One of the practices that Darren and I follow is to maintain a packing list. Over the years, we have had several lists floating around. Recently, we combined all of these into one comprehensive list that we call our “Master Packing List.” It includes everything that we could bring, grouped by category. This practice makes it easy to tailor our list for a particular trip. Thus, this packing list can be used for all types of travel, including backpacking, international travel, car-camping, or simply an overnighter at a friend’s house.
In 2016 we attempted to hike the entire 2,650-mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in one season. Over 4 1/2 months we completed 1,828 miles of the trail in California and Oregon. Although we did not reach our goal of finishing the entire trail, we still had a great experience hiking in the California desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Cascade Range. Take a look.
Darren writes a companion story to the post about our Pacific Crest Trail mistakes, detailing the things that went well for us, and other factors for potential PCT hikers to consider.
Darren writes about five mistakes we made last year while hiking 1,828 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in California and Oregon.
If you have been following us for any length of time, you know that we are planners. We like to know where we are going, and what we will be doing for each day of a journey. Our upcoming United States National Parks (TTP NPS) adventure is no different. But what made things more challenging this time was that we need to concurrently sort out the logistics for this trip as well as our return to the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail spans three states as it travels from Mexico to Canada: California, Oregon and Washington. The Oregon portion of the trail is the shortest of the three states, covering a distance of 455 miles. As we trekked closer to the California/Oregon border we heard all kinds of stories from other hikers. “Oregon is flat, and you can easily hike 25 to 30 miles each day,” one person told us. “It’s a “green tunnel” of shady forests with not many mountain views,” said another. All we knew was, after over 1,300 miles of hiking in California, we were ready to tackle a new state.
The Cascade Range of mountains extend about 700 miles from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California. The Cascades differ from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in their series of volcanic peaks dotting Northern California, Oregon and Washington. In fact, all of the volcanic eruptions over the past 200 years in the contiguous United States have taken place in the Cascades.
It had been a traumatic experience for us to leave the PCT in the High Sierras, due to the raging river crossings. As we rejoined the trail in South Lake Tahoe, we weren’t sure whether we would encounter other issues that would force us to make a similar decision. We knew that we would still face some snow, but weren’t sure to what extent it would affect our hiking progress.
The past segment of the PCT from Tehachapi, CA has had a little of everything: heat, scarce water, fire worries, treacherous trail, snow, and finally, torrential rivers and streams. It also marked the end of our desert hiking and the beginning of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Since our last post we have arrived in Tehachapi, CA, located about 35 miles southeast of Bakersfield.
We are at Cajon Junction, mile 342 on the Pacific Crest Trail, and at the end of four weeks of trekking. Already in that time we have hiked through a variety of weather, including rain, gusty winds, a snowstorm, and temperatures in the 90s.
Sandy details some of our preparation for the Pacific Crest Trail trek.