This weekend was dedicated to preparation instead of training. There was much work to be done there.
First, there were the finances. I did the family’s taxes. Normally, I procrastinate, mostly because I do them myself using software and I want to make sure the software has had all its bugs discovered. After that was done, my wife and I went over the bills. That has traditionally been my job, but she’ll take over for that while I’m gone.
Then, I started to actually estimate when I expect to be in Kennedy Meadows. I used Craig’s PCT Planner to help me with that. I do not want to get caught into the trap of over planning this hike, however, I do need to roughly know how many days there are between stops. Assuming I’m able to pound out 18 mile days like I have done in my shakedown hikes, I will arrive in Kennedy Meadows about May 24th. This is a conservative plan with six zeros.
Kennedy Meadows is a checkpoint. I am leaving earlier than an optimal start to give me time to get used to the trail. Normally, you don’t want to leave Kennedy Meadows until June 15th, but as I’ve discussed before, this seems to be a very low snow year and that moves the checkpoint closer. I researched the blogs I followed in 2015, and both hikers left around May 28th.
Now that I estimated when I expect to get to Kennedy Meadows, I broke down and ordered my bear canister and micro-spikes. I wanted to wait on buying them for a couple of reasons. First, I want to make sure I got there. Second, everything I have bought up to this point I can use on the Ice Age Trail. The bear canister and the micro-spikes are two items I need exclusively for the PCT. (That is assuming that don’t become completely addicted and decide to hike the CDT.) However, even using a conservative 18-mile day to Kennedy Meadows, there isn’t really that much time for the equipment to be ordered, shipped to the house and then shipped to Kennedy Meadows two weeks ahead of time.
I decided not to buy my ice axe at this point. The 2015 hikers didn’t need them, so I decided to wait on that. It is possible for me to by that in Kennedy Meadows.
I resubmitted my application to enter Canada. I followed the directions this time.
Finally, I laid out all my gear, updated my gear list, and packed it. You’ll see that my pack weight went up a pound in the process. Mostly that was administrative. I listed a number of items in the consumables that were moved to gear carried. However, I did find a number of errors in my weight measurements. That puts me back in the business of finding ways to lower my base weight.
I have 53 days left to do that.