Tempeh stir fry in a desert

I look at the spork that I am eating my lunch from today and laugh at myself. My life is slowly changing I am realising. Walking around with a hiking backpack and running up the Wageningen ‘Mountain’ in trial shoes. Not even speaking of the pee rag in the bathroom and endlessly reading about water in a desert. But how my life exactly will be one month from now is something that I will simply not know.

I take a bite of my tempeh stir fry while questions start popping up in my head like the crocuses now in the fields. Life is currently filled with a lot of questions about my nearby future bringing with it uncertainty. This can be scary at times but I am mostly embracing it. It is part of the adventure that I signed up for and I will have to tough it out from now on, no way back. But how do you deal with this never-ending voice in your head?

All the voices, questions, and thoughts are part of the preparation as well. Mental preparation. I often get the question of how I physically prepare myself for what is yet to come. “Working on my basic fitness level with running” is what I usually answer. I am not so scared about the physical part of the PCT– with weeks filled with 100-120 kilometers of running I think I will adjust pretty fast to the hiking routine.

But next to gear and physical preparation there is this oftentimes overlooked part of mental preparation. How do you mentally prepare yourself for what is yet to come? 4265 kilometers filled with off road dirt paths, hot teasing sun, and crests filled with snow? Not even speaking about bears that might be lurking around the corner of my tent.

For me mental preparation is about trust. Trust in your preparation and trust in what is to come. My dad sometimes blames me for my ever so laid back attitude of ‘everything will be alright.’ But I think this skepticism can also be a strength. Overthinking does not lead to anything and simply preparing your best and accepting the uncertain is what works best for me. In the end you have to trust what you have done and simply get out there. I don’t know what exactly is to come but I know for sure is that I will not be eating tempeh stir fry in 4 weeks..

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Peter R : Mar 8th

    I enjoy reading your writing, it is refreshing t see a different way of looking at and preparing for the trail — below sea level! Best of luck, enjoy, and happy trails!

    • Susan van weperen : Mar 8th

      Thanks Peter (: I will do my best preparing the best I can below the sea level here! Happy trails to u to!


What Do You Think?