Pierre Sirois Takes on the Pacific Crest Trail

“The PCT is 2,650 miles long, so if we’re lucky, it will only take us five months,” Pierre Sirois said. This summer Sirois and his wife are going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). 

The PCT spans the entire length of the western seaboard states, going all the way through California, Oregon, and Washington. It extends into Canada and Mexico, but Sirois will be sticking to the segment in the United States. 

Sirois is a ‘flip-flopper’, a nickname given to those who start in the middle of the trail and hike up and back down by the long-distance hiking community. “We’re going to start in Northern California, go to the Canadian border, and then hike back down through California,” Sirois said. 

“It’s just like doing a marathon a day for five months,” and he would know what running a marathon is like as over his running career, he has accumulated over 33,000 miles in total. Sirois plans to walk about 20 miles each day. But actually, hiking the PCT is the ‘simple’ part. “We thought about this maybe five or six years ago,” Sirois said. The work that goes into planning the hike is incredible. He has a spreadsheet of all the equipment he needs and all the supplies that he’ll ship to himself along the way. “Figure about 500 miles per pair of boots. I’m going about 2500 miles. Five pairs of boots will be needed.” There will be 20 boxes full of supplies that will end up being shipped to towns near the trail. 

“25 pounds at the beginning of the week and 15 pounds at the end, after I’ve eaten all the food,” Sirois said. He’s aiming to pack as light as possible, with all of his gear only weighing 15 pounds. “When I was in the army, we had like 50-pound packs. Trust me; you don’t want to do that.”

After about a week on the trail, Sirois will head into the nearest town. “We’re not going to be on the trail continuously. It’s from town to town. They call it zero-day, where you don’t do any hiking, and you sort of stay in town, go to a hotel, wash your clothes, eat a whole bunch of food, and then go back up the next day,” he told me. 

Sirois isn’t fazed by venturing into the outdoors for five months. “I’ve always liked the outdoors and hiking and that sense of adventure. I’m a sucker for explorers and the age of exploration,” he said. “My only concerns would be power and water. Oh, and getting injured.”

But Sirois and his wife will be carrying 10,000 milliamp battery packs and have already mapped out their water usage. The main issue he has is that he won’t have healthcare. “I was talking to my sister about this trip, and she said, ‘Oh why don’t you just take 4+1?’ I had forgotten what that phrase was.” In Canada, teachers can take a ‘4+1’ plan, where the administration holds 3/4ths of their pay for 4 years, and then the 5th year they get the compensation they missed out on and the regular benefits such as healthcare, encouraging teachers to take leaves of absence.

Sirois hopes that his adventure will inspire other people to get outdoors. “I’m going to be making vlogs along the way,” he said. His videos will be on Renee and Pierre Hikes on Youtube. “You guys will be able to watch us and our progress,” he said.