Answering PCT FAQs from Friends and Family

Hello all! I’ve been getting a lot of the same questions from friends and family, so I thought it might be smart to make an FAQ post.

1. Are you hiking alone?

I will hiking with my wonderful partner, Nick! He’s going to posting our hike on Instagram (follow him here). I’m so excited to be going on this journey together. It is much more common for folks to thru-hike the entire trail alone.

My lovely partner, Nick

2. How long will you be hiking?

The trail is 2,650 miles and stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border through California, Oregon, and Washington. We are starting on May 25, and will be thru-hiking (aka, hiking the whole damn thing) until the end of September/early October. We plan to hike straight from the Mexican border to the Canadian boarder, however we will likely need to adjust our hiking plan based on the weather, specifically the record amount of snow in California. Check out the PCT Association’s FAQ site for more information on the trail.

3. How will you be carrying and resupplying your food?

We have been dehydrating a lot of meals ourselves, and my mom has graciously agreed to mail us our dehydrated meals along the way! Every 5 or so days, we will hike into a nearby town and resupply our food from a combination of food mailed from home and shopping in stores. In the larger towns, we will shop at grocery stores. Many of the towns near to the trail are smaller and won’t have major grocery stores, so we will shop where we can.

Yummy dehydrated pasta salad and other food stuffs

4. Where will you sleep?

Most of the time, we will be sleeping at small campsites along the trail. We will find these campsite with the FarOut app. Occasionally we will spring for motel rooms in town. We’ll stay at least one night with my mom and hopefully with some other friends or family along the way.

5. What are you doing with your house?

We’re putting everything into storage. No way are we paying 5 months rent when neither of us are working!

6. Have you read the book or watched the movie Wild?

I read the book Wild when I was in the Peace Corps in 2015 or 2016. I haven’t watched the movie. Nick has stubbornly avoided both.

If you are going to read a book about the PCT, I recommend another PCT thru-hiker’s book instead: Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn. I thoroughly enjoyed Carrot’s honest account of their thru-hike.

7. Will you be spending money on the trail?

Yes. We will stop in towns and occasionally stay in motels, visit restaurants, and resupply our food. The old estimate going around the internet was to budget about $1,000 a month, but I think that is a bit outdated. I’m estimating that we will spend ~$15,000 total for the both of us on the entire hike.

I took a sabbatical from work and will be returning in October. Nick quit his job.

8. Are you afraid of bears?

Not really. I’m more afraid of dehydration and rattlesnakes.

9. Why are you doing this?

I made a whole post about this question.

What other questions do you have for me? Let me know in the comments!

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Comments 5

  • Jhonyermo : May 4th

    Great article. AND anyone that likes and admires “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn” deserves a subscribe. Which I certainly did.
    Great book. Looking forward to more of your postings.

    • Elaine : May 4th

      Thank you!

  • Mark : May 4th

    Elaine, I love it! I too am a relocated Californian, and going SOBO July 11th! I am currently living in Wisconsin, hence the SOBO approach. I’m retired and will be joined initially by my daughter, but then will be solo for the rest of it. I hope you and Nick have an amazing adventure together, and who knows, maybe swap stories wherever we cross paths!?

    • Elaine : May 4th

      Awesome, I hope you have a great hike!

  • Nephi Polder : May 6th

    I’m ordering carrot’s book. I’ve heard tooany good things about it. I read her blog when she did the PCT.


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