1st Practice Backpack Trip

 

Point Reyes Hike

Trying not to follow the examples in Wild my PCT hiking partner Jerry and I took out our new equipment on the trail to test weight, functions and gain experience with cooking, camp setup and pack organization.  Jerry and I  hiked in Point Reyes National park on Tuesday February 16th – to 18th.  My pack with 2 full days of food weighed in at 20lbs about 4 more than target.  (12lbs Base Weight + 2lbs per day for food).  However, hiking with a 20lb pack + 5lbs of water was no problem and everything worked great.  We hiked in 13 miles to Wildcat Camp just 100 yards from the ocean and set up camp.  Walked down to the ocean and waded out at cooled off our feet.  We returned to camp and cooked our first practice meal for our PCT adventure.  Everything worked great.PtReyes3

We also met a camp Neighbor, Ben, trail name Juan Durder (pronounced wanderer) with his ukulele.  He was planning to go hike the Appalachian trail and be a correspondent for “sounds of the trail. www.soundsofthetrail.com”  He practices his interview techniques on us asking us various questions on our upcoming PCT adventure.  Unfortunately, he did not test his air mattress prior to his trip and it had a leak that we were not successful patching, hey the ground is not that hard. (or cold). 

We went on the next day to hike 16 miles about half of the trip in driving rain to coast camp.  We were so comfortable hiking we did not stop and put on our full rain gear and got pretty soaked by 20mph winds and heavy rain.  We got our tents set up in the rain and had to retreat about 4:30 into our tents due to heavy rain.  My tent worked will with room to cook and hang out for the afternoon, no leaks and other then the noise of the wind and rain it was a very pleasant night.PtReyes1

Did have one issue with the rain.  I need to remember to put my phone in a waterproof spot.  My phone died due to the rain soaking through my jacket pocket.  I have to thank Jerry for the pictures as mine were lost on the dead phone.

 

We hiked out 7 miles on Thursday and finished our 2 day 36 mile backpack with pizza for lunch in Ross.  A very successful PCT practice backpack.

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Nine Weeks to Start!

The PCT is calling! After retiring November 1st I am on my 3rd month of not working. My new job is training for the PCT, a hike of 2,650 miles. My training is to hiking 5-6 days per week and with distances of  50 – 75 miles per week.

The great news is I have met some people that also plan to hike the PCT in 2016.  I also have  some good friends to help me plan and organize the trip. My PCT hiking buddy Jerry lives in Alamo and kicks my butt every time we hike up Mt. Diablo. But Jerry has not done any backpacking so our training will include a few nights on the trail using our gear and testing out our tents, sleeping system and food plan.  It will be fun to work together to work out the logistics required for getting from Mexico to Canada.

The good news is we hike weekly with many “thru hikers” people who have hiked one or more of the three long distance trails in the US. Scott “Shroomer” a triple crown hiker ( PCT, CDT and AT) has been our mentor suggesting different gear and hike strategies to help us be successful. We meet other long distance hiking experts that continue to give us great ideas on how to hike the trail.

We are now hiking 4-6 days per week and today we did 12 miles on Mt. Diablo with over 4,000 vertical of climbing. It is great to get gear out on the trail and have our legs and feet get in shape for hiking everyday.