03 April 2015

Scary things on the Pacific Crest Trail

Forget about bears, mountain lions, and murderers -
The last (and only) recorded death from a wild bear in California, Oregon, or Washington? A four-year old girl in 1974. The last hiker killed by a mountain lion on the PCT? Never. The last time a person was murdered on the PCT? Also, never.
HalfwayAnywhere lists seventeen other things to be concerned about, such as lightning, bees...
In Northern California and parts of Oregon the bee population was not happy to have hikers around. Stopping for lunch in bee territory is a truly regrettable decision. I ate many a meal whilst walking as a result of being driven from my lunch spot by the bees. 
...unmarked trail intersections, Giardia, snakes, toxic Poodle Dog bushes, mosquitoes...
Without exaggeration, I can say that there were times that if I dared to stop hiking for even a moment, hundreds of mosquitos would swarm around me – biting every inch of exposed skin. Fortunately, you can out-hike the mosquito swarms, but as soon as you stop to for water, to make camp, or god-forbid to poop, they will be all over you. 
...rattlesnakes ("How many did I see? I stopped counting after the first twenty."), cows, human poop, and a few others.

Posted for Doug, a member of my extended family, who today began his trek on the PCT, leaving from the Mexican border and heading toward the Canadian border.  Rather than tackling the trail in sensible segments, Doug intends to "through-hike" the entire distance - 2,663 miles - in one extended effort this spring and summer.  Alone.   Good luck, Doug.


  1. will doug or a doug proxy be posting progress reports of the PCT trek? if yes, is there a link where one can follow?


    1. His initial "trail name" is "pensioner" -


  2. I really wish Doug would travel with another person or a good dog. Anything can happen. Good luck to you!

  3. My mother in law has hiked the entire PCT 6 times in the past 10 years, always by herself, never had any major problems. Not something I would ever be interested to do, but she absolutely loves it.

  4. old friend did it in her youth alone and in one shot too. Said it was incredibly difficult but she loved it no regrets. Good luck Doug!

    1. Doug made it -



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