PCT DAY 1: The Nitty Gritty

Well the first day came and went. Lots of feelings were had. I want to talk about some nitty-gritty details of the first day I was not expecting.


Getting to Campo is not simple. It’s a pretty remote town. I came from San Diego and took highway 94. It was a pretty but windy road down. Not too much traffic heading east. There was a PCT camp and some trail angels about a quarter-mile from the terminus. Also, the border wall is big and in your face. It was a stunning sight to see for the first time up close.


The water report when I headed out was a running stream around 4 miles and a seep in a creek bed at 15, Hausser Creek. I mistakenly thought a footbridge over standing water was the 4-mile water source and thought I was going way faster than I actually was. Ha!

Your water needs will probably be totally different than mine. I had no idea what to expect when I started hiking. I planned on no water, even though I saw the water report, and brought my, current, full capacity of a little over 5 liters. I should have brought maybe a liter and cameled up at the 4-mile water source. (Cameling up is filling up all your water capacity)

The Actual Hiking

The hike is pretty much uphill until a mile and a half before Hausser. You get a great view of Morena butte and the hiking trail that skirts it. The trail down to the Hausser Creek starts with a road and turns into a steep trail with lots of rocks!

Hausser Hausser Hausser

The water at Hausser, the seep, was not desirable. Multiple people said it had a funky taste, but that’s what water filters are for, right? I was lucky enough to have enough water to not need to use the Hausser creek water, although I did gather some just in case.

I camped the night at Hausser, 15 ish miles from the Terminus. My feet, and my whole body for that matter, were sore and there were camping spots aplenty at the creek. Also, the next section of trail to Lake Morena was a decent climb. I was not up for roasting in the afternoon sun while hiking up the switchbacks; even if there was town food waiting at the Lake Morena Deli.

I think hiking all the way to Lake Morena is worth it if you can arrive in time for the deli to be open, though. I was still able to get breakfast and a shower on my second day passing through.

Some people made the afternoon hike to Hausser and subsequently, they got some major blister that stopped them at Mt. Laguna.

Take care of your feet!

Overall I should have accounted for the sun better. Sun protection! I forgot to use my umbrella to ease the face protection. I completely neglected my calves and they got absolutely roasted.

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