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You’ve decided to try a thru-hike, which is the first step in a long-distance adventure you’ll never forget. It’s often said that the hardest part of a long-distance trip is the first step. This article aims to help you prepare for the various steps you’ll take along the way.

So, what do you need to do to prepare for your hike along the Pacific Northwest Trail? Read below to get a better understanding of everything involved! And remember – if you’re still feeling intimidated, you might need to do more research first.

Getting Yourself Ready

The Pacific Northwest Trail is considered one of the world’s most challenging long-distance trails. It requires a lot of mental and physical strength to complete, and with proper preparation, you can take on this challenge.

If you’re planning on hiking the entire Pacific Northwest Trail, then it’s essential that you start small and gradually increase your mileage. After that, it’s time to pack up and start adding more weight. 

One of the most important factors you must consider when preparing for the Pacific Northwest Trail is carrying your pack up and down the mountain. This trail goes against the grain of nature, which makes it one of the most physically demanding trails in the National Scenic Trail system. In other words, you’ll be carrying that pack for some time. Do a few practice runs on other trails to see if you’re up for the challenge.

Packing Your Gear

Many products are designed for backpacking, which can make packing overwhelming. Having the ideal combination of equipment is very important to ensure that you’ll be able to perform at your best. Here are some basic pieces that every person should have in their kit.

Essential gear to pack includes your pack/bag (which should carry at least 55 liters), some form of shelter, sleeping gear, footwear, rain gear, cooking supplies, food (and food storage), and first aid gear. Also, emergency gear, such as flares and duct tape, is always helpful. Once your essentials have been packed, you can consider adding more fun supplies, such as a camera or journal.


Although the Pacific Northwest Trail is one of the newest National Scenic Trails, more and more resources are available to hikers every year. The PNTA’s website is an excellent resource for current information, including maps, trip planning guides, and the latest conditions.

Connecting to friends and other hikers through social media is another great way to research and plan your trip. It’s easy to connect with people planning on hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail. The PNT Hikers group can be found on Facebook, and it’s also a great way to connect with other hikers who have already completed the trail.

Finally, don’t forget to invest in a good guidebook. There are several specifically designed for the PNT, and it is not an expense you’ll want to skip out on. This information is vital and useful during an emergency or sudden change of plans.