Only the Essential: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary
How to Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,660 mile (4,280.86 km) trail that runs from Mexico to Canada and passes through the entire north-south length of the Western United States. Depending on the length and location of your hike, 1 or more permits may be required. Additionally, you must be in good physical condition and carry the proper supplies to complete such a journey. The following is a guide on how to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Obtain 1 or more permits to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
- If you intend to hike 500 miles (804.67 km) or more of the trail, obtain a permit from the Pacific Crest Trail Association. The permit application can be found at the following URL: .
- If you intend to hike shorter distances, there are a variety of options for starting points. Find a starting point on the Internet and obtain the necessary permit(s) to legally hike that area.
- The permit to hike over 500 miles (804.67 km) should cover you in most areas. However, you may be required to obtain additional permits to hike in specific areas, such as Mount Whitney or Half Dome.
- If you intend to enter Canada (which you will if you complete the entire trail), complete the following permit application: .
- Carry any required permits on you at all times while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Note that you must begin the trail in Mexico if you intend to hike the entire trail. It is illegal to enter the United States via Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- To enter the United States from Canada, you must go through an official border crossing point.
Prepare to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Locate post offices that are near the trail. This will be helpful in getting supplies shipped to you.
- A hike of this scale requires extensive physical conditioning. Practice hiking on mountains, hills, or stairs (if mountains and hills are not available in your area) and carry a heavy backpack.
- Physical conditioning should be done for 3 to 4 months prior to beginning your hike. This is very important, as you will probably be hiking between 15 and 25 miles (24.16 and 40.23 km) daily through various types of terrain.
- It is estimated that you will spend ,000 on supplies, hiking gear, and all other aspects of your hike.
Arrange for supplies to be shipped to you throughout your hike.
- Have a trusted friend or family member ship food, medication, water, and anything else that you will need on your hike. He or she should ship them to arrive at designated posts offices along your route prior to your arrival at them.
- You may also ship items to yourself and request that the relevant post offices hold them for you. However, it is best to contact each post office to confirm that they will do this for you.
Pack the appropriate clothing and supplies for the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Bring a portable stove and cooking fuel.
- Bring clothing for all types of weather, as you are likely to experience them over the several months that you travel through this varied terrain. For example, in some parts you may need shorts and sunglasses due to extreme heat, while others may require a coat, hat, and gloves due to extreme cold and snow.
- Bring insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Bring a first-aid kit.
- Bring sturdy hiking boots.
- Bring a tent and a sleeping bag.
- Bring plenty of food to begin your hike. Foods high in carbohydrates should be carried for daytime eating while foods high in fats and proteins should be carried for nighttime eating.
- Bring a compass or a GPS device for navigation.
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
- There are various starting points. Research your desired starting point on the Internet and find directions how to get there.
- Note that some areas of the trail are very remote. You may not see other hikers for days and your mobile phone may not work.
- Follow a trail map that can be found on the Internet.
- It is best to hike with at least 1 other person in case you become too sick or injured to continue or are unable to reach help on your own.
- Research the weather conditions along your intended hiking range well. Do so at stopping points along the way, such as motels, or on your mobile phone if you have Internet access.
- If you reach the Sierra Nevada Mountains too early in the year, you will likely have difficulty hiking through the snow packed mountains. Similarly, if you reach the Northern Cascade Mountains too late in the year, you will likely run into issues with snow as well.
Video: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - Basic Information
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