Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Should I walk the PCT this year?


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Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 13:53:35 MST Print View

I have a serious dilemma. Maybe you guys can help.
Heres the situation:

I have the chance to thru hike the PCT this year. This entails getting forbearances on my student loans but this shouldnt be a problem (just graduated last summer). Needless to say I havent found a job worth keeping. Hiking the PCT also entails selling my car to get the few grand to pay for the on-trail expenses. My car wont be missed since I can barely afford to make the payments in the first place with my loans and crappy job.

So, should I take the plunge and commit to the PCT? This might be the only chance I have at it. I will start law school in Fall 2011 and after that I will probably work the rest of my life and be lucky to see a week's vacation. Once I retire who knows if I will be healthy enough or have a generous enough wife to be able to do the PCT at that time.

I know its kind of late to be deciding since its only two months away, but I very much have the PCT bug and I dont think it will leave me alone. I realize this is probably the wrong group to ask since I kind of expect a "go for it" kind of response, but maybe I need the encouragement. Feedback is appreciated!

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 14:03:37 MST Print View

The way I see it, there are three times when it is easy to do the PCT. Right after college before getting a career started, as part of a mid life crisis, and after retirement.

I'd say go for it.

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 14:06:29 MST Print View

Do it. As a lawyer, I can tell you the lifestyle is not conducive to hiking. Even if you're willing to quit your job as a lawyer to hike, student loans could easily keep you from doing it. The only disadvantage to hiking now is that it might "ruin" you for a regular high-stress, high-hours job. In other words, you might be less able to tolerate such a job later.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 14:11:55 MST Print View

Hi Brandon

We will expect regular reports along the trail.

Cheers

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
PCT this year. on 02/11/2010 14:12:36 MST Print View

umm... yeah!

two months is plenty of time to get prepared for it, especially with all the great info and help from the BPL forums. i dreamed about my hike for about a year, and planned for a few months, and once you are at the border, it'll all get sorted out anyway. just gotta walk north.

i say do it.

Edited by DaveT on 02/11/2010 14:13:06 MST.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 14:15:33 MST Print View

Go for it! I graduated college 5 years ago and had a career in 2 weeks. While it could be seen as a success story, I regret not having the time to do something like this. I am now married with a house so while life is great, the time has passed till I am retired.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 15:42:47 MST Print View

Hi Brandon,

Do it you may never get another chance.

Tony

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Should I walk the PCT this year on 02/11/2010 16:19:14 MST Print View

Strike while the iron is hot.

DO IT !

Besides, it will look good on your resume. Seriously. Highlight the detailed planning and research needed just to set up the logistics and get to the trailhead. The fact that you continued all the way, while overcoming the best efforts of the Trail Gods to defer you speaks to the level of committment you bring to the job.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year on 02/11/2010 16:28:11 MST Print View

The short answer is "Yes"

However, I would ask what would you do instead? Just get a job as a clerk at a lawfirm? Which would you most likely regret NOT doing? In 5-10 years you might regret not hiking the PCT, but I doubt you would regret not working a couple extra months to make a little money.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Why not? on 02/11/2010 16:41:53 MST Print View

I'd say why not unless you're going to be in too big a hole financially. Worst case if the PCT just isn't possible you could maybe do the JMT or Colorado Trail but I'd push for the PCT if possible. I've been a bit of a nomad since I left college and I'm not rich but I've got to help some people and I've had some great adventures. My theory is do it now and retire a bit later if I have too.

I expect regular updates and lots of photos:)

Edited by Cameron on 02/11/2010 16:42:30 MST.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 16:43:12 MST Print View

+1 to doing it before law school, from someone currently attending.

Whatever loans you have before law school will pale in comparison to those you'll have after. Also, while law schools will likely see this as some charming expression of your personality (it will also make for good personal statement fodder), if you were to do it after law school, many firms would see it as a sign that you aren't serious about the practice of law.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
PCT on 02/11/2010 17:02:38 MST Print View

Yes.

However, while on our JMT hike this year we met 2 guys from the south that had completed the AT. One was an electrical engineer. The other was married with a kid. What were they doing on the JMT? Well, after hiking the AT they said that going back to a job "just didn't feel right:. What would after that? (answer: another hike).

Thomas Baker
(Shake_N_Bake) - F

Locale: WY
Hell yeah on 02/11/2010 17:10:05 MST Print View

>>>>>The way I see it, there are three times when it is easy to do the PCT. Right after college before getting a career started, as part of a mid life crisis, and after retirement. >>>>>>

The only way to complete this list is to get the first one now. So go now and look forward to your mid-life crisis even more.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 17:11:55 MST Print View

+1 Cameron. And I'm speaking as a man about to graduate from law school and about to get married (Aug. 2010).

Also, I canoed to Hudson Bay from the head of the Red River of the North (SD/MN border) in 2005. I was 19 at the time. It was just an epic trip and I did not, and could not, have fathomed what I was getting into when I sat in the bow of that canoe for the first time. And I sat in that bow for two months. Since then, I've only been able to get out for two weeks at a time, and I have to work the summer through.

Do it.

Edited by citystuckhiker on 02/11/2010 18:01:31 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 17:39:05 MST Print View

Brandon,

In twenty or thirty years if you think you will say, "I sure regret not hiking the PCT in 2010." then you have the answer.

When I was young I took 2 epic trips before I was 20. Haven't had the chance then, I will be 60 years old this year.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Should I walk the PCT this year on 02/11/2010 17:47:00 MST Print View

Do it, I regret not doing a lot of things when I finised UNI.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
no reasons not to on 02/11/2010 18:43:12 MST Print View

As I read your question and reasoning, I saw nothing that said why you would not go. As your life gets busier later on in your career, you will be able to make time to hike, but most likely not for multi-day trips. Go for it NOW!

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 18:44:49 MST Print View

Yes. Absolutely, Positively . Go Man Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Should I walk the PCT this year? on 02/11/2010 19:10:10 MST Print View

As someone who hike the AT immediately after graduating from college, I'll say do it. Unless you have some very good reason otherwise. And remember, boring jobs do not count as a good reason. Really awesome jobs might.

Hopefully I'll see you out there.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
PCT? Hell YES! on 02/11/2010 23:44:37 MST Print View

Thank you very much for the support guys and gals. You came through and gave me the cajones I was looking for. i have let my family know and it is officially on! I am SO pumped. I am gonna get my gear list up so you can all pick it apart. Wish me luck! Time to get my permit and the Yogi guide...