How Did I Get Here? (Two Weeks Until My Thru-Hike)

I’m currently staring at a stack of resupply boxes full of food for the next 70-80 days. How did I get here? What is possessing me to do this?

First off, hi, I’m Justin! I’m a videographer, photographer and content creator (to use the parlance of our times) and I will be hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) starting in two weeks. Yep. Two weeks.

70 days of resupply

How I got here:

My introduction to thru-hiking was seeing a North Country Trail sign at age seven while hiking on Lake Superior. I asked my uncle where the trail went and when he said “New York to North Dakota” the idea of hiking that far both baffled and enticed me.

Since then I’ve done countless backpacking trips across the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Thru-hiking has always remained in the back of my mind as “something to do someday” but I never really had a plan (or more importantly time) for how to do it. Then three years ago when I was laid up with a broken ankle I stumbled across the book “Grizzly Bears and Razor Claims” by Chris Townsend. I devoured it. The Pacific Northwest Trail resonated with me: rugged, rough, remote. I became somewhat (ok, totally) obsessed with the idea of hiking it. And in 2 weeks I’ll be starting the trail!

What’s calling me to the PNT?

The PNT has all the things I love about backpacking: navigation challenges, undeveloped sections, bushwacking and solitude (I have a hiking partner, I won’t go full Castaway on you). The length is perfect for my three month timeframe, the trail typically takes 2-3 months. Plus, I love the scenery and the vibe of the Pacific Northwest and am excited to spend the summer walking across it.  

Having experience backpacking I’m confident in my backcountry skills, but that’s not to sound naive. According the PNTA less than 300 people have completed the trail since its inception in 1977. It’s going to be tough. Physically tough. Mentally tough. It will test me in ways I can’t even imagine. It might even break me. All part of the adventure.

PNT infographic




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Comments 5

  • Kit : Jun 20th

    You rock Justin! You’re the best and I BELIEVE IN YOU AND KATE!!!!

    • Justin Sprecher : Jun 20th

      Thanks Kit!

    • Don : Jun 21st

      Totally agree, but I am biased.


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