Why I’m Hiking the PCT

Maybe she’s born with it

From my understanding, most people aren’t born with the innate desire to walk 2,650 continuous miles while going weeks without showering. Instead, there is usually something largely personal that compels us to take on such a wild adventure.

I don’t feel that I have a single, overarching reason to hike the PCT this year, but rather many motivations that cultivated this desire to accomplish a huge goal. I am going to attempt to lay them out here.

My dad and I in front of Tunnel Falls while backpacking the Eagle Creek Trail for Father’s Day.


Perhaps one of the largest reasons why I’m hiking the PCT this year is that the timing feels just right for me.

  • I have had a career plan set up for a few years now where I was going to be switching jobs at right about this time anyway.
  • I am financially stable, largely due to the fact that I haven’t taken on large financial undertakings such as owning a house. And also thanks to my parents who supported me with free rent after I graduated college, during which I was working full time so I was able to save away some funds.
  • I am very lucky that my immediate family are all very healthy and supportive of my adventures.
  • I do not have any responsibilities of a romantic relationship or children.
  • I am 25 years old and have managed to stay physically active to the point where I hope my body will support me well through this journey.

I know that I am super lucky and privileged to be able to say all of this, and for that I am thankful.

Pacific Crest Trials

The following are lists inspired thanks to Pacific Crest Trials a book by Zach “Badger” Davis and Carly “Papi” Moree. This book, along with Backpacker Radio, has been a key resource in my mental preparation for my first thru-hike. In the book, Zach says to “Publicly state your mission.” He says that by publicly sharing your lists it makes your goal more real and it also holds you accountable to both yourself and others. Zach wrote these same lists for himself before attempting a 2011 Appalachian Trail thru-hike where he was in a similar situation to me, little prior knowledge of backpacking but a large amount of mental determination.

Nature is beautiful! Who wouldn’t want to eat a hot dog with this view?

I am Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail because…

  • I want to meet & connect with cool people with cool stories
  • I want to accomplish a huge goal and have a grand adventure
  • I’m tough
  • Nature is beautiful and I want to appreciate her more
  • I want to inspire others
    • Future thru-hikers who may see a glimmer of themselves in me
    • Young girls at home – you can be a farmer, and a firefighter, and hiker trash and you can be both feminine & badass all at the same time
  • I want to be good at backpacking
  • I hope to mentally reset between jobs before I return home to the family farm


When I successfully thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I will..

  • Feel like a badass
  • Have countless friends across the country and the world
  • Have stories and pictures to remember and share for years to come
  • Prove that my body and mind are capable of doing the most
  • Be in really good shape for chukar hunting season (and also be able to finally get a dog!)
  • Get a tattoo (sorry Mom)


If I give up on the Pacific Crest Trail, I will…

  • Feel disappointed in myself for not accomplishing my goal
  • Question the “what if…?”
  • Miss out on the opportunities to make friends and stories
  • Question my commitment to future long-term investments
  • Not get a tattoo

Women can do hard things! You can be a firefighter and hiker trash and still enjoy being feminine all at the same time.

Giving Grace

At the same time that I am setting my goals for myself and my thru-hike very high, I want to also allow grace for the future that is out of my control. I know that there are countless reasons why someone may choose to end their thru-hike – wildfire, injury, circumstances back at home – and we have yet to see if that will be me or not.

My plan mentally is to aim high and dream big: of being able to walk the entire trail Mexico to Canada. I hope that this goal will motivate me to push on when I am tired and uncomfortable. But I also don’t want to push myself to an unknown breaking point, like where I should’ve listened closer to my body before I end up doing something I will regret. This is the plan to start!

Ultimately, my life motto is “shit’ll buff” and I hope this will serve me well on my adventure.


I started to write these lists months ago after I decided to take on this hike, but it has taken me until just days before I set off in Campo to share them with you all. Why? Because I’m discovering that creating this blog and sharing my personal feelings is hugely vulnerable, which is scary. But I also know that vulnerability is the best way to connect with others, which is the biggest goal of my hike.

The books, podcasts, and videos of thru-hikers that I have found the most inspiration from in the past are all ones where the characters showed their emotions and told their personal stories. This is what I am trying to keep in mind as I share now, and what I hope to remember so I find motivation to continue sharing once I am on trail.

Shit’ll buff, man.

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