Pacific Trail Statistics Guide

Pacific_Trail_Statistics_Guide

A hike through the Pacific Crest Trail is a big event. It means different types of people from different parts of the world participate in it. This leads to an abundance of data that has been turned into statistics. Whether you are planning to do the PCT or you have already been there, such statistics can give you an interesting insight.

Finding out that female hikers use warmer sleeping bags might not come as a surprise to you, but keep reading to learn more about some unexpected data. In this article, we will present the statistics according to age, sex, country, pre-trail fitness level, and the Pacific Crest Trail length.

Data Notes

  • The statistics were made based on 502 completed surveys.
  • The data is not 100% accurate since not all hikers documents their PCT stats.
  • The survey respondents will be referred to as ‘class’ for simplicity. Keep in mind that these statistics are not necessarily representative of the whole PCT 2018 Class.

PCT Hikers’ Sex

So, what was the male to female ratio on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018?

  • Male – 56,7%
  • Female – 43.1%
  • Genderqueer – 0.2% 

PCT Hikers’ Age

The youngest participant, despite the Pacific Crest Trail duration, was 18 years old. The oldest hiker to lace up their hiking boots was 70 years old (this person is not included in the data because they are the only one in that age group):

  • 20 – 1.6%
  • 20-24 – 19.1
  • 25-29 – 29.7%
  • 30-34 – 16.4%
  • 35-39 – 9.2%
  • 40-49 – 9.2%
  • 50-59 – 8.2%
  • 60-69 – 6.1%
  • AVERAGE AGE – 34

Domestic vs. International PCT Hikers

In 2018, hikers from 31 countries including the USA, participated in the hike. It is interesting to mention that people from every continent got together with their hiking backpacks to try to finish the Pacific Crest Trail length. 37.7% of hikers were international. Every state from the US except Kentucky, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming had its representative.

  • COUNTRIES: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, China, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, USA, UK. (31 in total)
  • US STATES: AK, AL, AZ, AR, CO, CA, CT, DE, GA, FL, ID, HI, IL, IN, IA, LA, KS, MD, MA, ME, MI, MN, MI, MO, NV, NE, NH, NM, NJ, NY, NC, OK, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, SC, TX, TN, UT, VT, VA, WV, WA, WI. (46 in total)

Country Representation in Percentages

  1. USA – 62.3%
  2. Australia – 7.8%
  3. Canada – 6.8%
  4. Germany – 5.8%
  5. United Kingdom – 4.7%
  6. Switzerland /New Zealand – 3.1%
  7. Israel/France/Austria – 1%

State Representation in Percentages

  1. California – 22.4%
  2. Washington – 12.5%
  3. Oregon – 8%
  4. Texas – 4.2%
  5. Michigan/Colorado – 3.5%
  6. New York – 2.9%
  7. North Carolina 2.6%

Experienced vs. Rookie PCT Hikers

Experienced_vs._Rookie_PCT_Hikers

In 2018, 70% of the PCT hikers were not scared by the Pacific Crest Trail duration because this was their first long-distance hike. On the other hand, 30% had previous experience on one or more than one long-distance hike.

The most commonly hiked trails by experienced hikers are:

  • Appalachian Trail – 27%
  • John Muir Trail – 22%
  • Camino de Santiago – 11%
  • Pacific Crest Trail – 10%
  • Tahoe Rim Trail – 10%
  • Te Araroa Trail – 9%
  • Colorado Trail – 8%
  • Wonderland Trail – 6%
  • Continental Divide Trail- 4%
  • Long Trail – 4%
  • Arizona Trail – 3%
  • Other Long-distance Trail – 26%

Fast vs. Slow PCT Hikers

So, how about those who quickly finished the trail vs. those who found it more difficult and took longer to complete the hike?

Here is a comparison of hikers based on the Pacific Crest Trail length. They were compared based on the amount of time they needed to finish the trail. The average Pacific Crest Trail duration was 149 days (which is basically around 5 months). The ‘’fast hikers’’ completed the hike in less than 149 days, while the ‘’slow hikers’’ took more than 5 months to complete the hike.

Cheap vs. Expensive PCT Hikes

Now, let’s talk about an important issue for many hikers – the cost. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, it would be best to complete your hike as soon as possible. Not taking many days off also helps.

Most hikers spent $5500-$6500 for the hike, while some could make it with only up to $2000. On the other hand, a small portion of hikers splurged on their tents, backpacking cameras, and tactical boots, spending up to $18000.

Light vs. Heavy Packs

The average starting base weight for this PCT hike was around 18 lbs. The average ending weight was around 15 lbs. Some great lightweight backpacks could help you reduce your starting base weight. Also, small backpacking stoves could help.

Overall Winners and Losers

Now, let’s see what the overall data suggests. Experienced hikers tend to spend the least amount of money on their gear, such as thermoses. People who don’t seem to manage the Pacific Crest Trail length as quickly as others spend more money. They also have the largest backpacks with heavier base weight. There are a few surprises as well. Older hikers start their hikes the earliest, while hikers under 20 tend to have the lowest pre-trail fitness levels.

Globo Surf Overview

The Pacific Crest Trail duration may be intimidating for many hikers. However, there are a lot of them who try to finish the hike every year. The data gathered from the PCT hike can help you get a better insight into this adventure.

According to 2018 surveys, experienced hikers spend less money on gear. Also, those who take longer to finish the hike tend to spend more money. Hikers with larger backpacks and a heavier base weight usually take longer to complete the hike. These statistics may help you get a general idea of what it takes to spend less money and finish the PCT hike faster.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

Source

  1. PCT Statistics – the trek.co
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!