FAQ


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What’s a ”thru-hike”?

Thru-hike is when you’re hiking through the entire trail. Which means when it comes to the PCT, all the way from Mexico to Canada. The ones who do this are called thru-hikers. You can also just hike sections of the trail, which is called section-hiking.

How long does it takes?

The record for a thru-hike is 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes (Anish 2013), but the average time is between 4-6 months, 5 being the most common.

Are you going to hike all by yourself? Isn’t that dangerous?

I’m doing this trip on my own, but I will be far from lonely on the trail. It’s not like in the movie Wild, for those of you who have seen it. The movie takes place in the 90’s, when there was still pretty few that hiked the trail. In 2014 there were more than 1000 people who hiked it and after the movie the interests has increased even more. I’ve talked to people that have hiked the entire trail and they have told me how they never had to camp all by them self and neither have I the nights I’ve spent on the trail. If something would happen and I’m by myself, I just have to sit down and wait for someone to walk by.

How do you do with food?

There’s some different ways. I’ve split up my hike into 25 sections, each about 100 miles / 160 km, and by every section stop I’ll will resupply with food, clothes, batteries or what ever that I need to fill up. This way, I only need to carry food for 5-7 days at a time. I either buy it in the towns where I stop, or I send a package to myself in advance. There’s also websites that target hikers and where you can order hiker food together with other kinds of gear you need and get it delivered to the most common stops along the trail.

Sierra City

Sierra City, one of the smaller villages along the trail where you can pick up packages or buy food.

How do you do with water?

You take water from natural water sources like streams or creeks, but you have to clean it. You can use a filter or a pump or tablets. On some places there will be so callled water-caches, places where nice people have put out water for hikers. This is most common in southern California where there are limited amounts of natural water sources and where they also could be dried out. You can never rely on the water-caches and in this area you need to stay updated on the water report, pctwater.com. It will tell you about the current status of the water sources. It might happen that you have to carry up to 8 liters of water in the desert, but after that the water sources are more frequent and flowing.

How long do you hike in a day?

It depends on what tempo you want to keep or if you’re in a hurry to get to a certain point. It also varies depending on where you’re going. If there’s much snow or creek crossings, you’ll slow down. My plan is to start slow and easy with 10 miles / 16 km a day, but after 2-3 weeks I hope I’ll be able to do 20 miles / 32 km a day.

How do you navigate?

The trail is pretty easy to follow. There’s one clear trail and you just keep walking on that one. But there’s not that many marks for the trail, sometimes there can be miles between them. So you need to keep your eyes open so you don’t miss out a trail junction, especially in areas where there’s a lot of other trails. If you come to a trial junction, it’s usually very well marked though.

The tool that I use most, is the application Halfmile PCT (which is free to download). It’s an app that tells you exactly where you are on the trail, like ”mile 2106.86” and it also tells how far you are from the next water source, campsite or trail junction etc. If you would get off the trail, the app will notice. Even if it’s just a few feet/meters. And if you wouldn’t find your way back, you just put the app in ”compass mode” and it’ll show you in which direction the trail is. So it feels hard to get lost, but of course I also bring a map and compass just in case. Once the application is downloaded, you won’t need any service for it to work. It works only on GPS so you can use it even in flight mode which saves a lot of batteries.

halfmilemaps

The application Halfmile PCT. Priceless on the trail.

Will you have any service on your phone?

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. It usually works in most villages and sometimes even on the trail, but mostly not. But sometime you can get service even in the most remote places, so I always have my running.

How do you charge your phone?

I will have two ”powerbanks” with me. A powerbank is like a compact battery, that can charge my phone up to 5 times (the one I’ve bought). I will aslo have a solar panel just in case.

What do you do if something happens?

I’m bringing a first-aid-kit so I can fix minor injuries myself until I get into town. But if something serious would happen, like breaking a leg and my phone doesn’t work, I just have to relax and sit down and wait for someone to pass by. There’s so many people on the trail, so you shouldn’t have to wait more than a day to meet someone. You can also bring a emergency beacon.

Where do you sleep?

In a tent. On a sleeping pad, in a sleeping bag. Some people doesn’t even carry tents. They sleep under the stars or use a tarp (a big piece of tent fabric) over them. That’s not for me though. I feel that I want my own space without bugs or insects. Sleep is important after a hard day to recover, so for me it’s worth the extra weight.

