How to Trek Farther, Faster

Nate (right) and Tyler at an Alpine Lake in the Sierras

Fun fact: I’m one of three Clymb employ­ees to have thru-hiked the Pacif­ic Crest Trail (PCT) in 2005.  Over the course of five months, I trekked 2600 miles from Cana­da to Mex­i­co with my col­lege room­mate, Tyler (Brand Event Man­ag­er at The Clymb). That same year, Brett (Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er), began hik­ing the PCT northbound.

Tyler and I nev­er saw Brett on the trail — our paths prob­a­bly crossed some­where around Etna, Cal­i­for­nia — but we still have plen­ty to chat about around the water cool­er. It was in the mid­dle of one such dis­cus­sion that we got the idea to put togeth­er a light­weight trekking event for The Clymb.  We want­ed to give our mem­bers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to light­en their loads and walk far­ther, faster.

The Trekking Essen­tials event will help you do just that. Every hik­er is dif­fer­ent. There is no mag­ic com­bi­na­tion of gear that allows you to walk 30 miles a day with­out break­ing a sweat. But one thing’s for sure: an effec­tive long dis­tance back­pack­ing sys­tem needs to be light­weight. Every item in your pack needs to be assessed in terms of its val­ue ver­sus its weight. If pos­si­ble, each item you choose to car­ry will serve mul­ti­ple pur­pos­es. That’s why you’ll find tarps propped up by trekking poles, down jacket/half sleep­ing bag com­bos, con­vert­ible pants, and mul­ti-tools in this event.

Brett watching his calorie intake
Brett watch­ing his calo­rie intake; Milk was a bad choice

If you see some oppor­tu­ni­ties to swap your old hefty gear for some­thing less bur­den­some, I encour­age you to go for it. The feel­ing of cruis­ing across an alpine ridge unen­cum­bered by your pack is an exhil­a­rat­ing expe­ri­ence. If you’re curi­ous to learn more about what it takes to pre­pare for a thru-hike, check out an arti­cle I put togeth­er for Ore­gon Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing (OPB).

Have a lis­ten to Nate, Tyler, and Brett as they share their insight­ful and fun­ny thoughts on thru-hik­ing The Pacif­ic Crest Trail: