5 PCT Takeaways from Packing It Out

Life on the Pacific Crest Trail has been remarkably different than the Appalachian Trail. From the terrain and climate zones we traverse to the distribution of trash found along the trail, the PCT is new experience entirely. As of right now, Paul (Spice) and I (Cap) have hiked 2,000 miles and have removed over 700 pounds of trash off the Pacific Crest Trail. With only 650 miles to go we have seen and learned quite a bit while out here. Below I’ll cover our top five takeaways from this trip so far.


  1. Variety in the food department! Just because you love chocolate and peanut butter doesn’t mean you’ll love it after 4 months of eating it daily. Prevent burnout by mixing up flavors and food types as much as possible.
  2. Take care of your feet. This trail offers a variety of challenging environments and your feet have to take you over, down and around each one. Do yourselves a favor by airing out your feet often and by giving yourself a foot massage nightly. You’re welcome in advance.
  3. Go slow but move well. Confusing, I know. In other words, take time to see the sights, pick some huckleberries and by all means swim in that lake, but don’t get too caught up in it that you find yourself rushing through the last 800 miles of the trail because winter is coming and you spent most of your funds. For some reason the last state is one you want to savor, not rush.
  4. For the love of God, please bury your toilet paper or pack it out. We have buried more pieces of used toilet paper than I care to even begin talking about. I won’t dwell on this one. If you poop, bury it properly. If you pee (Ladies), bury the TP well. Do these things right and your Trail Karma will grow exponentially. So by all means go where you gotta go, but please don’t leave your shit for someone else to handle.
  5. Say hello and wave at people. You are going to meet a ton of people from all different walks of life, both on and off the trail. Being friendly and waving helps us remember that we are all humans and are participating in this thing called life together. I know, the chances of you ever seeing that Southbounder again is slim, but show some love regardless.

I hope these tips were useful for your upcoming adventures. If there was a sixth take away, it would be to apply the five above to your everyday hustle. As for us, we’ll keep braving this wind storm that is trying to rip our tents in half. Until our next check in, stay healthy and stay strong.


Seth Orme

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