All the Gear!

Alright you guys… A bunch of you have been asking me about the gear and items that I will be taking with me on trail so I have made a complete gear list. I spent a few hours completely nerding out on a super organized-color coded spreadsheet that lists each item, its brand, trail weight, and cost. Would you think I’m weird if I said that making this spreadsheet was really fun? CLICK THE LINK!! Lauren’s PCT Gear List

I already had some of these items before planning this trip but most of them I bought along the way,both new and used. I have not purchased everything I need quite yet, but I am getting there… this stuff gets expensive man, I can’t afford to buy it all at once!

I have narrowed down my fuel and food costs to about 28oz and $18 per day (this includes pre purchased food, used fuel/consumables etc). Multiply that by 136 hiking days. I will also be sending myself 20 resupply boxes along the way. Each box will contain rationed food for that section, a clean shirt and clean pair of socks, new hiking shoes as needed, snow gear in the Sierras, cash, new toiletries, and hopefully a letter or two from my loved ones. Each resupply box is anticipated to cost $18 for shipping. I have calculated my town expenses too. I am sure that when I reach town the hiker hunger will be REAL and I will be purchasing myself a nice big meal, perhaps a cold beer, and definitely a lemonade. I plan on spending $40 on food and $50 on hotels and hot showers at each of the 25 town stops along the way. Town spending and resupply boxes only take up a portion of my spending; gear purchases make up most of my PCT expenses.

The most important things I have to think about when buying gear is quality (duh! I’m going to survive off this shit for like 6 months, I can’t be buying the cheap stuff just because it’s cheap!), weight (the lighter the better, I am carrying everything on my back), and of course cost (I’m sorta poor… but rich in experience!!). When buying items to take on trail, these three things are paramount. They say that your pack weight should not be more than 20% of your body weight, for me that is just under 30 pounds. Your base weight, or big three items, should sit right around 10 pounds or less. Base weight is the combined weight of your pack excluding consumables and carried items, this includes fuel, food, water, clothing worn, shoes, etc. Those consumables make up the extra 20ish pounds. I’ve heard stories about thru-hikers cutting off the ends of their tooth brushes and burning used map or book pages along the way to cut down on their pack weight. No bullshit here-only the essentials. Deodorant? Forget it, embrace the smell of nature. Makeup? no way! I am saying goodbye to all of my creature comforts and fully embracing the minimalist/natural lifestyle. There’s something liberating about being able to carry everything you need on your back and only needing your own to feel to get you where you need to go.

Photo by Liquid Phoenix Photography

Today is Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating this delicious holiday with family and friends. I’ll be wearing stretchy pants to my family get together so I can fit a little extra in my belly today. There’s so much yummy food to be had!  Every evening I try to take a moment and reflect on the things I am grateful for that day. Today I’ll be spending a little extra time reflecting on the last year and everything and everyone that I am thankful for. Here are just a few…

Today I am thankful for Aliah, because without her I wouldn’t be preparing for the most amazing adventure of my life. She motivates me every time I see her and always comforts me when I am having minor freak outs about the dreaded hike through the desert. I am thankful for my family (always), because even though they may be difficult at times, no matter what the love me and support me along the way. They teach me the lessons I need in life and have helped shape me into the person I am today, nothing can replace that. I am thankful for my chosen family (both new and old), because friends are family too and they hold a very special place in my heart. There is a select few of you, and I think you know who you are, that I simply would hate to do life without. You guys have been there through thick and thin and I am so grateful for the presence you hold in my life. I am thankful for my roommates for taking in Lyla and I at the last moment and saving me some serious moolah and a dreaded move. I am thankful for Lyla, the heartbeat at my feet. I really do believe that she is a true reflection of myself, she my best friend and companion. Plus, who else would snuggle me every single day?. I am thankful for my new(ish) appreciation for yoga and meditation, I started both these practices just over a year ago and my how my world has changed for the better. I am thankful for my health, ability, and motivation; without those things, this trip would never be an option. I have never been more excited and scared for something in my life. I know that doing this thru-hike is the right decision, I can feel it down to my very core. Lastly, I am thankful for you, whoever you are. Thanks for reading! Thanks for caring! Your support means the world to me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

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