PCT Demographics and Me

I was just curious one day as I ctrolled down the faces of my family. The husband, the daughter adopted from foster care, the son made ward of legal guardianship, and our half feral crazy dingo dog and it hit me—am I crazy to tackle this PCT alone?

Short answer, yes.

Long answer is still yes.

I thought I would find some security in research and looked up PCT thru-hiker demographics. I quickly found Halfway Anywhere with The Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hiker Survey (2018). Here is what I found out:

PCT Thru-Hiker Sex

56.7% male

*43.1% female

0.2% genderqueer

I fall into the 43.1% girl power female section. I admit it was surprisingly refreshing to see that men and women are both champions in this wild trek.


PCT Thru-Hiker Age

1.6% <20

19.1% 20-24

29.7% 25-29

*16.4% 30-34

*9.2% 35-39

9.2% 40-49

8.2% 50-59

6.1% 60-69

0.4% >70

When I first plant my Lone Peak trail runner on the trail I will be the 16.4% 30-34 year old range. But when May 28 rolls, around as it always seems to do, I will dramatically crash into 9.2% as I say hello to mid-thirties. Or is 35 late thirties? Who cares anyway.


PCT Thru-Hiker Race

*90.7% Caucasian

2.6% 2+ Races

2.2% Asian

2% Hispanic

0.2% African American

0.2% Indian

0.2% Native American

1.8% Declined to answer

This unfortunately I take the lead with 90.7% Caucasian. I hope we can make the outdoors a place for all as we continue this wild journey.


PCT Thru-Hiker Eeducation Level

*1.2% <12th grade

6.7% high school diploma

14.9% some college

5.7% associate’s degree

49.5% bachelor’s degree

22% graduate degree

Yes. I am a 1.2% high school dropout. And no, despite my tattoos and piercings, it is actually for a much more fairy tale reason. At age 14 I was given my first professional ballet contract. Math equations and pre-AP classes be damned, I decided dancing on my toes outranked dancing in education. Do I regret it? No, I honestly do not. Life is a fickle beast and education does not determine worth. End of my rant. You do you babe.

I wonder how many people who hike the PCT are married.

I wonder how many are mothers of children younger than ten.

I wonder how many people think I am crazy to walk away from my family up to Canada when I am married with two elementary-aged children.

I guess all of these statistics are good to note as I mentally prepare myself to tackle the hardest hike of my life yet. But at the end of the day the variables of who I am will ultimately give me strength and weakness to finish or not.

I am ready. 34, married, high school white woman dropout with two kids. I am ready to add my name to the PCT 2020 class.

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Comments 5

  • natpullman : Jan 27th

    Get it girl! I start the PCT April 22, see you out there!

    • Kaitlin Musser : Jan 28th

      That’s awesome! I am all the emotions. How are you doing as we get closer?

  • Brian : Oct 14th

    You put this out there, and I just killed a bottle of wine at lunch, so I gotta say:

    Don’t do it. You have children at home you’ve said you’d look after in precarious situations. Also, if you can take time off to hike the PCT it sounds like hubby is supporting the whole show. Does he have the same right as you to buzz off and bicycle from Paris to Singapore if that appeals to him?

    Otherwise, since I’ve decided to share my views on your choices (which, as noted, you’ve put out there) – I very much approve of the drop out to do ballet thing. Buck the machine – YES. And I admire your career looking after foster care kids.

    BUT – get tattoos and piercings – NO. You don’t stencil a cashmere sweater or Ferrari. You stencil a sweatshirt or jalopy. If you had to choose, which one would you want to be?

    And what’s this weirdness about being white? Hiking the PCT isn’t for everyone, and why shouldn’t diverse people have diverse ideas about the crazy things they’d like to do?

    • Leah : Oct 17th

      Nobody cares what you think Brian. F*ck off with your misogynist bullshit. No, her ‘putting this out there’ does not give you free reign to insult her and be an absolute piece of trash, and she nor any woman does not exist to satisfy your archaic beliefs of how anyone ‘should’ behave or look. Obviously your mommy never taught you that some thoughts are inside thoughts. Tha f*ck you think she, or anyone, cares if you ‘approve’ of their decisions. Maybe when you realize women don’t live for your approval some of them might start f*cking you. Have fun on back INCEL Reddit where you belong, also you might want to hit an AA meeting- you sound like an abusive drunk.


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