3 months to go. 3 MONTHS TO GO!!!!! I can’t believe it! Only 3 more months to go and I’ll hit the Pacific Crest Trail. Things feel so different than 2 years ago when I was preparing for the John Muir Trail. I feel so calm and relaxed. 2 years ago I was like a busy squirrel, looking in all directions, jumping from one foot to the other and back; like a dog with its tongue hanging out, looking at its owner and asking: “What more? What more? What should I do?” 

When I hit the JMT in 2013 I was overprepared. Now I’m prepared and I’m still preparing but I’m also like: No need to overplan it girl.

It’s funny ‘cause back then the JMT seemed such a huge thing to me (well it was and I still value the experience 100%). What lays ahead of me now is 10 times bigger and I feel like it makes absolutely no sense to worry even a single bit because I just can’t capture what is awaiting me. It feels unreal. I don’t know what it means to hike from Mexico to Canaca. I have no idea. Not a clue! The JMT was short enough to be able to “overview” it and start thinking: “Maybe I can do it. YEAH I can do it.” The PCT is leaving me speechless. I have no fucking clue. I’ve never done anything alike. I don’t know whether I can do it or not. I don’t know what is gonna happen. So there’s no need to worry. I’m just gonna go. The only thing I know for sure is that I want it. I wanna hike the PCT. I wanna hike to Canada. I wanna be in the wilderness. I wanna be out there, get out of my comfort zone, do something I’ve never done before. And of course there’s that longing in my heart, to be back in the Sierra, to call the wilderness my home.

So what I’m doing in terms of preparation isn’t all too much. The biggest hurdle that came to my mind was actually getting a 6 months visa, but after a nice visa-interview at the US embassy in Brussels that hurdle came down and I was set to go. YEAAAAAAH! That leaves me with training, logistics and mental preparation.
My mental preparation consists of …  well … TRUST. What else can I do? I can’t prepare 100% for what is waiting for me. Some things are out of my hands. The trail will teach me what I need to learn. I consider myself having a good portion of common sense. Atop of that I need skills and guts. My skills are fine. I’m good in reading maps, reading the weather, reading the landscape, I know how to behave in the mountains, in the snow,…  After all these years, that is something that has become a part of me. Now when it comes to guts… I’m just getting out there. Fears are mostly irrational. Fear of the dark. Fear of wildlife. Fear of… na that’s it. Lately I’ve done a lot of night hiking through the woods here and I often think of Anish when I’m out. She had to hike in the dark like no other when she set her speed record. When I get scared I think of her and tell to myself: “Don’t be a wussy, Anish hiked through mountain lion and bear country in the dark and set a frikkin record!” My biggest fear is still the fear of wildlife getting close while I’m asleep. I know it is irrational. The percentage of something happening is close to zero. It’s the same shit like flying a plane. Flying is the safest way to travel. So that fear is something I won’t let me stop. I will overcome it. I will deal with it. There is nothing I can do to prepare for that. I sleep in the woods here. And I still feel the same fear. So I’ll live with it until it wears off and then I’m gonna get a good nights sleep on the PCT!
As for physical training… I don’t do much much much but what I am doing has become a part of daily life. Our tiny home is rather in the middle of nowhere (as far as there’s a middle of nowhere in Europe) and we don’t drive there by car. We go grocery shopping on foot, we pack out all of our trash, we carry liters and liters of water in our backpack, we carry big gas cans over the hill so we have a warm home in winter. We basically do everything on foot, pack everything out and carry everything in… over the hills and fa-ar away! Through the rain, through the snow, through the mud, through the dark. In a way my off-trail life ain’t very different from my on-trail life. I cook on my MSR pocket rocket, boil my coffee water with my Jetboil (damn that’s what I call luxery!), I don’t have a bathroom or an indoor toilet. Anyway, apart from living my life I do a bit of yoga and a bit of full body workout. And I hope to be kinda fit when I hit the trail.
Last but not least: Logistics. As said my biggest concern was getting my visa. Now all I gotta do is get my wilderness permits, create a resupply strategy (I’m basically gonna buy as I go and send as little packages as possible), find a resupply person in the LA area and organize my transportation to the trailhead. 
Right I forgot about gear… You all know I’m a bit of a gear junkie. So I got that dialed in. I almost have my gear list complete. I’ll post it here sometime soon. I’m very grateful for the fact that I can ask the mentors of My Yama Adventure about the things I’m not sure about (like do I need a special desert shirt?)!!! Of course the trail will teach me in the end. Things that worked in the Sierra might not work in the desert. I will find out soon enough. And when that happens… no need to worry… I’m just gonna change it on trail.
Sooooo I’m all set. Bring it on baby!!!! 3 more months!!!!!!!
 I could shout it from the roof but it’s kinda slippery up there right now, so I’ll just dance in the living room (which is also the kitchen, the bed room, the gear room, the everything I got) :c) :c) :c) 

Logistics

Finally sewing the hipbelt of my GoLite Pinnacle smaller, till my new Gossamer Gear Gorilla arrives :c)
Testing my new montane rainpants (only for Washington) and my new Altra Lone Peak 2.0

6 thoughts on “PCT Preparations

  1. Why I do believe you are getting plenty of the right kind of exercise. Living life outdoors, giving up the cush of normal housing by american standards, gets you plenty ready to life life on the trail. I'm excited for you.

    Like

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