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[pct-l] Downsides of a distance hike

So, you're all ready to to the PCT, maybe in 1999 or 2000. From advice from
this board you've gotten your pack whittled down to 17 pounds 9.6 ounces.
Man, that low pack weight is just scratching the surface toward making a
successful thru hike. There are lots of differences between a two week
vacation hike and a thru hike of a major trail. Here are some other

1) You probably won't make it. That's right, most of the people who quit
their jobs and make all the plans for a 6 month absence end up quitting
within a month or two. How are you going to take it psychologically if you
don't make it? Advice: Don't attempt a thru hike. Just plan on hiking for
six months. If you only get from Campo to Kennedy Meadows in that six
months and had a good hike, consider it a success.

2) Burn the fat. At some point in my PCT hike I've seen almost everyone hit
a point where they've reached a critical fat content. At that stage,
anywhere from two to eight weeks into a hike, they become ravenously
hungry, eating twice as much as normal. If you don't have extra food or
money to buy food you'll be miserable. I was. This phenomenon is temporary,
lasting about a month I'd guess. Advice: Prepare. This is not enough to get
you off the trail but something to remember.

3) Hiking Partner or Satan? You know that best friend of yours who you grew
up with and with whom you went to grammar school, high school and college?
After 4 months living with that guy 24 hours a day you'll find the bastard
has a whole lot of obnoxious habits you never knew about. If you're still
friends after the hike it should last for life. Advice: none from me. My
hiking buddy won't speak to me. I know it wasn't anything I did, it must be
some deficiency on his part.

Anything else, veteran PCTers?

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