Q: Who are you? And what are you about to do?
A: I am a 27 year old from Douglassville, Pennsylvania. I grew up camping with my family and with Boy Scouts. I love history, environmental science and maps. I am about to hike the PCT with my girlfriend Mantis! I am going to challenge my body physically and mentally. Lastly, I am going to enjoy nearly every moment with a positive attitude through this experience.
Q: This is your second thru-hike: What made you want to return to the trail for another go-round?
A: I wanted to go on another thru-hike because I didn't get enough on the Appalachian Trail! I think I was bit by the thru-hiking bug and I don't want to stop. I also get to experience this thru-hike with my girlfriend that I met on the AT and I couldn't be more thrilled! She was a driving force in getting us signed up and fully sending it again on the PCT together!
Q: What do you seek outdoors—is it the scenery, the peace and quiet, or is it community? What is the reason you’ve built your life around being outdoors?
A: I seek the serenity that the outdoors gives, whether it's the smallest flower on the side of the trail to the layers of mountains you can see in the distance.
Q: What did you struggle with most on your first thru-hike? How are you hoping to overcome that this time around?
A: I struggled with being okay to fail; for example failing at putting up my bear bag, failing at communicating with my tramily ("trail family"), failing at not keeping a good pace or failing at completing a true NOBO or SOBO thru hike. I am going to overcome it this time around because I recognize it isn't failing, it is just all part of the learning process. Learning things through getting it wrong the first time is just a part of life. Sometimes somethings are out of your control and you have to allow the trail to provide.
Q: Best food combo you've cooked up on trail? And the worst?
A: Best food combo - Ramen, peanut butter crackers and smoked salmon
Q: What are you most looking forward to on the PCT?
A: I am most excited for what the trail will provide. It provides everything from solitude to large crowds, peace and serenity to chaos and uncertainty, but most importantly the freedom to choose whatever you want your thru-hike to be.
Q: Talk about the gear you've chosen to bring with you—have you had any personal experiences or preferences that influenced your choices?
A: I chose the 25° Zenbivy Light Bed, a large Zip Sack, and a Quilted Pillow. I used the 25° Light Bed for my AT thru-hike and it was perfect. Kept me warm when I was cold and kept me comfortable when it was hot. It wasn't too heavy and it compressed into my bag really well. I got a large Zip Sack as a second ditty bag to hold important electronics. Finally, the Quilted Pillow was an upgrade from the previous pillow I had and is a wonderful luxury item. The extra ounces are worth it for sleep comfort.
Q: Any parting thoughts as you get ready to set out on trail?
A: It's not about the destination, it's about the Journey Man!