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Re: [pct-l] clothing and temperatures along the PCT
I am copying the rest of the list. Tips and Tricks.
For this season, I think we did not get as much rain as we did last year
for March. Thus, the snow depth should be lower compared to last year;
a few more days, we should get the April 1 depth which is used most
frequently as the basis for comparison from year to year. I would still
aim for getting into Kennedy Meadows at the latest, the second week of
June. Starting on April 12, this gives you about two months to go
around 700 miles which is plenty of time. 700 miles/ 60 days gives
11.67 miles, which is the minimum distance you should be travelling per
day. But the water sources at times are 20 miles apart. You have to
start building up the miles to say 15, then to 18, and so forth. 20
miles a day is a good distance to aim for. Compensate for the extra
miles by taking some time off; otherwise, you may get to the High
Sierras too early. Take the time crossing the Sierras. Be safe even if
you only go 10 miles per day. Itís very, very beautiful with snow
everywhere. Once you get through the Sierras, you should aim to go 20
miles per day, more if you can. Enjoy the desert and the sierras.
Afterwards, re-establish your daily minimum miles.
Amount of water to carry. I found that on the average (varies quite a
bit depending on where I am), I need a quart of water every six miles.
I donít carry any water if the water sources are within six miles of
each other. If theyíre 12 miles apart, I carry one quart, 18 miles, two
quarts, ... At each water source, I drank up to 2 quarts of water, like
in the desert (no hiking between noon and 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM). For a
thirty mile stretch like the Hat Creek Rim, I drank a couple of quarts
and carried 6 quarts of water. I used one quart at the six mile point,
another quart at the twelve mile point, and two quarts for dinner at the
nineteen mile point, spent the night. The next morning, I drank half a
quart for breakfast, used another quart at the 25 mile point, and
finished off the last half quart before I reached the next water source
at the 30 mile point. Of course, the weather wasnít too hot. In the
desert, I had times where I carried two gallons of water to go just a
tad bit over twenty miles, using two quarts to go uphill for two miles
in very hot temperature that seemed to fry my head. Youíll get the hang
of it after a while.
Type of clothes. In the desert, polyester shirt, nylon shorts,
polyester long underwear for your legs if brushy, the brighter the
garment the cooler youíll be plus itís easier to see ticks. Spares, a
lightweight, gore-tex like jacket and polyester shirt for those cold
mornings. In the sierras, in addition to the desert garments, add
gloves, balaclava, and a nylon pants. Donít forget your SUNGLASSES and
ICE AX. After the sierras around Echo Lake Resort, revert back to the
desert garments, possibly get rid of the long underwear for your legs as
the terrain is not too brushy, not much ticks also. In Oregon, same as
northern California. In Washington, same as the sierras, plus a
polartec 200. Always keep at least one upper body garment dry as youíll
be in rain country. Once you get any clothes wet, they wonít dry and
you may get hypothermia. If all your clothes are wet, donít sleep with
them in your sleeping bag. Other than socks and Washington, if you
canít wear all your clothes all together, you may be carrying too much.
Speaking about socks, I found those colorful polartec-like socks, the
ones they used for Christmas, most durable. I got them on sale after
Amount of calories. I started with about 3,800 calories per day. Add
150 calories for every mile beyond 20 miles.
Eating cold food. I did not bring a stove the first 10 days of my
hike. I ate cold minute rice which reconstituted after a couple of
hours, dried fruits, nuts, dried vegetables. In the sierras, I was glad
to have a stove for hot cocoa. But, of course, you can always cook over
a fire if youíre not too exhausted. But then, sometimes a fire is nice
just to dry your gear up, donít drop your socks into the fire though.
Others. Experiment along the way, like (I donít how itíll work for
women), if itís cold outside and in the middle of the night, you had to
go peee, instead of getting out of your sleeping bag, unzip the other
end of the bag, slip your leg out, wrap your bag around your upper body,
and go out. If itís cold outside and you donít have enough clothes to
start hiking, do the same thing and put your jacket over the sleeping
bag (like a pudgy, dough boy). Itís very important to keep your back
Hope this helps.
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