Preparing for the PCT

Happy New Year! dancingmini2dancingmini1dancingmini2dancingmini1

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.

Black Diamond Ultra Mountain CarbnTrekking PolesIt’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.

VivobarefootI’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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’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.

The winter hiking gang below: Chainsaw, Matt, Dan, Duffer, Badger, Russell, and WW

Dan (future 2014 AT thru hiker) visiting with the wild ponies in the Grayson Highlands

Thomas Knob Shelter

Chainsaw, Badger and Duffer…Dan, Russell and Matt

Duffer at Buzzard Rock

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.

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11 Responses to Preparing for the PCT

  1. Michael Morgan says:

    David and Mary, happy new year and happy hiking. Mike

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Will Barton says:

    Happy New Year. Just got done reading your book of the Appalachian Trail. I really enjoyed it and laugh alot. I enjoyed following your posts that year, hense reading your book. It reminded me of my short time on the AT. I have been hiking for 20 years and have really enjoyed my time with my two sons. We have done numerous winter hikes. One thing we have learned is never go to bed in damp cloths. Always change into dry cloths, if you choose to wear any. On our winter hikes in subzero temperature I only sleep in a Tshirt in my zero bag. Even while on the AT, I only wore a T shirt in my bag. When my wife was walking with me, we had just finished hiking in sleet and rain all day. We were not happy. When we camped for the night we slipped into our sleeping bags, me in my T shirt and her in a T shirt and dry underwear. Believe or not you will staying warmer in dry colths.

  3. Will Barton says:

    You’re right. Ha, I have only had three cups of coffee. I have your email address right next to Apostle’s. Guess I need to separate you two. LOL I had followed you post on the Grand Canyon river trip. Great pictures, videos, and read. Looking forward to your PCT hike posts and pictures. Please keep in touch.
    Again, Happy New Year. God bless, Will

  4. James M says:

    Hey David I’m so glad I came across your blog on! Those camp shoes ROCK I’m going to get me some of those too. I’ll be joining you on the PCT this coming year, maybe our paths will cross. If so I look forward to meeting you.

    can’t wait to read the rest of your blog

    Thanks again

  5. Jester says:

    Thanks for sharing the Wizards Trailer! Blog looks great — I’m looking forward to following your PCT Adventure. If you’ll be at Kickoff find me and say hi!

    • dnlangford says:

      Jester, no problem…fun video! Not sure if I’m coming back for the ADZPCTKO or not, I’m hoping to be a + couple of hundred miles north already. If I do I’ll for sure look you up. Thanks…WW

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