You would think that hiking 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada would be difficult. And, based on Peter Hochhauser’s true to life film, we learn that the 5-month trek is indeed fraught with challenges.
In 2016, Hochhauser left his job as a video editor and traveled from his home in Vienna, Austria to San Diego, California to embark on a journey that would both inspire and humble him. I loved the film, and had to reach out to Hochhauser to talk more about this incredible adventure.
“Where did the original inspiration to hike the PCT come from?”
Years ago I watched a documentary about the Appalachian National Scenic Trail on German television. The idea of thruhiking rose from that moment on and at one point I stumbled across the PCT, which seemed much more versatile and interesting to me compared to the Appalacian Trail. At one point I just said to myself ‘Just go for it’ and I started planning and organizing my hike in the US.
“Is video editing your full-time job? Being that the trek takes months, what did you need to do in order to prepare your business back home for your absence?”
I am a full-time video editor, most of the time working on commercials. I work in a small company with great people and I am super glad that they gave me the chance to follow my dream of hiking the PCT. They knew everything about my plans couple of months before my departure, so we searched for a replacement for the summer.
“You say in the film, every couple of days you would need to hitchhike to a town to re-stock on supplies. If you had to estimate the amount of money spent to accomplish this trek, how much would you say it cost, all in?”
Spending money on the trail is easy – because when you have the chance to get drinks, food and a shower in town you really wanna indulge it. If you don’t have the funds and wanna live a cheap life on the trail that’s also possible, but I spent up to 1000$ a month on food and accommodation. So all in (including flights and gear) I spent around $7000-$8000.
“What was the most challenging aspect of the trek? At what point were you at your closest to giving up and abandoning the hike?”
The most difficult part was Northern California. Not because the terrain was challenging, but it was a huge mental challenge. After the beautiful Sierras it was hard to come back to desert-like conditions and high temperatures. We all were ready to go into a new state but California just didn’t want to end. I had problems with my feet again and the trail was kind of boring for some days – I just tried to push through that mental down and find new motivation – which worked eventually.
“At the end of the film, You talk about many other adventures waiting for you. What other epic, and difficult, adventures have you been dreaming about?”
I have nothing particular planned so far – but a lot on my mind. I want to travel through the South Pacific or maybe do a long motorcycle tour. But until then I am back at my editing job to save up some money.