My PCT 2023 Thru-Hike Goal
My thru-hike goal has been on my mind a lot recently. What do I want to get out of my hike? How will I know it has been successful?
I am a big goal-setter. I set yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, exercise goals, training goals, goals for all the things! This includes meticulously measuring progress toward my goals and making sure I am spending my time wisely. I also talk about it all the time as well. So it only makes sense that I would have a thru-hike goal.
My PCT Thru-Hike Goal: Enjoy It
I want to look back on this experience and know that I did absolutely everything possible to enjoy myself. I am in this amazing spot in my life where I can go do something I truly want.
Being out in nature is when I feel my happiest. I want to savor this opportunity to live in the backcountry for 5-6 months. I don’t want to look back on this and have regrets.
Setting Myself Up for Success
My current focus is on maximizing my comfort during my thru-hike (read more about how important this is from a triple crown thru-hiker). This means knowing yourself and your preferences. Here are examples:
I hate being cold and am not a happy camper when I’m freezing. So I bought the warmest, lightest gear possible. I am not going to be in Sierras and not enjoying it because I’m cold.
When I did a week on the Arizona Trail last year, every day I wrote how grateful I was for my camp shoes. So I’m bringing camp shoes.
Don’t want Another Hawaii Experience
For my 31st birthday, I decided I wanted to spend it on a volcano. This meant hiking in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
We got an AirBnB with some friends in Hilo. They all wanted to get a helicopter ride to see the lava. For some stupid reason, I was being cheap and I said no. What makes this even more ridiculous is that I got the airfare with points and we split the AirBnb between 4 people. It basically cost nothing and I turned into a crazy lady about $250!
This has been a huge regret for me ever since. When will I be back on the Big Island and get to go see lava? Since then, my significant other and I have a strict vacation rule:
Do Every. Single. Thing. we want on a vacation no matter the cost
How will I know that I met my goal?
Measuring Progress Towards My Thru-hike Goal
Slow mornings, leisurely walks & early camps
Having a goal of enjoying something is tricky to measure. How do you measure feelings?
My plan is to do this with my trail journal and a set of specific trail questions to make sure I’m tracking toward this goal.
Doing what feels right
Another key factor will be listening to my body and taking a lot of breaks. When I get tired, I get a bad attitude.
To make sure I savor this experience I don’t want to rush. This is one thing I noticed with thru-hikers on the Arizona Trail. They were so focused on getting it done fast, that they missed out on amazing side trips. Like Roger’s Canyon Cliff Dwellings. None of the thru-hikers were going because it added extra miles. It was the highlight of our section hike!
My PCT Thru-hike Goal
Have the best Freaking summer of my life
I know that not every day will be sunshine and roses. But I will do my best to take full advantage of this opportunity! Be sure to check out my trail journals to see how things are going.