How My PCT Preparation Is Going with 68 Days to Go
Hi world! This is my first blog on The Trek. And also my first blog ever. I am jumping into the blogging world because I think it will be a cool and useful platform to keep track of and share my thru-hiking experience. So let the blogging begin.
On April 28 this year I will be starting my PCT northbound thru-hike. There are 68 days until I fly out of Australia, 71 until I start hiking. I have a mad scramble ahead of me to get everything in order in time. Papers to be written, presentations to be done, things to be packed up. I know this is not a unique experience. Many people will be leaving jobs, moving out of houses, and just generally getting life in order before heading out on the trail. Having a lot to do is kinda good because it means I have something outside of the hike to focus on. Despite that, I am finding myself getting willingly distracted by thoughts of the trail. Reading blogs, looking up gear, daydreaming, and even writing blog posts.
I cannot wait to get out onto the trail. But until that time comes I am trying to focus on getting myself prepped. I am not the best at organization and tend to be more of a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. So my focus at the moment centers on the basics. Getting in physical shape, and my all too important podcast playlist.
Physical Prep and Injuries
Gyms are not my friend. I avoid them whenever I can. My primary fitness regime consists of carrying my backpack around with me pretty much everywhere I go. I also throw in some books to keep the weight up. The last couple of weeks I have walked to and from university everyday. I have also been fitting in a 25- to 30-kilometer hike on the weekend. This is racking up around 90 kilometers a week (about 56 miles). I am also trying to get out for overnight hikes when possible. It is paying off. I am starting to feel fitter and my feet and body more resilient as I go.
I also want to improve my flexibility. At the moment I am laughably inflexible. I struggle to just cross my legs when I am sitting down. My hips also feel really tight after a big hike. I’ve started incorporating some stretching into my daily routine to try to improve on this. No improvements have been seen yet but I’ll keep it up. I know nothing will completely prepare me for being out there. But I also know anything I can do now will make it that little bit easier.
I am also nursing two knee reconstructions on my left knee. These are from football (soccer) injuries. I haven’t had any major concerns since the last operation two and half years ago, probably because I have stopped playing soccer. Hurting my knee is without a doubt my biggest concern heading out onto the trail. I know that the consistent walking will be putting enormous pressure on my joints. I would be devastated if this caused me to leave the trail.
My Podcast Playlist
Outside of getting physically in shape I am also starting to get together a solid list of podcasts. I am an avid podcast listener. My current taste heavily centers on true crime and murder investigations. I definitely don’t plan on abandoning this topic completely. However, I am conscious that being out on the trail I will freak myself out if I continue to listen exclusively to crime podcasts. And I know from experience I am certainly prone to a self-induced freak-out.
The last hiking trip I did was through Scotland in summer 2016. One night I had to camp next to a logging road in the middle of a plantation forest. There was nowhere to pitch my tent except right next to the road in the only little opening I could find. I was convinced that was the end for me. A trucker would see me there, pull over, and I would be the next podcast topic. Needless to say that didn’t happen. But I want to try to avoid my mind wandering into such a scenario as much as possible while on the trail. Those sleepless nights are no fun. So I am on the lookout for some other ideas of good podcasts options. If anyone has any recommendations I would be stoked to hear about them.
That is it from me for now. I am in the process of getting all my gear together and will put up a post about that soon.
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Strangers from Story Central has awesome podcasts. I wish I discovered her earlier but I only stumbled upon her stuff at the very end of my AT thru hike.