PCT Preparation – Indigenous People of the PCT, Food Prep, and Gear

Hello friends! My first milestone has come – over $200 on the GoFundMe raising money for Indigenous Women Hike for each mile I hike on the PCT. As promised, I am writing my first post!

I’ve been wanting to hike the PCT for at least 2 years, and in thinking about it I cannot hike on stolen land without being aware and in communion with the land and its original people. In that spirit, I am raising money for Indigenous Women Hike, as well as learning about the people whose land I am walking on.

This first post will be an overview of the Indigenous People along the path I’ll be walking, the food I’ll be carrying, and gear.

Indigenous Lands

There are dozens of tribal lands along this path. I am putting the most correct information I know, but I acknowledge that as a white nonbinary person, it is very likely I will make mistakes. PLEASE correct me if I share any wrong information and I will immediately correct it.

The tribal lands along the pathway of the PCT, north to south, that I am aware of:

Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ
Syilx-tmix (Okanogan)
NXAʔAMXČÍN (Chelan)
Yakama
sdukʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie)
Tulalip
Puget Sound Salish
Wenatch
Kittitas Yakama
Cowlitch
Klikitat
Upper Chinook
Chinook
Wasco
Wishram
Paiute
The Warm Springs
Tenino
Molalla
Klamath
Shasta
Cow Creek Umpqua
Takelma
Karuk
Shasta
New River Shasta
Okwanuchu
Winnimem Wintu
Atsugewi
Achumawi
Nisenan
Mountain Maidu
Konkow Maidu
Mechoopda Maidu
Yokuts
Nisenan
Washoe
Central Sierra Miwok
Northern Paiute
Southern Mono/Monache
Newe
Tübatulabal
Kawaiisu
Yokuts
Fernandeno Tatavian Band of Mission Indians
Tongva
Yuhaviatam/Maarenga’yam (Serrano)
Cahuilla
Cupeño
Kumeyaay

As I cross each tribe’s land, I will be writing more in-depth posts on Instagram and here about the history and language of each tribe. As much as possible, I plan to include traditional place names for the places I travel through. I will be starting in the land of the Syilx-tmix, whose land crosses the border of what is currently called the United States and Canada.

In gathering this information, information on whether the indigenous had any knowledge or input into the creation of the PCT is scarce. If you know of any resources for me, please let me know!! I have been able to find nothing. My general assumption, to be honest, is that those who formed the trails of the PCT likely stole ancestral indigenous trails. I know this is the case in Nuumu Poyo, known to the wider world as the John Muir trail, which forms a section of the PCT.

Gear

One of the things I studied a lot in the beginning of preparing for this trip was gear! I don’t have the time to do a super in-depth gear review, but I’d love to give you an overview of what I’ll be carrying.

First of all, I want to mention that at this point, I’m carrying a small stove. It’s heavy, but I’ve noticed so far when I backpack, I want a hot meal. My plan is to keep up with that, we will see if it lasts! A lot of people don’t use stoves at all!

Also, I may switch my pad still to a Thermarest Neo Air. I’m a side sleeper and very picky about how my mattresses feel, and this Big Agnes was the one I liked best. The shitty thing is that I have to carry a secondary pad for insulation if I take this one (yay extra weight!).

Pack: Superior Wilderness Designs Long Haul 60
Sleeping Bag: Western Mountaineering Versalite 10
Pad: Big Agnes SRX Insulated
Backup Pad: Thermarest Z lite
Stove: BRS-3000T
Water Filter: Katahdin Be Free 1L filter
Hiking Poles: Cascade Mountain Tech carbon fiber poles (Costco/Amazon for $45)

Packed Clothes:
Uniqlo Puffy (Uniqlo, $40 is what I think I got it for)
Patagonia Capilene Mid Base Layer (secondhand)
Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket ($98 on sale)
REI Midweight long underwear bottoms
Patagonia Women’s Active underwear
Fleece Gloves
Beanie

Washington Only:
Ice Axe
Microspikes

Worn Clothing:
Nike Dri-Fit Tennis Skirt (thrifted)
Shirt: Columbia short sleeve white shirt (secondhand)
Socks: Walmart special 😉
Shoes: La Sportiva Ultra Raptors
Dirty Girl Gaiters

I’m bringing lots of other tiny little things but I’m not going to list them here. If you’re REALLY curious, message me on Instagram or something. 😛

Food

Dear. Goddexx. Save. Us.

Listen. Food resupply is the hardest thing EVER to plan. What will I want? What will I be tired of? What will I want more of? How much should I carry? How can I make sure I’m eating enough calories (a very important consideration on the trail, actually. I don’t count calories usually so this is very odd for me). Literally planning food may actually cause me to lose it.

The only thing I know for sure is I want my protein shake every morning. It’s a mix of Nido whole milk powder, chia seeds, protein powder, and instant coffee. It looks like mud but it’s super delicious, tons of calories, fiber, and protein. Plus CAFFEINE. It’s a very good trail decision. I’ve used it hiking in the Grand Canyon so it’s trail approved. Plus later on, I can vary up the protein powder flavor if I get tired of it.

I’ve been slowly doing field research this past year ish to figure out the rest. Things I know I like (or like ENOUGH)?

Himalayan Salt Ruffle Kettle Chips
Fig Newtons
Cheese
Apple Lara Bars (after awhile you only taste the cinnamon)
Honey Stinger Waffles
GUMMIES (I love gummies. It’s bad)
Almond Butter
Dried Mangos
Sour Cream and Onion Chips

Those are the solid ones. Everything else is just chance, people. Will I like Peanut Butter M&Ms in a month? WHO CAN SAY. Can I jimmy everything together enough to get enough calories per day?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I’m trying to spreadsheet it but it’s overwhelming, so who knows. I’ll do my best. I did a coaching session with Carrot Quinn (such a good idea, BTW – get after that if you’re planning a hike, she’s got so much thru-hiking wisdom) and she said it’s roughly 2.2 lbs of food a day, so I’m using that + roughly 3000-4500 calories/daily as a guideline.

Alright! That is it for today’s installment. When I reach my next fundraising goal on the GoFundMe, I’ll be back with more to share. Please continue to donate and support!

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2 Replies to “PCT Preparation – Indigenous People of the PCT, Food Prep, and Gear”

  1. As a fellow hiker/backpacker, I’m curious about the weight of your backpack w/ gear, food and water. Do you have any idea? Or at least the weight you want to stay under? The reason I ask is because some of the choices you listed – especially the food items – are going to add weight and bulk, and weight is a killer on long backpack trips (especially when you are climbing mountains). I’m assuming you are trying to keep the cost as low as possible. Have you thought about drying your own food and packaging it (basically making your own Mountain House type meals – maybe not as fancy, but without the exorbitant cost)? Also, I didn’t see a tent listed. Do you plan to take any shelter in case you run into weather? Forgive all of the questions, I’ve been planning to do the Continental Divide trail, so I’m curious on how our prep would compare.

    1. Hey Jana! I just now saw this comment. I’m carrying a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo single wall tent. It gets condensation which isn’t my favorite but otherwise I like it. I didn’t have time before I left to dehydrate stuff myself as I was also moving out of my apartment, but my food weight has been ok so far. Not great, but not awful. I hope this helps!

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