Saturday, January 21, 2012

96 Days- A Book Review

Almost a week ago I received Yogi’s Pct Handbook in the mail.  There are two books:  Planning Guide and Trail Tips and Town Guide.  I started right in on the Planning Guide.  I read the first 100 pages in a day which put me close to the end of the gear section.  
While reading those first 100 pages I did a surprising amount of skimming and skipping.  Before getting the book I expected to hang on every word in there.  Yogi broke the PCT down into every topic you could imagine:  Detours, luxury items, camp shoes, toilet paper, and hiker behavior to name just a few.  Each topic is covered by Yogi and then by a panel of 22 past PCT hikers.  I read what Yogi had to say about each topic, and then a handful of the opinions of the panel—I mean there are only so many times you can read that buying water bottles at every town is the way to go. 
The desert section, covering topics like sunscreen and water caches, started on page 136, and pretty much put an end to my skimming.  The desert is something I don’t know much about so I was hanging on every word.  I found the section on the Sierra’s just as interesting.
Yogi has a section about resupply: bounce boxes (a box of supplies like sunscreen, maps, and phone charger that a hiker mails ahead to different towns) and mail drops (a box mailed to a town full of a hiker’s food, maps, and sometimes gear).  Yogi seemed anti mail drops while pro bounce box.  The panel of hikers seemed to be split evenly on the matter.  I won’t be doing a bounce box, but I will be putting together resupply boxes.  Yogi included a chart of how the PCT panel would resupply if they did the trail again.  I actually skipped over the chart, but I will study it soon when putting together my itinerary and resupply boxes. 
I was about 50 pages from the end of the planning guide when I realized I should have been reading the book with a highlighter or colored pen in hand for note making.  I finished the book yesterday and already I’m finding myself hunting down information that I half remembered.  I could always read it again--that doesn't sound like much of a hardship.

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