The Middle (April 2020 to Nov 2020)

I joined Meetup and the Sacramento Backpackers group and took a series of great overnight backpacking trips in the Red Bluff and Cache Creek areas. “Just Mike”, Craig, and others provided valuable input and suggestions on the PCT and other hiking adventures and this assistance helped greatly in my preparations. I also did a 3 day section of the PCT (section L) from highway 80 to Sierra City (38 miles) with my 2 sons Tommy (26) and John (24), and my nephew Jack (15). As a Marine, John was our “beast of Burden”, and carried most of our water and the tents. They all did much better than I, but I did survive (and learned I needed a lighter tent, better lighter backpack, better lighter sleeping bag and pad, etc.). By this point (July 2020) my training was still pretty basic, and my weight had dropped from 270 to about 250. All the boys aggressively, and with great vigor, agreed that I needed to get down to about 200 pounds. I hoped to be able to get to about 220 before the start of the trip, and felt I could give it a realistic effort if that goal was achieved. By November, I had completed a few more overnight trips, had most of my gear straightened out, and had started to increase my daily mileage walks (with no elevation gain) to between 6 and 10 miles almost every day. By November, my weights was about 240, an improvement certain, but still far from optimal. It had become clear that trying to haul that much weight up some of the more pronounced inclines of the PCT would be overly difficult. My training and weight reduction needed to improve.

Published by tomconnolly3

Former 270 pound hiking noob is attempting to hike the PCT starting April 8!

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