State of the Hike: 2 month edition
Is it really only two months before I start my hike? Time never flies this fast when I have nothing to prepare for. Sneaky time.
Time to morph into highly-productive-Alice. Here is a current State of the Hike report:
What I have done:
- applied for PCT permit
- applied for Canada entry permit
- printed out California fire permit
- ordered/acquired some gear (shelter, backpack, shoes, most clothes, food to try)
- tested one flavor of Pro-Bar (Chocolate Coconut is yummy!)
What I still need to do:
- order/acquire remaining gear (guylines, stakes, alcohol stove)
- print maps
- test out new gear & methods (tarp, stove, stoveless cooking, Aqua Mira)
- learn knots
- test all the other Pro-Bar flavors
- plan out food – detailed, calories per day
- plan itinerary for resupply shipments
- make resupply boxes
- take Wilderness First Responder course
- decide how to journal on trail
I have picked out a start date: April 13th, 2014. Many things could change between now and April 1st, when I will make my final decision. The biggest factor affecting my departure will be the related factors of snow in the Sierras and water in the desert. California officially entered another drought this year, and water levels have been extremely low. Many PCT hikers aim to hit the beginning of the High Sierras (Kennedy Meadows) in mid-June; I am tentatively aiming to hit in late May. The Bay Area finally got rain this last week (and snow in the mountains), and more could dump between now and April, so I’m staying open to leaving a bit later.
The biggest remaining tasks are sorting out my tentative itinerary so that I know how many resupply boxes to send, and where. And then buying huge piles of food and sorting it into USPS priority mail boxes.
I admit that I’ve been procrastinating on the food business. My brain freezes in panic when I start calculating the caloric content of couscous dinners vs. instant potato ones. And then there’s the unpleasant experience of buying junk-ish food in this region. While prepping for the JMT last year I was buying a mountain of snickers, 10 foil packs of tuna in oil (it has more calories), and mushroom soup packets, while the woman in front of me was buying organic produce, chia seeds, and quinoa. She gave me a questioning look. Or pitying. It can be hard to tell around here. At Berkeley Bowl I got harrumphed at by impatient shoppers as I snapped pictures of bulk labels.
Maybe I’ll try Costco this year.