Thursday, January 8, 2015

3 Months before start - Planning and Training

I love George Bernard Shaw's quotation, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

 I, for one, refuse to stop playing!

It is now just over three months before I head south to start my adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.

I have started the detailed planning process to determine how I will resupply over the five months or more on the trail. There is a great resource on the WEB, called "Craig's PCT Planner". It helps me choose resupply locations, determines how many days of food are needed between supply points, and projects arrival dates based on hiking speed and terrain. I am nowhere done, but have planned out the first 500 miles of my trip. You can preview it here: Bob's Preliminary PCT Hiking Plan

I still need to get all my permits. Yes, PCT thru-hikers need to have all the permits for their travel. Fortunately the Pacific Crest Trail Association has a web page where I can start the application process: PCT Long Distance Permits. I foolishly applied for the California Fire Permit last December, and then noticed that it was only good to the end of the year. I guess I'll be re-submitting for that one! I can't apply for the long-distance permit until February.

I have decided that I am happy with my gear choices. There is always lighter gear and different products. But, really, how much weight am I going to be able to save and at what cost? Unless I was willing to go without a stove and willing to take only a bivy sack instead of my tent, I have very few options for removing significant weight. I am happy with what I have, EXCEPT that I still need to get a warmer / lighter down jacket and perhaps a light-weight rain / wind breaker.

I am very happy with my training progress.
Since the first of the year, I walk over 20 miles on most weekdays, with more than half of that carrying my backpack at just over 30 pounds.

Here is chart of my day-to-day step counts for last year (2014):

My average steps per day - 27, 452 steps
My average miles per day - 14.3 miles
My total miles for 2014 - 5, 219 total miles!

I am so lucky to have a place to walk / train that is close by. And, I am very lucky to have hiking buddies to encourage me and to walk with me.

I put together a short video which shows what a beautiful area I have for training.

Three months to go. WOW!
I am filled with excitement and worry. While I was trying to determine my resupply points for the Sierra's, I re-read WIRED's account of her trip during a high snowfall year. YIKES!


I guess that is why they call it an adventure!


  1. Hey, that "Enchanted Forest" looks like ideal habitat for the Native Truffles of the Pacific Northwest!

  2. Go Bob Go! Now this is how you retire! A friend of mine saw your post and I just had to send you happy trail're gonna LOVE IT!!!

  3. Thank you SO much! While planning my re-supply points, I kept referring back to your PCT journal to see how you did it. You are a real inspiration to me and the hiking community. I am getting so excited to start this adventure!

  4. You are so welcome...and great to see the ripple effects still this many years after my hike. You too are going to now go on to inspire others to hike and it just multiplies. Great to be part of that whole process. Looks like you won't have to worry about that snow, but I do hope you get a bit to give a more varied experience. Also, great to see someone going into this as prepared and practiced as you. It seems like less and less are going in prepared these days and it really will make for a greater experience once you're out there.

  5. Excellent preparation. Putting those miles on your feet with your pack is very helpful. And I assume you know that Hiker Heaven (The Saufley's) in Agua Dulce is now closed (see so you should adjust your plan on Craig's PCT Planner site. Also I assume you know that the PCTA permits are now being accepted and you should be applying ASAP. Sincerely, Tartan PCT 2014. P.S. I turned 65 while thru-hiking this past year.