Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail Southern and Northern Termini - 2011 and 2015
Pacific Crest Trail Southern and Northern Termini – 2011 and 2015

A few summers ago, I got the inspiration to start section hiking the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail. It all started when I was on a backpack trip in the Sierras. A lady was resting on a rock and I stopped to talk with her a bit. She told me she was a retired stewardess from Chicago and had been hiking sections for a few years to complete the entire Pacific Crest Trail and she was solo. She even said that her family jokes that if she dies before it is completed they will have to carry her ashes to finish the trail. WELL, just this small moment in time with this lady on a rock gave me the courage and inspiration that I too could do it.  Thank you to the Lady on a Rock.

I have now completed all 2,650 miles spanning from the Mexican border to Canada section hiking during my summer breaks from teaching. It has been an amazing journey.

Pacific Crest Trail Movie Trailer I use to introduce my students to the hiking the PCT. Who wouldn’t want to hike it after viewing this fun adventure?



Favorite and essential:

On trail Blogging Essentials

Extra Resources



BackpackGossamer Gear Gorilla23lightweight, supportive, comfortable
Pack Liner1fits nicely in pack
ShelterZPacks Solplex Tent with stakes17Light and stormproof
Polycryo Ground Cloth1lightweight and does the job
SleepingZpacks 10 degree with Draft Tube24Warm & comforable Buy one size longer than your height
NeoAir XTherm15Warm comfort
Kitchen/FoodJet Boil Sol Ti8fast boiling, small canister = 22 boils
Cook-N-Coozy Solo1a little oven
Long Handled Spork0.5long handle is perfect for zip-lock bags
Open Country Cup1handy measuring marks
O.P. Sak (Odor Proof)2love the 12 X 20 size
HydrationSawyer Mini Filter3the best filter I have ever used
Sawyer Pouch - 2 liter1buy a 2 liter bag for longer trips
1 Smart Water Bottle2fits on Sawyer Squeeze
First-aid/HygieneFirst-aid kit3*see content below
Tolietries10*see content below
Potty bag3.5*see content below
lavender, peppermint, melaleuca0.5multi-use powerful meds
Swiss Army Classic1twizzers actually work
Duece of Spades trowel0.5get the brightest color
Clothes in PackMarmot Essence Jacket5beads up nicely with long sleeves, great colors
Houdini Wind Jacket3.5essential for layering
TNF Etip gloves1Lightweight and warm
MH Ghost Whisperer7warm and very light, love the hood for sleeping and cold days
Pat. Cap. 1/4 Zip4.5My fav for years
TNF flash tight3.5
Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocks1.5no toe blisters and wear a very long time
Night Socks1.5
Patagonia Active Hipster1dries quickly, fit great
Misc.Rite in Rain Journal2waterproof, great size
Petzl e+LITE1lightweight
maps w/data pages in ziploc3
sit pad cut from foam pad1DIY essential
Lumix LX7 Camera7love the wide angle
FlashAir WiFi cardtransfer pics from camera to phone
iPhone 65navigation, blogging, video, phone
Otter Box Case1durable and slim
Mini Tripod1small, lightweight
StickPic0.5easy, simple pole mount
Anker Astro 6700mAH Charger4.8Dependable, 2 or 3 full charges
Umbrella8sun and precipitation protection
Sea to Summit Bug Net0.5Works
Unshoe4.5Minimalist design
Weight SummaryBASEWEIGHT (oz)185.8
w/o food & waterBASEWEIGHT (lbs)11.6
Items WornMarmot ShirtGotta love plaid
Sage Convertible Pantsfit great, offered in lengths
Dirty Girl Gaitersgreat dirt and sand protection
Columbia Sun Gloveseasy to get on and off, don't show dirt
La Sportiva Bushido Shoesbuy at least a size up, love them!
Insoles - Custom
Injinji Midweight Crew Toesocksno toe blisters and wear a very long time
Buff Scarfsun scarf, headband, beanie
Trucker Hat
Sports Bra
Vibrating Alarm WatchNo more stress not hearing an alarm
Patagonia Active Hipsterfavorite for years
Smith Sunglasses
Fizan Polescompact, strong, lightweight
Extra Gear/SnowSnowline Lite MIcrospikes9Recommend highly
Petzl Summit Ice Axe13Grip when you need it
Dexshell Waterproof Socks3.5
Extra Gear/BearBearvault solo32
Ursack S29 9bear protection for non-regulated areas

Trail Food


Blog Posts

Before the Hike Preparation 2010 – 15


Hosting Hikers in Tehachapi


On Trail Journal posted from my iPhone
Southern California – Campo to Tehachapi 

 Central California – Tehachapi – Sonora Pass 

Northern California – Lake Tahoe to  Oregon

California/Oregon Border to Cascade Locks, Oregon 

Cascade Locks to Washington/Canada 


Shawn “Pepper” Forry and Justin “Trauma” Lichter completed the first ever wintertime thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail through snow, ice, wind, rain, mud, and freezing cold. They were kind enough to agree to a video interview answering student generated questions by my tHInK outsidE outdoor class. These guys are unique. Don’t miss this viewing treat. 

This is just for fun about Life on the PCT

PCT – Southern Terminus to Warner Springs March 31-April 4, 2012

PCT – Warner Springs to Idyllwild April 5-8, 2012

PCT – Idyllwild to Onyx Summit April 2012

PCT – Bucks Summit to Castella June 2012

Photos on Flickr