PCT Prep || 6 Weeks

I can't believe that in less than 6 weeks I'll be leaving home, headed for San Diego! It still doesn't feel real that this is happening. Even though I've had 99% of my gear for a while, it still doesn't feel like those things are going to be my home for 5 months.

I figured I should do a little post about how prep is going since I haven't updated in a while. But honestly, this will probably be a boring post because I haven't done that much.

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Physical

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*Sigh* physical prep was going pretty well through January. I was doing exactly what I specified in my New Year's intentions blog post. Up until I took a cross-country ski lesson at the end of January, took quite a few falls, a couple of which I broke with my left hand. I sprained that wrist, which has made it painful to bear weight on that hand, so I had to stop vinyasa yoga, and most of my arm workouts. Then, a doctor appointment addressing an ongoing issue I've had with one of my knees revealed that I should not be doing lunges, squats, and jumping variations of those exercises due to the stress on my patella. Long story short, February was spent mostly injured, and lacking in physical prep. I'm adjusting my workout plans for the month of March: still going on training hikes, and gym exercises will be mostly stair-stepper, uphill treadmill, and elliptical (my doctor-approved quad-strengthening exercises).

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Gear

I'm still trying to nail down my gear list. The big items are set in stone, but its the little things that I still need to decide on. I was having a really difficult time deciding if I wanted to bring the Sony rx100iii point-and-shoot or my Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. The rx100 is really great because it's significantly smaller than the a6000, and weighs less. It's easier to access: it fits in my hip & shoulder pocket really easily and its easier to pull out/ put away. It comes with zoom and it's pretty fast. The battery life is good. The only downside is that the picture quality just isn't as great as the a6000, which is very apparent in side-by-side comparisons of the photos. The a6000 is worse in all of the above categories except for photo quality. While it's less bulky and heavy than a DSLR, its still much heavier & bulkier than the rx100 and more difficult to fit in my (incredibly large) hip belt pocket. With that said, I have decided to bring the Sony a6000 just because I think I would regret not bringing it. Since photography matters to me, I'd rather have one set of great photos (a6000) and one set of okay photos (iPhone 8+) than two sets of okay photos (rx100, iPhone 8+). Now I just need to figure out which lens I'm going to take.

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I'm still unsure of my hiking clothes. My shirt and bottoms are still a mystery. I suffer from thigh chafe and from my shorts riding up, which are both very annoying, and I'm deciding between four different types of shorts. 1. Nike Tempo running shorts (liner cut out), 2. Nike Rival running shorts w/ a compression built-in liner short, 3. Lululemon On the Fly shorts, and 4. Patagonia Barely Baggies. If you have a strong option on any of those, let me know! My shirt is a question too. For some reason I've hated all of the women's hiking shirts I've seen at REI - mainly because they seem too short & I prefer longer shirts that hit around my butt. So I'm now considering this Khul men's hiking shirt, and I'd be lying if it wasn't partly because of the super cool built-in microfiber cloth for cleaning my glasses/ camera lens (the top review doesn't hurt either). I need to try it on to see if it will fit correctly. All of my other clothing is locked-in though.

I've officially decided to go stoveless to start with. If I hate it, I can have my stove and cook cup sent to me.

Everything else is pretty much set, and I'll post a gear list soon. :)

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Food

Nope, basically zero planning done. I'm going stoveless, and not sending resupply boxes, so I haven't really done any planning here. I have decided that I will send a re-supply box to Warner Springs only in Southern California, so I do need to plan for food in that box before leaving for the trail, in addition to the food in my pack to get me from the border to Mount Laguna. My dad bought my mom an Excalibur food dehydrator for Valentine's Day, so my mom is getting really excited about making dehydrated meals, so I'll probably make a few meals for that section with that. Otherwise, I've decided I'll re-supply in town in Mount Laguna and Julian before getting my package in Warner Springs. I've also loosely planned that I will get to Warner Springs in 10 days with 1 zero in either Mount Laguna or Julian. And honestly, I haven't really planned anything past Idyllwild.

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Mental

Deep breaths & denial have been working so far.

Jokes aside, I re-read Pacific Crest Trials by Zach Davis and re-read the 3 lists that I wrote a few months ago in response to the exercise in the book, and I guess that's helping me prepare? I'm also trying to re-work my mind into thinking about the trail in multiple smaller overnight trips instead of Mexico - Canada. Like, it's really Campo to Mount Laguna. And then Mount Laguna to Julian. Julian to Warner Springs. Warner Springs to Idyllwild. You get the picture. 

So that's about it! I did a lot of planning in the earlier stages (like... the past 2.5 years), so now I'm just kinda chilling out/ slightly stressing out until it's time to leave! 

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