|Purchase/READ Yogi’s PCT Handbook||This is the FIRST and best thing you will do!|
|Read the entire PCTA website||Haven’t myself but would have saved a lot of research time if I read it at the start.|
|Organise/apply for permits: entering Canada via the PCT, California fire permit, PCT long distance hiking permit, US via (if applicable)||Good to get in early although you can’t apply for the long distance hike or entry into Canada permit until 3 months before your trip anyway.|
|Read past PCT hiker blogs||My favourites:
– Walking with Wired
– Wandering the Wild
|Create your own blog||I use WordPress and started as soon as I began planning,|
|Watch a PCT documentary||I thoroughly enjoyed parts of Walking the West.|
|Sign up to PCT-L||Joining forums freaks me out but I’m sure there’s some great advice on this one.|
|Create a budget||Mine totals $11,000 – be prepared to spend if you’re a first time hiker like me.|
|Research/purchase/test gear||Start with shoes, backpack, sleeping & cooking systems, water filtration then clothing. Postholder.com is a great place to read up on other PCT hiker gear lists.|
|Modify gear||Mum’s who can sew are a must!|
|Research/purchase/test food and cooking system||Blogs are great for this, steal ideas!|
|Organise travel to the start of the trail||I’m relying on distant relatives of my parent’s friends (you want to get to Campo early). Trail angels could be an option.|
|Purchase travel insurance||World Nomads guaranteed covering me for hiking the PCT under their level 2 adventure sports cover.|
|Plan resupply strategy, where to resupply and how (buy or mail) using Craig’s PCT Planner.||This will take a few days. Yogi’s trail notes handbook is great to use alongside Craig’s PCT planning software. Create your own spreadsheet as you go to track: distance from trail to town (walk/hike), your layover time, days to your next resupply, buy or mail food, if you’re using an alcohol stove whether they sell alcohol/HEET, possible accommodation and mailing addresses for packages.|
|Decide on items for resupply boxes||Food, handbook pages, databook pages, new bag liner, soap, new socks, t-shirt, moisturiser etc.|
|Become a PCT member||For good trail Karma and to give back to your home for the next 5 months.|
|Download/print Halfmiles maps and latest water reports.||There are over 250 pages of maps. Print A4 double sided in colour if you can afford it.|
|Download iPhone apps||The topo maps app and HYOH take a LONG time. Be sure to have good wifi.|
|Register for ADZPCTKO 2013||I’m choosing not to attend as I want to get ahead of the madness and have a slow start.|
|NOLS Wilderness First Aid Course||Weekend course just before my trip held in San Diego.|
|Training||I try to walk at least 10km, 5 out of 7 days and hike around 20km on a trail every weekend, four months prior to the hike. I would have loved to do more overnight hikes to test my body and gear.|
I happened to stumble on your blog while searching for information about insurance while on the trail. You mention that Worldnomads guaranteed you coverage for the hike but I also found this on the PCT-L mailing list.
“Hi, Andrew. If you find something useful, please let me know. I went
through this drill for our first cycling tour and came away empty-handed.
I had signed up with WorldNomads.com only to find out in the policy fine
print that they did not cover things like hiking and cycling *if* they were
the primary activity of the trip. Prior to my receipt of the actual policy
it looked like the case was just the opposite — that they were happy to
insure all manner of high risk activity, and they were, just not as a
primary activity of the trip. As I was cancelling the policy I discovered
that this exception is common among carriers. Be careful that you don’t
waste your dollars.”
That was posted in 2011 so things may have changed but thought I would post that here anyways.
Thanks for the advice! I wrote an exact explanation of my trip to them and they confirmed they would cover me in writing. Who have you decided to go with?
Actually, as soon as I made that post I went to their website and email them about it and this is what I got as a reply.
Thank you for your inquiry. We are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Trekking and Hiking are both activities we do generally provide coverage for should an injury result from either of those activities. Therefore, should you become ill or injured while partaking in thru-hiking, this policy would be able to provide coverage for medical expenses incurred as a result of that illness/injury.
As you noted, however, mountaineering or rock climbs using support ropes is an activity that is excluded on our policies. Should you become injured while engaging in this type of activity, we would not be able to cover for any medical expenses related to that injury.”
I have yet to pick a provider but that is because my hike isn’t till next year. =(
I’m just planing very far in advanced.
But so far this Worldnomad sounds promising.
The definition of mountaineering is the key and I think it’s far from what we’ll be doing out there. Good on you for being so prepared in advance. Hopefully I won’t need to call on World Nomads for assistance but if I do I’ll let you know the result!
This is really good advice!
Glow in the Dark