Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed feat. Leah Martine, a real-life PCT hiker

Wild by Cheryl Strayed ft. Leah, a real-life PCT hikerBacon Phat
00:00 / 1:17:30

Show notes:



The episode

5:41: In 2016, Leah did the full PCT


6:36: Quick synopsis of Wild


10:34: Why did Leah decide to do the PCT?


12:50: How did Leah prepare for the PCT?

Cheryl Strayed wearing her oversized pack along the PCT.

17:15: Leah’s base weight was 14 lbs: 

  • sleeping bag

  • sleeping pad

  • Camp stove

  • light fleece

  • down jacket

  • rain jacket

  • clothes to sleep in

  • 2 merino wool socks (wearing third)

  • Utensil

  • Kindle

  • pack cover

  • Sunglasses

  • medicine bag (gauze, ibuprofen, Benadryl, Neosporin)

  • tiny scissors and knife

  • thread and needle

  • hygiene bag (contacts, glasses, soap, brush)

21:20: Wildlife on the trail

22:35: How to meet people on trail


24:44: Going through the Sierras


28:25: Movie Cheryl wore Danner boots; Leah wore Altra trail runners


32:48: Resupplying on the trail


35:00: How much to hike each day: “10 miles by 10 am”


37:40: Water and peeing along the PCT


41:55: Leah’s favorite and least favorite parts of life on trail


44:00: Hotels and hostels along trail


48:53: What did Leah get out of the trail, and what was readjustment to regular life like?


54:20: Leah first cried on trail after climbing Mt. Whitney and hiking to camp before doing Forester Pass


58:10: Leah’s favorite and least favorite pieces of gear


60:20: Leah’s trail name

Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild about the Pacific Crest Trail

It's not exactly a secret among PCT hikers that Cheryl Strayed's method for hiking the PCT is not to be emulated. While she set out without training, preparation, or knowledge of the full scope of the trail, we like Wild because it reminds us that life is meant to be lived, and risks are meant to be taken in the pursuit of adventure. Even though it's dangerous, sometimes the best experiences are had when one is entirely unprepared for the consequences and open to all the possibilities.

We don't recommend buying this book—checking it out from the library will suffice. But we do like the audio version and think it makes for a good read/listen. Cheryl's adventures and misadventures and her heartbreaking stories from her childhood and early adulthood will captivate you—and may just inspire you to head out on a trail of your own.

Cheryl Strayed's necklace that read "Strayed", given to her by her aunt

64:20: How much does it cost to do the PCT?


67:30: How do you incorporate trail life now?

70:00: Trail angels