Prepping for the Pacific Crest Trail

My time in Portland in winding down, and the trail is approaching in my minds eye. I leave on the 14th of April, and 6 in the morning. Setting out on a jet-plane to San Diego. I will spend the night on the 14th and be transported to the trailhead at sunrise the following day.


I have been attempting to walk 10 miles a day, and gain 1000 feet of elevation. I have been using a Fitbit to keep objective data about my day, and I’ve been doing pretty well in this department. My longest hike was a 20 mile hike that went from Terwilliger Blvd in Southwest Portland, along the west hills, into Forest Park. That day exhausted me, but it was good to see my body could do 20 miles in a day, seeing that’s what I need to average to complete my journey.


I have my gear pretty much dialed in. My gear list is available on Postholer, and is mostly up to date. I’m pretty happy with all of my gear selections, having done a couple of test hikes overnight.

Online Presence

I have been gathering my online assets together, and consolidating. I have moved my blog from a Django app into a Sphinx repo hosted on Read the Docs. That will make it much easier to update, and I don’t have to worry about database backups or anything. It’s all based out of a git repo, and hosted on Read the Docs, which is highly available.

This means I only have 1 personal server left, and that is running my IRC bouncer. I will likely keep this around just for fun, but I will likely knock down the buffer size on my bouncer so that it doesn’t overwhelm my phone when I log on in the woods. I’ll want to be able to chat with people and keep logs of the channels I’m in, but I don’t need all the scrollback after a week of walking.

Mental Prep

The big part of the journey currently is just getting my head into a good state. The concept of hiking the PCT is becoming very real, and it’s scary and exciting as hell. I know it will be an amazing experience, but it’s quite the physical feat. It’s also something different; something I have never done anything like before. It’s that nervous feeling that you get when you are pushing your limits.

I am trying to step back from the emotions I’m experiencing to appreciate the experience of it. Much like watching a movie, I need to appreciate the fear and apprehension that I’m experiencing as an artifact of doing something important and necessary. There is common wisdom that goes along the lines of “The things that scare you the most are the most important to do,” and I’m trying to keep that mindset in the front of my mind.

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!