[pct-l] Hi All! A few questions for those interested in helping a future thru-hiker

Brian Lewis brianle8 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 09:30:38 CDT 2009

For a June 21st start on the PCT from Kennedy Meadows Patrick asked:

"1) would you recommend thick, ankle-protective hiking boots, light
tennis shoes, or most likely something in between?"

I think the majority of thru-hikers use trail runners (~tennis shoes), with
a good pair of wool socks, and I'd bring a spare.  If you've never walked in
snow in this way before, however, you might want to give it a try before you
start in the Sierras.

"2) what have you done to prepare yourself for rattlesnakes?"

Nothing, which IMO is the right level of preparedness.  That, and really
basic common sense (the "not do anything obviously stupid" variety).

"3) what is your best advice on dealing with bears: both preventing
incidents as well as handling them if they occur?"

Use an approved plastic bear can in the Sierras, and other than that, don't
worry about it.  I prefer an Ursack for use beyond where the bear can is
required, others don't, but the creature to be concerned about in this
decision is the bear more than you.  Again, barring the human involved doing
anything really dumb.

You didn't ask some of the other common ones like stream crossings, use of
an ice axe or crampons, etc etc ... look in the archives and maybe even the
briefly popular pct FAQ can help on some of this stuff,
And certainly Yogi's book discusses this kind of thing as well:

Brian Lewis / Gadget '08

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