[pct-l] From a Newbie

Charles Doersch charles.doersch at gmail.com
Sat Oct 8 12:10:28 CDT 2011

Embracing discomfort as normal, natural, inevitable, and "not a crisis" will
help a great deal. It becomes less uncomfortable often (though not always).

>From what I hear and read by veterans of the PCT -- "cold" is a frequent
(and sometimes constant) companion one way or the other (at night in the hot
places, during the day in the cold places, falling out of the sky in the
rainy/snowy places, welling up out of the ground at midnight, etc.). Just
fording ice-melt streams in the Sierra -- one after the other -- is far
colder than is hiking in snow -- and you're not going to be able to avoid
the streams. And folks have left off hiking the PCT while still in Southern
California -- before the snow has even been reached -- because they are
cold. But if you're confirmed "cold averse" -- then this trail may not be
the one for you. There are long-distance trails in warmer countries, warmer
states -- even tropical trails.

On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 10:43 AM, Scott Bryce <sbryce at scottbryce.com> wrote:

> On 10/5/2011 12:37 PM, Joel Hawk wrote:
> > 1.    Will one "have" to walk through snow in order to complete the
> > full 2600 or if given enough time and the right set of circumstances,
> > could one complete those sections of the trail when there is no snow?
> > Yes, I'm cold adverse.
> Given the right set of circumstances, you may not have to, but you would
> be better off to decide that hiking in snow is inevitable and prepare
> yourself for it.
> Trying to skip your way around snow doesn't always work as well as you
> may want it to. If you skip the Sierra to avoid snow, you could easily
> find yourself farther north before the snow there has melted.
> The other way to avoid snow would be to start late, but then you would
> need to contend with hot weather and long waterless sections, as well as
> the threat of early season snow in the north Cascades.
> If you are section hiking, then you can easily avoid snow by hiking
> certain sections in August or early September.
> > 2.    Can anyone offer a checklist of items for the backpack?  With my
> > approach, I would be able to juggle what I pack based on the
> > specific segment I'd be hiking at the time.
> You really need to decide for yourself what you need to carry. You might
> want to look on other people's lists for ideas, but don't follow them as
> though they are THE definitive list. We have a broad range of hikers
> here from heavy haulers to extreme ultra lighters. One list may have
> more gear than you need to carry, while another may have less gear than
> you need to keep yourself safe.
> > I would call myself an entry to intermediate skill level without
> > much overnight experience.  That's probably where I'll need the most
> > advice.
> I would suggest that you shoot for a base weight of about 15 lb. You may
> not have the skills necessary to survive with less gear, nor the
> strength to carry more than that. As you gain experience, you should be
> able to shave a few pounds off of that. If you are planning to hike 2 to
> 3 day segments, a 15 lb base weight should be easy enough to carry for 3
> days at a time.
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