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[pct-l] Planning for '98

We are sitting here at the PC, snow is falling outside and it is hard to
believe that for early PCT starters there are only three and a half
months before they are on the trail!  We would like to make some
suggestions we haven't read yet.

#1.  Get all your financial and personal affairs settled NOW. Long
distance banking, paying of bills, possion worries, etc., make in town
time so very hectic.  Any personal situations (family, friends,
significant others, etc.) become very mentally taxing and take away from
the pleasure of the trip.

#2.  Purchase from the PCTA Store the new Data Book that BenGo compiled
-- it will make trail descriptions, water stop info, miles traveled,
town descriptions, etc. so much more concise and lighten your load. 
Remember, this is in addition to what you may want to take from
Schaeffers trail guides.  Don't forget that you need the topos from the

#3. Purchase some area road maps for each section and study them incase
you need to get off of the trail quickly.

#4.  Prepaid phone cards worked great for many hikers and could be
purchased in some towns along the trail.

#5.  Since it is difficult, time comsuning, and expensive to make lots
of calls when you are in town, designate one person you can trust to do
your message forwarding and receiving.  This will eliminate having to
make many calls, specially when people aren't home to answer your calls,
you have limited time and access to phone, and missed calls due to time
zones changes if you live on the East Coast.  You can also have one
person to do E-Mail updates for you.        

Happy Trails Couple --  Walt & Pat
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