My Favorite Backpacking Podcasts

Podcast are a great source of information from news, learning languages to backpacking. I discovered over a year ago a few podcasts from doing some searches on iTunes and below I am gonna list a few of my favorites.

“The First 40 Miles” with Josh and Heather Legler two amazing hosts that will teach you and relax you while listening to their fun outdoor stories and gear reviews, it’s a great podcast for new and advanced hikers/backpackers. Heather is a great singer, and funny to listen I am sure she will give you a smile on your face once you listen to her stories. Then there’s Josh who is the “science nerdy guy” describing in full details, materials and physics of backpacking gear. I am an avid listener of this podcast, the hosts became my friends while on my commute to work or home. I am wondering how will I be able to download their new episodes each Tuesday while on the trail, I definitely need some Josh and Heather with me on the PCT.

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Sounds of the Trail an amazing podcast about stories of actual hikers from the PCT and the AT two hosts Gizmo and Kimchi. This podcast makes you feel like you’re hiking with them ha! They’re fun and raw they tell you how it really is on the trail. Same is for another great podcast called, Trailside Radio with the host and creator Ratatouille. Awesome topics are discussed with many hiker in these two podcasts from trail food, trail closures, inspirational hikers stories to pooping methods on the trail. Lots of fun!

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If you wanna check them out here’s a few links. I added a couple more podcasts that have been suggested to me that I only discovered recently. Once I’ve listened to a few more episodes… time permitting I will assure you I will provide a review. As of now I’ve enjoyed the episode of Josh & Heather Legler on “S’more Outdoor” podcast episode 056, If you’re curious to know what “The first 40 miles” is all about. Another episode you will enjoy is “Paul’s Boots” featured in “The Dirtbag Diaries” a production of  “Duct tape then beer” I can assure you it’ll make you cry, it’s an amazing and touching story A MUST LISTEN!

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Organize & reorganize…

Many friends have asked me how I’ve prepared for this trip, well… below you will see some of the photos and things I’ve used. First and foremost I did lots of web research and found this amazing book YOGI’S which is considered the bible of the PCT. The author Jackie McDonnel writes in details about the trail, trail towns water reports etc. I highly reccomend this book to anyone willing to hike the PCT. I know there’s people doing differnet things to plan, but this is how i did it. If you have any question you can always message me and I can help you out :).

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Here’s some of the books I’ve used to plan, lots of great and detailed information and some good  and interesting reads. #yogisbook #LNT #leavenotrace
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Samples of a few days worth of food. I know some of the choises are really not healthy lol, but I am sure I will get enough calories and energy for me to keep going on the trail. #trailfood
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A total of 25 boxes with food and a couple with gear necessary for the Sierra section with the bear container that my good friend is gonna mail at specific dates for me on the trail.

Digit Days

The countdown has started and it did a few months ago haha, but I realized it doesn’t make the time fly, the opposite, days have passed by really slowly…

It’s now Sunday April 24 and I will be departing to the west coast on Friday. Still 5 days to deal with haha. I will stop in Los Angeles for a couple of days and will be starting my hike on May 2nd.
Maybe a day at the beach? Who knows…

I’m now sitting at the Starbucks in Newport New Jersey enjoying the beautiful view of trees with pink blooms and the sparkling waters of the Hudson River dividing me from the skyline of New York City.

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View of the #Freedomtower #NewYorkCity from #Newport #New Jersey 

The past week or so I’ve been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions from happiness to fear, from anxiety to total restlessness about starting my adventure. I know it’s just a normal process and once I will step my feet at the southern terminal of the PCT I know things will change and will change for the better ;).

I’ve just finalized all my things this week for my trip, everything is now packed and ready to go. My first food packages is already on its way to California yay!!!

My backpack is a bit heavy. I know… I can already hear all the other ultralight hiker yelling at me or give me a weird look while on the trail lol.
I made a decision to carry a few camera gear to document and keep my memories of this journey
I will eventually post a pic of what I’ll be carrying once on the trail and with some extra time in hand. It’s been hard for me to really decide what to bring for the ideal camera gear on the trail. I even searched on the wed for videos and websites but there’s really not much out there. So I did a bit of research myself and came out with a decent set up. I am now gonna carry with me exactly 8 lbs of camera gear including a carbon fiber tripod.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NPS

While on this amazing adventure, I will be crossing and visiting some of the most beautiful National Parks of the west coast and wanted to take this moment to THANK all National Parks for commemorating their 100 years. Can’t wait to see them in all of their splendor in person, get out there have fun and experience something new.

