There’s nothing like talk of backpacking gear and filthy hikers doing yoga together in the morning. (This is the first time I’ve seen organized yoga at Ziggy and The Bear’s.) I’m getting a bit burned out in the PCT-hiker-all-day-everyday thing and antsy to strike out on my own hike. Day after day I’ve watched other people strike out on adventure dreams, and I haven’t been exactly living mine. What with a little nagging MTB injury, I’ve had a couple days where it was hard to stay my usual chipper self. I don’t like that. In a week I’ll be in Yosemite, and I think I might take the High Route for a bit. That should get me out of the… continue reading
View of the San Jacinto foothills from Ziggy and The Bear’s front yard. It rained all night and got cold, and there’s snow down to about 5500ft! Hikers must have had a rough time out on the mountain last night, and the same for those headed north yesterday. Brrr!!! But nature doesn’t wait for anyone, and nor does Manning Park. Keep walking!! Pacific Crest Trail @anzaziggy
Tent deliveries from David’s gear shop in Mt Laguna to Julian involved picking up a hitch-hiking Legend (far right) in his own truck, Gypsy, pie at Mom’s, and a truck-signing party. Surprisingly cold, drizzly, foggy, and windy weather in the the area has hikers hunkered down and re-considering gear choices.
Ultra lightweight sleeping bags are purpose-built for long-haul treks where space is at a premium and weight is counted in grams, but they can also be used on your ordinary family camping trips. I call that win-win! The sleeping bag is part of “The Big Three:” your backpack, your tent, and your sleeping bag. These three items comprise the most weight, and take up the most space of all your gear. Also, they are items (aside from food and shoes) that can make–or break–your hike or tour. Be prepared to shell out good money up front (and not have to re-purchase something better later). This is an investment you’ll be putting to very good use. A sleeping bag is a… continue reading
I did done a ton of solo hitchhiking both during and after my PCT thru-hike — over a thousand miles and many dozen hitches. I learned a lot about hitching and from hitching and thought I’d share with you. Before my thru-hike it never occurred to me to hitch-hike. Not only that but it seemed dangerous and rather taboo. But on a thru-hike it becomes not only necessary but mostly fun. And for me, I wondered not only why I had never done it before, but why not keep doing it? And so after my hike, I continue to hitch-hike. Of course I’ve seen firsthand that it is easier to get a ride when you’re a female (or two or… continue reading
(UPDATE 2023) I realize these days all the “cool” kids want a tissue-thin artisanal custom sub-2-lb backpack for their thru-hike. If that’s you, maybe you don’t need this article. If you’d prefer to carry something sturdy that can actually handle water carries, snow gear carries, and possible longer stretches, then this post is for you. (UPDATED 2019) Here is a run-down of all the popular backpacks on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Also included are a couple pack comparison charts for you, looking at a range of the most common and reasonable packs for normal people. I hope this helps your selection. Please correct any mistakes or omissions in the comments below. Index Common Packs Outliers Other Ideas Considerations 55-60L… continue reading
I was super excited to find this excellent photo gallery of PCT hiker photos over at Outside Online today (thanks Pacific Crest Trail Association for the link). How cool is it that an unwitting trail angel became a documenter of some of the 2014 personalities? I met a few of those hikers (Justin, Blanco, Far Out, Sarah!, Namaste) , and maybe met a few others before they got their trail names, and got teary-eyed looking at their beautiful portraits. But it made me remember that I took some 2014 PCT portraits myself, and still haven’t shared them beyond the ephemeral Instagram base. So here you go: Hiker Apache. Now I’m partial to this guy because I hiked a few miles… continue reading