Three weeks until my PCT adventure begins!

“Your PCT permit is ready to print! Act now.”

I received an email yesterday from the PCTA that my permit is ready to print. That means my hike is only three weeks away!!

It feels surreal. I’m still working and living in my house in Baltimore. In three weeks I will have moved out of my house completely, started my 5 month leave of absence from work, gone on a one week beach vacation with Nick’s family, dehydrated several more meals for the trail, attended two parties in the DMV (happy birthday Michaela and congratulations Olivia!), flown across the country, and started the trail! How?!

I’m so excited, but I definitely have the pre-hike jitters. I’m having trouble sleeping, and all I can think about is the trail.

On the way to the post office to send boxes to my mom

How I feel prepared

Mentally. I know that some days are going to be tough. I know there will be aches and pains. It will be too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet. I’ll miss my friends and family and some important events. BUT I’m absolutely determined to hike and won’t be deterred.

Financially. I’ve been wanting to hike the PCT for a decade, and I’ve been saving off and on since then. It would’ve been a struggle to do this hike straight out of grad school, so from a financial perspective there was an advantage to waiting, working an office job, and saving up.

How I don’t feel prepared

Physically. I’m not in shape AT ALL. I wish I would’ve prepared more, but I kind of let that one slide. I’ve read about several other thru hikers who get in shape along the trail. My plan is to take it relatively slow in the beginning to get used to the trail.

I’m also concerned about my ankle. I tweaked it running over a year ago and it’s never been the same. It bothered me on our AT shakedown hike. I plan on bringing an ankle brace to wear if it starts to hurt and a healthy stash of vitamin I (ibuprofen).

How I sort of feel prepared

An inventory of the food items I sent my mom today. I also have a Google sheet

Resupply strategy. Nick and I have dehydrated several meals for the trail, but certainly not enough for every day. Four to five months is a long time! Whatever we don’t make for ourselves now, we’ll supplement from stores along the trail. I’m sending two boxes of meals to my mom in the mail today.

What do you think I should be doing in my last few weeks before hitting the trail?

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Comments 2

  • Stephie : May 6th

    So exciting! There will be so many wonderful experiences along the trail (including the ones that are difficult). I think you’ve prioritized your preparation strategy well – being in the right mental and financial place beforehand will allow you get caught up if you find you’re not in the place you want to be physically.
    As for what to do with the rest of your time, obviously you’ll have to spend a significant portion of the next three weeks just getting your stuff packed and stored, etc. My recommendation for whatever time you have outside of that is to try and get your shoe/foot situation shored up (if you haven’t since your AT dry run). Test it out on at least one long day hike. You’ll get in shape on the trail, and your supplies will be what they are. But everything will feel harder if you’re also dealing with blisters, etc. and it will be more challenging to change your shoe set-up from the trail.
    As much as you can, do your prep with the people you want to see before you leave. Ask your loved ones to help so that you can maximize your time with them and getting your tasks accomplished. Maybe plan a packing party or a food prep fest?
    Looking forward to following along vicariously!

    • Elaine : May 9th

      Thank you, Stephie! I appreciate your opinion.


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