Bear Naked, Inc. | P.O. Box 8557 | La Jolla, CA 92038
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Alexandra (Alix) Eastman
Alix (haven’t ‘earned’ a trailname yet)
I’m Alix. I’m 24 years old and live in the Bay Area of Northern California. I graduated from college a few years ago, dabbled in the wine business for a while, and now in an attempt to switch gears completely, I’m returning to my athletic, outdoorsy roots and attempting a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I may or may not gain life and/or career enlightenment through this 5 month trek, but I do imagine that I will have the most meaningful experience of my short life.
Why are you hiking the Pacific Crest Trail?
In the most basic sense, I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to start again from scratch; to get back to square one by stepping off the current path of life that I am traveling down, and refocusing on a new, less-clustered one.
For the last year or so I have been standing at somewhat of a crossroads. Like 99% of recent college graduates, I have been struggling with the age-old cliché of what to make of myself… Since the answer has yet to magically present itself, I have decided instead to revert back to a very deep-rooted, long-awaited goal of mine: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ll deal with careers and reality a bit later .
What did you need to do to prepare for it?
At first I naively imagined that preparing for a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike would simply entail packing a backpack, traveling to the trailhead, taking a picture or two, and then heading north. Well I soon learned that I had drastically underestimated.
I’ve heard it said that planning for a thru-hike takes longer than the actual trek itself. I myself have put about 4 months into my plans. Thankfully there are several very detailed guides and handbooks that provide plenty of useful information. I’ve joined email forums, watched DVD’s, and attended informational presentations. I have researched gear endlessly, and have slowly filled a somewhat large but complete pack that I am comfortable walking off into the wilderness with for 5 months.
To train I walk 6 miles every day, with longer hikes or overnight camp trips over the weekends. I have broken in 3 pairs of shoes, I’ve sent away for all required permits, I’ve put together my re-supply plan, and I’ve packed a knife and cell phone to make my mom a bit more comfortable. Lastly, I’ve tied up enough loose ends so that I can walk away from my everyday life for a few months. Now I put it all to the test…
What does it mean to you to Live Bear Naked?
To live purely and freely and with spirit. To rid yourself of any personal or societal restraints. To open yourself to all experiences. To strip down to your essence. To be vulnerable, which to me is the ultimate challenge and the most rewarding accomplishment.