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Why, Exactly, Am I Hiking the PCT???

My 2,650mile (4,264km) thru-hike adventure of the Pacific Crest Trail is just around the corner!

On Friday, March 31st, I'll begin my backpacking hike through California, Oregon, and Washington with the goal to arrive in Canada in October (or perhaps earlier!)

Since I announced my adventure, the majority of my 11 month sabbatical has been dedicated to this lengthy research phase. Learning everything there is to know about thru-hiking and ultralight backpacking. As I'm total a beginner, the research curve was quite steep. Luckily, there's a lot of information out there. (Shout out to YouTube and all the amazing hikers out there for sharing their journey and wisdom!)

I've been asking myself questions on repeat like the following:

  • What's the most recommended and lightweight backpack?

  • What shoes should I wear?

  • What should my sleep system look like?

  • Will I cold soak or purchase a stove for cooking?

  • Where do I need to resupply?

  • Will this year be a heavy snow season?

  • Where are the water sources on trail?

  • How much food do I need to carry in between in resupply points?

  • Why am I doing this again????


I had to start completely at zero: I've never done anything like this before. Learning about all the gear, planning the logistics of resupplying, choosing the best time to start.

At this point, you may be asking yourself why are you doing this thru-hike, Chloe???

It's a question I've asked myself many many times since I decided to embark on this adventure.

So. Why, exactly, am I doing this thru-hike?

I'm going to share with you two essential lists that helped me get clear on my purpose the guiding why.

  1. I'm hiking the Pacific Trail because...

  2. When I successfully thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I will...

I'm sure you can imagine - when it comes to backpacking 2,650 miles, the greatest determining factor of success is clarity of purpose - getting clear on your why.

With 100% certainty, there will be days where I will doubt my decision; reminding myself that this hike is completely voluntary. That I'm willingly walking through the rain, desert heat, and/or snow storm. And to most, it seems absolutely crazy.

When the blisters outnumber my toes, this amazing adventure might not seem so fun after all....

In these moments, that's when the daunting question will creep in: WHY AM I DOING THIS AGAIN??

Allowing myself to imagine all the things I'm missing. A comfortable bed, warm shower, a home cooked meal, a day of binging Netflix, friends and family.





So instead of being at the mercy of my emotions when this question undoubtedly surfaces, I've made a plan. I've created a compelling list (kept safely in my journal) to help me prepare when this situation arrives. The list will be repeatedly read as often as needed.

You can think of it perhaps as my mantra for the thru-hike.

List #1: I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail because...

  • Postponing joy is a flawed life approach

  • I'm craving an adventure larger than life

  • It's time to grieve and heal the loss of my dad

  • I want to radiate in self-confidence and self-love

  • Life is short, do awesome things while you can

  • Embrace the bare minimums. Materials don't make you happy

  • I have the rest of my life to sit in front of a computer

My second list focuses on the result. The personal benefits I'd like to acquire from thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The list will allow me to be outcome-oriented when I begin to doubt myself when times get hard.

List #2: When I successfully thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I will..

  • Be a total badass

  • Have an unshakeable confidence

  • Turn a glaring weakness into a strength

  • Create long-lasting and real connections

  • Have overcome one of the greatest challenges of my life

  • See the world in a complete new light

  • Have the story of a lifetime

  • Ignited my fire within

These lists will be a powerful and essential tool to keep me mentally strong on the trail. My mantras. My go-to affirmations. My strength in moments of weakness. My bulletproof list.

Do these lists resonate with you? Perhaps igniting a fire to embark on a similar adventure?

Let me know in the comments below. What are your reasons for embarking on your next adventure?

PS. In case you'd like to support my thru-hike adventure, I've created a Go Fund Me profile here!


Chloe Jane is a mindfulness coach, yoga teacher and sound healing practitioner. She believes in slowing things down and inviting deep rest into the fast-paced world.

She teaches a variety of restorative yoga styles: yin, restorative yoga and yoga nidra. She is a Sound Healing Practitioner and works with the energies of her Tibetan Singing Bowls.

Chloe will be embarking on a 2,650 mile thru-hike in March 2023 called the Pacific Crest Trail. She is South of France based and you can find her on instagram @chloejanejacobs.

Follow her sabbatical adventures and join her blog community!

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