Information Meltdown: How Much Is Too Much?


What’s up fellow walkers of long distances? Is your brain on information overload too? Bout to blow? You are not alone!

If you’re anything like me you’ve had your mind on this trail long before you decided to actually take the leap and commit to doing it. Who knows, maybe you just decided last week? At any rate, permits have been approved and we all (or most) have confirmation that this hike is real! Now the shit is gettin’ “REAL” and it’s time for the actual planning to begin. GULP!

My brain has gotten so full of freakin information that I literally had to take a step back and just decompress for a week from all that I was taking in (or attempting to). It was really starting to stress me out, and I love me some information. I have multiple Excel spreadsheets and everything! But there has to be a limit on how much I take in or I just get overwhelmed, and then it turns into a chore instead of an adventure. And just like my kids, I don’t like chores! I know this journey will be stressful in many ways, both mentally and physically, but it is also meant to be fun and exciting. But, on the other hand. In order to be safe, smart, and efficient you need to have the proper information to make it. Meaning the proper info will ensure you don’t die of thirst in the desert or hypothermia in the mountains or possibly end up twisting an ankle, having to limp back to civilization and end up having to quit your dream because you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

So anyway, like I said, I had to take a step back and make a plan of attack. I’m going to share with you a strategy that has really helped me stay focused and now so overwhelmed. Are you ready for it? It’s super simple.

One source of information or stream at a time!!!!!!!!

Seriously dudes, I had 19 browser pages open at once because I kept getting distracted with all of the different topics. Gear, clothing, pack weight, resupply boxes, resupply stops, mileage per day, water sources, temperatures and climate changes. and what gear you need at what time. The list is long and tedious, my friends! And it seems like everyone knows what’s best. My head was spinning like a freakin tilt a whirl on steroids. I’m just tryin’ to take a long walk in nature! It shouldn’t be so hard. But the reality is there will be no resupply fairy dropping off water when you’re thirsty or bringing you cupcakes and tacos when your hungry. Hmmmmm, tacos!

So, I did it. I just simplified and I started picking one subject (one of those 19 pages) at a time and I’m slowly picking it apart until I’m confident in that subject and then I’m moving on. And if I get distracted by something I really want to look at in more depth, I open up another page, put it in my search so I don’t forget about it, and then go click myself right back to where I was until I finish what I was focusing on.

I’m months away from lacing up my shoes and slapping on my pack, but I’ve calmed down a bit. And those web pages are slowly disappearing as I choose my personal plan of attack. YouTube videos of gear and pack lists from past hikers have been vital in choosing what I think will be best for me. I also picked a pack weight to start with (without food, water and fuel) so I have a goal to adhere to. It’s kind of made it more of a game… how can I cut weight and where? What do I absolutely need or what can I kick to the curb. And of course, this site has been a great resource.

For those who have shared your info, I am grateful for the wisdom and knowledge you have shared, and for those who I haven’t met yet, I can’t wait to meet cha on the trail for story time!

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Comments 4

  • Avatar
    Carmen Lomonoco : Nov 30th

    Greetings Jess,

    Did you have sex on the trail or did you just masterbate??? I am wondering if other hikers are offended by other hikers hooking up ??? Did you see any of that on your journey???

    Carmen aka (BATPEEL)

    • Avatar
      Jessica Arundel : Nov 30th


      Valid question! Since I’m only in the prep stages for the PCT I can’t offer any real insight on this subject. But, I can say I’ve taken plenty of long distance hikes with my boyfriend and we are “usually” too exhausted or stinky to even think about doing the dirty. But there has been times when we took complete advantage of the surroundings and our aloneness and I gotta admit, it was pretty freakin amazing.

      If your worried about what other people think…….who really gives a [email protected]*%!!! If your two consenting adults who wanna have sex, go for it! Or, let’s your fingers do the walkin……(wink wink)! I wouldn’t add any assisted devices to your pack weight, that’s for sure!
      Do you gurl!

  • Avatar
    Lance A Goehring : Nov 30th

    I completely agree, Jess! My brain is completely saturated … and I still have over 5 months to go. Like you, before I even “officially” started preparing, I was already thinking about hiking the PCT as long as 10 years ago.

    There has to be some point, once I have all my gear, that I just step away for a bit. Maybe just a week. Otherwise, we’ll go nuts. And, as I’m sure you’ve read also, all our well conceived plans will mostly go out the door once we get on the trail anyway.

    Anyway, good luck on your planning and hope to see you on the trail!

    • Avatar
      Jessica Arundel : Nov 30th

      Fur shuuuure Lance! I just took another week off after I finished my 6th excel spreadsheet update! Lol
      Plans, shmans……there is no way to plan for what we are about to embark on! That’s part of the “pull” and excitement of it all!

      Good luck to you as well, I’ll be following you even if we don’t cross paths on the trail. But I hope we do!!!!


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