Should I Quit Daily Blogging for the Pacific Crest Trail?

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE TREK, WHICH YOU CAN READ HERE.

I am finally getting closer to the ‘6 months to go’ mark for my 2018 PCT thru-hike! Besides refining my gear list and saving those precious dollars, I have also been contemplating whether or not I want to do daily blogging on the PCT as I did on the AT back in 2013.

Daily blogging can be a laborious process, especially when you’re just downright physically exhausted after hiking all day. Recounting the day’s events in my journal and then typing it up on my phone for my blog were always the last two things I did each the day on the AT. This was certainly not an easy routine to maintain; there were nights when all I wanted to do was pass out in the warmth of my sleeping bag.

Somehow though, I managed to tap millions of tiny letters on my phone’s screen and assemble something of a story for 153 days continuously.

I will absolutely still keep a daily journal for myself on the PCT, but do I really want to spend hours and hours typing away on my phone when I could be sleeping instead?

Here’s how I did it on the Appalachian Trail:

FIRST DRAFT

Hiking was always a time to think. To think A LOT. I mean, what else can you really do? After just a couple of weeks, I found that I could use this time to form a ‘first draft’ for my blog. All in my head of course, since I’m not quite talented enough to write and hike simultaneously.

Some of the questions I would ask myself  –

  • What stood out the most about today? The driving rain? Or maybe a particularly delicious stack of pancakes?
  • How could I describe our encounter with those trail angels this morning?
  • How many times did I fall?
  • What was my favorite Little Debbie that I ate that day?

It was a meditative practice and proved to be a timesaver too when sitting down at night to write in my journal. To this day, when I need inspiration to write, I go out for a walk.

SECOND DRAFT

After we set up camp, changed our clothes, filtered water, cooked dinner, and got into our tent for the night, I would finally get out my journal and write down my account of the day and any particularly interesting thoughts that I had. I considered my journal entires my ‘second draft’ prior to writing my blog entry. I also enjoyed having this more private form of documentation so that I could add in any other personal thoughts or gripes that I wouldn’t include on my blog.

THIRD DRAFT

photo of appalachian trail gear and phone used for blogging
Fresh AT gear from 2013. Top right is my journal that miraculously fit 5 months of entries. Bonus points if you know which TV show the quote is from…

After finishing my journal writing, I would pull out my phone and turn it on usually for the first and only time that day. I then transcribed from my journal into the WordPress app while still on airplane mode to conserve battery. At the time, I had the iPhone 4S, so the keyboard was quite small in comparison to the current iPhone. I would mostly type up what I had written in my journal, with a few grammatical changes here and there. It was easy to figure out what to omit, but sometimes I would add in a few more lines if I needed to explain something in more depth to readers.

I would look over my final draft one last time and then, it was the moment of truth.

Would I have internet?!

The majority of the time, I was able to post the day’s entry from my tent that very night. If I didn’t get a connection however, I would try again on a mountaintop the next day or wait until we hit the next town.

And that my blogging routine!

Every. single. day.

DAILY BLOGGING: 2018 EDITION?

So, that was my process the last time around. I will definitely continue to contemplate my blogging regimen for the PCT over the next six months, but I’m really torn on what to do.

But let’s be real. There are way worse problems to have in life.

But, I’m still curious to know your thoughts as well. What do you find more interesting?

Daily accounts of a thru-hike or weekly updates?

Since you’ll be reading this blog (I hope) while we’re on the PCT, I would really love to hear your input and your personal experiences with blogging on a long-distance hike!

One thought on “Should I Quit Daily Blogging for the Pacific Crest Trail?

  1. Make it an “almost daily blog”. Maybe pick one day a week (Wednesday?) where you take the day off. You’ll find yourself looking forward to the relief of burden for that one day, but then you’ll be anxious to restart again on Thursday!

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