Video and Links

Long-distance hiking porn

Lots of people make slideshows of stills from their thru-hikes and put them on YouTube with Old Crow and Dispatch songs twanging along in the background. Those are all well and good, but here are some actual filmed accounts of thru-hikes that I've enjoyed.

Walking the West

The best documentary I've seen about the PCT. Won some indie film awards. Made by an Irish guy about him and his Kiwi friend trying to thru-hike in the year 2000 (or sometime around then, I'm not actually sure ... the movie is copyright 2002). Comes in two parts, both on YouTube. If you want anything other than 240p, you have to go to their website and pay.

KCop and Iguana on the PCT

A film more representative of the average Young Person's thru-hike these days. A lot of shenanigans and laughter, which most films don't focus on, in addition to the obligatory scenery shots, which they all do. Comes in three parts, all on YouTube.

Cookie and Paul's Two-Hour CDT video

Put together by two British guys without much backpacking experience, but with good spirits and an admirable dedication to hauling margarita fixings everywhere they went. A lot of scenery footage. If you're impatient, skip to the end at 2:26:20, where they've put together a fast-forwarded two-minute version of the whole hike.

Two Feet and a Heartbeat

Some Canucks hiking the PCT in 2011. Worth it for the accents alone. There are installments for the whole trail up until Washington. Did they make it? Were they killed off? The plot thickens.


Mags' Quick and Dirty Guide to the PCT
Does what it says on the tin. I use this as a gateway to more specialized sources of information. He also has guides for the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT).

Yogi's Guidebooks
Absolutely the single most helpful source for planning and executing a PCT (or CDT, or Colorado Trail) hike. Do free research on the internet, and then if you decide for real real that you're going to hike, pony up for her book before you do anything else. Every single aspect of planning and hiking is crowdsourced with advice from a dozen or so past thru-hikers, some of whom have widely different methods for how to get the job done. It's all specific to each trail. I've been reading and re-reading this ever since I got it in the mail a few weeks ago.

Both are overflowing with information about the PCT. Postholer has the all-important Sierra snowpack reports that I admit to checking now, in February, even though they don't start to matter until May.

I comment on this site now and then, even though there's more light than heat being given off in most of the forums. It's terribly organized and the site search doesn't work (use a Google search that ends with if you're looking for something). It's also heavily focused on the AT and eastern trails. That said, there's a gold mine of hiking information buried in the articles and forums if you have the time to dig for it.

Halfmile is a true G. He's crafted the best maps for the entire PCT and lets you download them for free. He's also got a lot of digital mapping resources at no charge.