As thru hikers start to share their excitement about their chosen trails for 2019, so too are they sharing their gear lists. The result provides all the evidence anyone needs to show how addictive the pursuit of the ready-for-anything “final pack list” is for trip planners. (Spolier alert: It’s never over). Pacific Crest Trail Alumnus Samuel Martin came to the Hyperlite Mountain Gear office to visit recently, and this very subject came up. Here he shares how a willingness to deviate from preconceived perfection, no matter how hard you planned every detail beforehand, can go a long way towards your overall enjoyment on trail.
If you pine for some wild adventure with a hearty side of inspiration, and you’re unfamiliar with Kyle Dempster, do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself.
Each year, the Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award is bestowed upon “an American solo adventurer embarking on a journey that embodies Kyle’s passionate spirit and love of exploration, with an emphasis on storytelling and leave no trace ethics.”
A thru hike can be like a lever. A lever that pulls back a curtain on your worldview. A lever that when thrown forward, gets your engine running at full speed. Or maybe it’s a tool that helps you lift and move something heavy up and out of the way so you can travel freely. No matter how you work it, (or it works you), the result is guaranteed to lead to a different outcome after you use it.
No question our friend Jeff "IBTAT" Oliver discovered this in 2018 on his Appalachian Trail thru hike. He finished lighter, clearer, and more motivated than ever. And once anyone gets a taste of that, it’s pert near impossible to sit still for long, not wanting more. So, this year, he’s going to keep the momentum going on the Pacific Crest Trail.
With all the time in the world to think about how he moved along while on the AT, and how his gear helped or hindered him, coupled with the time to reflect on it all between the AT finish and the PCT start that can’t come soon enough, Jeff’s gear and approach plan is taking shape. Walk with him a spell as he gets into the nitty-gritty as few others can.
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