PCT Update Zero

Posted on Categories Pacific Crest Trail

As I write this it is the last full day I will spend in this apartment. Next week will be the last week at my job. Two weeks after that I’ll be saying goodbye to my family and my girlfriend for 6 months as I begin my hike from Mexico to Canada. These are the parts of my life that I’m giving up or putting on hold so that I can live out a lifelong dream of completing a thru hike.

Kyle and Jessie on Mount Tecumseh

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is going to be hard, physically and emotionally. It may even be the hardest thing I’ll ever do. But for those closest to me that I’m leaving at home while I go away, it’s going to be even harder. I want to thank my amazing family and incredible girlfriend for supporting me along this journey, I wouldn’t be starting it if it wasn’t for their support.

Manchester sunrise
Goodbye Manchester.

Hike for Mental Health

In an attempt to make this selfish trip a bit more selfless, I will also be hiking for mental health. I have set up a fundraising page on HikeForMentalHealth.org, a non-profit group that uses hiking as a means of removing the stigma and boosting research of mental illnesses.

80% of the funds will go directly to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which puts 100% of it’s donations directly towards research grants to help find cures and treatments for everything from ADHD to schizophrenia. The other 20% will go towards the Pacific Crest Trail Association to help maintain the trail so others can continue to experience this same life changing journey for years to come.

My goal is to raise $1 per mile, or a total of $2660. If I can get 50 people to donate just 2 cents a mile, we can reach that goal. Below is a table showing the total donation amount based on cents/mile. Of course a standard $10/$20/$50 is just as welcome as a ‘per mile’ donation!

Donation per mile Total Donation
$0.01 $26.60
$0.02 $53.20
$0.03 $79.80
$0.04 $106.40
$0.05 $133.00
$0.10 $266.00
$0.15 $399.00
$0.25 $665.00
$0.50 $1330.00
$0.75 $1995.00
$1.00 $2660.00
You can donate here.

Final Notes

As the months have turned to weeks and my start date gets closer and closer, I am finishing up the last bit of planning. I’ve spent hours repackaging dehydrated food into smaller ziplock bags and looking through maps to plan where I can actually get the food sent to me.

At this point, most of my gear has been purchased and is ready to go. Which is great, because I am so tired of researching gear! A common question I get is, “How heavy is your pack going to be?” Without including food and water, the answer is about 17 pounds. On average, I’ll be carrying an additional 5 to 20 pounds of food and water, depending on where I am on the trail.

Packing Freeze Dried Meat
Bags and bags of dehydrated meats. Mmmmm.

I am excited and nervous for this trip to begin. I look forward to the experience of waking up to the sunrise and falling asleep under the stars. To be hearing, seeing, and feeling the natural world around me day in and day out. I am excited for the freedom that comes with the simplicity of hiking, where a simple shelter from the rain and some hot food become things of enjoyment and the need for constant digital stimulation ceases.

And I am nervous for the days of pain that will push me to my mental limits. For the homesickness that will inevitably hit, and the desire to just wake up in a warm bed or to see my girlfriend’s smiling face as I shiver myself to sleep after three days of hiking in the rain.

I will be posting updates about my trip here on my blog, so check back often or join my mailing list at the bottom of the page to hear about new posts. I’ll also be posting photos of all the cool things I’m sure to see on Instagram, so follow me on there too!

New England Hiking
See you in 6 months New England!

21 thoughts on “PCT Update Zero”

  1. Tears. I love you Kyle and am so proud of you! It’s an honor to support you through your incredible journey.
    You rock.
    – Jacquie

  2. Wow! I have so much admiration and respect for you Kyle. I love how you are taking on the PCT with a selfless purpose of raising awareness and funds for mental health. I will donate and please know I love you and will pray for your strength, courage, safety, happiness and overall well being. You are so unique in so many ways and loved by so many. 😘

  3. I’m going to miss you sooooo much but good luck on this amazing journey! I will be checking your blog everyday– it looks great so far! The cause you have chosen almost anyone can relate to in some way whether it is themselves or a friend or family member –I will definitely be donating!

  4. This is so exciting, Kyle! I’m so happy that you’re doing this!!! I’ll be sure to donate and follow your progress every step of the way!

  5. Welp, straight tears. I don’t think it truly hit me, and all that you’re doing, until reading that. You are resilient, determined and inspiring. I can’t wait to hear all of the amazing stories! You have a hell of an army supporting and thinking of you over the next 6 months. So much love and admiration for you my sweet cousin!

  6. Kyle, your website is taking on a life of its own and I am so happy you are using your logo, “Reconnect”, which you so beautifully designed a few years back. Funny how things fall into place, even if the timing is not in accord with our expectations. Thanks to yours and Dennis’ interest in the trail, I have been learning so much about hiking the PCT. Your preparations and meticulous planning for life as a thru-hiker in the various eco-systems of the PCT, have been an incredible eye opening experience, alone, for me. Now that you will set off to live and breathe the experience, I will turn to “reconnect.life” to hear and see what you make of your days on the trail. You are strong and brave and loved by so many. Multitudes of wishes for blessings and magic on your journey!!! I Love you!!!

  7. Good luck Kyle. Be smart and safe and may god keep you in his care. We love you and will donate. Love, Aunt Annie, Uncle Rich and Greyson! 💙💙💙

  8. I am so proud of your adventurous spirit, your courage, your depth of preparation and your desire to link a personal endeavor to a bigger cause. I love you Kyle and will be rooting for you all the way! Be safe!.

  9. I am already missing u, dear Kyle! Easter without u was a test and we didn’t do well! You know we love you, we admire you and we are so happy u r going to live your dream of this thru-hike. Be careful and stay safe, because if u get lost u will have 30 Cusas on that trail looking for u — with Nanny and Poppy in the lead!!! 😳 You r in our thoughts and prayers. So glad we have your blog to follow. Can’t wait to hear ur stories!!! Gambatte!!!😘

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