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#NationalParkService

 

Walking Unafraid

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.34.32 PM.pngFriends and family are all telling me, “enjoy your vacation!”. It can be seen as a vacation if you think I’ll be without a job for 5 months but this thru-hike is mostly and adventure. An adventure full of beauty, fun, new friends, surprises, obstacles, fears, struggle, pain, and hopefully enlightenment.

During my months of long preparation I’ve come to realize that I will be facing many difficulties. These will include long stretches of hot dry deserts with little or no water, rattle snakes, bears, possible mountain lions, scorpions, mosquitos, poisonous plants, bad weather, ford crossing, hitchhiking, high altitude sickness, strenuous hike on mountain passes reaching above 13,000 feet, sleeping alone in the middle of the wilderness, blisters, getting lost etc…

I was honesty really scared at first but after reading about these challenges on the trail and proper researches on the web, YouTube and books, I’ve learned that many of these issues can be faced and controlled with proper caution and critical thinking skills.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I will be a pussy at times but this is the reason of this adventure, is to try to face some of my fears and grow from them. Often when I go to bed I think, hmm what will happen if…. and my minds rumbles of constant thoughts and try to find either a solution or just sleep on it haha!

Putting the bad things aside, this trails offer the most beautiful sceneries which I’m sure they will make up any bad situations :). The community of people hiking this trail is for what I’ve heard really amazing, in fact I can’t wait to meet new friends with the same interests and to share stories around the campfire.

Trail Angels are a big thing on these trails. They are some awesome open-hearted people who every year help hikers with food, shelter, shower, wi-fi, laundry and infinite love to give. They don’t want anything in return except for a small donation and politeness and kindness from all of us. Who knows maybe one day in the future I would like to do the same :).

What is the Pct?

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One of the many cool blaze to find on the #trail #pct 

The Pacific Crest Trail is a long stretch of hiking trail (about 2656 miles) crossing 3 states California, Oregon and Washington. It has its origins at the border of Mexico close to the small town of Campo in California and that ends in Canada, Manning Park a few miles north of the United States borders.
The PCT is part of the 3 long distance thru-hiking trails of the United States including the Appalachian Trail ( 2190 miles crossing 14 states) also known as the green tunnel. It starts in Springer mountain in the state of Georgia and ends in Maine at the top of mount Katahdin in Baxter state park. The last long distance hike in trail is the Continental Divided Trail (3100 miles) the longest and toughest of the 3 hikes. It’s motto is “hike the brutality of the CDT” :). It starts at the Mexican borders of New Mexico at the Crazy Cook Monument and ends in Canada Glacier National Park crossing 5 different states.

Triple crown is an award given to a hikers that have thru-hiked the entire length of all 3 trails AT-CDT-PCT.

Below for all the curious people I have attached a map of the full trail of the PCT

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Detailed Map of the #PacificCrestTrail. Thank you @Halfmile’s Maps

PCT FULL TRAIL MAP

Thank you to #Halfmile’s PCT Maps and to the #PCTA for sharing this detailed map of the PCT

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My Journey of Self Discovery

FINALLY !
It took a while… but I finally put together this blog where I will journal the adventures of my attempt to complete the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) thru-hike. I will try to do my best to post about my days on the trail, Internet service permitting, of course ha! Writing is not really my forte, so there will probably be more photos than words, but I’ll be sure I fill you in with anything interesting I run across along the way. I hope you’ll join me on my journey and feel free to comment!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…
It all started about a year ago after reading a story on Facebook about a young hiker named Hairpin. The title, “Four Months Alone on the Pacific Crest Trail” really stuck to me. I immediately started looking up information about her journey. The idea of being alone with nature and having all that time to contemplate sounded like it was just what i needed. It wasn’t long before I got hooked on the idea of actually hiking the trail myself.

More things came to light after searching online, watching documentaries, looking at maps, and reading books and websites and of course the Reese Witherspoon movie, “Wild”. At this point, I had set my mind to do this no matter what. The idea of being alone with peace and quiet, enjoying the vistas and absorbing nature in solitude set a trigger in me.

Living in and around the Big Apple for so many years has it’s pro and cons. However, for the past five or so years It seemed the cons were outweighing the pros. Maybe I’m getting older but I just want to experience a different life. A life that is slower and less stressful. As the saying goes, I hope to “find myself” on the journey.

 

img_2237My home for the next few months