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[pct-l] PCT 95% mental?

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     A recent post stated that hiking the PCT is 95% mental.  In many
ways I agree with this statement, but let me expand on the thought.
     Almost every thru hiker will face a day when the voice inside
says, "I can't finish the hike in these conditions."  It's
frightening.  But having overcome these problems is part of the great
satisfaction that comes from completing the PCT.
     How do you do this?  Analyze the situation.  What's the source of
the problem?  What can you do about it?  How bad is the problem _now_?
How much of the problem is your worry that it might get worse?
     Gear selection is your first stab at avoiding these situations.
But realize that you won't get it all right the first time.  As your
trip progresses you will learn about yourself.  If your pack is too
heavy you'll decide to get rid of the stuff you don't need.  You'll
learn what _you_ need to be comfortable, mentally and physically.  You
will find a balance between the worry that you don't have adequate
protection from the elements and the worry that you're too heavily
loaded to complete the trip in the time allowed.  As you get in better
shape and discover how little you really need to be comfortable, you
will find increasingly better balance points.  This is called
     The opinions posted to this list suggest solutions that have
worked for others, but you have to decide what will work for you.  My
advice is be flexible.  It's a long summer.

Brian Robinson
PCT '97
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