How I Packed for the Pacific Crest Trail in One Day
Yes, I left it to the last minute. Yes, I regret it. However, this ain’t my first long-distance rodeo so I have some experience with filling a backpack.
Step One: Freak the Frak Out
Pull out all the hiking gear and clothing from the closet, so the apartment floor looks like an REI store exploded. Stare at all the pile for a full twenty minutes. Shed some tears. Laugh uncontrollably. Fantasize about having a magical feather-light Mary Poppins backpack, with unlimited space for everything in my apartment. Snap back into reality.
Step Two: Oh Yeah, the Online Stuff!
Remember that you bought a whole lotta crap online that is being shipped to San Diego (to save on Canadian shipping duties). Probably a good idea review past Amazon receipts and make a list.
Step Three: Play Gear Survivor
Round One is to eliminate all the items you know *for sure* won’t be coming with you to Campo, California. Sorry, binoculars, you are the weakest link – goodbye!
Round Two is to whittle down the pile into *maybe* items. I have an assortment of hiking shirts. I try them on one-by-one and check them out in front of the mirror. All the loose or too tight-fitting shirts get the heave-ho back into the closet. Being an outdoor fitness model is hard work, and I take a beer break. One beer turns into three.
Step Four: The Gear World Series
The final moment has come down to this. Which items will be making the final cut into my backpack? I need an impartial judge. That judge is my weight scale. Only lightest can make it through. Four rain gear options go on the scale. The crowd-favourite is the red Outdoor Research rain jacket (‘cause it’s pretty), but the dirty-looking white Z-packs rain jacket has the edge.
Step Five: Retail Therapy
I figure out if I need to purchase anything missing from my gear collection. Today, I just need to replenish my ibuprofen stash. I hit the mall to score drugs and Doritos.
Step Six: Gear Gonna Make me Lose my Mind
My backpack looks ready but I am forgetting *something*. I know it. I mentally run though a checklist in my mind. No good. I get out a pad and paper and write everything out that I should have packed. Hmmm, not helping. I surf the internet looking at numerous Pacific Crest Trail pack lists. Nope. I dump out the backpack and go through the items one by one. I discover that my eyeglasses case did not have my eyeglasses inside. JACKPOT!
Step Seven: Make dat PCT Gear Video
Fire up the iPhone and upload a hastily created Pacific Crest Trail Gear video to YouTube. You can watch the video here: Sara’s 2018 PCT Gear Video.
Praise the Hiking Gods!
I did it! I packed for my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in less than one day! The last task is to sacrifice a Snickers Bar to the hiking gods for the safe passage of my San Diego Amazon deliveries.
A taxi is booked to whisk me away to Toronto Pearson Airport in short four hours. I take a short snooze and happily drift off to dreamland.
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