Where you put up your tent is different. There’s campsites, which are basically just flat spots in the wild. Then there’s campgrounds, which are bigger and usually also for RVs and caravans. These cost some to stay at, but then you also get access to toilets and showers. In some of the towns you’re passing, there’s also hotels or lodges and some people let you put up your tent in their garden.

How much do you carry? How heavy is your pack?

At the moment I have a 55 liter backpack, which has been working fine for me. My base weight (packing without water and food) on my latest hike was 29 lb / 13 kg, but my goal is to get down to 22 lb / 10 kg, before I hit the trail.

packning

Are there any wild animals? 

There is! Rattlesnakes, marmots, black bears, cougars, squirrels etc. And of course it would be scary to meet a bear, but animals are usually more afraid of us people than we are of them. It’s just if you happen to scare or surprise them, that they eventually could get aggressive. I’ve never heard of a bear meeting on the trail that ended badly. The animals that people worry about the most are marmots and mice. They can easily gnaw through your tent to steal your food.

Ain’t you scared?

Well, both yes and no. Of course I’m worried about some things, but I’m worried about things at home too. You just have to get over them. Just as when you’re home. When it comes to animals, reading about their behavior, how you read their signs or how you don’t end up in a dangerous situation with them in the first place, is all part of the preparations for the trail. If you’re scared of something, the best thing is to read and learn more about it. Then you’ll know what to do if you find yourself in that situation and you’ll feel a lot safer. I’ve also noticed that I am much more scared at home than I am on the trail. When you’re on the trail, you can’t worry about what might happen, all you care about is what happens at the moment, like where’s the next water source or how far is it to my next stop.

What do you do if you meet a bear?

If you see a bear further up the trail and it doesn’t notice you, the best thing to do is to slowly back and wait until the bear leaves before you continue. If it’s not on the actual trail and far away, you can also calmly keep moving. If it notices you, do the same, but talk with a low, calm voice. Try not to make eye contact. If the bear gets curious, talk louder and calmly bang your poles toghter if it gets closer. The last thing you should do is run. There’s bear-spray (like stronger pepper spray) that you can buy and use against the bear, but most people thinks its unnecessary and it’s a big risk that you might hurt yourself with it instead.

The best thing is to avoid meeting a bear in the first place. Don’t move silent. Talk to yourself and sing. Let the bear here that your coming and it will take off before you see it.

What are your biggest fears?

Bears. I know that they are not that dangerous and that I should be happy if I’m lucky (yes, lucky they say…) to meet one, but I know that I will be really nervous if I do!

Except that, I think that other humans is probably what worries me the most. Hikers are good people and you don’t walk miles into the woods to commit a crime. But the people that you meet on campgrounds for example, people that drive from the city to get drunk in their RVs, that’s another thing. But I’m not more afraid of them there, than I am at home.

To the swedish site:

http://www.wilderness-stories.com/sv

Me who runs the blog

... is Linda Åkerberg. I'm a 32 years old photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Read more about me here

