As this year's hiking season comes to an end, aspiring thru hikers begin to plan in ernest, looking forward to their start date next Spring. This year's Class of hikers, especially on the PCT, experienced numerous difficulties and injuries as they negotiated the snowy sections of their trips. Some simply dealt with it and pushed on, deciding their pain or discomfort tolerable while others fell one too many times, didn't have enough food to make the journey, or couldn't continue the daily dealing with "the cold and the wet" and either walked out to recouperate for awhile and return or quit entirely, experiencing disillusionment and fustration.
When you plan for your long distance hike, please know the realities of what's ahead - go out on many practice hikes that approximate the conditions you expect. This tests yourself ("Do I have it within myself to accomplish this dream?") and your gear ("Do I have with me what it takes to get where I want safely and easily?"). Get out in the snow or rain and howling wind and find out for yourself if you're ready.
If not, get trained with the needed skills to reslove your fears and doubts. Find a friend or an outdoor school or outing club in your area that will take you out, patiently teach you, and supervise your practice. Be ready for what's ahead by asking, going out and testing your self in it, and seeking the knowledge and skills needed to help guarantee not only success but a fun and confident trip!
If you're considering a long distance hike, go to Mountain Education's website for more info: www.mountaineducation.com
Think about it...