[pct-l] Newbie to PCT

Diane at Santa Barbara Hikes dot com diane at santabarbarahikes.com
Sun Oct 5 14:00:34 CDT 2008

On Oct 5, 2008, at 10:00 AM, pct-l-request at backcountry.net wrote:
> I am an experienced backpacker who thru-hiked the AT in 2007.   
> However, I am pretty clueless about the PCT.  I am planning to  
> start sectioning the PCT beginning in the spring of '09.  I'd  
> appreciate any insights on the following subjects:  (1) Where in CA  
> would you recommend that I do my initial two to three week  
> section?  (2) When should I start in the spring?  (3) What are some  
> differences between the AT and PCT that I should bear in mind while  
> preparing?
> Many thanks in advance.

I have not hiked the AT. I can't compare the two. Spring, April/May,  
is a great time to do the beginning of the PCT. The chaparral is  
nice, the flowers will be in bloom, it won't be too hot yet. I would  
say, go ahead and start at the beginning. You may also want to start  
with Section E, too, but it's not really that bad to do when most  
people do it, end of May/beginning of June. But it's your choice.

Water will be something you will struggle with for the first 700  
miles. And again you will find yourself struggling for water in some  
places once past the Sierras. You will need to get used to going 20  
miles without a water source. It's not a big deal, really, and there  
is helpful information updated on the web each year called the water  

And if I can make one suggestion, many of us who never hiked the AT  
grew a little weary of the former AT hikers who seemed to start every  
sentence with "On the AT..." Don't spend all your time comparing the  

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