Do You Dream Of Walking The Pacific Crest Trail?

Do you dream of walking the Pacific Crest Trail but need a push to get you going? Is so, then check out The program, sponsored by Yama Mountain Gear, a company that manufactures and sells ultralight tarps and tents, is primarily a fundraiser to help benefit the Pacific Crest Trail Association (and indirectly, Yama, too, I’m sure). The five applicants chosen to take part in the program will be expected raise $2000 for the PCTA, to blog, and to be willing to share their stories and photos with the public and the various sponsors of the hike.

Although some gear will be provided, as well as mentors to help the winning applicants prepare for the hike, the hikers will hike their own hike. Eek. A daunting idea, just as daunting as when I considered doing it all on my own. The main problem for me has always been the sheer bulk of materials and supplies that need to be carried for 2,660 miles. And water. Now, if water could be dehydrated, that would solve a major issue for me, but apparently, dehydrated water is no water at all.

Still, I promised a friend I would apply before the November 15, 2014 deadline. Now it’s just a matter of coming up with compelling responses to the following questions:

  1. What draws you to the Pacific Crest Trail and to long-distance hiking? What do you find attractive about it?  Is there something you seek?  Something you hope to get out of the experience?
  2. What about the mYAMAdventure program attracts you?  What do you most hope to get out of it?
  3. What are your biggest concerns about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail?
  4. Please describe your level of hiking and backpacking experience.  Have you ever attempted a long-distance hike?  If so, tell us a little about it. (You don’t need any experience to participate in the program.)
  5. How far along in your PCT planning are you, if at all?
  6. Have you ever fundraised before?  If so, please describe:
  7. What do you think is a realistic fundraising goal for you?  How do you think you’ll go about raising the $2,000 for the PCTA? (We’re not expecting a well thought out plan here, just trying to get a general idea of how you think you might approach the fundraising aspect of the program.)
  8. Do you currently maintain a blog?  If so, please provide the address: If you don’t have a blog or website you’d like to share with us, skip this question.
  9. Do you have any samples of your photography (available online) that you wouldn’t mind us checking out?  If so, please provide links. For example, a link to your Instagram, Flickr, or Tumblr account.
  10. Do you plan to carry a mobile device with a data plan? (yes/no/not sure)
  11. Do you have a ball park figure of how much you think this hike will cost you?  What is it?
  12. Are you planning to hike the trail regardless of participation in this program?  Describe any possible issues or conflicts you might have regarding a commitment to hike the trail.
  13. What is your level of certainty for getting the time off work/school/whatever to hike the trail? (you’ll select at 1 – 5 type rating on the application)
  14. What sets you apart from the other applicants?  Is there anything special you can offer the program? Some skill?  Something about your personality?
  15. What is one question you’d add to next year’s application?  Any that you’d remove?
  16. How did you hear about mYAMAdventure?

Feel free to enter! If you get accepted, I’ll do what I can to help promote your hike.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Do You Dream Of Walking The Pacific Crest Trail?”

  1. Carol Says:

    Hiking an extensive distance has never been on my bucket list. But I know this is something that you’ve thought about before, so if it’s meant to be, I hope it works out for you.

    Here in BC we have the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park that is a challenging destination for many, but it’s only “a 75 km (47 mile) backpacking route along temperate rainforest, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, sea arches, sea stacks and beaches.” I’ve been to the coastal areas of northern Vancouver Island, and of Haida Gwaii… accessed by vehicle and then I could wander the shorelines, which is more my style. 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Wandering is more my style too. Thru-walking is something I think about when I feel trapped, but the pace, packs, and water situation make the Pacific Crest Trail seem impossible. But we’ll see. If they accept me, I’ll take it as a nudge and see what happens. The West Coast Trail sounds lovely.

  2. katsheridan Says:

    I think you’d be perfect for something like this and am glad you’re applying! I know nothing about this trail (or hiking). Is there a reason you have to carry your own water? Is there no water along the way? No streams (you’d need to carry a purifier–maybe one of those reusable light thingies)? Keeping fingers crossed they choose you!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      There would be water after the first month or so when hikers get beyond the Mojave desert, so a purifyer would work, but still they need to carry at least a day’s worth. But there is no water of any kind in the desert area of the trail. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds. And that is in addition to the food and survival gear. Yikes.

      • katsheridan Says:

        Guess I need to look this place up. I had no idea it was part desert. How do other people do it? I don’t think anyone can carry 30 or so gallons of water, can they? I think you need a wagon. And a horse. Maybe an air conditioned car for that first part. LOL!

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          I don’t know how they do it except by walking really fast for long hours to get through those stretches. Trail angels help. Those are people who offer support to hikers. And occasionally there are stores a little way off the trail. The trail is about 2600 miles. I don’t know how any one hikes the whole way. But definitely check out the Pacific crest trail. It truly is a phenomenal resource.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          I read about a couple of guys who walked across the country and they had a push cart of some kind to carry the water they would need for the hundred mile stretches without water. But mo wheels are allowed on the PCT.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          It sounds far too dangerous and rugged to me, too, which is why I gave up the idea. But now it’s back in my head.

  3. When I Have To Leave Here | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] Do You Dream Of Walking The Pacific Crest Trail? […]

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