Hi, My Name is Mismatch and I’m a Long Distance Backpacker
Two years ago my parents dropped me off at the beginning of my very first backpacking trip. I always thought they had my safety in mind, but they must have had a lapse in judgement when they sent me off into the 100 Mile Wilderness with absolutely zero backcountry experience. (In all fairness they did hang around in Maine for week to make sure I survived) The good news is, I was thrown into the metaphorical fire and came out only slightly charred. After conquering the 100 Mile Wilderness I was battered, bruised, blistered, and more confident then ever before. 110 days later, I sat atop Springer Mountain with the sweet taste of Monster and my first successful thru-hike.
And so Mismatch was born
I was given the name Mismatch, which was in reference to my mismatched trekking poles, then later to my mismatched socks. Going by a trail name helps me mentally separate my real life from my fantasy hobo hiker trash life. As fun as it is to be Mismatch, the super-badass-mile-crushing hiker that doesn’t care when people plug their noses as I walk by, it’s just not viable in the real world. Also, you better believe me when I say that I wouldn’t survive more than a week on the trail as Nick. It’s now been sixteen months since finishing the AT and I’ve been itching to make that smelly transformation back into Mismatch. Needless to say, this has all most likely developed into a mild form of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Enter The Pacific Crest Trail…
First and foremost, let’s get one thing straight. It is “CREST”, not “COAST”.
Now that we got that cleared up we can move on.
On May 20th I set off from the Mexican border in an attempt to thru-hike the PCT. I’ve spent 24 years of my life in Illinois, and as some famous naturalist once said, “The mountains are calling, and I must go…” (That would be John Muir in case you haven’t seen this quote plastered all over instagram and Facebook) Now for those of you who are not familiar with central Illinois…it’s absurdly flat. While I greatly appreciate the beauty of the sprawling plains and seemingly endless cornfields, it doesn’t do much for me in terms of adventure. With one successful thru-hike under my belt already, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to go back for more. The decision to hike the PCT was one of the easiest I’ve ever made and I haven’t questioned it once. Although, I guarantee I question it when I run across my first rattlesnake. Those things are quite literally what nightmares are made of.
So here I sit, most of my gear in order, permits ready, training well underway, and all I can do is hope the next 82 days go faster than ever. California here I come!
*screen fades to black as Tupac’s “California Love” fades in*
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.