I was introduced to backpacking in 2017 by my then-boyfriend. For all the wrong reasons, I wanted to impress the guy and thought backpacking was something I can do. He gifted me my first backpack and shared with me some of the gear he had double. I slept in a male-shaped sleeping bag, wore ill-fitting shoes and sported my favorite cotton blend shirt. My first backpacking trip was a bust. We completed what we set our minds on, but I was uncomfortable and in pain most of the time. Yet, there was something about outdoors that made me come back to it. I wanted to get better and do more. Push my limits. Fast forward a couple of years, I can now afford better gear that I know will fit me properly. I still shop for bargains and deals, but I look at each item as something that gives me joy (Yes, Marie Kondo, I used the word JOY) and something that will serve me well. My love for outdoors has grown tremendously since my first trip in 2017. I have completed 72 day hikes in 2018 and i'm nearing 50 as of this year. I organize hikes with our local Meetup chapter in Seattle I go on several backapcking trips a year also. I feel like PCT is something I should do. To prove myself that I can do that. To push through discomfort and pain and to achieve something special - to find pure happiness within myself, in nature, and with my most prized possessions carried on my back and in my heart.