Becoming tired of blogging in the last few months, I really skipped posting a lot of awesome experiences. After my last entry from Bali (Indonesia), I visited Taiwan, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, before heading back to Austria in mid February.
Arriving back to Austria I really had to get in shape quickly and plan some things for my upcoming big adventure: HIKING THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL – from Mexico to Canada on foot…
Hiking over 4200 continous kilometers on foot demand a bit of preparation. For me this meant:
- sort things out back home
- get all the gear ready
- get physically in good shape
- do a bit of research, prepare a strategy as well as logistics
Getting all the gear ready wasn’t too hard for me. I have a good and lightweight set up and only wanted to adjust some pieces. I got rid of unused gear and sold quite a bit, which allowed to buy 1 or 2 new pieces. However my hugest change in setup is my shelter. First I opted for a ZPacks Cuben shelter (Hexamid Solo Plus or Altaplex), however I realized that they are just too expensive and both of the shelters had major drawbacks for me (One was necessary trekking pole length for pitching, second was entrance height and thus comfort entering and exiting the shelter. I just don’t want to have drawbacks when paying such high prices). I chose a Gossamer Gear „The One“. Very lightweight (550g) for a very good price, since GG had them on discount.
Enough about gear, if you wanna see my gearlist, just follow the link: PCT 2017 Gearlist (Start in Campo at Mexican Border).
Sorting things out back home and doing a bit of research, plus prepare strategies, etc. wasn’t difficult either. First, hiking the PCT is in my mind since years, so I already knew almost all the theory and second I got used to sort out things before being abroad.
I thought preparing my body and mind for the trail shouldn’t be hard either. I love hiking and backpacking. I was very active over the last 10 months and spring just kicked in (best hiking time IMO). I started doing shorter day hikes in mid February. I didn’t want to beat my body to hard before hiking over 4200 km but wanted my physique to get used to daily walking. I did high mileages in the past, the tough part is keeping miles up for days after days. I aimed for averaging 7-10 km per day in the beginning (50-70 km per week), slowly going up to about averaging 100 km per week on foot (including all daily walking, to mention that!) in the weeks before I leave to the US on 29. April (my start date is 3. May BTW!).
However, it turned out differently. Coming back from Sri Lanka I got a bad infection, caused by some bad bacterias (probably from Sri Lanka… at least that’s what my Doc meant it to be). My face was swollen up to my eye and was filled with pus. 10 days of antibiotics made my face look alright again (almost). However I suffered from several health issues (big infected wound on my finger, lack of power, continous headaches, fatigue, etc.), the bigest problem was my knee. After 2 short running units, followed by a not too serious day hike in snow, my knee started to hurt. First thought was: „runners knee“… however the pain changed its positions in the next few weeks… I stopped walking and focused on physio exercises. After almost 8 weeks me knee starts to feel ok again. I am far from trusting it 100%, but at least I have a small hope that I am able to walk more the first day on the trail.
Today I have exactly 2 weeks left before I start in Campo on 3. May. Almost no miles in my feet in the last two months but I hope that’s going to change in the next 5 months! I really hope that my knee withstands the battering (as well as the rest of my body of course).
See you on the trail!