Pre CDT Thru-hike FAQ

hey y'all Dixie here today I want to

talk to you about the Continental Divide

Trail also known as the CDT as many of

you know I'm aiming to thru-hike the CDT

this year in hopes of completing my

triple crown journey which includes

hiking the 80 the PCT and the CDT

so I've had people in the comments

section asking questions about the CDT

and you know a lot of folks don't know a

whole lot about it because it's not as

popular as say the Appalachian Trail or

the Pacific Crest Trail so today I want

to cover those questions for you all as

like an intro into the next chapter of

this channel which is going to be the

CDT and my journey on it because I plan

to document it like I did the PCT and

the 80 so to start with where is the CDT

well the CDP spans 3100 miles from

Mexico to Canada across the Continental

Divide and it passes through New Mexico

Colorado Wyoming a little bit of Idaho

and then through Montana are the CD in s

T and C DT the same thing so CD in s T

is Continental Divide National Scenic

Trail and then C DT is Continental

Divide Trail basically I think people

just use CD T to shorten CD in St just

like the Pacific Crest Trail is actually

the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

from doing some research I think where

the confusion on this comes in

especially with the CD T is that the

United States Forest Service has like

one route mapped out for the CDT NST but

the thing is a lot of the trail is not

complete in that like there isn't a

specific route in some parts and parts

are bushwhacking from what I'm told

or maybe walking dirt roads Forest Road

there are a lot of alternate routes and

so I think that because most people end

up not actually on the CD in st as it is

specifically mapped out because there

isn't really an established trail the

whole way and I think the CDT is more of

a like design your own adventure trail

so I looked into the requirements of

being a 3,000 mile or according to the

Continental Divide Trail Coalition and

they said to be a 3,000 mile are the

issues of sequence Direction speed

lengths of time or substitutes of the

official route are not considered and

the website also states that basically

the CDT C by the honor system the people

who apply should have

completed the trail from Mexico to

Canada along the Continental Divide so

it's not so much that has to be along

this one mapped out route as much as

like more of a corridor mentality that

you finish the steps from Mexico to

Canada on the Continental Divide how

many miles are in each state New Mexico

has 775 miles Colorado has 800 miles

Wyoming has 550 miles and then through

Idaho and Montana there are about 980

miles where does the CDT start and end

the southern terminus is located in New

Mexico at the border of Mexico and it's

called crazy I think crazy kook Monument

it's spelled crazy kook Monument but

I've heard rumor of somebody was

murdered there back in the day so that's

why they call it crazy kook I guess then

the official northern terminus is up in

Glacier Waterton Lake National Park

right there on the US and Canada border

now just like with a bunch of alternates

to the trail there actually are

alternate southern and northern termina

but from what I understand those are the

official ones and those are the ones

that I plan to start in finish out when

do people typically start a CDT through

hack well if you're going northbound

then people generally start mid-april to

early May and if you're going southbound

people usually start about mid-june to

early July do you have to have a permit

to hike the CDT so the answer to this

one is yes and no there is no specific

permit for the CDT like there is the PCT

so it's not like you apply for a permit

select a certain date and you have to

start you know on a certain set date

instead you can start pretty much

whenever you want but when you get to

say Glacier National Park or Yellowstone

National Park or some of the wilderness

areas and then if you take there's an

alternate that goes through Rocky

Mountain National Park for those

specific areas you might have to have a

permit but there's no like one permanent

that covers from Mexico to Canada

as far as navigation goes what maps or

apps can be used to navigate the CDT

there are several apps that can be used

the one that I aim to use is gut hook

sin other popular one is hiker bot there

may be several others I also plan to get

the lame app so a guy named Jonathan Lai

created maps for the CDT when he hiked

several years ago I've heard a lot of

CDT through hikers tend to use

a balance somewhere between the lame

apps and gut-hooked because I guess got

hooks isn't as accurate from what I've

heard on the CDT as like the PCT and the

80 you can print out those lame apps or

there are other paper maps available I'm

not a hundred percent sure if I'm going

to carry paper maps or not probably

through the San Juans I will try to have

some paper maps and maybe a compass to

you know rely on those skills if I need

to as a backup but for the most part I'm

probably going to use my smartphone to

navigate using the lame apps and got

hooks the CDC recommends having two

different avenues of navigation so if

you're gonna use it your smartphone they

recommend either having two smartphones

in case one breaks or is lost or having

an app on your smartphone and then also

having the paper maps is backup I also

plan to have an in reach just so I can

communicate with people or call for help

if I need to but hopefully that won't be

an issue how difficult is it to find the

trail or to navigate through the CDT

well the answer is I don't know because

I haven't been out there yet I've heard

that there are some areas where you've

got trail and then suddenly it becomes a

bunch of brush that's not maintained or

you know you might have to figure out

ways to get around certain things by

using dirt roads forest roads but the

truth is I don't really know because I

haven't been out there and seen it for

myself but I will let you all know

whenever I get finished

are there Grizzlies on the CDT and if so

what do you plan to do about them yes

there is a chance that I could run into

Grizzlies and Yellowstone or glacier

hoping kind of to see one just because I

think it would be cool but maybe a very

far distance but then the other part of

me is like you know I just I don't

really want to see one but as long as I

could see want to know that it wasn't

gonna eat me I think I'd be cool with

that as far as what I plan to do about

them I'm definitely gonna be daunting my

eyes and crossing my T's at camp in

grizzly country and I'm gonna make sure

that I'm cooking in a separate area than

I am sleeping that I am hanging my bear

bag I don't plan to carry a bear

canister the whole way and honestly I'm

not going to carry a bear canister

unless I'm in an area that requires that

but you know otherwise yes I will be

making sure that I do everything I need

to to prevent bears being in my camp at

all costs and then I likely will carry

bear spray when I'm up in grizzly

country well you have to rely on

packages for a resupply I think the best

answer for this is maybe as far as I

know up in

Tanna and wyoming even though the towns

that you go into are more remote and

probably smaller than you know say the

other trails I think that there will be

options for buying food there will be

grocery stores or gas stations in New

Mexico and going up into southern

Colorado I don't really know what to

expect I think the first few towns I

come across will have some kind of

selection so I think that there will

probably be a mixture just because these

towns will be smaller I'll probably have

my mom mail me more things than she did

say on the 80 or PCT but I assure you

that when I get done with the trail I

will definitely list out places that I

would recommend getting a resupply box

you'll definitely be on the road less

traveled what are your plans for dealing

with the extended solitude and isolation

honestly I think that I will probably

just focus more on capturing the

critters and the beauty of nature and

you know if it kind of starts to get to

me a little bit just knowing how

isolated and how far away from

civilization I am you know I will know

people on the trail know I won't see

them every moment but if nothing else

I've got podcasts I've got audiobooks

and I make a point to keep in only one

earbud so if any of you like to listen

to music and podcast I definitely

recommend only putting in one earbud

that way you can hear you know bears or

snakes or anything else people around

you is perk going on the CDT - yes so

Perkins gonna come down from New York

grab me up here in Alabama and then

we're gonna road trip out to the CDT and

they're actually two other people

starting with us but you'll have to

watch to see who those folks are and

they're not from like the original 80

Trammell E or anybody on the PCT is

Mayer going northbound with you

unfortunately no his little dog katana

she lost one of her eyes while they were

on the PCT together due to glaucoma so I

guess shiba inu that's like a common

thing for them so the one eye that she

has left is actually starting to go

blind now - and there's a potential that

she'll have to have surgery to have it

removed so there just wasn't enough time

to kind of see how that was gonna go

also he's working on his book that he's

writing about the PCT so he wants a

little bit more time to get that done

and you know he didn't get to complete

his southbound trip last year so I think

he's got like a personal thing against

you know he's got a beat go and so

so if he is out on the CDT this year

it'll likely be so Bo

are you carrying the same gear as on the

PCT so some of it might be the same some

of it might be a little different but I

am gonna put out a CDT gear video before

I get started so y'all can probably look

out for that next week well you need an

ass axe or micro spikes slash crampons

I'll probably take an ass axe and my

micro spikes into the San Juans they

worked well for me last year in the

Sierra Nevada while on the PCT so I like

having that extra weight and extra

comfort and I think it's definitely

worth it in snowy slash icy terrain so

because I don't really know what to

expect I'll probably total then after

that I'm not really sure I'll just kind

of play it by ear and see what the

weather's doing or if there's still snow

pack around in areas that I'll be what

areas on the CDT are of concern

weather-wise and we need any extra gear

from what you carried on the PCT or 80

so as far as I can tell the CDT is going

to be pretty exposed I think that being

high elevations will be a little sketchy

with thunderstorms and lightning as far

as any additional gear I don't think

that that'll really be necessary I might

go with colder rated sleeping bag maybe

a 5 degree sleeping bag in the higher

elevations but start out with not really

gonna be carrying anything that I wasn't

say on the PCT in the desert and then

for the San Juans I'm probably gonna

have the same stuff that I did on the

PCT and the Sierra Nevada except I might

go with a little bit warmer clothing or

for sleeping bag how will the CDT relate

to the PCT or the 80 well isn't that

just the question of the year so I think

you know the idea of it's a through hack

it's gonna be pretty similar however I

think that like the PCT I'm gonna go

through a desert us area and then you

know higher elevations with snow in the

San Juans like the Sierra Nevada but I

think that the elevation change like the

up and the down will be more closely

related to the 80 just like without the

green tunnel so it's almost going to be

like the worst of the two trails

combined but I think that because it's

going to be more remote that it'll be

more interesting in the way of wildlife

and critters I think that I'll see a lot

more of that well I think it will be

similar in certain ways to the 80 and

PCT I think it's going to be an

adventure of its own just looking at the

different mileages and the total


gained and lost so the Appalachian Trail

is 2,000 189 miles approximately with an

elevation gain and lost at a total of

five hundred and fifteen thousand feet

the PCT is two thousand six hundred and

fifty miles approximately and the

elevation gain and loss on that one is

three hundred and fifteen thousand so

that's two hundred thousand feet

difference and finally the CDT is at

3100 miles approximately and the total

elevation gain and loss is at four

hundred thousand feet and also as I

mentioned before I think that one

noticeable thing about the CDT will be

probably the lack of establishment you

know I don't know because I haven't been

out there but the 18 and the PCT were

designated under the national scenic

trails act back in 1968 while the CDT

wasn't designated until 10 years later

in 1978 so to be fair the CDT is a newer

trail and that is to be expected what

are you looking forward to most sites to

see along the CDT I think the thing that

I'm looking forward to the most is the

Wind River Range I've just heard how

beautiful it is and that it's like a

living postcard so and then also the

fact that I'm gonna be going through

Colorado because when I decided to quit

my job and just done with the rat race I

was in Colorado at the time I was living

there and you know I quit and headed to

Alabama to prepare to hike the 18 and so

it's just kind of neat to be going back

through there on what's you know

hopefully the final leg of my Triple

Crown are you nervous

and or excited yes I did a video on this

before you know is it normal to be

nervous before a thru-hike and I think

that yes I think if you're not then you

don't have that sense of

self-preservation and that's probably a

problem I am less nervous probably and

just just at the idea of going on a

through hack or you know a long-distance

backpacking trip because you know I know

how to cover my bases of shelter or

water food and all the necessities but

now that I have more time invested in

this Triple Crown journey it is a little

unnerving to think like what if I don't

complete it like what if I'm not

successful I just have to tell myself

you know have a little faith in yourself

and I know I can do this and just get

out there and do the best you can and

and I think

that's the most important thing is just

believing in yourself and going for it

because if you fail then you know at

least you tried and you had something

worth something to fail that I think one

of the hardest things about leaving

though and that that makes me sad and

nervous too is leaving my dog children I

know it sounds ridiculous but you know

my dog son Hank is 11 now and when I

lost sugar while it's on the Appalachian

Trail some of you may remember who were

following then you know she passed away

while I was out on trail and I was

actually rushing back to try to get home

to see her because she was sick and so

he's at that age now so that makes me a

little nervous too I mean he's had a

good life and everything but you just

don't want anything to ever happen like

that while you're gone on a trek like

this have you prepared differently for

the CDT and then the 80 or PCT I would

probably say have been more lacks this

time which might not be good but like I

said before you know once you've done it

you just kind of have to adjust to the

different terrain or weather or what you

know whatever you plan to encounter it's

the same idea of getting out there

sleeping in your tenant waking up and

walk in and kind of doing it on repeat

what is the highest point on the CDT the

high point of the CDT is at Gray's peak

in Colorado and it's 14 thousand two

hundred and seventy feet what have you

done to Train physically for the CDT the

answer would be pretty much nothing I've

been trying to eat you know relatively

healthy since I've been home I generally

do that when I'm off trail but as far as

like training or working out a lot I

worked out when I first got home a

little bit but in the last couple months

I really haven't done anything but I'm

fairly active I'm not you know a person

who sits down and watches a lot of TV or

anything like that so I think the main

thing will be taking it slow taking it

easy luckily in New Mexico to start with

is relatively flat alright y'all well

those are the most common questions I've

received so far about my upcoming

through hack of the CDT if you'll have

any other questions feel free to comment

those below now I am in the preparation

stages so I'm kind of like I don't crazy

run around like a headless chicken so if

I don't get to them right away don't be

upset with me but I will try to get to

those and get y'all some answers that

you might be wondering like I said

before stay tuned for my CDT gear video

if you want to see exactly what I'm


as I start out and I will probably end

up splitting those into sections of the

trail you know when I have to adjust my

gear for different terrain if you'd like

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watching and we will see y'all next time