This section contains links and info about sites, books, and people that helped me plan this hike.
Ray Jardine is considered to be the grandfather of lightweight and ultralight backpacking. In preparing for the Appalachian Trail hike (and the Pacific Crest Trail) I dedicated many well spent hours scouring for information related to Jardine’s gear, techniques, and ideas.The philosophy is simple. The lighter your pack weight the greater the enjoyment of your journey. You can achieve this in large part by carrying only what you need, and relying more on knowledge than overbuilt gear. The recent reprinted and reworked book by Jardine is called Trail Life, and I highly recommend it to any backpacker who wants to lighten up their pack. I sewed the backpack I will carry on the Pacific Crest Trail from a Jardine kit.
Backpacking Light magazine (online and print) is the self proclaimed “Community of Lightweight Hiking and Backcountry Travel”. You can get lost in the gear reviews, podcasts, community forum, and gear shop. I mean that in a good way. The BPL book, Lightweight Backpacking and Camping, is another amazing resource for those looking to lower their pack weight. Like Jardine, it covers everything from footwear to hygiene.
Adam Bradley set the unsupported/overall speed record on the PCT in 2009 with Scott Williamson. An article about their hike can be found here. Adam is a lightweight backpacking, trail running, eco-ambassador. Besides being inspired by Adams travels, I was fortunate enough to have him look over my gear list and pass along trail tested wisdom.
Andrew Skruka’s adventure resume speaks for itself. His advice in prepping for the Appalachian Trail was instrumental in my success. This knowledge has transferred to the PCT hike as well. Andrew’s travels and passion for preserving wilderness continue to inspire me.
Scott Jurek is an endurance runner. Scott Jurek is a vegan. Those two things don’t sound like they go together, but he has proved that they can absolutely go hand in hand. I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture given by Scott in early 2010. After the lecture a small group of us including Scott went for a run. I peppered him with nutrition questions regarding the PCT hike. While my diet will be less than stellar given the resupply options, I have a much better handle on what to consume to get maximum output and nutrition. While this is a much larger conversation beyond the scope of this entry, it boils down to common sense. Foods closest to their natural form will provide the best nutrition and energy. Good fats and ample protein are crucial in getting the calories needed to crank miles day after day, week after week, and month after month.