All the Paperwork: Our Preparations for the PCT

In my last post, I told you how we organized our finances for the Trail. But to be honest, that was just the easiest part (And I am not talking about Permit Day). There are plenty of other things that we have to organize before leaving the country. That means lots of paperwork!

Paperwork for the U.S.

Health Insurance: It is required by law to have health insurance in Germany, so you can’t simply cancel that contract. We are also not insured while being away for 6 months. For this, we’ll sign a contract for long-term health insurance for travelers. With this insurance, we’ll be able to pause our public insurance. It will cover visits to the doctor, hospitals or dentists, and even medicine. They also cover SAR (Search and Rescue)-missions up to 10.000,-€, but we’ll probably add the SAR insurance that comes together with our Garmin Sattelite-Device.

We’ll also need a Credit Card,  that allows us to withdraw money and pay, without adding fees of 2-5% with every transaction being done abroad. Luckily, our House Bank had a pretty nice deal for us.

It was very difficult to find a Phone Plan that suits our needs. We will now sign a German plan that offers an additional fee of 7 €/month, which provides us with reception and internet while in the U.S.

Some Vaccinations (against Hepatitis, Rabies, and Meningococcus) are also recommended for the Pacific Part of the US. Because they are travel-related, some Health Insurances don’t cover these costs, but luckily ours were so nice to pay the bills.

We will scan all our important papers, like Vaccination-Pass, Permit, Passport, etc., and keep them in a cloud.

A geographical map on a wooden table

Planning a Thru-Hike is not just organizing maps. There is more paperwork to do than that.


Paperwork in Germany

While we pause our lives here in Germany and walk for a (hopefully) long time, we’ll still have to keep some things working over here. And by that, I don’t mean the rerented house.

If something happens, my mom and I will sign authorization contracts for my bank accounts. She will be able to reorganize credit cards for us if they’ll get lost. I will also redirect my mail to my mom. This service is available through the German Post and I bet it is also possible in the U.S.

She will open the mail and contact us in case some bills were forgotten because we will pause or cancel our memberships for sports clubs, etc. By this, we reduce the running costs here in Germany.

Last, there are our plants. We don’t want them to die, because we’ll just leave the country. So my mom (again! thanks mom! <3) will take care of them. We will bring them 150 km away to her house. We don’t have pets, but if you have any, please think about them and where to house them before deciding to leave for a long time.

A Person standing on a Mountain with blue sky above

Such a relief to know, that all my stuff is sorted out at home


Why we are overplanning the Paperwork

As you can see, there is lots of stuff to organize, before we leave and this didn’t even cover a single mile on the trail. As we Germans tend to over-plan things, our tactic is to over-plan the paperwork and just plan the first 2 weeks on trail. Knowing that the paperwork was planned accurately, we will have a much better experience on the PCT.

Alright, these were the big points. Funny to see these points being explained in a few words knowing that they cost me hours of research.

A little footnote for you: I won’t cover the Visa or the Permit Day here, as they are both worth a post on their own. So stay tuned and let me know if we have missed something, or what you would like to know about getting a US Visa!


Thanks for reading! What do you think? Are we overplanning? Did we miss something? Let me know in the comments or text me on Instagram: @django_hikes

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