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.

Potty breaks are covered! My Deuce of Spades trowel for poop and my P-style for pee.

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