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URGENT! - Pacific Crest Trail Association Updates Permit Regulations For 2020 Season


CALIFORNIA - The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) has released its updated permitting regulations for the 2020 thru hiking season and It appears it will become more challenging for thru hikers to get permits.


“Gone are the days of hiking the PCT with normie backpacking gear”, Executive Director of the PCTA Liz Bergeron stated on Twitter. She later tweeted, “We want to ensure that PCT hikers come equipped with sub 10 lb baseweights and only the freshest approved UL gear.”


Beginning in 2020, PCT permit applicants will need to submit a notarized Lighterpack gear list in addition to the traditional application package. This list will be submitted to a panel of Ultralight experts for review and approval (details of this panel of experts has not been released. Although, a source close to the story tells Ultralight Jerk that it may consist of /r/Ultralight moderators). This landmark change to the permit application process marks a turning point in the PCT’s history.


When Ultralight Jerk reached out to the PCT for comment they replied with a single statement: “Simply put, you can’t hike the PCT unless you are ultralight and you are certainly not a thru hiker unless your pack is frameless.”


In addition to the new gear list requirement, the PCTA is also rolling out the following changes to the permit regulations in 2020:

  • All applicants must have at least 2,500 followers on Instagram.

  • Anyone who has had “PCT 20XX” (XX being any year which greater than 3 months away) in their Instagram bio will be denied a permit for that year.

  • All applicants must start a Youtube channel and begin posting videos at a minimum 20 months prior to their start date.

  • All applicants must have a post-PCT plan for content creation after they are off the trail which is unrelated to backpacking while still vaguely about their thru hike and depression.

  • All applicants shall place a deposit on a calf tattoo of the PCT logo.

  • Hikers who have previously hiked the AT but not the CDT are disqualified from hiking the PCT. Keep your garbage trail culture on the east coast.

  • All applicants must submit a 500 word essay on why the AT sucks ass.

  • All applicants must be able to hike to Lake Morena on day 1. Failure to do so will result in being stripped of your PCT permit.

For many, these regulations are going to be a significant hurdle to hiking the PCT. A PCT hiker who wished to remain anonymous told our Ultralight Jerk reporter, “I think this is a very sad day for the thru hiker community. This is a deeply flawed path that the PCTA has set its course on. Out here on the PCT, it isn't about your social media followers or how light your pack is. What actually matters is pounding out 30 miles, cold soaking and wearing thrift store Hawaiian shirts. That is what should be regulated bro.”


Ultralight Jerk is actively following this developing story. We will update as we learn more.

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