Return to Message Board
Well I have finnaly decided to do it. I will be traversing the entire 430 miles of the Oregon PCT. Unfortunately I can't take a month of to do it all at once, so I will be completing in a couple of years. I have completed sections of the trail but have never done a thru hike on it. I'm very anxious to get started but I know I won't be going any where with my current pack weight, I've got to get it down to about 30 lbs. I would like to think I'm ambitious enough to complete the entire PCT but to be honest thats a little scary. I plan on conditioning myself for the next couple of years on the Wonderland Trail and getting my daily mileage up to about 20 miles. I feel it would be a great life accomplishment, and besides the bragging rights would be the best, but that's not really why we hike now is it. If any one has any suggestions about other long (100 Miles+) trails for conditioning I would love to hear them.
I've also looked at stringing together Gorge trails, and you can probably create a 60 or 70 mile loop trip (maybe longer?) in the gorge if done right.
Eastern Olympics Loop:
It's tough to find long continuous trails around Portland, but you can do as many miles as you want in most areas, you just may need to double up on trails.
I agree with the mental conditioning. Towards the end of the summer I'll do some 20+ mile days. The best way to tackle big mileage is through small goals. Once I start to wear out , I will set small goals for myself. Example: I will make it to the next drainage, saddle, milemarker, junction, ect. Each time I reach my small goal, I refer to my map and set another, and then another. Accomplishing all those small goals, becomes motivating and add up to one big accomplishment.
Doing the entire PCT is scary for most anyone, but barring injury, I think really anyone can do it (I think a lot of PCTers try to make it sound like it's tougher than it really is). It really is more of a mind-game than a physical thing. Once you can do a 20 mile day consistently (you'll likely actually end up doing 25 or 30 miles per day), you're golden, and it's more of just getting over any mental barriers. This goes for whether you doing Oregon, or the entire PCT.
We had planned on doing some longer training trips like you, but couldn't get the time together to do so. Our first day on the PCT, we did a 20 miler...and definitely felt it. Our next few days were significantly less (15, 16, 14 miles), but we realized that the best training for the trail is the trail. Granted, we were all in our mid 20s and are fairly active, but we were soon doing regular 20 mile days, then a 25 here and there, and then a 30, etc. Our daily average before the start of the PCT was probably 13-15 miles per day.
One hiker who started out a little overweight and out of shape started a few weeks earlier than us and did only 10 miles per day to get in shape. He eventually was doing fairly big miles, and even though he was only planning on doing southern california, he ended up crossing the Canadian border a couple weeks after us.
I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this is to definitely do your training, but to not intimidate yourself by the endeavor. You'll also likely get a lot of the necessary training in on the trail...
If you need any tips, let me know.
Thanks for the map Forrest, I will look into doing some stuff there too. That gives me some great ideas on some stuff thats not to far away.
Thanks again guys