PCT Desert Hiking Skills

Advice for hiking through the first 700 miles of the pacific crest trail.

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  • Search/google dehydration urine color chart. Dark brown is a very bad level of dehydration.

  • Your video came in really handy for me last year. I went on a hike in the Sonoran desert in arizona and the tips you shared were very helpful. I had a comfortable enjoyable hiking experience. Thanks man.

  • If you stop sweating or peeing, be worried because you're dehydrated

  • Dude, thanks for all the information! I start my hike on the 13th of May, really late but I couldn’t get an earlier permit. My question is: How long does it take to clear the first 700 miles of desert? I know it varies from hiker to hiker but in your experience, what’s a good average? Thanks again! Oh and by the way, Cougars will definitely try to eat you, most people don’t see them but when they do, it’s too late, the cat saw them first.

  • Mountain Lions. There was one in my campsite in '96. It went after a raccoon. Agree if you see one. Be big, throw something. Don't be prey.

  • Rattle snakes. They don't always rattle. They do if they are on the sides of the road. Normally they rest straight on the trail not rattling.. Just pick up a stick and throw at it. They will roll up while they go away rattling.

  • Finally, an awesome realistic video of SoCal hiking. You mentioned someone dying. Unfortunate. We have so many rescues and some deaths in the summers. The largest California fire was a hunter in San Diego County and ran out of water. He started a fire to get attention and started the fire. 3 sisters, a hike outside of Julian, relatively close to the PCT, every summer people get rescued and some have died. Unzipping the pant leg and using the bottom part under the hat works as a really good cover if you wear a ball cap.

  • hi!
    thank you for the tips!!
    hiking 2018 in April .

  • Subscribed viewer here and fan of your videos; but I'm gonna have to disagree with a couple of comments here: I'm a little older with more experience in the outdoors both in the U.S. and living 16 years in western Canada. The reason you don't see cougars or mountain cats that often is because they're very stealthy and evasive. But they see you! They know you're there even if you don't realize it. If you had a big cat sniffing you out while you were sleeping, you're very lucky you weren't mauled or eaten. Because to them, you are food, dude! Believe that! Also: on cowboy camping: Why? Seriously, with snakes, scorpions, spiders, why risk it?! Pitch the tent, embrace the suck of putting it up, and taking it down. Why blow your hike over laziness. Just my thoughts.

  • Once again you have produced a fantastic video that is very useful for planning purposes! I have taken notes! Thank you,

  • Great advice. Thank you for posting. I am from Sacramento as well. Planning a 2018 start. I can't wait!!!

  • Dude this is the most practically helpful video I've seen about the PCT so far! Thanks Kale! This definitely helps with my first PCT thru hike coming up.

  • Very nice review and tips Kale, thanks very much. My tip: Anusol… never travel without it. ; )

  • Twice in 2012 I regretted not sleeping in a tent. Two very different locations, same reason. Once at about 7,000' on the High Sierra Trail, and another time on the Lost Coast. The reason? Rattlesnake. On the Lost Coast it was in some rocks. In the Sierra the rattlesnake was very active and likely hunting in the evening, as they normally do. I carefully relocated each one using a trekking pole. Both nights were unusually warm for each location. Another strange coincidence, each location was named Buck Creek.

    Since that time I have exclusively used my Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent. However, for 2017 I may break out the Solomid again. I ain't a-scared no more…I think.

  • i met you in the desert on the pct, you were sitting in the shade letting your homies investigate a dirt road to avoid the poodledog bush, then a day before kennedy meadows we hiked a mile or two together. this is 2014

  • I use gold bond powder for chaffing. To put it in the words of my good friend, "It feels like a thousand tiny angels kissing your butthole."

  • Should one hold pee to conserve fluid when running short of drinking water?

  • Its interesting, true bush camping in the Tonto F and AZ in general has its noticeable differences in desert style camping. so much missed or so much overstated. Some very relevant tips tho. Camp with me in the Supes and ill show you more bark scorpions, spiders, Gila monsters, and snakes in one day to make you think twice. Playing where the Apache play is not for children.

  • Walk. Eat food. Drink water. Walk. Derpa derp. So hard.

  • blue star ointment is the #1 best at rash/chafe/jock itch.

  • Occasionally adding electrolytes to your water can help prevent cramps even if you are drinking plenty of water. I got hand cramps so bad that my right hand closed shut involuntarily for about 5 minutes. I'm sure I was drinking enough water. Never happened again after I started using them. Great video!

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