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In 2005, I temporarily abandoned my Backpacking Light editor duties to hike for a month on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I had a grand time and cemented my addiction to long distance hiking, which I will define here as staying on the trail for a month or more at a time. The daily character of a long hike is fundamentally different from a hike of a week or even two weeks in duration. The beginning and end of a long hike are far enough apart that they don’t interfere with each other. For most of a long hike I am simply living on the trail, with little or no thought to the beginning or the end. The days are relaxed and the regular process of hiking and living outside become routine. I’ve got all the time in the world, and my daily cares are simple: walk, eat, rest, see, think. That state of mind - which I’ve not been able to approach on shorter hikes - is exactly what makes long hikes so enticing to me, and is why I plan to keep taking long hikes for years to come. This past summer I continued my section hike of the PCT by adding on 6 weeks of north-bound hiking. In this article, I comment on strategies and gear choices and share a bit of flavor from the trail. Perhaps I'll see you during my next long hike.


  • Introduction
  • The Desert
  • The Mountains
  • Long Distance Hiking Notes
  • Gear Notes
    • Overall
    • Shelter
    • Sleeping System
    • Pack
    • Cook Kit
    • Shoes
    • Socks
    • Clothing
    • Trekking Poles
    • Camera
  • Gear List
    • Gear List for Summer Pacific Crest Trail
    • Overall Weight Summary

# WORDS: 5800
# PHOTOS: 13

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