Starting the PCT

As of tomorrow the 22nd of March we are starting our PCT thru-hike. For those of you who don’t know what kind of an animal is that then briefly: it’s a hike from the border of Mexico up to the border of Canada (you can also do it in the opposite direction). It follows a trail that leads through various national parks in California, Oregon and Washington. It’s approximately 4279km (2659mi) long, it’s beautiful and it’s awesome. And for more details regarding the trail and why and how we decided to get ourselves into this, feel free to read our earlier post about hiking the PCT.

We flew in to San Diego, USA from Cancun, Mexico a few days ago in order to do some final preparations before the start of our hike. And so far on this trip which, is already five months long, we have been blessed with meeting good people. This time it was more prearranged but nevertheless we stayed these few days at a Trail Angels’ house near San Diego.

Trail Angles are people who volunteer to help hikers to get themselves sorted out before or while on the trail by providing them with water, beer, food, a ride and/or a place to call home for a few days.

So we were lucky enough to find our angel called Judy Schmidt and her husband John Schmidt. They have provided us with everything we could possibly need and helped us so much we can’t thank them enough for their kindness. Thank you our Angels!

So, the big day is tomorrow – are we ready? It’s actually hard to say, but I really do hope so. The interesting part is that we haven’t actually done any specific training for this (at least not during the last four months) and for the last month we have mostly just been chilling in Mexico without that much physical activity. We did, however, a fair amount of training before we started this trip back in October 2017, which is when I did my Ironman. After that we also did a four month Expedition Leader course in the jungles of Costa Rica which included a decent amount of physical activity, but nothing that would particularly prepare us for this hike. Another point is that we are not ultralight hikers, who usually carry around a 10kg (22lb) backpack – therefore you might not be that worried about being in a good shape as you are not carrying that much. For some reason the ultralight movement has not yet really caught on in Europe.

My backpack is around 21kg (47lb) and Stiina’s is around 16kg (36lb) – including food & water. While she is still considered an average weight hiker I am definitely a heavyweight (at least for this length of the walk). Mainly it’s because we decided not to acquire new and lighter backpacks for the hike but just use the ones we have. A big part of our gear is still lightweight, such as the tent and sleeping bags, but we didn’t go crazy and start cutting off the handle of the toothbrush. Plus I also eat a lot so most of my extra weight comes from food. Now I am typing all this without that much worrying, but tomorrow around the same time I might have some different thoughts about my life choices. We pretty much rely on our experience – it got us this far so it might as well get us through this. We shall walk and we shall see, that’s all we can do.

We will keep posting stories and to everyone updated as much as possible so feel free to follow our hike here on our blog. All I know for now is that we are excited and we can’t wait to start the hike, see you out there!

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