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Day 50 - zero day q&a

Day 50 - zero day q&a

a_ourso May 1st, 2021
a_ourso's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

Zero miles in Ridgecrest...

I have gotten a lot of questions about backpacking, the trail, what I am doing from friends - so I thought I would try and answer some today in a post... feel free to text or message me with any questions you may have.

Most asked questions.... where do you - you know- go to the bathroom?

While it may not be the most pleasant to think about- for number 1 it’s a squat and go situation... and for number 2 it’s a dig a hole, squat and go situation. Sometimes there are campgrounds with pit toilets - which is a luxury on trail. At first digging a cat hole seems a little awkward.... but it’s one of those things you just don’t think about after a while... everyone else is doing it... one thing I would like to note if you are backcountry camping and dig a hole... pack out your tp- even if it says biodegradable- animals dig up human catholes... leaving the soiled tp blowing I t he wind... no one wants to see that when they are in nature.

What about your trash?

Yeah pack that out too... I get so angry when I see people’s wrappers and trash just left in a fire ring or on trail - use a ziploc bag so you don’t have to deal with the smell... but the rule of thumb if you brought it into nature take it out with you... leave no trace...

What’s the one thing you crave the most on trail?

It changes... I think depending on what your body is needing... sometimes I am getting j to town and really want a salad or some fresh fruit... sometimes I want carbs like Pizza or a burger.... sometimes simple sugars like a soda.... sometimes I just want all the things...;)

How much weight have you lost?

I lost close to 20 lbs last time I was home and weighed myself since starting the trail - and I think that I have leveled out at that... I am not a nutritionist or doctor... but I had about 20 lbs to lose when starting and I think my body has a natural low weight that it reaches as long as I am taking care of it. I had lost 16 before starting the trail when I started training... but I have noticed the last few weeks rather than feeling skinnier like I did the first few weeks - I feel leaner and stronger. I am burning close 4-5k calories a day... it is impossible to eat that much at least for me... so there is a deficit... but I feel I have adapted in terms of losing weight... I do have that “hiker Hunger” where I am always hungry on trail... town days I tend to splurge on calories in every way I can just to try and fill full.

You are wearing the same clothes in all the pictures... do you ever change them?

Ha! No. I have one pair of hiking clothes and that is it... they get nasty and dirty and I smell- but so does everyone around me. I have a pair of pants that I sometimes put on when I know the trail is overgrown. I do carry two pairs of hiking socks and two pairs of underwear that I switch in and out. I have one pair of sleeping clothes and one pair of sleeping socks. So far the longest I have had to go without being able to do laundry or a real shower is 8 nights / 7 days... I know it sounds gross... but you get used to the dirt...

I do use baby wipes to try and stay as clean as possible before going to sleep.

How many hours a day do you hike? Between 8-10- including breaks... a few times 12. It really depends on terrain and planning around water sources how many miles I do a day. My personal daily schedule seems different than most people I have met .... I leave camp later (mainly because I hate packing up in the cold)... I make myself take at least 5-10 minute break without my pack every hour to hour and 15.... even if I don’t feel I need one at the moment - it seems to help me go further and longer for the day.... every 3-4 four hours that break includes taking my shoes off to air out my feet and let my socks dry a bit. I also tend to get my best mileage from 4-7 in the evening... most hikers get it in the morning... I was wondering if they is because that is typically when I play tennis and my body is used to exercising at that time...

What do you eat on trail? As my friend Scout said... bars, bars and more bars... all I eat is bars. ;) bars are easy, proteins and nutrient and calorie packed... so for my breakfast and snacks I typically eat a bar. If I take a long lunch I make a sandwich out of Hawaiian rolls and either pb&j or salami and hard cheese with some chips. For dinner... when I am lazy more sandwiches and chips or cold soaked ramen or rice with a tuna or chicken packet... it’s not five star, but it is fuel and works.

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Comments (3)

Debi May 3rd, 2021

Good information... Lots of people were probably wondering but didn't ask. 😁 #hikeon

Carmen-Page May 2nd, 2021

Sam and I are thoroughly enjoying your blogs. I have long wanted to spend a week hiking the Appalachian trail but Sam has always said I have to find someone to do it with me. You are making the point that I can do it alone!

ToniB May 1st, 2021

Happy May Day! The Q&A was a fun read.