Train for the PCT by Hiking 1,800 Miles on the Te Araroa

Most people train for the PCT by doing day hikes or a short multiday hike. I, on the other hand, plan to train for the PCT by doing 1,800 miles on the Te Araroa (TA) in New Zealand.

Yes. You read that correctly. A 1,800-mile shakedown hike! Go hard or go home is what I always say. Actually, I have never said that. So, you may be wondering, why would I train for the PCT by hiking 1,800 miles?

I have five months free from work

I recently finished up work in order to finish of some postgrad study, which, fingers crossed should be finished as soon as I hit “submit” for my last assignment in the coming weeks. The plan, once I finished studying, was to hike the PCT. However, this leaves me with four to five months before I can start the PCT. So… I could do day hikes or go to the gym for four months or… I could hike the TA.

You see, November to March is the perfect time frame to hike in the Southern Hemisphere. So why not make the most of my sabbatical year away from work and hike the TA as well.

Of course, hiking the TA could break me before I even get to the PCT, but when heading to the land of Middle Earth it seems appropriate to quote J.R.R. Tolkien:

”It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door” – Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring.

I choose the dangerous business of going out my door

Yet, Frodo chose to go on an adventure and so do I. Hiking the TA could be “dangerous business.” Any number of things might happen on this shakedown hike to prevent me from doing the PCT. But instead of choosing to play it safe by sitting at home for four months waiting until I can hike the PCT,  I choose the dangerous business of going out my door on an adventure. An adventure that will hopefully involve not only the TA but the PCT as well.

Feel free to follow along to see how I fare on this adventure, here on The Trek for the quality highlights or on social media, links in bio.

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Comments 2

  • Patrice La Vigne : Nov 13th

    Happy hiking! We did the TA in 2014-15 (and wrote about it on the Trek). It is one tough cookie, but such an amazing cultural experience. Let me know if you have any questions!!

    • Kez : Nov 13th

      Thanks. I’ve read your articles. Although, I’m not sure that I want to hear the words ‘tough cookie’ with less than a week to go! However, if I do make it through and onto the PCT I suspect that when others are complaining, I’ll be thinking that it is a walk in the park compared to the TA.


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