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Re: [pct-l] Requesting through hiker planning advice

Brick Robbins wrote:
> Dear Veteran Through hikers:
> What advice and suggestions would you give to prospective through hikers?
> What tips could you give based on your experience, not only with hiking the
> trail, but in planning and preparing for the hike?
> Thanks.
> Brick

Wheither you are an experienced hiker or not I suggest you read all the 
materials regarding the trail, hiking and backpacing equipment you can; 
Ray Gardine, Schaeffer's guides, Cindy Ross, etc., it never hurts to be 
over prepared!

Join the Pacific Crest Trail Association (it will be one of the best 
things you do!) and get on line with their discussion group. Get in shape 
and if you are not experienced in self-arrest and the use of ice-axes, 
take a course this winter!

Make going light your number one priority -- it will save your feet, back 
and mental attitude by making your trip more enjoyable and give you more 
much greater chance to be successful.  

Take along a good hydration system (Camelback, Platypus) for the desert 
-- gators are great too, they keep out the sand.  A wide brimmed straw 
hat -- instead of an umbrella. Filter or Iodine -- read all the 
discussion and make up your own mind.

BE FLEXIBLE!  Be prepared to change tactics (supplies, equipment, miles, 
terrain options / trail vs yellow blazing, etc.) when the trail tells you 

Don't send packages to yourself at all of Ray's suggested stops in 
Southern California!  Tim Umstead sent a great list on October 27, '97.  
I agree with all but mailing to Laguna -- you could buy there, Vermillion 
Resorts will have enough to get you buy but not a great selection of some 
food items (they also have no phones at Kennedy Meadows and 
Vermillion!),Tuolumne Meadows (buy) is great if you aren't too early 
because they may not be open, and Echo Lake -- go to Tahoe and stay at 
the Sunset Lodge with Sam -- lots of stores, restaurants and Sam is a 
great person!  I can't make any suggestions after after Sierra City 
because we got off the trail there --  they only have one store and 
shopping was minimal and places to stay were also minimal -- there are 
few stops in the Sierras so be prepared to walk long distances (or hitch 
hike)to towns off of the trail to buy or mail!

Hiking the PCT is an adventure you will always remember, make sure you 
are prepared so the memory is a fantastic one!  See you out there in '98 
we hope!

Pat Radney 

Be prepared for different types of hiking; desert (heat, dehydration, 
lack of water mosquitoes, green flies; in the High Sierras  some 
treacherous water fording and icy and snowy pass crossings, carrying lots 
more food but less water, Oregon & Washington, rain and cold weather!
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