Let me count the ways, dear Yogi, that you have simplified my preparations for the PCT. Okay, that’s a lot to count. So here’s just praise for some outstanding, essential resources for Pacific Crest Trail thru hikers.
I heard about Yogi’s guide when I first started researching the PCT in earnest last summer. It sounded mainly like a guide to town stops and zero days. I had just shelled out a bit of money for the first of the Wilderness Press guides to the PCT and a lightweight pack, so I deferred buying Yogi’s books.
The end of November last year, my planning got to the step of figuring out what towns to stop at for rest days and buying resupplies. Time to buy Yogi’s guidebook. [Note: This was in 2011. Now the guidebook is just one volume with perforated pages that you can tear out.]Yogi’s PCT Handbook is actually two books – Planning Guide and Trail Tips and Town Guide – for $40. I actually ordered the Pacific Crest Trail Package for $55 which includes some postcards and a bright orange spoon.
I had a bit of adventure receiving the books. I live in Malaysia. I got a form in my mailbox saying that an attempt was made to deliver a package. Since I wasn’t home and the package was damaged, I could pick it up at the Poslaju. Mail here is delivered by Pos Malaysia. So, after figuring out what a Poslaju is – it’s a courrier service (think very small UPS) – and where this particular warehouse was located, off I went to retrieve my package. This involved taking a cab to the light rail, the light rail to the middle of Kuala Lumpur, switching to another line, taking this line almost to its end, and then taking a cab to the warehouse. Fortunately, the cab driver knew where the Poslaju was (cab drivers knowing where things are in Malaysia is not a sure thing). I had the cab wait while I got in line to get my package. On the long route home, I had plenty of time to start reading.
And there I read all the answers to all the questions: gear, food, water sources, towns, trail angels, pros and cons of toilet paper, side hikes, maps, the mysterious monkey butt ailment, and more. Information based on Yogi’s and many other PCT veterans’ experience. Maybe not all the answers, but most of them. Many that I had already laboriously garnered from websites, online forums, and trail journals. Many that I hadn’t even thought to ask yet.
Hindsight note to self: start with Yogi’s guidebooks. At least my previous info gathering provided me a lot of context for the information in the guidebooks. And, by waiting so long, I bought my copies right after the brand new updated edition came out. But I sure would have saved a lot of time and effort if I had started with Yogi’s handbooks.