Preparing for the PCT

This trip has been on my mind for three years. Since committing to thru-hiking the PCT, I have constantly been absorbing any and all information I can find on the PCT. The real planning began about two months ago, when I decided f*** everything, I’m going to hike this damn hike. (I am so freaking stoked!)

Preparing My Resupply Packages

Preparing for the PCT has been the most time-intensive activity I’ve had to do in a long time. Some hikers buy all their food on the trail, supporting local businesses, and eating whatever they can get their hands on. Other hikers meticulously prepare dozens of boxes filled with food and gear and have a friend or family member ship them their supplies along the way. Many other hikers use a hybrid strategy.

As for me, I’ll be purchasing food in town throughout most of California, where it’s (according to my research) fairly easy to buy food. In towns that are more difficult to resupply in, I’ll be using the Trail Supply Co. to ship myself resupply boxes. They’ve been gracious enough to add some products to their catalog for me, and I’m very excited to try them out.

Here are my rough resupply package locations – a few will be mailed from San Diego, but the rest will be purchased through the Trail Supply Co.

The rest of my food will be purchased in convenience and grocery stores that I find along the way. I haven’t decided every single stop I’ll be making, to allow myself more flexibility to hike my own hike, but I will be posting about the resupply locations I end up taking while I’m on the trail.


Preparing my gear list required a lot of research and planning… and money. I have been reading the PCT sub-reddit religiously, as well as reading about PCT hikers’ favorite picks on other websites, and making my decisions for a lot of my gear based on what has worked for other hikers. If it ain’t broke, right?

I have written and rewritten this list a dozen times in the last few months. I had some help in the form of a shakedown, and finally finalized my list. (A shakedown is when more experienced hikers give feedback on your gear list, helping to cut down on weight and redundancies.) Hikers help hikers – I’m looking forward to this aspect of trail life.

LighterPack has been an extremely helpful tool to figure out my pack weight. Check out my pack here.


Useful Resources

–Yogi’s PCT Handbook, February 2018 Edition by “Yogi” Jackie McDonnell

–Ultralight Survival Kit by Justin Lichter

–How to Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer

–Craig’s PCT Planner

–Halfway Anywhere





–Trail Supply Co.


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