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[pct-l] Hiking the trail in parts

I concur that slowing down and not needing to complete the 2650 PCT in one 
season certainly can make sense. However, just don't choose the wrong time 
to slow down - like those mosquitoes can ruin everything, Deet or not. You 
may love to spend extra days in the Sierras, but one hour with those beasts 
will change your mind. Same in the Sisters.

What I am says is, if you don't plan to thru-hike, plan to be places when 
you can enjoy them at the appropriate time of year. I certainly would have 
loved that luxury. Who would voluntarily enter Washington at the height of 
the rainy season, or the Sierras, Oregon, or Washington when the mosquitoes 
are at their fiercest?

And yet, there is something enormously satisfying about completing the trail 
in one season - and not needing to restart the training and getting fit 
process all over again. It seems to take almost 2 months to really get into 
the "thru-hiker" state, physically and mentally.

Enjoy your own hike.

Marshall Karon
Portland, OR

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric Lee (GAMES)" <elee@microsoft.com>
To: "Eric" <radpin@gmail.com>; "Joseph Niemiec" <whitethunder10@hotmail.com>
Cc: <pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 12:04 AM
Subject: RE: [pct-l] My money dump at REI

Eric wrote:
I'm doing this trail to walk along,
have fun, and take it all in. If I wanted to blaze through just to say
I did it, I could, but that's not my intention. If I end up stuck in
the snow, making 5 painful miles a day in the Cascades because I
"wasted" time fishing for a couple of days in the Sierras, so be it.

Well, sheesh, you should have said that in the beginning.  :-)

Your philosophy makes a lot of sense. I've often thought that it would
be much better and more enjoyable overall to hike the trail over two
years instead of just one.  You could go slower, see more, and have much
less performance pressure than someone who tries to do it in the
standard 4 to 5 months.

(When I did my section hike a few weeks ago I met one thru-hiker who
said, "Right now I hate hiking more than anything.  Every morning I wake
up hoping this is all a bad dream and I'll be at home in my bed, but no,
I'm still on the trail.  The thing is, I really want to finish.  So here
I am.")

I certainly wouldn't argue that there's only one right way to do things.
Of course many different approaches can all be successful, but you can
stack the odds in your favor.  I think most people would agree that for
those folks who are planning the standard five month thru-hike, their
chances of finishing vary inversely to the amount of weight in their
pack.  Sure, there are many other factors involved.  As others have
said, mental fortitude is far more important than weight, but I suspect
that mental fortitude is much harder to train; either you have it or you
don't.  Pack weight, while being a smaller predictor of success, is at
least measurable and controllable ahead of time.  And the less time you
have to do the hike, the more important pack weight becomes.

But if finishing in five months isn't your highest priority then sure,
by all means plan your trip to accomplish whatever _is_ your highest
priority.  If that includes taking your time and enjoying yourself then
please, take whatever equipment you need to accomplish that.  Do
whatever increases the odds of success for your own personal goals.

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