Pacific Crest Trail 2016

The Lost Art of Hitchhiking

I wait.

A lone figure standing at the roadside, thumb outstretched.

I wait.

Hunched forward with my neon green backpack weighing me down like a turtle too small for its shell.

I wait.

Looking for the shimmer of metal in the sunlight. Feeling for the vibration of the melting asphalt beneath my ragged boots. Listening for the hum of the engine. Any and all of the things that will herald the arrival of the inaugural vehicle in a long procession of cars, campervans and pickup trucks that all decelerate to a tantalising crawl before speeding up and carrying on down the dusty American highway.

I wait. Read more

Motivational Quotes PCT

10 Motivational Quotes from the Pacific Crest Trail

This post was first featured on The Trek.

Not every day on the Pacific Crest Trail is easy.

Some days you will be uncomfortable, tired, in pain, dehydrated, freezing cold or just plain bored. You will of course experience some of the best times of your life on the trail, but this inevitably goes hand in hand with some extreme lows. In these moments you may find yourself severely lacking in motivation to keep going. Read more

PCT Mile One

How to Survive Your First Day on the PCT

This post was first featured on Appalachian Trials

People say the first step of any journey is always the hardest. Not for me, the hardest step on my journey was around mile 1016 when I misjudged my footing on a snowdrift and slid 100 metres down the side of a mountain. But for most people … taking that initial step is the hardest part.

Embarking on your first thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is a daunting prospect. You’re most likely excited and terrified, both itching to begin your adventure yet simultaneously dreading the day it comes around. Read more

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

PCT Gear Review: Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

Blistered, bruised and broken – that’s how most people’s feet end up after walking 2650 miles. A good pair of shoes is arguably the most important piece of gear when embarking on a thru-hike and as such it is not a decision to be taken lightly.
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Post-Trail Depression

Post-Trail Depression and Nostalgia for the PCT

I’ve been off-trail for almost two months now and my initial thoughts about being back in the “real” world have somewhat changed. On returning I was so glad to be home, seeing my friends and family and getting back into a comfortable routine.

But once the initial relief wore off I very quickly found myself perpetually staring out the window at distant hills, wishing I was back on the trail; looking up at the sky and reminiscing about the long, hot days and the short, freezing nights. The trail has created such a huge disconnect between my body and my mind that while physically I’m back home, my thoughts are still lingering somewhere in the Sierra Nevada, struggling to catch up. Read more

PCT bear

Animals on the PCT

Some of my favourite memories and experiences from the PCT were the friends I made. Some of these friends were human; many of them were not. The animals on the Pacific Crest Trail are a huge part of the wilderness experience, and by the time I reached Canada, filhy, feral and famished, I was one of them.

Spending five months walking 2650 miles through a huge variety of different terrains, you are bound to run into a huge range of different wildlife. I saw so many different animals on the Pacific Crest Trail, and while most of them were friendly, others made me fear for my life (and food).  Read more

Raising £3000 for Mental Health on the Pacific Crest Trail

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and driving efforts in support of mental health. I thought it was appropriate for this to be the last day I will be accepting donations for SANE mental health charity for my walk from Mexico to Canada.

I raised well over £3000 on the Pacific Crest Trail, absolutely smashing my initial target of £2650 – £1 a mile. I’m really proud of the huge amount I’ve raised and extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me to get there. SANE is a fantastic charity who, as well as providing support for mental illness sufferers, do a huge amount to raise awareness and challenge discrimination and stigma around mental illness. Read more

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

PCT Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

Choosing a tent for the Pacific Crest Trail essentially meant buying a house for the next five months. It was not a decision to be taken lightly. Spending 10+ hours a day in constant discomfort –  aching, hot, cold, sweaty, exhausted –  by late afternoon there was nothing I wanted more than to crawl into my tent, eat dinner and fall asleep. My tent had to be as comfortable as possible while still providing adequate shelter from the elements. These were the main factors that led me to buy the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3. Read more

Life After the PCT – Readjusting to the Real World

It has been two weeks since I completed my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail and I am still adjusting to being back in the real world.

Coming home was something of a culture shock, suddenly switching from my arduous routine of waking up at 5am and hiking until nightfall ad infinitum to the purposeless unemployed lifestyle I am now enjoying.

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PCT Days 132-135: Stehekin to Manning Park

I caught the first bus back up to High Bridge at 8.15 in the morning. The driver was nice enough to make a quick stop at the bakery on the way up and so I was able to pack out as much baked goods as I possibly could. By the look of him I think he makes that stop on every journey. I had already oversupplied for the last three and a half days but I still thought I should take at least twelve items of baked goods, half of which I consumed on the bus.

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