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[pct-l] poor old Ray

Dude gives some very sound advice on how to get big miles. But different
things work for different people.

I'm usually good for 15-25 mi./day, depending on circumstances. But I need
to take time to enjoy what's going on.

I always take breaks, and lots of them. When I recently did the Sky Lakes
Wilderness, I spent 45 min. each at Snow Lakes, Devils Peak, and Cliff Lake
on my second day, but I still did 24 mi. I find that my brain and body enjoy
the experience a lot more when I allow them time to rest periodically and
process what's going on. If I knew that lunch and dinner would be my only
breaks, I would get demoralized.

As for filtering water, my Pur Hiker allows me to filter a gallon of water
in maybe 5-7 min., which is usually a part of one of my breaks and doesn't
take additional time off the trail.

And there's no way I could go w/o talking to people I meet along the trail.
To me, that's one of the highlights of my day, especially when I'm hiking
solo (always).

My point is that everyone has their own techniques. Hiking all day long with
few breaks is not necessary for big mileage. The main goal of your trip is
to enjoy the experience. And that is going to mean different things for
different people. In other words, hyoh.

Ashland, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces@mailman.backcountry.net
[mailto:pct-l-bounces@mailman.backcountry.net]On Behalf Of dude
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 10:24 PM
To: JohnDRandall@aol.com
Cc: pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [pct-l] poor old Ray

I agree about the corn pasta, but I am not sure that I agree that
some people just can't do the mileage.

Let me start off by saying its not important to do big miles in the
first place, but if you _want_ to hike more miles, you can do it.
There are just a few tricks that you have to use.  For those
1.  Get up 30 minutes before sunrise.
2.  eat a breakfast that does not require cooking.
3.  Break-down and pack your camp in less than 15 minutes.
4.  Start walking 15 minutes before sunrise.
5.  Don't take any breaks, except lunch and dinner.
6.  Don't stop on the trail.  If you have to slow down, that's fine.
Slow down as much as you have to, especially on the uphills, just
don't stop.
7.  Use Iodine or other chemical water-treatments instead of a
filter.  Huge amounts of time are wasted filtering water.  Also, the
larger your water containers, the fewer times you will have to stop.
I liek to carry a 4 liter bladder.  It Lasts nearly all day.
8.  Use Ray's method of wearing running shoes and synthetic socks so
you can just cruise right through stream-crossings without removing
your shoes.  This saves alot of time.  I remember one trip I took
with my buddies who spent nearly 45 minutes at every stream
crossing.  That's alot of wasted time, for someone trying to get in
lost of miles.
9.  An Ultra-light gear list certainly helsp in the camp set-up break
down areas.  The less gear you carry, the less time its take sto put
up/take down.  Don't carry anything extra.
10.  Don't get lost.  Be sure to know where you are going.  Study the
map and make sure you know all the details.  Carry the map/guide book
in a readily accessible location so you can reference it often
without losing time.
11.  Carry your Camera in an easily accessible location.  I carry
mine in my front pocket of my shorts.  Don't spend lots of time
taking photos.
12.  Hike till dark.
13.  Don't build a campfire.  You'll get more sleep since you wont
spend time building it, and you won't have to spend time ensuring its
put out in the morning.
14.  Don't hang your food. (I'll leave it to each individual to
decide what other options to use).  Hanging food takes a long time to
do and takes along time to take down and organize the ropes and bag,
15.  Don't spend lots of time talking to hikers that you pass on the

Of course, I'm not suggesting that this is "the way" to hike. There
is no right way or wrong way to hike. Hike your own hike (HYOH).  I
am merely posting methods that I use when I want to cover more
distance.  Sometimes I have other goals when I hike, like taking in
more of the environment, or enjoying meeting other hikers, or
fishing, or looking for new routes, or testing gear, or whatever.  In
these instances, the goal is different, so the way I hike would be
different.  Anyway, I hope someone gets some use out of this post.


> The essence is this; from a PCT thru-hike perspective--can you
> hike 20+ miles a day or 8 miles a day?   I've reduced my pack down
> to 22 pounds, but I still can't hike more than 10-12 miles a day.
>  I could reduce my pack down to zero and I still couldn't do more
> than 15 trail miles a day.   All the hoo-haw about weight doesn't
> matter beans if you can't walk the walk.
> Going from a 60-pound pack which I carried in my late 30s to the
> 22-25 pound pack I currently carry (in my late 50s) has done two
> things; one--it's allowed me to pursue an activity which I enjoy
> and be on the fringe of something I've dreamed about (hiking the
> PCT, etc) AND increase my daily hiking distance from 8 miles/day
> to 12-13 miles/day.   But, even if I could spend 100% of my time
> in exercise and preparation, I doubt if I could increase my
> miles/day by more than 25%, maybe up to 15 miles/day.  Top end.
> The Ray Way provides the thru-hiker athlete--and I stress
> athlete--a methodology to walk the walk.   It also allows the
> average hiker who wants to spend a week in the wilderness--a
> 50/60-mile hike--a way to reasonably accomplish the goal.
> However, I think corn pasta really sucks.
> john
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