In the months leading up to the trail, I managed to keep the nerves mostly at bay. Yes, they made their occasional appearances when I’d Google “PCT gear lists” and immediately go into some sort of arrest due to excessive information and cost, but I’d typically solve this issue by exiting a whole mess of pertinent websites and redirecting my attention to more soothing activities, such as perusing Taylor Swift’s Instagram.
Two weeks before starting the trail, though, nervousness hit full force. This is likely because I owned approximately three pieces of gear, none of which were shoes, a backpack, or a water filtration system.
Miraculously, the week we left and around the same time we were dealing with our food situation, I briefly bucked my nerves to the side and bought the rest of my gear. I went with the rational that whatever I bought would just become the right piece of gear for me, which worked surprisingly well in my favor.
Day 1: Gear fresh from the land of REI.
A problem with buying new gear last minute is that it will be sparkly and clean and very telling of how little backpacking you’ve done. Dustin and I started the trail 652 miles after most hikers. Any hope of blending in seamlessly disappeared almost instantly, mostly due to our cleanliness.
Day 3: Dustin hanging out with some of our sparkly, sparkly gear.
Day 2, Actual Conversation:
Actual PCT Hiker: I haven’t seen you guys before.
Us: We just started.
Actual PCT Hiker: Oh. (pause) I thought you guys looked really clean.
Probably should’ve scuffed our stuff up a bit.
Day 3: Despite repeated scuffing efforts, my shoes and socks remained immaculate. My legs were another story.
Music courtesy of my dad.
Through My Headphones
*Furr -Blitzen Trapper