[pct-l] Tons of questions

Scott Diamond scott.diamond.mail at gmail.com
Thu Mar 31 19:29:47 CDT 2016

Many good questions but I can only respond to one.

MTR (Muir Trail Ranch). I was going to use them for resupply as well but I
see you can only pick it up from June 25th onward. Too late for many PCT


On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Marcus <pctl at marcusschwartz.com> wrote:

> Hi PCT-L,
> I'm planning my 2016 thru-hike, and I've got a slew of questions.  It
> will be my first, and I think I have it planned out reasonably well, but
> there are several things that I've had trouble finding out online.  Some
> are about PCT logistics, some are about backpacking in general.
> Apologies for the large number of questions, but I'd appreciate answers
> to any of them.
> Most of my backpacking experience is weekend trips to Henry W Coe Park
> in California, though I've thru-hiked the JMT, and also a PCT section
> from Ashland to Seiad Valley.  But, I've never been out longer than 13
> days, and I've never gone more than 7 days without resupplying.
> So here's the slew of questions:
> 1. On the JMT, it seemed like MTR was the obvious place to resupply,
> since it's the last point (southbound) that's close to the trail, until
> Whitney Portal / Lone Pine.  But, it seems like most PCT thru-hikers
> skip MTR and resupply at VVR or Red's Meadow, making that long stretch a
> couple days longer.  Why?  Or am I wrong about PCT hikers skipping MTR?
> 2. I've never hitchhiked before.  Is there any etiquette I should know
> about, e.g. are hitchhikers expected to pay for gas?
> 3. Is it usually easy to get change for a coin shower, or should I carry
> quarters?
> 4. Resupplying at Walker Pass on 178 seems really hard, but necessary if
> I'm going to avoid 7+ days between resupplies.  I've looked at a few
> options, and none look very good:  Getting friends/family to pick me up
> (they live far away), taking the Kern County bus (it runs infrequently),
> arranging taxi ride (very expensive), or hitchhiking (I think it's a
> fast, little-used stretch of highway?).  Are there any options I
> overlooked?
> 5. Does leaving the rain fly off of a double-wall tent cause, or prevent
> condensation?
> 6. If you mail a resupply package or bounce box for general delivery,
> but aren't able to pick it up, what happens?  E.g. suppose my bounce box
> gets held up in the mail, and I'm days past the post office by the time
> it's finally delivered?  And, what if the destination is not a post office?
> 7. On the Class of 2006 PCT DVD, it looked like people might've been
> carrying bear cans in their packs in Washington (at least, it looked
> like there was something large and cylindrical inside their packs).  I
> was under the impression that people normally carry bear cans only from
> Kennedy Meadows to Sonora Pass.  Are they necessary (or realistically
> advisable) anywhere else?
> 8. In areas where bear cans aren't required, do people do bear bag
> hangs?  If so, for the whole trail, or only certain sections?  Which?
> 9. Is it possible to rent microspikes or crampons?  I don't have any
> plans to use them beyond this trip, so I'd rather not buy them.  But, I
> haven't been able to find any sites that rent them by mail, like how you
> can rent bear cans.
> 10. I've read advice that you don't really need more raingear than a
> poncho, because your legs can get cold with no problems, and your feet
> will get wet no matter what you do.  So, I tried to test this during a
> rainstorm a few weeks ago, by hiking about 4 hours in a DriDucks poncho
> and REI Sahara outfit, with a loaded backpack.  I got sick, and am still
> coughing.  It rained about an inch, the temperature was in the high 40s
> F, and wind gusts were about 50MPH.  What should I have done differently
> to handle that kind of weather?  Used more insulation under the poncho?
> Added rain pants or high gaiters?  Stayed home?
> 11. The 2014 PCT DVD shows what looks like an abandoned wrecking ball at
> Sunrise Trailhead.  Does anyone know the story behind that?  There's
> also an abandoned wrecking ball in Henry W Coe Park -- are wrecking
> balls in the wilderness a thing??
> Thanks again, I'd appreciate answers to any of the above.
>  -=Marcus
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