Hardcore & Luna
Nothing big. Many day hikes, a couple of 2 days hikes and that’s pretty much it.
In decent shape and decided to walk the road from a little campground north of Oliver BC to Hart’s Pass.
Hart’s Pass, didn’t go to the border (should have)
Date Reached So. Kennedy Meadows
Around October 24th
Completed thru-hike but had to skip 100 miles of San Jacinto area
Jean-Sébastien is a 20 year old French Canadian. He studied social sciences in Quebec City and then started university in Criminology. At that point of his life he started asking himself questions about his happiness and his life goals. One day, Jean-Sébastien got tired of walking the path that people had made for him and decided to take another one. He quit his program and decided to travel around. He crossed Canada from East to West to end up in British Columbia, where he made a spontaneous decision to hike the PCT.
HIS TRAIL JOURNEY...
"I made the decision (to hike the PCT) when I was in that campground filled with partying French Canadians, Loose Bay campground. It’s just up north of Oliver, BC, where a lot of French Canadian young people crash for the summer to work picking fruits. So I was sitting on a camping chair on June 24th, a very hot day, in that campground. June 24th is the French Canadian national holiday, AKA the Saint-Jean-Baptiste, so needless to say I was hungover. At that point I had had many thoughts for the PCT. It was very appealing to me. Not only for the scenery it would give me but also because it looked like an unrealistic challenge that I could not achieve. For a long time I wanted to do something that was a little bit extraordinary, I was tired to be with the same kind of people that I had been around all my life. So sitting on that camping chair, I told my buddy that I would start walking toward Mexico 2 days from there. And I did. From that campground, at 5 AM, as the last person was going to bed, I started walking toward the Pacific Crest Trail. It was June 26th. I crossed the US border by night, on foot. The guy at the border was a little bit confused as I told him I was walking to Mexico. I told him I was going toward the PCT and he understood me a little better. I walked on the 97 and the 20. I slept mostly in orchards along the way, eating tons of cherries. I made it to Hart’s Pass on July 10th."
HIKING WITH A DOG
"Luna was my best companion on trail. You create an awesome relation with your dog and it just becomes your best buddy. But it was more work. Especially with a young dog like Luna that was still figuring things out. It can be overwhelming sometimes when you don’t feel like making discipline. Main cons : have to find dog food, carry more water, can’t go in restaurants (not a big deal to eat on the porch in my opinion), can’t take them in the National Parks, can’t ride some transportation. Main pros : buddy with a positive attitude, helps with getting rides, keeps the bears away, warm at night, eats your leftovers, never feel lonely, you give them a great time. When I boarded her to go hike the Sierras I felt a sort of a void without her. I thought it would be nice to have a pet caring break but I was just missing her the whole time. It made me realized how cool her presence was on the trail even if she was annoying sometimes. To me, it was all worth it."
INTERNATIONAL HIKER TIPS
"For Canadians that want to hike the trail, buying your gear in an REI might be a good move if it’s something possible for you. REI will basically refund anything that is broken up to a year after the purchase. Even a backpack shredded by a bear. And fact is that a lot of your stuff will break or be damaged because you use it 10 time more than the average person. Also, try to find a contact in the states that will be able to ship prepared boxes for you when you need them. If you don’t know anyone, don’t worry, you can send boxes from towns where they have big groceries like Cascade Locks, Tehachapi, etc. You can also thru-hike without shipping any boxes but you will save money if you do. Some stops are very expensive."
HIS TRAIL ADVICE...
"Hike your own thru-hike. You will meet people that will judge about how you or other hikers do your things. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting advice from more experienced hikers. But if you want to carry a bongo because you think it makes your hike more pleasant and it’s worth the weight, just do it. If you like fresh fruits enough to carry them on trail, just do it. You’ll hear people telling you what you should do or not do all the time but remember you are free tp ignore this advice. This is your thru-hike and only you know how to do it to make the most out of it.
Have a positive attitude. I noticed that I was having a much better time with the positive people than with the negative ones. Being positive will make people around you more positive too, and seeing positive people around will make you more positive… to the infinite. So avoid complaining even when you have a bad day and just try to see the good out of everything. It will make everyday a better day.
Injuries are all in the head. It’s always easy to blame injuries but the truth is that most of the injuries can heal fast enough to keep going. Don’t try to keep going if you break a leg, but if it’s a minor injury that heals in less than a week, it shouldn’t stop you. My ankle was sprained and after 2 days I went back on trail. It was hurting a bit at first and got better while hiking. For all your blisters, irritation and little injuries : yes it hurts, but it’s part of the deal. I promise that you won’t regret to have gone over it because the PCT is one of the best thing you’ll ever do and it’s worth the pain!
Little technical tip to finish : don’t buy all your pair of shoes before your hike. Your feet are probably going to get bigger and you don’t want to be in a pair of shoes that is too small for you!"