Advice for international hikers

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If you’re heading southbound, read this guide.

Do lots of research.

Be sure to be physically fit and have experience carrying a full backpack before you start the PCT. You will be hiking up remote mountains on the very first day.

Do you need to speak English?

We strongly recommend that you speak and read some basic English before you hike the PCT. You should be able to read the PCT Water Report and your maps. Speaking English can be a safety issue: you’ll be able to read warnings about wildfires, plan properly for long-distances between water and food and more. Basically all essential information is in English.

If you don’t speak any English, we recommend hiking with a partner who does so that they can translate for you.

Last reminders

A large part of why the Pacific Crest Trail is so special is that it’s relatively pristine. Please protect that. Often, campfires are not allowed. Carry out all trash. Respect other people’s desire for solitude.
If you are eating in a restaurant, tipping is expected. In the U.S., tips are typically 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the meal (taxes excluded). Along the trail, you will be eating in restaurants that serve lots of PCT hikers. Please be kind and generous. Others who are commonly tipped include hotel cleaning people and people driving you places.

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