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.
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:
Puget Sound Salish
The Warm Springs
Cow Creek Umpqua
New River Shasta
Central Sierra Miwok
Fernandeno Tatavian Band of Mission Indians
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.
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
Water Filter: Katahdin Be Free 1L filter
Hiking Poles: Cascade Mountain Tech carbon fiber poles (Costco/Amazon for $45)
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
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. 😛
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
Apple Lara Bars (after awhile you only taste the cinnamon)
Honey Stinger Waffles
GUMMIES (I love gummies. It’s bad)
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!