Unlocking the secrets of hiking the PCT – The Trek

The PCT has been an enigma to me for many years. How do people walk 2,600 miles, feed themselves and carry all their gear around for 5 months?

The few attempts I’ve had on multiday trips in the UK have had many failures, which I’ve learnt from, but nonetheless I’ve felt in awe of how people can accomplish the entire thru-hike and then talk about it as though it was just a walk in the park. What did these people know or do that I didn’t?

So here’s a few things I’ve picked up in my first few weeks on the PCT which have mainly been desert. I’m sure there will be a part 2 by the end of my thru-hike!

Wake up early
Desert heat, shorter daylight hours and me generally walking slower than some others means I haven’t been achieving my target daily mileage. When I add in a 4.30am alarm, I’m on trail by 5am with my head torch and felt very happy with how many miles I can get in before lunch.

5am sunrise walk

Eat lots
I’ve lost all the weight I put on during the month leading to my start date. I’m now feeling my entire body ache because I haven’t been eating enough. I enjoy talking to everyone on trail about their diets and I’ve picked up more of a snack-as-I-go habbit which means I’m normally grazing on something on top of main meals. My energy levels have now come back.

Water, electrolytes, vitamin water or whatever you find in town. My 4-6 liters of water was going straight through me but I’ve increased my electrolyte intake and feel more hydrated. Drinking a lot at night, first thing in the morning and whenever I’m resting by a water source also helps boost water intake.

Water source at Mikes Place

Deal with the pain
Yes, there are serious injuries that take people off trail but understanding your body to know if you are aching from a 20 mile day or if you are about to get something more serious is so important. Either way, deal with it and …….

Source: https://thetrek.co/unlocking-the-secrets-of-hiking-the-pct/

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