“Have you gone completely bonkers?”

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This is the standard response I’ve been getting since telling friends and family that I’m going to hike the PCT this year. Why do people keep asking me this?! …

I guess it could be for the following reasons:

  • They know I’m scared of EVERYTHING.

  • 2,650 miles (4,264 km) is a looong way. I agree.

  • I don’t own a tent. Or a water filter. Or a stove. Or a backpack big enough for these items to fit in.

  • I don’t know what an ice-axe is or how to use it. (I do know it’s not used to cut ice for cocktails!)

  • There are bears and mountain lions and snakes and scorpions and bees and mosquitoes, and fever-carrying mice, and poisonous flowers (poodle dog bush and poison oak) and lots of other scary flora and fauna that I’m sure I’ve left out.

  • There are natural scary things like lightning, bush fires, snow, heat.

  • There’s the possibility of dehydration, hypothermia…

  • Hitchhiking to the trail towns (to resupply) could be dangerous.

  • etc etc etc

But what about the adventure? What about the daily sunrises and sunsets and beautiful vistas? Yes, there’ll be hardships, struggles and tears, but this will only make the sweet moments even sweeter.

Most of the skills above I can learn before I go (I will learn how to use an ice-axe and how to navigate through snow), I will train with all my new gear and get trail ready before I fly to America, I will do a wilderness first aid course, I will research everything I can about bears and mountain lions (as far as I know, no adult hiker has been killed by either on the PCT), I will carry a bear canister through the area where I have to and I will research as much as humanly possible everything there is to research about the trail – I’m a Capricorn and an ex-brownie, it’s what we do.

So what will follow over the next few months will be my journal as I get ready to hike the PCT. It will probably look like a “dummies guide” or “beginners guide” because in many aspects of this hike, that’s exactly what I am. But at least I know one thing and that is, I can walk and I can walk long distances. The last 18 months and 2,676 miles (4,308 km) have shown me this.

Bring it on!!


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18 responses to ““Have you gone completely bonkers?”

  1. This is awesome!!! I can’t wait to follow this adventure (and learn about the trail along with you). I read Wild when it came out a few years ago and I loved it, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge of the trail.

    What an incredible undertaking- good luck with your preparations!!


  2. Awesome! So cool to hear you’ll be hiking the PCT this year. I live very close to Southern California sections C and D. I hike in the area a lot and have always wanted to hike the entire thing. I’m hoping to do JMT this summer 🙂 When do you plan on starting? Let me know if I can drop off any food when you pass through.


  3. Kat — this is major exciting! I can’t wait to read of your adventures and I’m so jealous! I’m over in Idaho so not all that close to the PCT, but I’ve walked a couple sections. Its beautiful and challenging. I’m just smiling and sending you huge encouragement! Have you read “Wild” She didn’t do the whole thing but you are already so far ahead of where she was in preparing just from your pilgrimage trail experiences. Go for it!!!


    • Liz,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. To think that the camino can bring people together from all around the world is something very special!
      I did read Wild and I saw it when it came out here in London last week, I do plan to be a little more prepared than Cheryl was 🙂
      Thank you again!!


  4. You are brave, intelligent, adventurous and an ex- brownie. So proud of you and cat wait to learn more as you plan and walk. Xxxx


  5. I completed the Comino from Saint Jean Pied de Port through to Santiago in 2013 and am planning to walk from Le Puy in Central France to Santiago in September. I thought this would be a good hike but good on you for your challenge ahead. I will be following you with interest – Go Girl!


  6. I’ve enjoyed your blog about the Japanese Temple route you did and can imagine your pics and writing about the PCT will be just as good. I’ll be on the Camino June/July, but hopefully back home by the time you cross the Bridge of the Gods and enter into Washington state. (my home) I’d be happy to hike a few days with you or make food drops if needed.


  7. Congrats on the Yamadventure sponsorship! I applied for it as well. See you on the trail maybe and good luck out there and happy trails!


  8. Happy journeying. Can’t wait to follow your walk. Maybe when I’ve completed my first long distance walk (or several), i will be brave enough to do something like the PCT. I know what you mean about people not understanding your trip. For me, they think I’m getting a tan in Spain and can’t understand why I’m not taking the ski lift up the Pyrenees.


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