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New post! | Have you read my text about my first solo kayaking trip? Maybe you have started thinking about go kayaking yourself, but ain’t sure where to start?
Then I have some good news! I have just put together a longer text about how to start kayaking! The text contains everything from how to find a place to rent a kayak to videos of how you enter of the kayak - or how you do if you fall into the water. Check it out at: https://www.wilderness-stories.com/paddla-kajak/ (link in bio)!
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#startkayaking #kayakingadventures #kayaking #howto #howtokayak #melkerkayaks #melkerofsweden #forsustainableliving #bambookayak #neverstopexploring #justdoit #kvinnligaäventyrare #sonya7rii #paddling #stockholmarchipelago #kayakingtrip
The Stockholm Archipelago. The more time I spend here, the more I like it. I can’t believe I’ve lived here for  more than 14 years without exploring it. Sometimes the adventure is just around the corner.
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#neverstopexploring #stockholmarchipelago #kayakingadventures #sailing #lifeonaboat #eastcoast #balticsea #sonya7rii #kvinnligaäventyrare #theoceaniscalling #mywildernessstory
Today is the longest day of the year. It’s a mythical day that through the years has been celebrated in many different ways. One Swedish legend is that if you on the night of Midsummers Eve, goes out and picks seven different kinds of flowers and place them under your pillow - you will dream about the person you’re gonna marry. - But you have to be careful and do it under complete silence. If you speak or make any sound, the ritual and magic is broken.
Do you dare to try it tonight? 🌙💐💍
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#midsummer #swedishtraditions #folklore #sevenflowers #rituals #visitsweden #summer #bouquet #magic
I just love “firsts”. To try out something for the very first time. When you don’t know what to do and just doing what feels right. Last week I did my first solo kayaking trip (that you can read about in my blog - link in bio). Today I decided to set out on my first longer bicycling trip! Not today, but very soon. I’ll keep you posted. 😉
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#mywildernessstory #bicycling #mtb #bicycle_photos #bicycletrip #kungsleden #hemavan #neverstopexploring #firsts #justdoit #sonya7rii #optoutside
New blogpost | Last week I did my very first solo kayaking trip around the Stockholm Archipelago. It was a trip that both challenged my fears, proved to me that I can do more than I think and offered a lot of beautiful nature. Now you can see my photos from the trip and read my story about it in my new blogpost at Wilderness-Stories.com (link in bio)! 💙☀️
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#mywildernessstory #kayaking #melkerkayaks #stockholmarchipelago #neverstopexploring #challengeyourself #challengeyourfears #peacefulmoments #seaview #campviews #camping #justdoit #sonya7rii
Sunsets. Do they really need a caption? 💜
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#sunset_pics #sunsets #stockholmarchipelago #thankfullness #sonya7rii #meditation #peacefulmoments #peacefulness #harmony #mywildernessstory
Why buy bad tasting coffee from a kiosk in a single use cup when you can bring your own? Using a thermos when for example kayaking, you can also keep your coffee warm longer and save it for that special coffee break. And no risk for spilling or leaking! 😚👌☕️ .
This is my 2nd of 3 pics in the #BringYourOwnChallenge and with this post I want to challenge @melkerofsweden to accept the challenge! .
➡️ THE CHALLENGE:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. For ONE week, post (at least) THREE pictures of how you do to avoid single-use products. How do you minimize your consumption of products that become trash by the end of the day? Bring your own coffee cup/lunchbox/shopping bag/water bottle etc. post a picture of it and inspire others to do the same!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Tag #BringYourOwnChallenge ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. For every post, challenge a friend to accept the challenge as well! Together we can make a difference!💕⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#bringyourown #refusesingleuse #forsustainableliving #savetheplanet #protectearth #beatplasticpollution #earth #savetheocean #environment #ecosystem  #protecttheearth #bethechange #dowhatyoucan
It might be a cliche, but step out of your comfort zone and magic will happen. 
About a year ago, I tried kayaking for the very first time. Now I am on my first solo trip in the Stockholm archipelago. Yesterday had had to paddle over 1 km of open water to get to this island where I spent the night. I wasn’t really sure if I was gonna go there or not because the waves were higher than I had ever paddled in before. But then I remembered this thing I use to say: “At least try. If it then feels too scary or too risky, it’s always ok to turn back.” So I tried. It sure was a bit scary, but it went ok and I made it to the island. 
This morning I got my reward. This magical sunrise. .
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#mywildernessstory #challengeyourself #outsideyourcomfortzone #justdoit #neverstopexploring #sonya7rii #kayaking #stockholmarchipelago #melkerkayaks #nemoequipment #adventureanywhere #islandhopping #sunrise #optoutside @nemoequipment @melkerofsweden @visitsweden
Refuse single-use products! Accept the #BringYourOwnChallenge ! 👊♻️🌎💕
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➡️ THE CHALLENGE:
1. During ONE week, post (at least) THREE pictures of how you do to avoid single-use products. How do you minimize your consumption of products that becomes trash by the end of the day? Bring your own coffee cup/lunchbox/shopping bag/water bottle etc. post a picture of it and inspire others to do the same!
2. Tag #BringYourOwnChallenge 
3. For every post, challenge a friend to accept the challenge as well! Together we can make a difference!💕
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This is my 1st of the 3 pics and with this I challenge @thereseeri to accept the challenge!
- And all you others are free to accept it too off course!👊💕
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#BringYourOwnChallenge #refusesingleuse #beatplasticpollution #bringyourown #forsustainableliving #nomoreplastic #hållsverigerent #waterbottlechallenge #liverefreshed

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