So ready for a walk about? You’ve read lots of posts, seen lots of youtube videos, the following pics will lead you to tons of material on the animals you are likely to encounter on a trek of the AT or the PCT … I’ll add a bit of my take on each of them and end this post with what I consider to be the real threat to your safety no matter where you are hiking. Enter the desert, anywhere along the AT in Pennsylvania (who would ever believe it) what are your chances of encountering one of these critters?
You’ll see lots of rattlesnakes in the Mojave desert, the southern sections of the PCT, as well as, the southern sections of the AT and especially the rocky section of the AT in Pennsylvania. Some folks say hike at night in the desert, its cooler … in the desert rattlesnakes are nocturnal hunters … you’re likely to encounter a few more during that time period. Early mornings they love to curl up next to and on top of rocks that are warmer in the morning sun and they want to absorb their heat. The real trick to snakes … make enough noise while you are walking in the areas they are most prevalent in and they will move out of your way. Snakes don’t like people. A bit trickier when they are sunning in the early morning. When you hike through the boulder sections of Pennsylvania … keep your eyes open and watch where you put your hands and feet … I repeat hands … when you reach for a rock to grab you might find a surprise in the next hollow or dip in the rock and one not to friendly to your invasion of their space.
This next guy or gal is a tricky character. They can get up to about 160 lbs. Although their attacks are very and I add very infrequent if you get one on your trail in an especially dry season … they will follow you for days in the lower sections of the PCT. Best advice … keep your eyes and ears open … they usually attack from behind … and I repeat … this is a very rare event … but keep your campsite clean … don’t leave food and crap uncovered … bury it deep … walk with others whenever you can but especially if you are traveling at night. Talk together, sing every now and again.
Oops gotta jet … finish this post tonight.