[pct-l] PCT Prep

Uriah Pariah uriahpariah at yahoo.com
Mon May 18 12:21:09 CDT 2015

You've probably heard of the "ten essentials," as touted by outdoor magazines and enthusiasts. The ten essentials I value differ...
The ten "essentials" I value are:
1) Wisdom (though I'm not quite there myself!)
2) Knowledge of thyself (strengths, weaknesses, limits)
3) Knowledge of the goal and all that it takes
4) Knowledge of Ma Nature (terrain, weather, potential weather, etc)
5) Fitness (structural, aerobic, metabolic)
6) Ego (confidence in your ABILITIES, not your capacities**) 
7) Lack of ego (i.e., a willingness to "fail" by retreating when needed, etc)
8) Water access and food supplies (regardless of metabolic fitness)
9) Knowledge of equipment (and Nature's equipment)
10) Equipment (clothing, fire starter, shelter, map, compass, H2O filter, etc)

**Ability is measurable; capacity is a condition

I personally don't look at thru-hiking or hiking as a risky or arduous proposition, though there's obviously some risk involved (just as there is in life, which always ends up the same, regardless). But both hardship and risk decrease as the wisdom and knowledge and fitness you accrue increases.
Preparation might then center around these considerations: gaining experiencing and fitness and thus (at least in theory) confidence. Go spend a night out in the woods this weekend; walk a ways to do so. Carry water, food and that which you'll need for a night or two. All thru-hiking is is a stretched-out string of hikes to the next resupply spot, each usually lasting five or so days. A thru-hike only becomes a thru-hike once you've reached and passed all the resupply places en route, from trail's terminus to trail's terminus.

As far as gear weight is concerned, the smaller you are, the lighter your load should probably be. I'm wispy and it's practically a medical necessity to travel light. But it took practice and time (and a few "sacrifices") to pare my pack down to the svelte weight it is now. Drop me an email if you want specifics, but they might not pertain to a beginner like yourself.
      From: veronikaloebach <veronikaloebach at ymail.com>
 To: pct-l at backcountry.net 
 Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2015 3:42 PM
 Subject: [pct-l] PCT Prep
Hello all. I have some beyond newbie questions. I am 22, born and raised in LA...always known city life. Im extremely lanky. Somewhat atheletic but definitely not as athletic as a 2650 mi hike....my question is...what can I possibly do to prepare and what will best help get me through it? It is my life dream to complete the pct even though ive never been on a hike more than 8miles. What do I need to know? Anything and everything will help. I have been reading everything online but every thing is regarding full grown men. Which I am not. Also...I notice the norm for weight being carried is no more than 20lbs at a time...is that number common for just men or women as well? Also...does that include water and food? Carrying 20 lbs (about 10 liters) of water alone is definitely going to put me at some major set backs when I do eventually start my journey. 

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