My goal is to section hike the PCT whenever I can steal away to do some of it. Since I am section hiking I want to be able to cover as much of the trail as possible in the least amount of time or I won’t finish the PCT before I’m a thousand years old. My goal is to be able to hike 20 miles per day at an average of 3 miles per hour. At my current fitness level 3 mph wearing a 25 lb pack is no problem for for a few miles, but I need to work on being able to sustain it.
I feel that I would enjoy the trail more if I could do this kind of mileage because I could reach resupply points more often, thus carrying less in my pack. Also, hiking 20 miles at 3 mph would still leave me plenty of relaxation time each day.
Since I’m not “training on the trail”, as a through hiker can do, I have to train on local day hikes so that when I spend time on the PCT I can do through hiker kind of mileage. For day hikes I put a sleeping bag in the bottom of my pack then add two gallons of water, snacks, first aid kit, and a few other bits and pieces. Then I carry two or three more liters of water to drink. This brings my pack weight up to about 25 lbs which I feel is good for training. I drop the kids off and school and start walking the mountains.