There are many of you out there who have a hard time wrapping your head around a 2663 mile thru-hike. What motivates one to do this? How does one prepare? What hardships does one encounter?
While I could do my best at trying to write an extensive handbook on do's and don'ts, the the preparation, the hardships, etc....I thought it easier to maybe first...simply post these video clips.
"Walking the West" was a documentary that came out several years ago that follows the journey of two guys, and Irishman and a Kiwi, on their quest to thru-hike the PCT. Neither one of these guys had ever done any real backpacking before, so it's told from a point of view of two people with VERY large learning curves. It really gives a great beginner angle to attempting a trek like this. The story starts with some background and explaining how both of the guys decided to quit their high paying Silicon Valley jobs and cash in their retirement plans to go on this adventure. They do there best at trying to dehydrate their own food, plan mail drops, and buy "lightweight" gear. As they start walking, they learn quickly, that things are a lot different once you get on the trail. Quite an ending as well. Add to that, that it's very entertaining, funny, and well-edited...and you get a great story.
Incidentally, "Walking the West" also won some Independent Film Festival Awards. I really recommend watching both parts. It truly is a great documentary. I watched these clips in the Fall of 2007 just after finishing my AT thru-hike and starting Graduate School. It was after watching them, that I decided to put the PCT on my life's list of "To-Dos". So here you go: