5 Unexpected Skills Needed on an Ultra-Backpacking Adventure

5 Unexpected Skills Needed on an Ultra-Backpacking Adventure

3. Confronting Deadly Animals

Rattlesnakes, bears, marmots, osprey and mountain goats are just a few of the wild things you are likely to encounter through the varied terrain of the PCT . However, there are two primary animals that you must concern yourself with during your hike because of their propensity to attack you when they feel threatened.

Rattlesnakes and bears are beautiful and fascinating to observe in their natural habitat. But both don’t want anything to do with humans in their territory, and they can kill you.

When it comes to rattlesnakes, you have to be highly aware of where you are walking. Looking down, striking a walking stick before entering dense brush, and listening for the distinctive rattle will keep you walking toward your destination without a dose of venom in your bloodstream.

When an encounter does occur, you’re likely to be facing a coiled rattlesnake, which will have your arm hairs standing on end. If you have room to circle around it safely, do so. Don’t lollygag here, but move quickly.  If not, take off your backpack, and place it in front of your legs as close as you can to your feet.  With the backpack protecting your legs, pass as far from the rattlesnake as possible, as quickly as you can.

I employed this backpack-covering technique myself and lived to tell you about it.  As I moved past the rattlesnake, it struck and only hit my backpack before falling to the ground. Then it was time to run so it wouldn’t get a second chance.

Many of the bears you’ll see are as afraid of you as you are of them, provided you keep your distance. One of the best things you can carry with you is bear pepper spray while in their territory. Make sure you have it handy. It will not do you any good if a bear comes charging, and it’s buried in your backpack.

The encounters with wildlife are incredible when you hike a long trail. Be sure to bring along a small and compact monocular to get a glimpse of the wonderful creation that is living and thriving around you during your adventure.

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