Here Are All the Things I’m Thankful for as a PCT Hiker

For Thanksgiving, I reflected on everything I’m thankful for as a Pacific Crest Trail hiker →

I’m thankful for the opportunity to take time away from “regular life” to hike the trail.

So thankful for this water cache after a hot, dry, long-water-carry uphill slog through the desert north of Tehachapi, before reaching Walker Pass.

Thankful for the generosity of trail angels, who opened their homes, fed us, helped with rides and town chores. For everyone who gave us a ride when we were hitchhiking, even though we were smelly and dirty.

My trail family part 1❣️❣️❣️

My trail family part 2 ❣️❣️❣️

I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I met on trail – from those I shared a conversation with for a few miles to my trail family. Thankful for my trail family sharing laughs, pushing through and supporting each other when we were exhausted, and creating space to share, listen and process. I’m thankful for my friends who shared their tent or truffle hot sauce, helped mend the giant blisters on my feet, and acted goofy and told jokes to brighten up monotonous moments.

I’m thankful that I am healthy and able to walk 20-30 miles a day. That those rattling rattlesnakes didn’t strike.

A rattlesnake crosses the trail north of Warner Springs, in the California desert.

Thankful when I reached camp before dark and got to watch some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Thankful for stunning mountain vistas (especially when my body was aching), abundant flowers in a high-snow year, and trees (especially after walking through areas devastated by forest fires).

Sunset in the Kiavah Wilderness, near Walker Pass

Thankful for FarOut and music. For ultralight gear, which makes thru-hiking much easier on the body. For my tent (cowboy camping isn’t for me). For my Farm to Summit backpacking meals (which kept me looking forward to dinner on trail), my Sawyer squeeze, gaiters and sit pad.

A screenshot of the Southern California map from FarOut, the app most PCT hikers use to navigate the trail.

Thankful for the trail going downhill after a long uphill. For reaching that night’s campsite or a road that leads into town when you’re desperate for a shower and some “town food”. For a tiny patch of shade to escape the desert heat.

Reaching I-10, a road that leads into Cabazon, where we spent the afternoon eating fast food before returning to trail. This stretch of trail was hot and exposed, and we were all so thankful to reach this road.











Thankful for running water (including a shower), a comfy & cozy bed, air conditioning, heating, and all the creature comforts of home. To cook, bake and eat fresh foods. To put on clean clothes in the morning.

Thankful for the chance to just be. To be out in nature, to breathe in fresh out, to drink (filtered) fresh water. To take it all in, to be fully present.

There’s so much to be thankful for, I’m sure there are things missing from this list.

What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

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Comments 1

  • Andrew Carter : Jan 20th

    Long distance hiking definitely teaches you gratitude.


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