Questions & Answers
I asked my friends on Facebook to help me write this post. I invited friends to ask me any questions related to my upcoming hike. Which I constructed into this questions and answers post.
Lynn: What section of the trail are you looking forward to the most?
Without hesitation, I am looking forward to Walker’s Pass the most. When I am there, I will see everything in front of me and everything behind me all at once. The panoramic beauty of the Sierra Nevada is iconic.
Timothy: Why would you go through all the resupply headaches rather than just buy as you go?
I am planning to both ship and buy supplies, depending upon which is most cost/time efficient.
My PCT journey is about healing. I don’t want to subtract from that experience by filling myself up with junk. A lot of hikers seem to embrace and justify consuming unhealthy foods because of the location of convenience stores along the trail. I’ll be hiking enough miles without adding additional miles to get to an actual store. Also, I’m not big on hitchhiking.
In most cases it is less expensive to make meals in advance. For example, I made 20 individual size bags of black beans and Spanish rice for just under $6 USD. A similar pre-packaged dehydrated meal would be $3-5 USD for only two servings. Also, re-hydrating and warming food uses a lot less gas than cooking beans at the campsite.
In response to Timothy’s post, another hiker, Landon recounts his problems with food going bad, bounce boxes never arriving, and the costs of having to replace items that he already paid for but never arrived.
My dehydrated meals can last years without spoiling, and it will be less than a year from the time the meals were prepared to being consumed.
There are roughly 25 stops along the PCT where it is advised to ship food. Those boxes are all medium flat rate priority boxes, shipped at $13 apiece, which is roughly $325 in total.
I am mailing these boxes from my home to those 25 stops. I live on the east coast, and I’d be a little shocked if my boxes didn’t arrive before I did. But, USPS offers free insurance on all priority mail. If I arrive at one of these stops and my package has not arrived I will file a claim, buy more expensive food items and be reimbursed by the postal service.
Financially this method is more suitable for me.
Landon: What are you using to navigate with? Maps, compass, GPS, apps?
I am a tactile learner, so I will be navigating with a paper map and compass. I have a watch that has a compass, barometer and altimeter that are the highlight features of a GPS.
Gubbala: Will you use a solar charger to reboot your medical device?
The power cord of my Medtronic Neuromodulation system is a US type B plug, requiring 15 amps of electricity. This is not suitable or possible to do with a solar charger. And the recharge system is rather heavy concerning pack weight.
Stephanie: What do you anticipate being the hardest part of your trek? What are you most looking forward to?
I anticipate the hardest physical part of my trek will be the snow in the High Sierras. I hate being cold. Mentally, it will be hard leaving my partner and pets for five months. But I’m looking forward to the freedom of emerging myself in nature, free from the everyday distractions that prevent me from living in the moment. And I will carry her support with me.
Jill: How will your medical challenges make your hike different from that of a hiker w/o the same medical issues?
I have never hiked long distances, but neither has anyone else with my medical device. There are no blogs to give me insight into what may happen or what differences to expect. Thus far, I know that logistically my challenges seem difficult. Other hikers have the ability to pick and choose different hostels or hiker housing. I, however, must rely on trail angels to aide me with my medical equipment.
My implant needs to be recharged, and the recharge system can only be shipped to a residence. I have mapped out the first 600 miles of my journey based on the locations of trail angels and their willingness to help me along my journey.
I foresee difficulties adjusting to sudden changes in barometric pressure that might result in a forced rest day. When I become too tired and continue to push myself, it starts to affect my ability to concentrate or think clearly. At that time, I will need to take a break for a few hours and allow my body to rest. I will need to pay close attention to my body and learn to anticipate my physical needs to have a successful journey.
Also, why do you choose to hike solo?
I am choosing to solo-hike because being sick for so many years, I had to depend upon other people a lot. One aspect of my hike is to reconnect with my body. Hiking with another person would inadvertently lead to dependence upon that person. That has been a problem, and the solution for me is to rely upon myself and my instincts to get me through.
What do you hope to gain by completing this hike?
I’m hoping to gain more self-reliance. I am going to let this experience change me into the person I am meant to be once it’s complete.
Are there any conditions in which you will decide to cut off your hike, or skip certain sections?
I can’t say for certain, but as of right now only a wild fire will cause me to skip certain sections; otherwise, I’m hiking to the finish.
Sarah: How are you going to take care of your dreads on the trail?
Sarah, thank you for this question. You have given me the perfect subject for my next post, “hair while hiking.” Subscribe and follow for more responses.
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Spot on with this write-up, I really think this web site needs much more
attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the
Thanks for the great post. I look forward to following your journey.
Great post but most post offices will mail your package back after 4 weeks and trail angels really don’t like holding packages much longer either. You should arrange to have a friend mail your boxes a few weeks before you get to each location or you likely won’t receive them!
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Whitewater trail house picks up your package from post office….and holds it for you…in the house….so hikers don’t have to go to the P.O…….just have to put your package in C/O Paul Miller…(The Bear) …So hikers don’t have to worry about their boxes being sent back by P.O…..we do like to have hikers notify us if they aren’t going to make it to us….Ziggy