I have just taken the first real step of the PCT, but I haven't left home yet. My first step was to mail my bounce bucket and my first resupply package.
A bounce bucket is a container you ship to yourself along the way so that you can take things out or put things in your pack as you need them, reducing the need to carry every possible thing for all those different climate zones with you.
My bounce bucket is a plastic Kirkland laundry detergent bucket I found in somebody's recycling. The guy at the post office had to check if it was ok to use, not because it was a bucket but because of what it contained prior to my use of it. I hope it doesn't pose a problem at other post offices. Next time I'll try for a cat litter bucket.
It cost $12 to mail my bounce bucket Priority Mail. Priority Mail is more trustworthy than regular parcel post, and faster, and I hear that if you don't open the package they'll forward it to another destination without you having to pay again.
I took a few things out of my pack this morning after checking the weather report for the next week or so. It doesn't look like rain so I took the rain gear out and put it in my bounce bucket. I can pick it up in Warner Springs if it looks like I'll need it after then.
Before my bike ride last weekend, each day's hiking, walking or biking seemed to be getting progressively more tiring until the last day before the ride. I felt like I could barely move. My legs were all achy and I just felt run down. When I rode my bike my legs felt like they were on fire. I decided I might need to take a week off of walking and I worried I'd never survive the bike ride.
Then it occurred to me that maybe I was low on electrolytes or vitamins. I took a couple of vitamins and started to feel a little better in a few hours. The next day in San Luis Obispo with my friends I took another vitamin before our warm-up bike ride and bought an electrolyte drink called G2 at our first stop. G2 has less sugar and less sickly sweet flavor than most of the horrible drinks they make these days. I thought it was quite good. After that, I felt 100% up to speed again. So indeed it was low electrolytes and/or vitamins.
If that can happen here in Santa Barbara where it's been kind of cold I can only imagine how it will be inland on the big hike. I'll be taking some lite salt and vitamins in addition to these electrolyte drinks in order to keep my potassium and sodium and whatever else up to a normal range. I'll try to remember to take a vitamin every now and then and if I feel like I really exerted myself, I'll put some salt on my dinner and drink some electrolytes.