Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is quite a rigorous adventure to take on, but hiking the PCT without any prior backpacking experience? Now, that’s a massive character-testing challenge. Just like many others, I felt incredibly inspired to become a more bold, courageous gal after reading Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times best-seller, Wild. I wanted to run over to REI, stock up on outdoor essentials, and take off down a trail I had never known. Just me, a full backpack and those beautiful brown leather boots with fire red laces, the ones featured on Wild’s book cover. The only problem? These iconic hiking boots were fictional at the time… but not for long.