OH WOW…things are coming together quickly now. The procrastination era is over and I’m less than a month out from starting my PCT thru-hike or at least the attempt there of. Currently, I’m only planning to do 10 resupply drops by mail. So the boxes are all packed and labeled. For the most part the food has been sorted out and distributed between the boxes based on the number of days until the next resupply town or mail drop. Below, but not cast in stone, is my hike plan. I personally like having a basic plan just so I know timing wise where I want to be and approximately when. If I start falling behind, I can push forward harder. Or if I’m way ahead, I can just enjoy that beautiful spot a little longer.
To download or view my PCT hike plan: Whitewater’s PCT 2014 Hike Plan with General Maps
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I’ve only made a couple of small changes in my gear list since hiking the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail. Basically, what I often read on the internet and hear when hiking, is that people always love to tell you about their gear. These conversations tend to lead to some pretty heated discussions among hikers. Some folks can be pretty adamant that their way is the best way. All you have to do is look for a chat on the internet, like Whiteblaze, on a topic such as the use of a tent vs. a hammock to encounter many varied opinions. So here’s my very strong advice on gear, absolutely absorb as much information as you can and find a balance that works for you. It’s my opinion that most thru-hikers find a comfortable range between that of a minimalist and the conventional backpacker. The common saying…HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike) works best here! My response to questions about my gear is pretty much, ” this is what I find works for me”. I don’t care to get into an argument over gear. If it works for you, use it! Personally, I believe if there’s one good piece of equipment out there today, there are probably five more brands or styles that will work just as well.
To download or view my current PCT gear and weights: PCT 2014 – Gear Summary and List
Open Your Eyes You’re Almost There – The Muir Project
MY BRIEF THOUGHTS ON LIFE
It’s my feeling that the biggest part of life is all about the choices you make and if you’ve made some bad choices, which almost all of us have at some point, it helps to remember that tomorrow is a brand new day and you can always plot a new course to take. I try to stop dwelling on and judging the past and move forward with my future. As Kris Kristofferson wrote “Yesterday is dead and gone and tomorrow’s out of sight” …which, in my opinion, was best sung by Willie Nelson 🙂
Over the past several years, I would say the biggest remark that I often hear after someone finds out that I enjoy going on these very long hikes is number one: How do you get the time off and money to do that? Quickly followed by, I could never do that! I’ve grown pretty used to it and seem to always find myself looking for the cage that must be built around those individuals. I have a hard time understanding sometimes what people truly want from life. I clearly understand that some of the adventures that I enjoy are not for everyone, I get that, but I do see a lot of people out there stuck in the day-to-day grind of life who have dreams and desires, but never truly pursue them or seem to be waiting for a day that may never come. That’s very sad to me! Yes, we all have our responsibilities when it comes to family, careers, and businesses, I get that too, but if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, anyone can live out their dreams.
Like we’ve all heard many times before, Life is very short…so you better enjoy it! I think the Dalai Lama says it best when asked about man in our current culture today: “Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV
The Pacific Crest Trail (Three Second Thru-Hike)