PCT 2017

Training and Prepping

(This blog entry is from my Patreon blog, where you can see my PCT prep blogs before anywhere else, as well as support me financially on this grand adventure. Later on, these posts will be more in sync with each other, with Patreon backers having access to my trail comics, drawings, and videos.)
 
 

Can you tell I need to get some new inking pens? Drier than Moore county, jeez. 

It’s been raining a lot here, which is great! Every drop pushes back the drought we’ve been facing a little bit more. Not so great for me, though, since I need to be training for my thru-hike, and my only training grounds is Forest Park here in Portland. 

Forest park is a huuuuge city park, and the Wildwood Trail is over 40-miles long. It’s a great place to train because the trails are well maintained, it’s close to where I live (only about 45 minutes away), and has lots of hills and lovely trees. But on the flip-side, it’s heavily used. Lots of people jog/run in Portland, and Forest Park is the place most of them go, rain or shine. That being said, when it rains the trails get muddier than heck. Foot sucking mud. 

I’m not saying that the PCT won’t be muddy, it will be, but it won’t be this muddy the entire time. Was I to constantly train in this mud I’d be risking injury before my hike has even begun! By the time I reach mud I hope to be more physically fit than I am now, reducing the risk of injury. 

Listen to me. Justifying to y’all why I’m lazy. Sheesh. 

The sun is actually out right now, but it rained pretty hard yesterday so the trail will still be muddy. I’m hoping it won’t rain between today and tomorrow, so I can head up there in the morning. 

  

If any of y’all follow me on other social media sites, you would have seen me share these a few days ago. These are the sketchbooks I plan to take on the PCT with me. 

They’re 6″ x 9″ with thick, quality multimedia paper, capable of accepting any abuse I give them. They were 2 60-page sketchbooks a friend gifted me for the trail, split up into 5 24-page sketchbooks. One for each month I intend to be out there. I cut the covers from the backboards of paper pads, wrapped them in images from an REI catalog, a National Parks calendar, and a Crater Lake map, and drilled holes in them to bind them.

Originally I used zip-ties to bind them, but I quickly realized how much of a pain in the butt they were, and how likely they were to puncture holes in the Ziploc bags they were going to live in. Evan suggested I use paracord instead (he suggests paracord for everything), I pulled out some hemp string I usually use to bind books and did them in the laziest way I could think of. 

The resulting sketchbooks are wobbly but flexible and easily flipped around. The paper and covers are firm enough that I won’t be searching for a rock or a leg to level it on, and in the end, I can easily remove the binding to scan the individual pages. 

Also, the just look NICE

I also went through and drew margins, so to make future editing a lot less of a headache (as of right now only 2 of the 5 books have margins because I’m lazy and that’s boring). 

Supporters on my Patreon will be getting exclusive looks at these sketchbooks on the trail. I’ll be sharing as much as I can when I have service. Photos will let you vicariously walk alongside me, but my drawings and journal will let supporters vicariously walk AS me. But, y’know, from a comfortable and pain-free armchair. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to draw and write; I’ve got to be vigilant about my journaling process. To prep, I’m writing using a journal right now (a bullet journal), to get used to personal reflection. I’m also going to try and do more diary comics, a few times a week! I need to get into the practice of taking things that happen during my day, or thoughts I have, and converting them to drawings and speech balloons. It’s harder than it seems. I don’t live an interesting life right now. 

What kinds of things do you hope I share while on the PCT? Emotions? Landscape drawings? Jokes? Let me know the comments! 

Next up on my PCT Prep blog list: More food, gear, and resupply! 

 

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