After picking up (and packing out) 1,090 pounds of trash off the Appalachian Trail last summer, the ‘Packing It Out’ crew is at it again.
Today, the group takes its first steps along the 2,500+ mile Pacific Crest Trail, looking to bag (and document) trash from Mexico to Canada.
‘Packing It Out’ Initiative
Packing It Out was formed late in 2014 when a 24-year-old Seth Orme had a post-hike epiphany atop a North Carolina outcrop called, fatefully, Pickens Nose: Why not hike the Appalachian Trail and pick up every single piece of trash he sees along the way?
With that, a three-man team was formed a year ago, and together they thru-hiked the 2,190 mile AT, ultimately picking up and disposing 1,090 pounds of trash, including cans, camp gear, wrappers, bags, and even an old mattress (see image below), which required an ad hoc hauler to be created out of sticks.
Round II – Pacific Crest Trail
Starting today, the Packing It Out crew — Seth “Cap” Orme; Paul “Spice” Twedt; and Chris Moore; and a photographer friend — is taking its first steps of the PCT mission.
The trail begins just north of the Mexican border near Campo, Calif., and it ends some 2,560 miles north at the Canadian border on the edge of Manning Park in British Columbia.
The crew’s plan is to implement a similar system as was used on the Appalachian Trail: Clean up every piece of trash they find.
This time, though, they have a goal to pick up and document at least 1,000 pounds of trash during the journey.
Because the PCT is estimated to have less litter than the AT, the crew plans to add focus to cleaning up re-supply trail towns and National Parks that they’ll pass through.
The trio will use a small luggage scale to weigh the trash they collect each day, documenting their findings in more detail on their blog.
Tune in to see what weird items come up (last year highlights included the aforementioned moldy mattress and a creepy eyelash curler on the AT).
The trip will take approximately five months. Fittingly, one of Packing It Out’s mottos is “whether we have five minutes or five months, let’s keep our trails clean.”
During their time out there, Orme, Twedt, and Moore hope to get involved with trail communities, hiking and cleaning with others along their way.
They have a SPOT device with a GPS route they’ll keep updated and live, allowing people to arrange meet-ups and day-hikes with the crew.
Additionally, if people want to show the crew their trail town, know where trashed trails are, and/or just want to have a beer and chat, Packing It Out is inviting them to shout out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparation For PCT
To prepare for the massive hike, the crew has been running 30-35 miles a week consistently since November. Because much of the cleanup effort may take place off the PCT and on nearby local trails, they need to be able to hike solid distances daily while building in a time cushion for off-PCT cleanups.
Because their Appalachian Trail hike was such a big story in the outdoor space, many brands were interested in supporting the cause for this year’s PCT hike. The crew has landed several sponsor brands, including GearJunkie, REI, Granite Gear, Zeal Optics, Sierra Designs, Altra Footwear, Darn Tough, Clif Bar, Justin’s, and Standard Process.
The Long Journey North
We’ll be following the guys along the PCT and providing regular updates on our Packing It Out landing page, to launch soon.
We talked to the crew yesterday as they were making final preparations in San Diego, and Seth, though engrossed in last-minute logistics, could hardly contain his excitement.
They’re ready to take on the PCT and thankful for the platform they’ve been given to raise awareness of litter conditions on America’s trails.
If you’re in the vicinity of the PCT this summer, consider shooting the crew an email and meeting up with them for a section of the trail. Otherwise, support the cause and make it a point to clean up the trails in your area. Every little bit can help.