My name is Rachel (Russell the Wilderness Explorer). I begin my 2022 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail on March 23rd. A San Diego native, I just graduated high school and love all things outdoors, with a particular affinity for rock climbing, alpinism, photography, and backpacking. I consume far too much vegan beef jerky and kombucha on a daily basis.
A particular eagerness to reach Idyllwild is rampant in the tramily. The anticipation of the hazard ahead, a stretch of trail where a fellow PCT hiker passed away two years ago, has everybody antsy.
Over a week has passed since I began my journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. The miles have worn down at my feet, but the tramily I have managed to integrate myself with has boosted my spirits. Together, we slowly take on one of many deserts, eager to reach our first 'sky island': the San Jacinto massif.
Once again restless to leave the civilized constraints of Julian and impatient to move past my Southern California backyard, I continued my thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Little did I know when I left Julian that I would be tackling the next 110 miles on my own, without the company of my hiking partner.
After a night spent in Mount Laguna, I was eager to leave the overwhelming nature of my first trail town. The stress of posting to socials is amplified after a few days of being completely unplugged. Additionally, the richness of the town food was not as enjoyable as I expected as a hungry thru-hiker. My mind ached for progress towards Canada, and I wasn't satisfying it sitting in the Mount Laguna lodge.
I began preparations for my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in February of 2021. On March 23rd, 2022, I took the first few steps of my continuous journey from Mexico to Canada.
Thru-hikers depend on their gear to not only perform, but hopefully last a long time. After many shakedown hikes, five pieces of gear have proven to me their utmost loyalty, and are officially deserving of being depended on during my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.
If someone held a gun to my head and told me to drop my total pack weight by 4 pounds, I could do it in less than ten seconds. At a base weight of 9 pounds, my Mountain Laurel Designs Pack exudes an ultralight facade, but deep inside lie three stupidly heavy items that I refuse to go without on the Pacific Crest Trail.