Jacob Leistra / "Game Boy" / PCT 2019

Trail Facts and FAQs

Where are you going?


How are you getting there?

By hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

When are you starting? Where are you starting?

I’m starting May 10th in Campo, California. The wonderful Scout and Frodo are hosting me the night before.

How long will it take you?

2650 miles, and then some. I plan on summiting as many peaks as I can along the way.

Yeah but, like, how much time will it take you?

About 4 months. I’m interested in pushing for a 100-day thru of the PCT, but I’m not sure how it’ll go. For the first few sections, I’m going to take my sweet time.

How many miles a day?

Depends on the day! I plan on putting in a solid 20+ miles a day.

That’s a lot! / That’s not that much.

It’s what I’m comfortable doing! But I have a habit of pushing myself, so I’m sure that will creep up to ~30 or more miles a day in NorCal and Oregon.

Are you doing it alone?

I’m starting the PCT alone, but I’m sure I’ll find a trail family soon into my hike.

Aren’t you afraid of snakes? And bears? And vermicious knids?

Nope, but I’m afraid of needles and sometimes I still get nightmares about missing deadlines in university. I reckon I’ll be pretty safe from those on the trail.

What gear are you bringing? Why aren’t you bringing X, Y, or Z?

Check out my LighterPack. If my gear list looks sparse, that’s because it is. You really don’t need too much to walk all day and sleep on the ground. Everything else in my list is tried and true by myself or other ultralight hikers.

What food are you eating?

Junk food! No really, lots of junk food. I expect to be burning somewhere north of 4500 calories a day. At about 150 calories/ounce, there is no better food for staying energized than sugary snack foods. My staple foods will be snacks, but for lunches I’ll be cold soaking cous cous or rice, and eating wraps with tuna, peanut butter, and avocado. When I stop in town I’ll try to eat a bit better. You know, stuff like lean meats, veggies, and grains (in the form of beer).

How will you get food?

I will be resupplying food and replacement gear in the many small towns along the PCT. A lot of these towns thrive on the PCT hiker traffic, and I’m happy to be their customer.

How will you get water? Are you bringing a water filter?

For the most part, I’ll replenish water from natural sources (springs, streams, etc.), but I hope to encounter a few water caches in super dry sections. I am most definitely bringing a water filter.

You’re not sending boxes to yourself?

With the exception of my bear canister to Kennedy Meadows, I’m not preparing boxes to send to myself. I can have a capricious appetite and I’m not sure what my hunger levels will be, so I’ve opted to buy along the trail. In sections with limited resupply options, I’ll mail myself a box from the trail.

Are you going to be bored?

Maybe, maybe not. I’m bringing podcasts, music, and reading material–all digital. Details coming in the next post.

What are you going to miss most on the trail?

My friends, my family, ice cream, Igor, and climbing.

If I think of more questions, I’ll add them here.

Photo: View from the PCT somewhere between Round Lake and Showers Lake. South Lake Tahoe, CA in September 2017.