Posted this on FB but wanted to put it on here, too so it’s easily found for my peeps. I keep getting barraged with similar questions and just have no time to respond to everyone. So, here it goes:

Sorry, I haven’t been able to respond to everybody so decided to just do an FAQ announcement of sorts: 

 1) Q: Why did Saina buzz her hair? Is she going crazy and having a Britney Spears meltdown? A: No, I’m not going crazy. I mean, I’m already crazy so what difference does it make? Plus, I’m doing a 4-6 month long hiking trek – or until $ runs out – so it’s for practical purposes, as well since nobody likes greasy, dirty and smelly hair that is too short to put in a sloppy bun and too long to ignore. 

 2) Q: What is this mysterious hike you speak of, Saina? A: I’ve been planning and prepping to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for the last 2 years. For more info about the trail: see the attached link. 

 2 1/2) Q: How long does this trip take? A: Depends on my speed and how many miles I hike a day and how many slack days – also known as “zero days” where I don’t hike at all, usually to rest at a resupply town – I take. So I can’t answer you on that just yet, since I don’t know how my body will respond to the day to day to day strain on my short chubby feet. Hoping to finish by 30th birthday which is on September 12th. 

 3) Q: Are you bringing a gun on the trail, Saina? A: NO! Way too heavy and totally unnecessary.

 4) Q: But WHYYYYY, Saina? A: Because I love hiking. If you haven’t gotten sick of my nature posts from all my previous hiking pics, I’d be surprised. Pretty sure some friends unfollowed me on Instagram because of it. I can’t blame them. wink emoticon 

 5) Q: Are you going all by your lonesome? A: I am starting with a friend – someone I’ve hiked with before and actually met through Instagram through our love of the PCT and because we have the same Osprey Packs – for the first 50ish miles.She’s been amazing enough to offer to drive me to the Mexican border, where we will start. After that, yes, the plan is to go solo. 

 6) Q: But what about mountain lions? A: What about them? They exist, yes. 

 6 1/2: Q: BUT BEARS!!!! A: same as above. I’m also not going to be seeking them out and playing with them like the Grizzly Man dude.

 7) Q: Are you scared? A: Obviously. 

 8) Q: What’d you do to prepare (not actually a question anybody has asked but I’m pretending it is so I can show off a tad)? And are you prepared? (2 questions but answered in the same breath) A: I don’t think you can truly be prepared for something like this. Something so seemingly daunting and insane but I did do First Aid/CPR certification, logged 1232 miles of hiking just last year alone – per my MapMyFitness app (which sometimes isn’t 100% accurate but that’s still a lot, even if you took a hundred or two miles from that figure), Did an insane 2 day Wilderness First Aid course at REI where I learned a buttload and did a compass and top map reading class as well while researching gear, buying a shitload of gear, testing it out, tweaking it, etc. So it has given me more confidence going in, especially alone. 

 9) Q: Can I stay in touch with you? A: Yes! My number will remain unchanged. But I won’t be on the phone very much and it’ll be on airplane mode. If you want to see where I’m at and maybe follow my adventures (or not), you can see the stuff I post on my IG:www.instagram.com/skahlua912 . Or if you want to hear me complain and talk about stuff, I’ll be trying to keep my blog current:www.hikingthepainaway.com (which is this blog you’re currently on ;)). 

 10) Q: What’re you going to do after this? A: I have no clue. Life is just a blank book for me right now. Gotta start writing my book page by page now. So, as terrifying it is for me, I’m more excited than anything. 

 Hope that answers the main questions. I love you all!!! If I die, Diva, you can have my iTunes songs – all 40,000+ of them. Allison Russell, you can have all my hiking gear, Mirriam Rogers and Katherine Gladney, you’ll probably want my hundreds of pictures of you/us. You guys can also take all my books. Amy Carr, you can have all my cowboy boots and shoes cuz you’re the only person who has size 6ish feet like I do. Everyone else, I still love you but I don’t have anything else to give since I sold or gave away almost everything else for this trip.

I start tomorrow, super early so have to wrap up the last of packing. Adios amigos!


I did my yoga class this morning, which was so nice after my calves were burning after my 11 mile hike yesterday  (with my new Cascadias, mind you, so had blisters from the stiffness which caused me to balance my feet abnormally so I could keep hiking which made my calves that much more sore. Normally 11 miles wouldn’t hurt). And I had some crying and frustration come on during the class but came out so relaxed and, oh, so grateful.

I’m grateful for all the people in my life that have shown nothing but support for this crazy goal of mine to hike the PCT. Most of these people don’t even know what it is but support me unconditionally. Some have offered their homes near the trail, some want to send me packages and some have even donated without asking me  (I hate asking for help, in any form, so this is huge, especially since I really needed it).

I never expected this amount of support. I thought it would be all me, with me having to ignore people – friends and family alike – telling me that I was thinking irrationally. That’s not what happened at all. I’ve yet to have people tell me outright that I shouldn’t be doing this. Most only have safety concerns, which I also have and I have no problem debating that should I not have thought of something I should be concerned about.

I feel like I’m jinxing myself by even writing this but I’m also grateful for how the world seems to be coming together for this goal of mine. My bosses were nothing but supportive when I put in my notice, Everything on my to-do list is happening and my world is whirling with activities – from my exercise program with Anish to scheduling classes to finally facing my dreaded medical to-do list  (getting left breast checked since a doctor thought she felt something to lasering off a gross toe fungus I got from going barefoot at the Grand Canyon communal shower and IUD checkups, etc).

My mind is blown. I can’t believe I actually have these people that care about me and want me to find my place in the world in the weird ways I decide to go about finding it.

I’m blessed. ❤

Weekend Adventures ❤️

Learned so much this weekend. About myself, my physical conditioning and gear. Will go over it all in length after a shower from this weekend.

2 1/2 days with no shower, legs and armpit hair growing unchecked and freezing cold temps, snow and crazy gales. This weekend was the best. Got to see the Eastern Sierras and checked out Red Rock Canyon (CA). Soooo amaaaazing






My bank account is just evaporating into thin air. At least I got my Brooks Cascadia 9s and 10s (I’ve never hiked with the 10s but willing to try them out. I love the 9s though, although they fall apart after about 500 miles) shoes, Outdoor Research Helium II rain jacket, desert shirt, Smartwool base layers, Merino socks and Anker external battery for electronics. Poof! $500 gone though. Just like that.

And that’s just the small stuff. My new (MUCH more lightweight) Big Agnes UL1 Flycreek tent, new Osprey backpack, Zpacks 10 degree sleeping bag (the 20 degree was too cold for me in 15 degree snow conditions when I tested it), Therm-A-Rest ZLite sleeping pad, Black Diamond trekking poles and Ghost Whisperer Down jacket all cost, total, over a grand. I mean, I guess I could’ve used older/heavier items I already had but I think I would sorely regret that.

I’m sure it’ll all be worth it in the long run. I can’t help but feel sick after so many purchases. Some people claim it’s therapeutic to shop. I find it therapeutic to get rid of stuff. I get claustrophobic when my material possessions start exceeding 2 large suitcases and a carry on. Time to get to selling old gear and giving away the rest. That’ll be the next weekend (this weekend, have a 3 day road trip/backpacking trip planned for Big Pines/Bishop, CA area with a friend. It’s going to be a blast!!).