As fun and liberating as it is to hike for 5 or 6 months out of the year, it also takes a lot of planning, preparation, and discipline to get ready for a hike like this. Along with fundraising for this hike, I am doing everything possible to make this a reality.
A difficult decision I had to make was the decision to sell my saddle. It’s a saddle I bought when I thought I was going to be riding horses professionally and I simply can’t justify keeping such a nice saddle when I am only going to be riding a few times a year for a while. I had been toying with the idea of selling it for a while but I really didn’t want to. It’s a gorgeous saddle and it’s custom made for me. But at the end of the day, it’s just a possession- and a possession that if I give up, I can get one step closer to making the dream of hiking the PCT a reality. By selling my saddle, I can fully pay off my car and still have some money leftover. Not having the $220 per month car payment while I am hiking will be huge. So I did the difficult thing and brought my saddle to FedEx, said goodbye, and watched them bubble wrap it and pack it up. I am sending it to a company to sell it for me- they specialize in selling high end saddles so they have the right customers for the type of saddle I am selling. So keep your fingers crossed that it sells quickly and I can officially own my car!
Another difficult decision I had to make was to sell a lot of my other riding stuff. I’ve been riding ever since I was ten and over 13 years I have accumulated a LOT of stuff. I definitely am not giving up riding forever- but I feel like I had to make a decision between being a rider and a hiker and honestly at this point in my life there’s not anything I want more than I want to hike. There would have been a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything more than I wanted to ride horses but here I am. I have so much stuff that I will need someday when I eventually have my own horse again, but that could be years and years from now. If you don’t ride horses this won’t mean much to you but I’ve got 4 coolers, 3 sets of polo wraps, 2 sets of standing wraps, 2 martingales, 3 bridles, 10 bits, 2 helmets, 3 pairs of boots, 4 turnout sheets, 2 blankets, and about 10 pairs of breeches… and that’s not even a quarter of it! If there’s one thing the Appalachian Trail taught me, it’s that I don’t need so much stuff. I have boxes upon boxes of stuff in my parents garage, boxes in my granny’s basement, and two bedrooms full of stuff. It feels good to not only get rid of a lot of stuff but to also be able to put a good chunk of money towards my hike.
In addition to getting rid of a lot of stuff I am working full time and looking into getting a part time job. I’ve spoken to REI and there’s a chance they will hire me after the holidays so that would be awesome! I also just received my updated driver’s license so I am hopefully going to be able to donate plasma twice a week. This should give me an extra $30 a week, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but every little bit will help! I know sometimes they have regulations about donating if you have lived in Europe for too long but hopefully I am still eligible! And I will be doing all of this while taking my first course of graduate school at Walsh College AND preparing for a 2,650 mile hike! It’s going to be an exhausting 4 months but I want to look back and know that I did everything possible to make this hike happen.
If you are interesting in helping me reach my goal, check out my fundraising page and make a donation! I know everyone is on a tight budget these days but I appreciate even the smallest of donations! https://www.crowdrise.com/projectpct/fundraiser/kaylamccarthy