everything in between”. I’ll let you know if they live up to their advertised slogan.
I’ve bought plenty of books and trail guides to read and help prepare me for my PCT journey. My general impression right now is that there’s a lot more material to absorb on this trail from a logistics side than that of the Appalachian Trail. It should be fun developing a preliminary PCT hike plan for the coming year. My planning essentials are: gear, permits, food, resupply points, and finding a reliable support person on the home front. I’m pretty sure I’ll have those items covered pretty well. 🙂
To end my year, I again took to the trail for a few days of hiking with some good friends from my Appalachian Trail thru hike back in 2012. We hit the trail at Fox Creek, VA and hiked south towards Damascus, VA. Along the way we passed through some awesome areas, the Grayson Highlands, Mt. Rogers, Whitetop Mountain, Buzzard Rock, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. What a great winter hike it turned out to be! I enjoyed closing my year out in the wilderness with some really fine hiker trash friends.
I love finding fun PCT videos. They always help me keep inspired while I continue to plan for my PCT journey. Enjoy “Wizards of the PCT” trailer.