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Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire
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Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Haste, solitude, and blisters on 02/12/2011 06:49:21 MST Print View

(preface: I hiked the PCT in 2009)

It's surprising how much preplanned meetups with friends/relatives along the way can destroy the fun of your adventure. I never would have guessed this before my thru-hike, but I found this to be the case for myself and nearly every other thru-hiker I knew who was meeting people along the way. Sometimes pushing to meet up with someone means abandoning hiking buddies for weeks as you ratchet up your pace by just a few miles a day. Then, you fall behind and spend weeks trying to catch up. When I do my next thru-hike, I will avoid making time commitments of this type.

I feel bad for the author about the constant blisters. Surely there must be a way to better deal with this problem? I only got one blister on the PCT. Maybe it depends on how much your feet sweat?

I enjoyed Ryan's discussion of solitude and the challenges it brings. You begin to understand very clearly your interdependence with other people.

Looking forward to the end of the tale.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: PCT trip report index? on 02/12/2011 17:51:04 MST Print View

I'm not the Webmaster! But..... just go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom left and you'll note the link "Features Archive". That'll get cha where you wanna go. I asked that question one time myself. -This article is but the tip of iceburg of quality resources available on BPL and why -M is worth every $$$. A trip index for archiving this story would be a great idea too.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Haste, solitude, and blisters on 02/12/2011 20:17:51 MST Print View

Richard, you're very right about friends from off trail making life very difficult for through-hikers, but then again, I wouldn't have given that up for anything. For me, it's all part of the adventure. Breaking away from one group of friends on the trail gave me the opportunity to meet others that I wouldn't have met otherwise, which I think was important in the long run, even if it was sad in the short run.

As for the blisters... yeah, I still don't know for sure what the problem was. All I can say for sure is that the tread of the PCT is very different from the tread of eastern trails, and the problem seemed mostly unique to me. Different people react in different ways to different conditions. My best guess is the heat and the sand had something to do with the problem.

Index: that should be easy to add. I'll point it out to the webmaster also. Cheers!

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/15/2011 07:16:06 MST Print View

Ryan,

What about carrying maps of the trail instead of guide books? I don't know if maps in the US have these trails indicated on them, but I would guess so. Getting the most recent copy and getting updates from the forestry people to me would seem a good base for a well guided hike. Then again, i never (really) hiked in the US, so I could be wrong.

As for iPod/Android do it all gadgets. How about making a PCT app that is a GPS guide, come town guide, come restaurant guide, come everything? Dinners, trail angels, accommodation along the way should be able to change their own data and forestry service can live update changes to trail sections. It would give you at the minute weather reports and by a touch of a button update your location on the trail, so your hiking buddies and people back home can see where you are.

Sure if your gizmo fails you lose all this gadgetry, but that was why you also put that map in your pack, wasn't it?

Any smart app programmers out there?

Eins

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: About guide books on 02/16/2011 05:44:42 MST Print View

Einstein, I think we'll see a lot of iphone/droid apps in the future that do just what you're saying. These guys already have something for the AT, but when you think of it, many apps for the iphone and droid are already great town guides-- Yelp, Around Me, Google maps, etc... Geared toward people driving through towns, but it works the same if you're on foot.

As for the maps, I don't know much about the Forest Service maps for the PCT. In general, maps for different trails can vary in quality from outstanding to completely useless. I didn't see anyone using the Forest Service maps for the PCT, so I'm not really sure how well they work.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/16/2011 06:26:19 MST Print View

What about carrying maps of the trail instead of guide books? I don't know if maps in the US have these trails indicated on them, but I would guess so. Getting the most recent copy and getting updates from the forestry people to me would seem a good base for a well guided hike. Then again, i never (really) hiked in the US, so I could be wrong.

A guy named Halfmile has a great set of maps for PCT hikers. They may very well be the second most popular publication on the trail this year, with Yogi coming in first. The biggest reason to carry the guidebooks is if you want to read about the history, geography and plant life along the trail.

As for iPod/Android do it all gadgets. How about making a PCT app that is a GPS guide, come town guide, come restaurant guide, come everything? Dinners, trail angels, accommodation along the way should be able to change their own data and forestry service can live update changes to trail sections. It would give you at the minute weather reports and by a touch of a button update your location on the trail, so your hiking buddies and people back home can see where you are.

Again, you can get most of that from Halfmile. Download his waypoints. Modify the waypoints with additional information concerning all that you want. Weather reports would be tougher, but Postholer's website has a cell phone oriented page that provides weather when you put in your coordinates. If you want live updates and have a good data signal, then you could probably do that with Postholer's online map.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/16/2011 10:38:46 MST Print View

Ryan, Eugene,

Thanx for the tips, but I am no where near planning a PCT hike in the near or far future (I hike in Europe). Sorry if I gave that impression. I was just wondering out loud why you didn't use a map and about the use of a dedicated app. That trail magic app seems pretty nice though.

Eins

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/20/2011 14:03:13 MST Print View

Great reports. For all of the rain you experienced, there were still lots of stunning photos. Thanks for sharing!