Summary of our Pacific Crest Trail SOBO hike 2014 in numbers

It has been almost two months since Dirt Stew and I finished our hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. I thought I would summarize our adventure with a few interesting facts and statistics from our hike:


We hiked 95.5% of the Pacific Crest Trail (roughly 100 miles short due to wild-fire closures)

The hike took 128 days

We took 8 “zero days” (days off) which included 4 days to go to a wedding

We walked an average of 20 miles a day (including zero days)

Longest day: 34 miles

We spent 97 nights camping on the trail

We spent 19 nights in paid accommodation (hotel, hostel, cabin, etc)

We spent 5 nights with trail angels

We spent 6 nights with friends/other

We had 15 days of rain or precipitation

We hiked on snow for at least part of the day for 16 days

We each went through roughly 5 pairs of shoes

The most north-bounders we passed in one day was 78

Number of other south-bound thru-hikers we met during our whole hike was 7

We spent $4,000 per person during the hike (not including food in mail-drops)

We had 17 mail-drops pre-made and 6 more were made during our hike

Our biggest expense was health insurance ($250/month per person)

Most expensive piece of gear lost: down jacket

Most water carried: 6 liters per person (we didn’t need all of it)

Base weight for Dirt Stew was anywhere from 10 to 15lbs

Base weight for Dormouse was anywhere from 8 to 12 lbs

Favorite sections: Northern Washington followed by the Sierra Nevada

We took 3641 pictures

The most picked up piece of trash was Mylar balloons, followed by plastic water bottles

We soaked ourselves in 5 different hot tubs

We hiked or hitched past 6 wild-fire closures (we found alternates for many, but not all)

We saw 5 bears (none in bear canister territory)

Most obnoxious animal: raccoon waking us up in the middle of the night

Cutest animal: the pika

Number of hikers in bad circumstances that we were able to help: 3

Best food experience: Aardvarks food truck

Cause of most painful full stomach experience for Dirt Stew: 1 medium sized pepperoni pizza followed by 1 large burrito

Cause of most painful full stomach experience for Dormouse: 1 order of mozzarella sticks, 1 bacon cheese burger followed by ice cream

Dirt Stew’s most missed creature comfort: a kitchen with food in it

Dormouse’s most missed creature comfort: sonic tooth brush

Number of voice recordings for the Halfmile project: 1500+

If you are curious about any statistics we haven’t thought of let us know in the comments.

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13 thoughts on “Summary of our Pacific Crest Trail SOBO hike 2014 in numbers

  1. What a fantastic experience; thanks for sharing it with us! Who knew that hiking in the wilderness could cost so much per person! WOW! You two are amazing!


    • Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed our blog. The main costs came from being unemployed while hiking. Compared to being unemployed in civilization the hike was reasonable. $4000 for 5 months is amazing. Our rent was $1350 prior to our hike. Our cost of living/person for 5 months just based on rent was $3375. $4000 doesn’t seem like that much anymore. Hope all is well in Richmond.


    • Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed our blog. The main costs came from being unemployed while hiking. Healthcare is quite expensive without employer provided healthcare. But compared to being unemployed in civilization the hike was reasonable. $4000 for 5 months is amazing for being unemployed. Our rent was $1350 prior to our hike. Our cost of living/person for 5 months just based on rent was $3375. $4000 doesn’t seem like that much anymore. Hope all is well in Richmond.


  2. We have followed your hike and have a few questions as we plan for ours. What kind of shoes did you use? We are using mail drops and wondered if there are closer towns or po’s that aren’t listed in the data book. Ow was the hitching? We hiked in VT this fall and people just drove on by. Congrats on your hike, hope your hips are feeling better Doormouse. Pam&Richard(cookie&tick tock)

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Cookie and Tick tock! Thanks for your questions. We used various different trail runners– mostly Brooks Cascadias, but also Brooks Pure Grits, and more than one type of Merrells. I wore dirty girl gaiters with mine, but Dirt Stew didn’t feel the need. For us, hitchhiking has been mostly good, but sometimes the wait can be long when you’re in the middle of nowhere. It may help to get one of the PCT bandannas, which you can hold up while you’re hitching. We always got a ride eventually. It helps to be a couple– single men have a harder time, and single women have more to worry about. We used a lot of the mail drop locations listed in Yogi’s guide, the data book is also a valuable resource, but I highly recommend getting Yogi’s guide, and taking the second half and splitting it up with your maps and sending the sections to yourself in the mail drops– the information will be invaluable to you! Best of luck, and feel free to bother us with more questions if you’d like!


      • More questions of course. I think I saw that Yogi’s guide on the PCT site and will get it. Did you use Half Miles’s maps? My husband likes the idea of maps, but I don’t know which would provide the best info and of course don’t want to add too much weight. Today I am dehydrating veggies. I did a bunch this summer from our garden, but not enough for the whole trip. We also use running post hike for staying in shape, but like you Doormouse, I have a hard time coming back from a long hike to running. The legs just don’t feel the same. Hope your hips get feeling better. I think it will just take time. We are in a little different position than you in that we are both retired now. But, there are other pulls to our time. (I read your section on returning to civilization) I especially felt that after the AT and going back to my inside job. I would look out the window and wonder how I could get the heck out of there. Hope you find some employment that allows you some flexibility with time off or some sort of outside job. Did you check out the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website. They actually have some full time positions and various seasonal jobs. What pulls us now is our children are having kids, so of course we want to spend time with them. We actually have one coming in March and one early April. And then we are heading for the trail. All for now, thanks for your help in our planning phase. Cookie and Tic Toc


    • Yes, we used Half Mile maps. I really prefer having the physical maps, but they do weigh you down. I recommend shipping the relevant ones ahead in your resupply boxes. All of the maps printed even with going double sided is basically a full ream of paper, so there’s no way you will carry them all at once. I would break it apart into at least 15 but preferably more sections. If you haven’t yet bought yogi’s guide, the best way to get the printed halfmile maps is probably through Yogi: Halfmile maps are the best ones available, and they’re about to get even better, thanks to some effort that was put in by Dirt Stew, Halfmile and White Jeep 🙂 Also, thanks for your other comments!


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