The PCTA releases new video on safe and responsible use of the Pacific Crest Trail

With use of the Pacific Crest Trail continuing to increase, it’s crucial for everyone on the PCT to believe in and practice Leave No Trace ethics. It’s how we’ll protect the trail for future generations. Equally important is staying safe while on the trail. To get the message out there on both fronts, the PCTA produced a new video called Safe and Responsible Use of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Shot on location in Northern California’s Sierra Buttes, the video provides key points about protecting the trail experience for others and managing risk. While plenty of other videos have been made about Leave No Trace principles, we felt it was important to create a video specific to the PCT, with an added emphasis on some of the more common ways people have an impact on the trail—including campsite selection and proper human waste disposal.

We asked 2017 PCT thru-hiker Cotezi “Dirty Avocado” Nuñez if she’d be involved. An experienced long-distance hiker, Cotezi is well-known for her popular YouTube channel “Cotezi Hikes,” where she offers long-distance backpacking advice.

Cotezi “Dirty Avocado” talks about managing risk on the PCT while trying to keep her bottom from freezing during the shoot!

Along with Cotezi, the video features Justin Kooyman, the PCTA’s associate director of trail operations, and 2006 thru-hiker Jack Haskel, the PCTA’s trail information manager.

We filmed the video in the summer of 2019 and edited it during the off-season. And we got lucky with a sunny, bug-free day. When you watch the video you’ll see a few scenes of a new section of the PCT that winds through a beautiful alpine basin below the Sierra Buttes near the Tamarack Lakes. This section is part of a 6.5-mile reroute that took the trail away from a dusty road walk.

Scott Wilkinson, PCTA’s director of marketing and communications, records Justin Kooyman.

So if you plan to spend any time on the PCT this season—whether for a day hike, a weekend outing, a section hike, or you’re thru-hiking the entire trail—please watch this video and share it with others. We worked hard to keep it as interesting, straightforward, and authentic as possible. And if everyone keeps this information in mind when you’re on the trail, we’ll be helping to keep it as spectacular and life-changing as it is now for years to come.

Jack, Cotezi, and Justin wrap up the video at the end of a long but fun day of shooting.

Author: Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson is the PCTA’s Content Development Director. A former professional musician, Scott has 20+ years of experience in almost every marketing role. Before joining the PCTA he was a marketing/creative director at West Virginia University and the University of Oregon. A serious outdoor addict, Scott is an experienced whitewater paddler, hang glider pilot, flyfisher, mountain biker, and (of course) hiker and backpacker.