• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

8 Top Tips From PCT Bloggers For Future Backpackers

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Sep 29, 2022

As it turns out that walking more than 2,600 miles can give someone more than enough time to think – well, a plot things! Our PCT 2022 class bloggers spent some of that time – when they weren’t daydreaming about their next hot meal on the town, that is – evaluating their gear and thinking about what advice they would give to future hikers.

Let’s hear what some of them had to say.

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Karlie “Whisper” Huff | @karlyhuff

Favorite equipment: Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60L

MSRP: $285
Lester: 29.8 ounces

I love that the removable back cushion can be used as a seat cushion. I also appreciate the ability to swap out the hip belt for a different size. The pockets on the outside allow for many different configurations for storage.

Top tips for future hikers:

Connect to your purpose on the trail and revisit it from time to time. It’s good if it evolves, but remembering what animated me helped me when the kilometers were hard.

Alyssa “Little Foot” Kroeker | @thebcbackpacker

Favorite equipment: Sleeping bag Petrel 10 UL Feathered Friends

MSRP: $599
Lester: 1 pound 14.2 ounces

It’s warm, stores well and the color is great.

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Take the time to jump into these lakes! 🙂
  2. Frolic, take zeros and take advantage of people.

Quinton “Sweatsuit” Peters | @quinton_peters

Favorite equipment: Smartwool Merino Base Layer Hoodie

MSRP: $155
Lester: 7.8 ounces

It’s a great layer – I could hike in it to start some cold Sierra mornings without getting too hot. I might also wear it to camp if it’s too hot for my puff. I used a duvet so having a layer that insulates my neck was perfect.

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Everything is “shippable” – there’s no point thinking about how difficult something is going to be when your only other option is to go home.
  2. If something doesn’t need to be done today, then it’s tomorrow’s problem…which will be better solved tomorrow.

Janine “Sofa Queen” Abdallah | @therealyogini

Favorite equipment: Tarptent Notch 1 person tent

MSRP: $314
Lester: 28.4 ounces

It has a double wall, with ample space inside the mesh and in each vestibule. The tent also holds up very well to the elements and offers superior breathability.

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. You can plan whatever you want – your equipment, your boxes, your resupply stops – but if you don’t have the right mind, all of that will be pointless.
  2. Be adaptable. Things (weather, shipping issues, your health, etc.) will NOT go as planned. The trail will assess your comfort zone and then it will probably be everywhere so embrace it. Besides, it will make a hell of a story!

Melissa “Caps” Riordan | @snickerdoodle0085

Favorite equipment: Cotopaxi Bataan Belt Bag

MSRP: $30
Lester: 4 oz

Believe me, get yourself a fanny pack. It’s 100% worth it for the convenience of accessing snacks, and if you overload the hip belt pockets of your backpack it will start to dig into your hip bones at some point. . Belt bag for the win!

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to rest. It can be tough when you’re trying to put on miles, but you don’t have to put in big miles every day. Take a minute to slow down and take in the incredible scenery around you.
  2. Find your loved ones – hiking and camping with the right people will make all the difference in your experience. It can also be good to hike alone for a little while, even if it’s only for a few days.

Juliet “Scorpion Queen” Kerven | @juliette.outdoors

Favorite equipment: Bandana

MSRP: $7.95
Lester: ~1.5oz

Don’t underestimate the humble bandana. It can be a bandage, a handkerchief, a towel, a tablecloth, a hair accessory, a mask or even a tool for pre-filtering water. I love the bandana so much that I use two now – one is exclusively my snot rag and the other is an all-purpose tool.

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Be prepared for the fires – they are scary and very real. They will change what you expected from your hike, so be flexible and be prepared to flip flops. Hiking is 10% hiking and 90% logistics.
  2. Hike on your own and enjoy all that you see. It may sound harsh, but the reality is that next year it could be a burn scar.

Maddy “Lightning Rod” Jaynes | @hike_more

Favorite equipment: Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet 48L

MSRP: $325
Lester: 17.5 ounces

Strong frameless and extremely durable backpack – it even excelled with a can of bears in the Sierra!

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Set no expectations.
  2. Above all, have an open mind and be ready to accept and embrace change.

Shoemaker Rachel “Dobby” | @rambling__rach

Favorite equipment: OR Sun Roller Sun Hat

MSRP: $18.98
Lester: 3.4 ounces

I like this hat mainly for its sun protection – the wide brim helped cover more skin and the drawstring ensured I never lost it to an unexpected gust of wind. Also, fun fact: I once used it to tap into a shallow water source!

Top tips for future hikers:

  1. Do Your Own Hike (HYOH) – Remember It’s your hike! Check in every once in a while and ask yourself questions like, “Do I want this? Am I getting everything I want from this experience? »
  2. Save and budget more than you think you need. There are always unforeseen expenses, and you might want to treat yourself to a nice meal or a room all to yourself in town once in a while, especially when morale is low.

So there you have it, folks, a few words of wisdom from eight of our PCT Class of 2022 bloggers. Wondering what this year’s AT bloggers have to say? Be on the lookout next week for tips they have to share!

Make sure you subscribe to The Trek newsletter so you never miss an update.

Featured Image: Graphic Design by chris helm (@chris.helm).

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps support The Trek’s ongoing goal of providing you with quality hiking advice and information. Thanks for your help!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.